Nightmare On East Magnolia

Published: Thursday, October 31, 2013 at 09:08 AM.

            Pretty sound questions I thought, but Squeaky trumped any reasoning I had, “What if one of us falls into the hole WITH the dog?”

            More silence. 

            “Let’s kidnap Bruno. We can put a burlap bag over his eyes. You know how that works with horses. It calms them right down.” Ricky lived way over on Forrest Avenue, he didn’t understand the gravity of the situation. “We could take him to the Halloween Carnival and throw him in amongst them folks hopping around the musical chairs!”

            I have to admit I got caught up in the moment; the sight of that big hairy dog loose in the midst of the dart throwing, apple bobbing and haunted house would be something to behold. And, listen, Bruno leaping across the cake table, barreling through the corn maize or biting the PTA president might be worth the risk.  

            We didn’t bother with any costumes or masks. We had no idea who lived in the big house. No one was ever at home. I’d never seen any lights on or anyone out in the yard. Ruth Ann swears she’d spied “ghost like creatures” floating by the windows but ya’ll know how Ruth Ann was prone to exaggerate.

It was a pitch black Halloween night. We made no sound as we descended on the big house from the town side. We figured if Bruno was watching he’d expect a frontal attack. All breathing stopped. We inched toward the side gate with the quietness of a World War II sniper. The plan was simple. Terry and Buddy had burlap bags, the rest of us had a rope and a stick. When the burlap bag got over Bruno’s head, the closest guy was going to wrap his rope around the bag, closing it tight. The stick was to beat the dog off of us in case the first plan didn’t work.

As Yogi eased the door open and we leaped into the back yard I wondered why we hadn’t heard the dog. In the dead silence something bumped against my leg. I whacked down hard with my stick and jumped back. I heard a growl or a moan, I’m not sure which and then a burlap bag landed over my head. Something bit my arm and I’m telling you I took to swinging that stick like I was Willie Shoemaker himself whipping Sword Dancer down the last furlong at the Belmont Stakes!

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