The Warlock Who Dressed Up As A Ghost
by Jim Bates
You’d think my little brother would be excited to be a naturally born warlock like me and our dad. But, no, not him.
“I’m going as a ghost for Halloween,” Jerry told me. We were in our bedroom; our shared bedroom, I should say. I was ten, and way too big for his five-year-old nonsense.
“What an idiot,” I responded and punched him on the arm.
I laughed. “You big baby. I’m going as a warlock, like I’m supposed to.”
“Well, I’m going to be different.”
“That’s for sure. At least I won’t have to get dressed up and wear a stupid sheet.”
He grinned. “It’s a magical sheet.”
“It is. Me and Johnny found it in the dumpster out back of Blackthorn’s.”
“The funeral home? What were you doing over there?”
“Hanging out,” he said evasively.
“It was his grandpa’s funeral. We were exploring,” he admitted.
“So, you’re going to wear a skanky sheet that who knows what it’s been on. Or under. It sounds stupid.” Except, by then, I wished I’d thought of it.
Mom’s a witch, so on Halloween, she made me take Jerry treat-or-treating because it’s the night she and dad always had to go to the big ceremony in the woods.
In the end, though, I didn’t mind. I stayed with him the whole time. He was really convincing as a ghost. His feet never once touched the ground, and it was awesome. He told me if I was nice to him, I could wear the sheet next year. Done deal. But we aren’t going to tell Mom. No way. She’d never believe us. It’ll be our secret, me and my weird little brother.
Jim Bates lives in a small town, twenty miles west of Minneapolis, Minnesota. His stories and poems have appeared in many online and print publications. His collection of short stories, Resilience, is scheduled to be published in 2020 by Bridge House Publishing. All of his stories can be found on his blog: www.theviewfromlonglake.wordpress.com.