A Burglar’s Halloween Tale.


Once upon a time, in the Land of Employment  (you do remember employment, don’t you?) my wife took a new job shortly before Halloween.

One of her fellow staffers – her new boss, actually —  threw a Halloween  party at her home.  We were invited.

We hurriedly put together costumes and went to the party.

Few at the party knew my wife, since she had only worked at her new job for a few days.

And no one there except my wife knew me.

I dressed in black, including a sinister looking black  mask. Black shoes, black pants, black belt, black shirt.  Black everything.

I even had black hair – then.

I also carried a large, black,  plastic garbage  bag.

We entered the home.  But I let my wife go in first. I  waited several seconds before going into the home.  I wanted to give the impression I was there alone. Those in the filled room  greeted  us  warmly.  They had already started to imbibe,  so  they were of  obvious good cheer.

My wife cheerfully returned their warm greeting.

I said nothing.

I slowly moved about the room,  picking up small item  after small  item,  carefully  placing each item  in  my  plastic  garbage  bag. A clock here, a candle holder there. And on and on.

Initially, those at  the  party  paid  me  little  attention.

As I  added  items  to  my  plastic  bag,  there  began  to be  a  muted  chuckle  here,   a  muted  murmur  there.

I remained silent.

I continued gathering items,  placing  them  in  my  plastic  bag.

Finally, still having  said  nothing,  I  walked  out  the  front  door,  carrying  my now mostly filled  black  garbage  bag with me and quietly closing  the door  behind  me.

I could hear laughter on the inside.

The laughter grew louder.

But suddenly those inside  at  the  Halloween  party  grew  quieter.

Then they were hushed.

I waited outside the front  door. I could sense  the  growing  concern  of  those inside.

Then I heard someone inside ask:

“Does anyone know who that was?”

No one answered  — not even  my  wife.

Finally, someone wondered aloud whether they had  been  burglarized   —  right  before  their  very  eyes.  Watch me just  take  things,  unchallenged,  and then simply walk out the door with them.

Suddenly,  someone  jerked  the  front door open.

Several  of  the  party goers  rushed outside to check  on the burglar, to give chase.

I  took off my mask,  laughed and introduced myself.  The  burglar chasers were  relieved.  I handed over my loot

It  got the  party off to a rip-roarin’ start,  even if I do  say so myself.

Best Halloween party I have ever been to.

Except that there was one remaining not-so-tiny detail.

When she went back to work the following Monday, my wife had to return her new boss’s bathroom scales.

Somehow, I had overlooked returning that item.


Roger Summers is a journalist and essayist who spends time in Texas, New Mexico and England and in a world of curiosity and creativity. He can be reached at wrsummers@sbcglobal.net.

Washboard RoadPlease click the book cover image to read more about the short story collection of Roger Summers.


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