Trick or Treat?
I apologise for any mistakes in the following (it’s 3am), and for my recent absence. I’ve basically been drunk for 3 days having fun, so I’m not that sorry actually!
Anyway, I got a prompt from @bafy-usy for a Halloween fic. So as it is today, I thought I should probably fast-track that one. It’s what I call a long-shot. (So bloody long!)
WARNING: This starts candy-sickeningly-sweet and fluffy and suddenly turns to smut. Enjoy.
I know two Amelia Shepherds:
Amelia Shepherd 1 is the mother of my children. She’s caring and considerate, sympathetic and doting, uses a soft and tender voice when the children are upset and a silly high-pitched voice when trying to make them laugh. She multi-tasks like a boss and always makes sure she is thought of last- an act of kindness I find incredibly frustrating most of the time. She’s firm but fair, and I’m not biased in thinking she is a fantastic mother.
Amelia Shepherd 2 is my wife. I’ve known her a bit longer. She is loving and sweet, silly and strong, raises one eyebrow when suggesting something naughty and lowers her gaze when trying to hide something. Every feeling she has is evident in her eyes and there are five depths of her dimple to let me know how amused she is. She is bold in letting me know exactly what she wants and fearless in telling me what I’m doing wrong. She can be an absolute nightmare to deal with sometimes but she is worth every clenched jaw she’s ever caused.
Halloween is one of my favourite nights of the year. One of the best things about it is that I get to see the two Amelia Shepherds at their strongest, the contrast clear and defined. This year is no different.
Amelia Shepherd 1:
“I think it will be hilarious!” I say to her after explaining my prank to pull on the children.
“I’m sure you do but I really don’t think your five-year-old son and three-year-old daughter are going to see the funny side when they’re told they can’t go trick-or-treating Owen,” she replies to me. Oh, why must she be a kill-joy? I’ve already insisted we’re doing the prank so whatever happens, we’ve got the camera ready to film their reaction.
The children have been looking forward to going over to their Auntie’s in the city to trick-or-treat for weeks, the prospect of a halloween with neighbours being a foreign concept to them. One of the few cons of raising a family in the middle of the forest is that on Halloween there are no neighbours, although, the other 364 days of the year, we see this as a huge pro given the amount of noise our kids make.
“Daddy daddy daddy!” Charlotte’s little voice excitedly squeals from her room, demonstrating my point perfectly. “Are you ready to see me in my costume?”
“Of course! Get your cute butt down here now,” I call back from the living room. I know from her usual routine that she sits down on her butt at the top of the stairs and one by one, I hear her plop down the wooden steps until she comes round the corner and presents herself.
“I’m a ginger chesire cat,” she tells me, her long auburn hair having been backcombed with streaks of blond through it and a onesie to match. Her face lends itself well to the contours of a cat’s grin and as she proudly beams up to me, I can’t help but bite my lip at how adorable she is.
“You look INCREDIBLE little Bee,” I say, picking her up and smothering her with kisses as she giggles and tries to push me away.
“But I’m not a bee today daddy,” she scoffs, “I’m a cat.”
“You’ll always be a little bee to me, Bee,” I say, dropping her to the floor again and insisting on calling her by her nickname.
“Now,” Amelia comes through from the kitchen and fixes some random strands of hair on Charlotte’s head, “you just need to put your shoes on and you’re done. BUZZ, we’re leaving!”
Christopher comes bounding down the stairs, his Dr Frankenstein outfit drowning his petite frame.
“Dad, I need your stesocope,” he says. “Please?”
“Here,” I laugh at his mispronunciation, handing it over from a side table. “Shoes?”
“On it,” he says, running to the shoe cupboard. I pick up the keys to the truck and momentarily go outside, all part of the plan… I come back in to see a ginger cheshire cat waiting patiently on the sofa and a Dr Frankenstein listening to his own heart beside her. I wink to Amelia as a signal to start the camera, who rolls her eyes in response.
“Guys,” I feign an apologetic tone, “I’m really sorry but we’ve got a flat tyre… I don’t think we’re going to be able to go into town after all…”
Part of me wants a full-blown strop right now. I’ve seen youtube videos of parents doing similarly mean things to their children, essentially breaking their spirit, to make a quick buck. This video will not be going onto youtube. If they pull the strop, the video will be used when they’re pulling their next strop to remind them of how ridiculous they look, it’ll be used as blackmail at their 16th and 21st birthdays, and definitely be used in my father of the bride speech at Charlotte’s wedding somehow.
“Huh?” Christopher questions.
