Author's Notes

Here it is! My Halloween-themed One-shot! The last part, as you can tell by the date, is set between LWFAW and IIAS. Hope you enjoy it and see if you can catch the Donnie Darko reference! ;)

Kathryn xxx


October 31st, 1948

Sage, Wyoming

Five year old Ennis hated Halloween so much. K.E kept jumping out of the closet to scare him and he didn't like it. Why was his older brother so mean to him? He hadn't done anything wrong, at least not to his knowledge. But then it had been like that as far as he could remember; K.E. had always teased him and made fun of him for no good reason.

He was quiet, so he didn't exactly have any invitations to go trick-or-treating from his classmates, since he didn't make friends easily. Not that he would be able to go if he had. His father said Halloween was just an excuse to part people from their hard-earned money, and since they didn't have too much money to spare as it was, the three children were never allowed to join in the festivities. It was always saddening to see other kids getting excited as the day drew closer, and to see them on the way home, on their way to peoples' houses to collect candy. It was even worse when kids knocked on their door. His father didn't take too kindly to it. That was probably why K.E. kept scaring him; because he was bored.

Cecilia, on the other hand, didn't do so badly because she was a girl and therefore she could help their mama with pumpkin pie. That was the way it had always been. Ennis wanted to join in too but knew K.E. would make fun of him and most likely would tell their daddy, which was the last thing he wanted. Their father didn't like either of his sons engaging in what he called 'woman things', like they would be some kind of sissy if they did. K.E. didn't need any further ammunition to make Ennis feel worse than he already did.

He heard the front door shut, and knew that K.E. had gone to a friend's house, one that also was not allowed to go trick-or-treating. Ennis slid off his bed and walked downstairs to the wonderful smell of pumpkin pie baking in the oven. His mama made the best pumpkin pie in the world. She and Cecilia were busy rolling out the pastry to make another for their neighbours.

"Ennis!" his mother said, smiling at him. "You wanna come help us? I know you love my pumpkin pie, sweetie." She would always put him up on the counter to help.

"Yeah, come on, Ennis," encouraged Cecilia. She'd always been nice to him as his big sister, often sticking up for him against K.E. when he started bullying him. Ennis smiled shyly, his brown eyes alight with happiness and curiosity, and went to help them. Maybe Halloween wasn't so bad after all, at least when you got to share it with people you loved. His mama helped him up onto the counter and he helped to place the pumpkin pieces in the rolled-out pastry, testing it himself first. As delicious as his mama always made it.

October 31st, 1948

Lightning Flat, Wyoming

Five year old Jack didn't like Halloween all that much. Sure, he liked the candy and liked to help his mama with baking pumpkin pie, but that was about it. He was terrified of spiders and the school was always decorated with them at this time of year. It was as if they didn't care that he was only five. He always got scared by ghosts on the old horror movies on TV but he daren't cry in front of his daddy. That would get him the belt for sure.

Still, there was one good thing; his four year old cousin Becky. She was his daddy's niece and they had been best friends since he could remember. She and her parents lived a bit of a distance on the other side of the area on their own ranch, and they went to the same school, so he and Becky were together every day. She was his only friend and he honestly didn't know what he'd do without her.

Becky wanted to go trick-or-treating like last year and he did too, but his mama was worried about them going on their own, especially when it started to get darker, so Timmy, who was Uncle Harold's eldest son, and was therefore another cousin, had been roped into going with them to look after them. Timmy was here now and they were waiting for Becky's daddy to drop her off. They were sat in the kitchen while his mama baked a pie; Jack loved the smell. He loved the pumpkin juice that his mama would save for him after she was done.

There was a knock at the door and Becky and her daddy walked in. Becky was dressed as a witch, all purple and orange, while he himself was a cowboy, as usual, and Timmy was some movie star. Jack didn't pay much attention to movie stars.

"Hi, Jack!" said Becky, bounding over to him excitedly. "You a cowboy again?" she asked in amusement. They'd only done this once before, last year.

