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Halloween 2009: Trick or?

Trick_or_Treat Saturday night was Halloween. In my neighborhood, Halloween has become much like any other night because kids don’t Trick or Treat door-to-door anymore. Schools have Halloween activities, there’s trick or treating at the malls and some churches have non-traditional celebrations.

I typically prepare for at least one child to stop by; I have bought treats every year --- except this year. For the last four or five years, not one kid has come by --- not one. It’s not as if children passed my home; they were nowhere to be seen. Not passing by...not even a kid in a costume in a car that drove by. Nothing. Nada.

So, tell me why a young boy, no more than nine years old, rang our doorbell at 10:38 at night. No one comes by that time of night unless they’re expected or it’s someone with bad news. So the first reaction was alarm.

After opening the door, I saw a young man with a Halloween bag. He was a nice looking young boy but I was not about to open the requisite metal security door that separated us. I told him that I was sorry but we didn’t have any candy this year because no one has stopped by in recent years. I then asked him if he was alone and why he was out so late.

He said he was alone but never answered the second question. I checked the surroundings as much as I could because I was not about to get bum-rushed in my own home. He said, “Don’t you remember me, I used to visit next door?” I didn’t remember him but he could have been telling the truth. I asked him if he was afraid to be out alone at this time of night and he said no that he walks this way to school.

I apologized again for not having any treats for him and told him to go straight home because it was too late for him to be in the streets, especially alone. He said yes ma’am and went on his way. I watched him walk down the street until he turned the corner out of my line of vision.

Then I wondered for the rest of the night who would allow their precious child to be out like that. I was so concerned about him that I looked for him after I got home from work today. I didn’t see him anywhere. Then my folks returned from a homeowners meeting and told me about a gang in the neighborhood.

Kids from another part of town, who live in a nearby group home, have started a gang that terrorizes neighbors, especially other young kids. They break into cars. They also send a young kid to scope out homes so they can go back later and burglarize the place. 

Now you know, I am cautious but I refuse to live in fear. I also believe in having 9-1-1 on speed dial and defending my family and myself by any means necessary. I wonder if little man was a member of the gang and tried to get into our home to scope it out. I wonder if he was a kid whose parents were at work and didn’t know he was trolling the streets so late at night. I wonder.

Well, I’m still going to be on the lookout for little man as I ride through the neighborhood. If I see him, I’ll let him know that I am concerned about him and wanted to make sure he was safe. Then I’ll go on my merry way but don’t get it twisted; if little man turns out to be in the gang and tries anything, I got the right to go Bernie Mac on him and his friends. Believe that.