Children of all ages lined the streets and doorsteps, their playful costumes delighting those who opened their doors to hand them a fistful of treats. A witch in her floppy hat and long, trailing, black dress walked down the sidewalk with her parents. They passed a large group with three small ghosts leading the way.
Lamplight illuminated the roads for trick-or-treaters, but in the shadows, something else lurked. Two pair of glowing red eyes streaked across the land. Their ghostly howls from the graveyard infiltrated the night air. The sound stretched on for miles.
The beasts were aware of their duties: seek out the lost souls and bring them back to Hell. But it was too exciting to tend to duty now that their leashes were severed. Too tempting to take the chance to prowl the night.
"This is awesome, Ryu," the black beast said as he weaved around trees, leaving behind a trail of hot dust and brimstone.
On four legs, they raced around the outskirts of the city and to the blocks where children happily skipped to each house.
"Tell me about it. I don't want to go back." Ryu had longed for this chance to be free, even if it was only for one night.
Watching as the tiny witch made her way up a long, shadowed driveway, Ryu heard the crinkle of the bag in her hand. Her parents had stayed behind, embracing each other as they watched their child disappear into the darkness.
Ryu stopped. His heavy breath created a puff of fog in the cold. Sniffing the sweet scent of tart in the air, he licked his lips. "Candy." Ryu flicked his eyes to his partner, Keir.
"What are you going to do with candy?"