Chuck and Stu sat in the car, heater blowing full blast watching the chaos unfold before them; kids running from door-to-door, costumes barely visible beneath their winter coats.
“Hey, Chuck. How old were you when you stopped trick-or-treating?” Stu asked.
Chuck thought for a moment, “Hmm, I don’t know, musta been about twelve, I guess.” He chuckled, “Officially, anyway. You know, me and some of the guys would dress up in high school and go harass some neighbors into giving us candy.” He smiled at the memory.
“Really? I grew outta that crap at about 10. My folks were never big on taking us kids out. We lived in the country, so anywhere we went they had to drive us. “
The two were silent for a long while, taking in the sights. Both waved when a little girl, no more than three stopped outside the car and waved her kitten mitten hand, before being pulled along by her mom.
“Did you see that? The mother pulling her kid along like we were gonna jump out and snag her.” Stu frowned. That was just one of several parents that had responded that way when their kids stopped to wave. “What’s wrong with people these days?”
“I don’t know, Stu. When did we stop being the good guys? I bet if it were a couple of firemen sittin’ here, those parents would be lining their kids up for photos.” Chuck added sarcastically.
The radio cracked to life, “Three Mary Twenty, we have a 2-12 in progress at Fifth and Harmony, please respond.”
“Dispatch, this is Three Mary Twenty, we’re on our way.” Chuck spoke while Stu pulled into traffic, lights and siren going.
“That’s the liquor store, isn’t it? Probably some kids stocking up for some fun.”
Chuck grunted, “Kids, why can’t they just loot their parent’s liquor cabinets like we did when we were young?”
Several times Stu had to maneuver around pedestrians who didn’t pay them any mind, nearly taking out another patrol car after one tricky lane change.
Both cars squealed to a halt in front of the Liquor Store.
“Did you hear them call for back-up?” Stu asked as they jumped out of the car.
“Hey, guys. Thanks for showing up, you wanna secure the perimeter? See if we have any witnesses?” Chuck asked. He gave Stu a look of irritation when the two officers just ran right past them into the store anyways.
The two younger officers approached the man behind the counter. He had a sever gash to the head, blood running down into his goatee.
“They must be new, part of that new hiring push we had. Let’s just sit back and see how they do.” Stu suggested.
The Liquor Store worker confirmed their suspicions that it had in fact been some kids dressed up in masksfrom that movie Scream. “Really creepy.” He said. The younger of the officers took notes.
Finally, Chuck said, “We’ll go search the streets, see if we can track them down.” Neither he nor Stu waited for a response before running back to the car.
“Who do they think they are? Couple of green horns marching in there like they own the place. They’re barely more than kids.” Grumbled Chuck.
Stu just nodded, entering traffic again, heading the way the store clerk thought the suspects had gone.
It wasn’t long before they spotted a couple of Scream masked boys walking into the old Richter house. Although no one had lived there for years, it was a popular hangout for teens up to no good. Stu and Chuck had responded to many calls at this location. In fact the last time had ended with gun fire and several people dead.
“Shoulda known this is where we’d find these punks.” Chuck cast a glance to the rickety old house. There had been rumors it was haunted, but neither Stu nor Chuck believed in that garbage.
“Even all shuttered up, kids keep finding a way into this dump.”
Remembering the last time they were there, Stu wondered if they should call back-up.
As if reading his mind, a second car pulled up. This time, two familiar faces piled out of the car.
“Hey, Mike. Dan.” Chuck greeted, his eyes never leaving the house, looking for movement.
Stu, also focused on the house didn’t think anything of the new arrivals not responding. The less talking, the better.
“Dan, you take the back, I’ll approach the front. Be careful, we don’t want a repeat of Stu and Chuck’s deal. Got it?”
“Yeah, this place creeps me out. Should we wait for back-up? They did say they were armed.”
“Hey! What are we? Chopped liver?” Chuck joked, a little confused. It was beginning to feel like Dan and Mike didn’t even want to acknowledge they were there. Surely they weren’t going to let the shoot out influence their trust in them.
“Good point, yeah, let’s just sit tight.” Mike radioed that they had the suspects at the Richter house and would wait for back-up.
“Screw you guys!” Stu hissed, elbowing Chuck, signaling they should just go in.
Rather than split up, they took the rear, knowing that Mike and Dan could grab anyone making a run for it out front. They quietly creeped around the side of the house. They stopped when they heard talking by the back door.
“Dude, this place is off the hook! I can feel the spirit energy, man!” The kid’s cigarette glowed in the darkness.
“How freaking awesome would it be if we saw a ghost tonight? Like those two cops that bit it last year?”
“Dude, seriously! Or those two sisters? Brad said one year he saw them both, their white dresses were almost entirely see-through!”
“Whatever, Brad’s never seen anything, he’s just all talk.”
Stu and Chuck stood frozen, listening. Both were trying to figure out which cops had died at this place last year. None came to mind. The kids must be mistaken. The only time cops had been even close to dying here was last Halloween when Chuck and Stu had been involved in the shootout.
Noise coming up behind them caught their attention. Two uniformed officers were approaching, guns drawn, whispering. “I don’t like this, this is exactly how Stu and Chuck went out, man. This is bad mojo.”
“Relax, we’ve got coverage and the element of surprise. Let’s get through this… in honor of Chuck and Stu.
Finally, the events of the day started to register with them both. The two new cops that acted like they weren’t even there, the children whose parents pulled them hurriedly away. Then, the final clue that they were indeed dead occurred when Mike and Dan walked right through them as they rounded the corner to the back of the house.
“Hands above your heads!” Dan yelled at the two teens out back. Chuck and Stu could hear similar commands being yelled inside. It was all over quickly without any casualties.
Later, Chuck and Stu sat in their police cruiser. Neither spoke for a long time.
Breaking the silence, Stu nodded toward the house, waving to the two young beautiful women standing in the doorway. “I guess we might as well make the most of this whole dead thing, whaddaya say, partner?”
With a smile, they both exited the car.