"Yep," he said proudly, flicking his daddy's rodeo buckle that he had borrowed. His mama had swiped it for his costume. His daddy never shared details of his rodeo days with him, despite how much he wanted to hear about it. It seemed to him that the only thing his daddy would share with him was his anger. Like that time in the bathroom; that memory would always stay with him. He would never understand why his daddy did those things.

Becky grinned. "Let's go get candy!" she said, grabbing his hand and running outside. And then the three of them were off. Halloween wasn't all that bad, he figured. He had a wonderful mama and a best friend in his cousin. There were some good things in his life, some good people, but none of it could quite shake off the black spot in his life that was his father. An imposing presence that struck fear into his heart.

October 31st, 1953

Sage, Wyoming

Ten year old Ennis was huddled in the corner of his bedroom, shaking. He'd never liked this day too much, not with how scary it could be and how he always wanted to go trick-or-treating, but now it was so much worse after the horrific events of the summer. What his father had shown him and was traumatising beyond words. He'd seen the nightmares when he'd fallen asleep, had replayed the image so many times that he was starting to see it in his waking visions too. He could never escape from it.

Somebody at school thought it would be funny to buy a fake corpse and leave it in the school corridor. Ennis had been among the first to exit class during the move to the next class, and when he'd clapped eyes on the corpse, he'd gone white, shook violently for a moment, and then bolted to the bathroom to bring up his lunch.

He hated this holiday now more than ever. He wished he could stop having these flashbacks because they were scaring him. Even K.E. no longer went out of his way to scare him, no longer jumped out of the closet at him. Still, after the time he was six and had given K.E a taste of his own medicine he tended to leave him alone now anyway. K.E. kept to himself these days and Ennis could guess why. He'd never told anyone how he'd seen K.E. throwing up after they'd gotten home that day. Their father had ruined them both and made them both terrified of a holiday that normal kids should love.

He'd debated telling his mother or even Cecilia, tell them what their father had done, but he was too scared to. He didn't want his father to know how badly he'd been affected. He would wake covered in sweat and shaking. Thankfully his screams hadn't disturbed anyone...yet. But at one point, his mother had sat next to him on the sofa and held him tightly. Maybe she'd known anyway and was just trying to let him know she was there for him. He sure appreciated it.

He'd always been a shy, quiet boy, but now he was completely in a shell all on his own. He'd trusted his father and look what had happened. Could he ever trust anyone ever again? That didn't seem likely. He was too scared to trust again. He so desperately wanted a friend though, someone who he could trust. Someone who might understand how it felt to have a father like his.

Ennis just wanted the nightmares to stop, to be normal again and to not be too scared to close his eyes. Some nights he was so scared that he deliberately tried to keep himself awake, by whatever means, but it never lasted long. He would eventually give in and be back in that ditch, looking down at a corpse; a reminder of something he didn't understand but which gave him a sickening feeling.

October 31st, 1953

Lightning Flat, Wyoming

Ten year old Jack sat on his bed in his cowboy costume, thoroughly miserable, knees drawn up to his chest. It was to be his last Halloween with Becky; she and her part of the family were moving to Texas in the first few months of the New Year. Jack hadn't known how far away that was but had found a map of America and saw for himself the distance between there and here. He couldn't believe it. They had been best friends for years and now they were being forced apart and he didn't understand why. What if she found new friends down there and forgot about him?

Becky had been there for him when his daddy had given him a beating or put him down for no good reason, hugging him and giving him a shoulder to cry on. She had been his confidante for so long and with her leaving, he would be on his own. He wasn't sure what he would do the next time his daddy started on him. It wasn't as if his mama had the bravery to stand up to him. He himself had tried earlier in the year, when his daddy had been starting on her, but that only earned him another beating, one that he still felt slight twinges of pain from now and again.

He couldn't understand why his daddy was so mean to him. All he'd ever tried to do was love him and make him proud of him. But all for nothing. All he had tried and nothing had worked.

