This is the first part of a new short series, which will probably be three or four chapters long. It's not a sex story, just so you know, but a tale of deepening love between two young boys. If such a theme offends you, then you're in the wrong place and should go somewhere else.
Thoughts and comments are welcome to firstname.lastname@example.org.
One Night Every Year
"Oh yes!" Ari squealed. "That was a good one!"
"Eww." Danny stuck his tongue out and made a grimace. "Look at all that goo!"
"You made a bigger mess. Look, it's all over the wall."
"Yeah, but yours is running down the window. That's gonna take forever to clean up."
Both boys broke into fits of giggles and fell to the ground, rolling around and laughing until they were clutching their aching stomachs. Danny recovered first and got to his feet. He reached into the plastic bag and fished out another egg. This one was the largest yet, and he knew just where he wanted it to go. Winking to Ari, he took a couple of steps towards the house, then swung his arm and threw it.
The egg struck the wall just above the front door. Exactly where Danny had aimed! He made a pirouette and high-fived his friend, who then chose a new egg for himself. Ari listened for a couple of seconds, but there were no sounds coming from inside the house. He aimed for the same spot, but just as he was about to make his throw, Danny poked his arm. The egg flew astray, and there was a clirr of broken glass followed by loud cursing from inside.
"Oh, shimmers!" Ari whimpered. "Think we'd better run?"
"Bloody kids!" Footsteps were rapidly approaching the front door. "I'll use the shotgun on you!"
"Danny, come on! We gotta run!"
"What do you mean, not yet! He's comin'!"
The door flew open, and the old man stepped out onto the porch. His eyes were wide and his grey hair and beard ruffled with rage, and he was indeed brandishing a shotgun. The boys ducked behind the hedge, then peered up over it just as the yolk and white from Danny's last egg dripped down into the man's eyes. His curses grew louder and even more profane, and this time the boys did run.
* * * * * *
They didn't stop until they had reached Cedar Road, and the noise from their pursuer had died away behind them. Both boys were huffing and panting, and they let themselves fall down on the edge of a lawn. After a little while, they started laughing again.
"That'll teach him," Danny said between giggles. "No way he's gonna yell at trick-or-treaters ever again."
"I doubt it." Ari sat up and brushed grass off the sleeves of his footside white robe. "He was yelling at us, just now."
"Yeah, 'cause we're bad."
"Speak for yourself! I'm a good boy."
"No you're not! You smashed his window."
"Only 'cause you pushed me!"
"Did not! I just nudged you."
"You made me do that!"
They dropped their candy bags and flew at each other, punching and kicking and snarling as they rolled around on the grass, each trying to pin the other down. In the end Ari won the wrestling match, simply by grabbing at Danny's barb-tipped tail, then gaining the upper hand while he tried to defend it. They glared at each other, but slowly the anger in their eyes began to soften into something else. Seconds ticked away, and a shudder passed through both of them.
Ari opened his mouth to speak but changed his mind, and instead he released the grip on his friend. Rather than pushing him away to rekindle the fight, Danny took his hands and held them gently. This was new, left them with a different feeling than their ordinary friendship. Again, Ari tried to say something, but Danny shook his head.
"Don't," he whispered. "Don't say it."
"No! You can't! We can't."
Ari stood up, helping Danny to his feet. They let go of each other's hands, and picked up their bag of candy. The eggs had been crushed during the fight, so they left that bag behind as they started walking down the street. Passing house after identical house, lawn after identical lawn, neither boy really saw where they were going, nor did they care. The tension was still there, and it didn't break until the old man's voice echoed faintly from somewhere behind them.
"Go to hell, damn kids!"
"Not yet," Danny said, grinning widely. "I still got all night."
"And I'm not going there, anyway," Ari giggled. "So, what are we gonna do now?"
"Dunno. We've got enough candy already, so let's call it quits."
"Okay. Wait a sec." Ari stopped his friend, then turned him around and started brushing his leathery wings. "You got grass all over your back."
"Not that I can see. Can't smell any, either."
"I didn't mean I rolled in it! Doofus!"
"You gotta learn how to cuss properly. 'Shimmers'! What's 'shimmers' mean?"
"Come on, Ari. Say after me. Shit!"
"Say it. Shit!"
"I really, really shouldn't. You know that."
"Come on. It's only Halloween one night every year. You're allowed to go a little crazy."
"You think so?"
"I know so."
"All right." Ari blushed deeply as he forced his mouth to form the unfamiliar word. "Ssshhh-it!"
"Yeah!" Danny cried, grinning widely. "Now, bugger!"
"Yell it out."
"I can't say that!"
"Come on, you were doing great!"
"Ffffuuu..." Ari took a deep breath, then tried again. "Fuck!"
They rounded a corner and came up onto Maple Drive, where they almost ran into an old lady who was out walking her little dog. It started yapping at them, and the lady frowned as they went into repeating the latest addition to Ari's vocabulary of invectives. Both boys broke into new fits of laughter, then started running again, all the while chorusing in a sing-song voice.
