What was going on? Why the heck couldn’t he feel his arms or his legs and why was his mother crying?
“Jack!”, she kept saying, sitting on his bed and weeping over a gold framed photograph of him.
He’d tried calling out to her but his mouth didn’t seem to work either and he had no voice, even to moan or scream.
“Jack”, she said again, and now his father was standing in the doorway of his bedroom, looking sad and worried and like a man who hadn’t slept for days.
“The police are doing their best to find him”, his father was saying to his mother, “We musn’t give up hope”.
What had happened? Was his father talking about him? But he wasn’t missing. He was right there infront of them. Why couldn’t they see him or hear him?
What had happened to him? Was he dead? A ghost? He didn’t feel like a ghost; he couldn’t move his arms or legs and float about and he didn’t remember dying or having an accident.
The last thing he remembered, in fact, was going trick or treating with his friends Craig and Georgina from next door.
They’d gotten quite a haul of candy, he remembered. The folks round about Midland Drive where he lived were really very nice and one man even gave them each a dollar because he said he didn’t have any candy to give them.
But then, he remembered, at the end of the street there was an old house that none of them had ever seen before. Number 13. It had looked pretty spooky too, with big round windows just like eyes and, before they’d even knocked on the front door, it had suddenly sprung open and there had been this old woman standing in the doorway; a really weird looking, creepy old woman in a long black dress.
“Come in, come in, little ones”, she’d said, cackling, “I’ve been expecting you. I’ve got lots of goodies for you to munch on”.
He remembered being pretty freaked out by her at first because she looked so much like the witch in one of his old picture books; Hansel and Gretel, with a long crooked nose and big, wicked looking grin but, somehow, the doorway of her house seemed to glow with a bright golden light that seemed so welcoming and, pouring out of the house, was the sweet smell of freshly baked cakes
then, before he knew it, he and Craig and Georgina were walking towards the door of her house; entering her house and then the door was creaking shut behind them.
“Dear lord”, sobbed his mother, getting up from his bed, “Please bring my son home, please”.
“I’m home!”, thought Jack, trying to call out again, “Please! Why can’t you hear me”.
But then, suddenly, his mother looked over towards him. Had she heard him? Could she see him?
She was walking over towards him; bending and reaching out her arms, looking right into his eyes.
“Mother?! Can you see me?”, he asked, his heart leaping with hopefulness.
“I don’t see any point in keeping this pumpkin lantern lit…not now”, she said, blowing.
Then, all of a sudden, everything went dark.