He heard someone entering the house, then after a minute of murmured conversation, he heard footsteps climbing the stairs, and Becky entered his room.

"Jack?" She looked at him. She was all ready to go in a Bride of Frankenstein costume. She'd always gone as a witch but said she wanted a change for her last Halloween here.

He just looked at her, miserable. She sighed and sat next to him, pulling him into her arms, not caring about her dress.

"I know. I'm gonna miss you too."

"It ain't fair."

"No, it ain't. But we just gotta put up with it. You can come visit me, ya know."

"My daddy wouldn't never let me go that far, an' he don't never wanna go nowhere."

"Well, we'll just hafta make this a Halloween to remember, huh? Make it a good memory for us both when I leave. An' when yer bigger, you can come down there to see me on yer own."

Jack sniffed and pulled back. "Yeah, sure. C'mon, let's go." And with that they were racing downstairs to say goodbye to his mama. They were now big enough to go on their own and they always had fun. Jack silently vowed to himself that as soon as he was big enough to go down to Texas on his own, he would. He didn't want to lose his only friend. She felt like a sister to him.

October 31st, 1958

Worland, Wyoming

Fifteen year old Ennis couldn't sleep. It was Halloween and once again, he was here thinking about what he'd lost and how this holiday made him feel. K.E. was asleep but thankfully didn't snore, so Ennis could engross himself in his thoughts.

He'd seen some kids passing by earlier, trick-or-treating, all decked out in their costumes, pumpkins swinging and full of candy. He had never been allowed to go and that had always upset him. He just wanted to be like other kids, but that wasn't likely to happen now. He was an orphan, sleeping in the bunkhouse of a ranch that he was working on with K.E., who was still quiet and kept to himself.

He still remembered Earl, and what he'd seen, but he was no longer plagued by nightmares, at least not frequent ones. In the last five years he'd been told some about why that man had been killed. He had apparently left his family for another man just after his wife had died, and his own son had been married and expecting a baby with his new wife, somewhere up on the Montana border. That baby would be around the same age as himself, he figured. He wondered what he or she was like, and how it might feel that they'd never known their grandfather.

What was so bad about living with another man anyway? His wife had already died and there was no reason for him to be cut off from his surviving relatives, surely? Ennis didn't completely understand, but apparently somebody had and saw fit to take action.

He knew about love but couldn't see anyone falling in love with him; he was way too shy and wasn't all that good at expressing feelings. If someone fell in love with him they would have to do all the chasing.

That made him think. Would he fall in love with a man or a woman? He hoped it would be a woman, and then he could avoid Earl's fate. He was quite scared of the possibility of falling in love with a man and going down that treacherous road.

Still, he could admit one thing. It might make things easier if he had somebody to share all of this with, someone who would listen to his fears and try to rationalise them with him, so he wouldn't be scared. But even then, how could he possibly approach anyone, even for friendship? He wasn't a conversation starter, never had been, and he still found it hard to trust. That was all he wanted; someone to trust with his secrets, someone who he could rely on to keep those secrets to themselves. How would he find them? Maybe he should track down Earl's grandchild, the one who Earl had never known. They might understand. But how on earth was he supposed to find them? He only knew that their last name would be Twist, but that was all. No other fact to point him towards them.

October 31st, 1958

Lightning Flat, Wyoming

Fifteen year old Jack lay in his own bed, staring up at the ceiling as the darkness fell all around him. He'd only just stopped shaking. His father had him cleaning up the old barn earlier that day, and he'd discovered a huge gangly spider lurking in a corner. He'd screamed and run outside to his father, but his father had hit him across the face for being a sissy and made him get back to work. Eyes full of tears and heart full of fear, Jack had done so, trying his best to keep away from it. Every time it moved it sent a shiver through him.