* * * * * *
A little while later, they climbed the rope ladder to a tree house, just where the quiet suburb gave way to a forest. Neither knew who owned the cosy little place, but they didn't really care. Danny sat down, cross-legged, tore the wrapper off a chocolate bar and took a good bite. Meanwhile, Ari was still all flustered after his foray into swearing, and his cheeks were burning a bright red. He brushed grass off his robe, his hands shivering all the time.
"Calm down," Danny mumbled around his mouthful. "You jus' cussed a bit, no big deal."
"It is to me. You know I'm not supposed to do bad things."
"Nobody can be good all the time. You gotta have fun, too." He dug out a jelly fish from his candy bag, and tossed it to Ari, who flipped it into his mouth and started chewing. "At least on Halloween."
"Come on! It won't be long 'til we have to go home, don't spoil the party."
"Okay!" Ari opened his own bag, found a Mars bar and unwrapped it. "Tashtes weird, chocolate an' jelly t'gether."
"Eat one at a time, then." Danny reached around his friend and started brushing his feathery white wings. "You got grass back here, too."
"Listen... just back then...?"
"No," Ari said, swallowing his candy. "You were right, we'd better not say anything."
"Yeah, I know." Ari sighed, and turned his head up to stare at the tree house's low ceiling. "But if that was really what I think it was..."
"Felt like it. I think." Danny shuddered. "It's no good, Ari. That's even worse for me than cussing is for you."
"Then don't say it."
"I won't if you won't."
"And I won't!"
They kept munching their candy for a while, but without really getting into it. The tension between them was back again, and before long their hands seemed to come together by themselves, like opposing magnets. They held on for a brief moment, then almost jumped apart. Suddenly the tree house felt cramped, and they hurried to climb down, eager to return to some place where the presence of others would keep them from each other.
* * * * * *
A bit down the road they met a bunch of other kids, a gothic vampire girl, three Batmen and a tiny Frankenstein's monster tagalong hanging on to one Batman's cape. For a while both Danny and Ari felt just like any other child, comparing loot bags and trading semi-friendly jibes about costumes. But the other gang was going in the opposite direction, and they soon parted ways after a warning about the grumpy old coot with the shotgun and a faceful of egg. As they walked away, one of the Batmen turned around.
"You guys make a nice pair, angel and demon. Cool wings."
"Thanks," Ari beamed. "And I love your... uhm... utility belt."
"Devil, not demon," Danny mumbled as they got out of hearing range. "I can't believe people are so stupid."
"Not everybody can see the difference. They don't learn much of that anymore." He reached up and pinched Danny's tiny horns, then giggled. "Demons aren't horny."
"Hey!" Danny whipped at Ari's hand with his tail. "They're sensitive!"
For a second, the two teetered on the edge of another fight, but instead Danny took Ari's hand, and they started walking again. It was almost dark now, and they made sure to stay out of the lamplight whenever they met someone. Still, a couple of trick-or-treaters turned their heads and stared, and some even glared angrily at the sight of two boys holding hands. Ari didn't really care, but he could tell that Danny tensed up every time that happened.
"Don't mind them."
"Really, I don't give a fuck what they think. People suck, anyway. I just worry that dad might find out." He laughed, but there was no humour in his voice. "There'd be hell to pay. Literally."
"Because I'm a boy?"
"No, because you're an angel. And because I'm not supposed to... you know."
"Don't say it!" Danny squeaked, his voice no longer holding up. "Please don't say it."
"Why not? You felt it, I felt it. We damn near kissed."
"So what? Halloween's just one night every year, I'm allowed to go a little crazy. A very clever boy told me that. So fucking what?"
Danny sniffled, and wiped his cheek. Then he began to laugh, and Ari joined in. They let go of each other's hands and made a high five, then they took off running down the street.
* * * * * *
When the first rays of sunlight began to light up the horizon, the two of them were sitting on the swings in the playground, rocking back and forth while they finished off the last of their candy. Already, reality was winning back the world, and the boundaries were beginning to close. For this time. The Night of Spirits was waking up into a day of normalcy, and neither of the boys had a place there.
Danny forced one last jellybean into his mouth, then crumpled up his bag and tossed it into the sandbox. Ari, who had folded his bag up neatly and was looking around for a waste basket, shrugged and followed his friend's bad example. They both grinned, then shied away when their eyes met. After a moment's hesitation, Ari reached up with soft fingers and touched Danny's cheek. The devil boy flapped his wings once, then repeated the gesture.
"Next year," the angel whispered, "I'll kiss you."
"Like home you will," Danny smirked. "See you."
"Fuck you too."
Their laughter still echoed as sunlight touched the empty playground; the still swings, the dew-dampened slide and the sandbox, where two crumpled-up candy bags lay. The only evidence that anyone had been there during the night.
Halloween was over.
To be continued...