One week before Halloween, Dorothy watched as her mother, father and little brother carved pumpkins. In a loud, stern voice Dorothy announced, "Halloween isn't so scary. It's about big stores selling lots of candy and silly costumes that aren't scary at all. And I hear the American Dental Association runs the whole show. Halloween is a bunch of hooey."
"I'm very sorry to hear you feel that way," Dorothy's mother said, plopping pumpkin guts onto a newspaper. "I suppose you won't be going trick-or-treating then."
"Oh no, I'm still going trick-or-treating," Dorothy said. "Halloween isn't scary, and it is a bunch of hooey, but I love candy, especially when it's free."
Dorothy skipped off to her room. Mother, father and little brother shook their heads and went back to carving their pumpkins.
Six days before Halloween, Dorothy stopped the postman in the street. He was a short, pudgy fellow who wore a Jack-o-lantern pin on his coat.
"Mr. Postman, Halloween is a bunch of hooey, and it's not scary at all. And I don't think that Jack-o-lantern pin is part of your official uniform," said Dorothy.
The postman did not know what to say.
"Besides the big stores and the Dental Association, Halloween is also run by the Pumpkin Growers of America. Because think about it, who would really want to eat a pumpkin? Not me that's for sure."
The postman thought for a moment. "So little girl, what will you do while all the other kids are out trick-or-treating?"
"Oh I'll be out there alright," Dorothy said. "I think Halloween is a bunch of hooey and it is definitely not scary, but I want free candy."
Dorothy skipped off down the street. The postman shook his head.
Five days before Halloween, Dorothy made a presentation in front of her class. The classroom was decorated with every possible Halloween decoration you could imagine. There were witches on broomsticks, bats, a skeleton with an eye patch, and a dozen red goblins that hung down from the ceiling.
Dorothy unraveled a movie poster and held it up for all to see.
The movie on the poster was called "Zombie Camp". It showed a picture of an ugly zombie who had only one eye, no lips and a tent peg in his ear.
"Hollywood movies make people think Halloween is scary when really it is not," Dorothy said.
Dorothy held up a second poster. This movie was called "Halloween Hillbillies". It showed a picture of five hillbillies with axes, chasing a terrified family into the woods.
"Silly, isn't it?" Dorothy said as she unraveled the final poster.
The final movie poster was called "Were-Witch". It showed a picture of a hairy witch with horribly bad teeth and a bit of a mustache.
"So as you can see Halloween is just plain hooey," Dorothy said. She rolled up her posters and took a bow.
Mr. Clarkson, Dorothy's teacher, stood up from back of the class. He was dressed neatly, except for his red clown nose and arrow-through-the-head hat.
"Very nice Dorothy. I guess you'll be doing something constructive on Halloween, like writing a letter to the editor," he said.
"Oh no, Mr. Clarkson. Halloween may be a bunch of hooey, and it may not be scary, but free candy is free candy. Am I right?"
But none of Dorothy's classmates thought she was right. They mostly frowned and shook their heads as Dorothy returned to her seat.
Four days before Halloween, Dorothy mailed a letter to the editor of the local newspaper, explaining exactly why Halloween was hooey, and not scary at all.
Three days before Halloween, Dorothy went to a department store that had a big sale on Halloween costumes. Dorothy selected a witch costume and brought it to the cashier.
"Just because I am buying a costume doesn't mean I find Halloween the least bit scary," Dorothy said. "You see, I won't get nearly as much candy if I go out without a costume. Do you know if this costume is fireproof?"
"I I don't know," the cashier replied, a bit puzzled. She leaned closer to Dorothy. "I think Halloween is scary. Once I saw a real ghost you know."
"That's called spreading propaganda," Dorothy said. "And I doubt that." She snatched up her Halloween costume and went on her way. The cashier frowned.
Two days before Halloween, Dorothy stood out front of her neighbor's house. The home belonged to the Simsack family and it was the most decorated house in the whole neighborhood. Dorothy counted 17 tombstones, 15 jack-o-lanterns, 4 flying witches, 3 corpses crawling out of the ground, two life-size vampires, and one bigger than life-size Frankenstein. Not to mention a fog machine, strobe light, cornstalks, spider webs, and creepy music.
Dorothy watched as Mr. Simsack came out of his garage with a string of pumpkin lights. Mr. Simsack nearly jumped out of his pants when Dorothy tapped him on the shoulder.
"Why Dorothy, you gave me a fright. Way to get into the spirit of things," Mr. Simsack laughed.
Dorothy looked over the decorations. "This isn't scary. Your vampires look seasick and your Frankenstein is missing a neck bolt. And by the way, if Halloween were a real holiday we would get the day off from school, but we don't. Do you know why? Because Halloween is a bunch of hooey."
Dorothy looked around.
"I see cornstalks, and I bet you paid money for them. Money, for old dried up cornstalks. That's the Pumpkin Farmers again, using Halloween to line their pockets."
She turned to leave.
"Happy Halloween Dorothy," Mr. Simsack yelled.
"Hooey!" Dorothy yelled back. But Mr. Simsack was already stringing pumpkin lights around the Frankenstein with the missing neck bolt.
The night before Halloween, Dorothy sat in front of her living room window. She was watching to see if any kids were out causing trouble on Devil's Night. Dorothy kept a camera by her side in case anyone suspicious came by. Especially anyone carrying soap, toilet paper, or eggs.
