The sound of feet hitting the ground, drawing nearer. Small feet, excited, running. Larger, steadier feet follow behind. Giggles and shrieks herald their arrival.
Miniature hands clutch pillowcases and plastic pumpkins in front of them as they surge towards the next house. Candies bounce with each step as if trying to jump from the confines of their prison, but never quite make it out. They rattle and then settle and then repeat the whole process again.
The knock is quick, and a little bit light. Even if you don’t hear it, the unsuccessfully muffled laughter will certainly rouse you. And when you open the door, they are beaming proudly, bags open and ready as they shout the famous lines.
A young boy with the fake bulging muscles of a superhero, and a small girl dressed in a glittering dress, holding a shiny wand in one of her hands. She’s missing her two front teeth and he’s missing one.
You can’t help but smile as you lower the candy bowl for their eager hands. And with a gentle reminder from their parents, they shout out their ‘thank-you’s as they hurry down the steps, their minds already set on the next house.
The next child is there with her dad. Her face has been painted red and green, and she is wearing a dinosaur costume. You grin and give her an extra candy. She smiles shyly and expresses her gratitude.
And when the knocking begins to die down, explosions in the sky start up. A safe perimeter has been set up, with children edging as close as they can get. The wet street does not faze them at all.
A whistle, a whine, a scream, and then colour flies, dancing through the sky, shouting its joy. Unfazed by its short life, it spreads its coloured wings and soars.