When I got home that night, I noticed the smiling jack-o-lantern in my front yard was crushed. The face of the pumpkin was still intact, grinning up at me. I shook my head at the vandalism as I stepped over the remains of the jack-o-lantern. That’s when I noticed the door was ajar. It creaked ominously as I slowly pushed it open.
The house was dark, a strange occurrence at this time of night. The only illumination came from the pale moonlight seeping in through the windows. The door closed behind me with a soft click. I slipped the bag off my shoulder and quietly placed it on the ground. I slowly unzipped the front pouch, scanning the neighboring rooms as I did so, and drew the gun I’d stored there.
The house creaked around me as I crept from room to room. My heart beat steadily as I turned into the kitchen, gun raised, finger on the trigger. There was a sound behind me. I dropped to the ground. A bullet pierced the air where I’d been standing a moment before. I rolled to my back and returned fire. The round struck home, hitting my assailant in the chest. The figure staggered a step before bursting into laughter. The light flicked on a moment later. My brother picked up the bright orange dart at his feet, his nerf pistol held casually in his other hand.
“I almost got you that time, bro,” he said, a grin on his face.
“Did you have to smash the pumpkin?” I asked as I got to my feet. He shrugged, spun the gun around his trigger finger, and strolled out of the room.