Dorothy picked up the telephone and checked to see that the 911-speed dial button was properly labeled.
From downstairs, her father yelled. "Dorothy, popcorn's ready and the movie's starting. Halloween Hillbillies!"
"Hooey," she said and brought a pair of binoculars up to her eyes.
Dorothy listened. Downstairs she could hear eerie music and laughter. It sounded like they were having fun watching that silly film. Dorothy sighed as the smell of buttered popcorn filled her nose. Just for a moment, she thought about joining them. But just for a moment.
"Hooey," she said and went right back to watching the street.
Dorothy watched and watched until her eyes became heavy. "I guess my work here is done," she said. Dorothy marched upstairs, put on her pajamas, and climbed into bed.
One minute past midnight on Halloween, Dorothy heard a strange noise. She climbed out of bed, and crept downstairs. Dorothy peeked out the window.
A tractor with six-foot high tires pulled up in front of her house. A farmer wearing suspenders jumped down from his seat. When Dorothy saw the farmer had a PUMPKIN FOR A HEAD, she fell right down on her bum with a SPLAT! The pumpkin-headed farmer turned towards the house, holding something under his arm.
"Th-this is a hooey," Dorothy said, trembling.
"Why would you say something like that?" came a voice.
Dorothy spun around. There, not ten feet from where she sat, was a zombie dentist. Yes, a zombie dentist. She wore a white smock that was ragged and stained. In one hand, she held a rusty dentist's drill, and in the other hand, a brand new toothbrush. The zombie's face was bluish black with wrinkled skin that flapped when she spoke.
"I I, because zombies aren't real," Dorothy squeaked.
"I am not a zombie. I am the president of the American Dental Association," gurgled the zombified dentist. "I need to check your teeth."
Dorothy was so frightened she didn't even notice that the pumpkin-headed farmer had come in through the front door. Under his arm, he carried his REAL HEAD. The head rolled its eyes and wriggled its nose.
"Who ordered the cornstalks and pumpkins?" the head asked. Dorothy spun around. She stared, her eyeballs as big as Oreo cookies.
"Th-this is hooey. I don't
But Dorothy's voice trailed off. From somewhere in the house, a voice BOOMED through an intercom. "ATTENTION SHOPPERS, THE STORE WILL BE CLOSING IN ONE MINUTE. PLEASE BRING YOUR HALLOWEEN ITEMS TO CHECKOUT!"
Surely her parents had heard that. Surely they would come to her rescue. But no one came.
The pumpkin-headed farmer suddenly bent over at the waist and bowled his head across the floor. The head stopped at Dorothy's feet. The eyes looked up at her.
The zombie dentist held up her rusty drill and toothbrush and stepped closer.
The intercom BOOMED.
Dorothy was terrified, more so than she had ever been before. What else could possibly happen?
Just then, from the basement, Dorothy watched as five hillbillies with axes, crept up the steps.
Dorothy closed her eyes and screamed, "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!"
Halloween morning, Dorothy awoke with a start. Her heart was pounding and her pajamas were wet with sweat. Dorothy looked out her bedroom window. There was no tractor parked on the street. Dorothy went downstairs and looked around. No zombies, no pumpkin-headed farmers, no hillbillies. All was quiet except for the sound of her father, singing in the shower.
"Just a silly old nightmare," Dorothy said. "Nothing to be scared of, just my imagination. Halloween is still just a bunch of hoo"
Dorothy froze. At her feet, still in its wrapper, lay a brand new toothbrush. Dorothy picked it up and turned it over. Sure enough, it was approved by the American Dental Association.
Dorothy looked up. Someone was creeping up the basement steps.
Then the doorbell rang. Dorothy slowly turned. There, through the window Dorothy could see cornstalks and
a pumpkin head!
Dorothy screamed, "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!"
And ran straight into the washroom and into the shower.
Dorothy's father screamed, "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!"
Dorothy's mom rushed up the basement steps. "What's all the commotion?" she asked. "And who's seen my new toothbrush?"
"Not me," Dorothy's little brother said, running to answer the front door. He opened it.
Mr. Simsack stood on the porch holding a gargantuan pumpkin on one shoulder, and a bale of cornstalks on the other.
"I have extras," he said. "Unless you think Halloween is a bunch of hooey too!"
"Not me," little brother said, "just my sister."
They both looked.
Dorothy peered at them from the hallway, soaking wet. Dad stood beside her, the shower curtain wrapped around him, a puddle under his feet.
"Happy Halloween folks!" Mr. Simsack yelled.
Dorothy waved. So did dad, until the shower curtain fell to the floor.
The day after Halloween, Dorothy and her little brother sorted their treats on the living room floor.
"Still think Halloween's a bunch of hooey?" asked dad.
"I guess not," said Dorothy.
Mom looked at the mess. "You two have enough candy to last until Christmas," she said.
Dorothy stopped sorting and looked up. In a loud, stern voice she said, "Did you know the average person spends 900 dollars on Christmas presents each year?"
Dorothy's father, mother and little brother frowned.
Mike Senchyshak is an aspiring children's author from Hamilton Ontario, Canada. He writes offbeat, quirky children's stories and picture books that stem from his overactive imagination. 'Halloween Hooey' is the first of several completed works. Mike lives outside of Hamilton with his family, and can be reached at;firstname.lastname@example.org.