Every year on Halloween, after kids are home with their loot, the pumpkin smashers came out. They went from house to house: destroying pumpkins; throwing toilet paper and eggs; scaring any kids who still wander the streets… Most in their neighbourhood were used to them. They had done this ever since they were told they were too old to go trick-or-treating.

But something changed: their neighbour Billy turned 13. Billy’s transition from child to teen was rougher than most. As soon as the sun rose on their birthday, they felt different. They felt powerful. They had become a warlock. Still young, their priorities were different than some: they decided to prank the pranksters.

Toilet paper melted in the pumpkin smashers’ palms. Eggs began to chirp. Children’s shadows growled like bears protecting their cubs. When feet met pumpkin, vines grew from the earth, snaking around the pranksters ankles.

The pumpkin smashers ran home. They were sure it had been a trick of the mind, but with no desire to go out the next year. Beaming proudly as the older teens ran was Billy: the protector of Halloween.


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