“Yeah, I’m so sorry pal,” I try again, “to be able to drive into town we need four working tyres and one of them is flat. Do you understand Charlotte? We can’t go to Auntie Meredith’s I’m afraid.”
Her bottom lip pokes out.
“Why?” she asks, her big eyes beginning to well with tears. I see out the corner of my eye Amelia subtly holding her phone at an appropriate angle next to her side.
“The car can’t take us there,” I explain. She looks to Christopher upset, who looks back at her in dismay.
“Are you being "funny” daddy?“ he suspiciously asks, using his fingers to do air quotation marks on the word funny. God, he knows me too well.
"I’m really sorry buddy, I’m not, we can’t go. We need to blow the tyre back up and we can’t do that until the morning. We’re going to have to save it until next year.”
“Mummy?” He looks for confirmation and Amelia goes along with it, shaking her head with a sad expression.
I’m expecting tears.
“Oh…” Christopher sighs. “Can we walk there?”
“I’m not sure we’ll get there until tomorrow if we walk Buzz,” I grimace.
“I wanted to go trick-or-treating,” Charlotte whimpers through a pout. It’s not an angry pout but an extremely sad one.
“It’s ok Bee,” Christopher says, putting a comforting arm around his sister’s shoulder. “We could maybe pretend that all the rooms in this big house we have are the neighbours houses and get mummy and daddy to dress up as different people for each door. Then it would be like trick-or-treating. And then we don’t even have to get wet!”
Charlotte perks up a little at the idea. It’s almost as if they’re more excited by the idea of that game rather than walking around the cold, rainy streets of Seattle in the dark, knocking on strangers’ doors.
“And we can turn all the lights off and light our pumpkin lanterns to guide our way around the house…” he continues, assuring his little sister everything will be just as much fun.
“And we can have hot chocolate and watch a scary film later?” Charlotte suggests, to which Christopher nods and giggles. “Can we make brownies too Mummy?”
Amelia nods from her spot, pride bursting through a wide, lip-bitten smile.
I’m flabbergasted. What I thought was going to be some video evidence to use against my children has turned into one of the cutest moments I’ve ever witnessed between them. And on top of it all, I’m watching a five-year-old Dr Frankenstein cuddle a three-year-old ginger cheshire cat, laughing and smiling up at their parents.
“It’s ok Daddy, we can help you blow the tyre back up in the morning,” Christopher says.
“Yes,” Charlotte agrees, puffing her cheeks out and blowing onto my face.
I was expecting tears and the camera is not disappointed as I see Amelia walk around the back of the sofa and film my reaction. A single tear falls down my cheek as I bite my lip in attempts to keep my proud-dad-moment emotions in check.
“You…” I poke Charlotte’s belly followed by Christopher’s, “and you… are the best children anyone could ever ask for! Let’s get your lanterns lit and turn these lights out!”
And they are the best children anyone could ever ask for. Do you know why? Amelia Shepherd 1 has taught them how to be respectful, grateful, creative, happy and forgiving children. The way Christopher just reacted is exactly the way Amelia Shepherd 1 would have comforted them- ever the optimist and opportunist for some good inventive fun.
Amelia Shepherd 2:
The night has been fantastic. We called Meredith and had to apologise for not turning up due to the amount of fun we ended up having. A different room caused both Amelia and myself to put on a different outfit and accent, the elderly, senile couple being one of my favourites, and the brownies we made happened to be some of the best we’ve done as a family. Usually the measurements are ruined by a child’s interpretation of a “pinch” of something, or a “heaped spoonful” of something else, but tonight it all came together perfectly.
“They asleep?” Amelia asks as I return downstairs. She looks so beautiful with no make-up, so natural, and her fluffed-up hair from various hairstyles effortlessly framing her features. She has pajamas on already, some baggy sweats and a simple white t-shirt with no bra underneath. I’m a man, I notice these things.
“Yes, they’re both wiped out,” I tell her as I go to fetch a glass of water for us to share.
“Good. Want to play trick-or-treat?” she asks.
“Huh?” I frown, not knowing what she’s up to. She comes to grab my hand and leads me through to the sofa, pushing me back and taking the water from me. She places it on the coffee table, bending over as she does so. My eyes sweep over her delicious, cute ass. The devilish grin I see as she stands back up makes me wonder what I’m in for.
“Rules are simple,” she explains. “I ask "trick or treat?”, and you say either “trick” or “treat”.“
"Ok…” I say slowly, suspiciously narrowing my eyes.
“Trick or treat?” she asks.