But the worst part had been when his father had tried to "cure" his fear. He'd told Jack to stay still or he would get beaten. Jack had done so and saw his father pick up the spider in hands, before starting towards Jack with it. Jack had been shaking violently as he soon realised what his father was about to do. His father had stopped right in front of him, showing no sign on his face that he was his father, and had thrown the spider right at Jack's face, saying first that he would stop him being such a fairy.

Jack had screamed in terror trying to shake it off, and had eventually managed to do so, fleeing to his mother and clinging to her. He didn't care how old he was, he had been so scared. She'd calmed him down and hugged him until his tears had stopped. She'd given him a large slice of cherry cake and told him he could stay upstairs the rest of the day if he wanted. He had done so gratefully and when his father had come inside, there had been no reaction, to his relief.

So now he was lying here, trying to calm himself and occasionally checking around his room for spiders. He was too scared to look in his closet.

Why had his father been that way? He was used to the beatings and the ridicule, but to deliberately scare him like that...that was just cruel. And what had his father meant by fairy, anyway? That didn't make any sense to him. Maybe it had something to do with earlier that year, after he'd confessed to a crush on a boy in his class. Maybe that was his father meant by it.

He missed Becky terribly. He wanted to call her but his father wouldn't allow it, said they couldn't afford long distance phone calls. She wrote often and he wrote back, but he sorely missed hearing her voice. He knew he could never convince his father to take him down to Texas for a visit. Still, in three years he would be old enough to go there by himself.

Jack was lonely and wanted a friend, a new one to spend time with and talk to like he had done with Becky. But how could he possibly find one?

October 31st, 1963

Sandersville, Georgia

Ennis came into the kitchen for dinner and was hit by the smell of pumpkin. Dinner was in the oven and Jack was at the table with a pumpkin and a small knife. He was clearly carving a face into it, his face concentrated on his task.

"Hey, rodeo," said Ennis, walking up behind him. He didn't have a clue what Jack was carving; it looked like some sort of demented rabbit from where he was.

"Hey," said Jack, leaning up for a kiss. "Whaddaya think?"

"I dunno. What the hell you doin'?" He'd never seen anything like this before, but then again he'd missed out on a lot.

"It's called a Jack-O'-Lantern. It's a tradition on Halloween. You carve it out an' put some candles in to light up the room when it's dark. Or you can go trick or treatin' with 'em, put the candy in there, see?" Jack said, looking like he was just about finished.

"Oh." Ennis felt that long-ago twinge of regret that he hadn't been allowed to take part in those traditions; he'd always been buried in chores. He'd been thinking about it all day and wondered if Jack had any stories to tell, as his upbringing had been slightly different in some ways.

"An' Mary brought over a pumpkin pie fer us," Jack went on.

This sparked Ennis's interest. He remembered helping his mother with pumpkin pie when he was five, being put up on the counter to place pumpkin pieces on the pastry. "Sounds good." He sat down opposite Jack.

Jack caught the look on his face. "What's wrong?"

Ennis shook his head. "It's just...we was never allowed to do these things when I was a kid. We never got to go trick-or-treatin' an' I always had chores to do..." He sighed. "That year when my dad took me an' K.E. to see Earl...that was the worst."

"I bet it was," Jack said quietly. "Look Ennis, if it makes ya feel any better, I ain't had much luck with Halloween either. I tell ya about the time I was in the barn, an' there was this big spider there?" Ennis shook his head again and Jack relayed the story, clenching his fist as he did so at the memory.

"That's awful, Jack," Ennis said in disbelief. Once more, he felt his blood boil at John Twist for how badly he'd treated Jack, and how it had affected him.

Jack shrugged. "I'm kinda just...not thinkin' on it too much, ya know? Ain't gonna do me no good."

They ate dinner soon afterwards, talking about the things they had liked about Halloween, usually the candy. Afterwards they retreated to the living room to curl up on the sofa, their new dog Lucky in front of the fire. They switched the lights off and lit the Jack-O'-Lantern, placing it on the coffee table. They watched the Boris Karloff movie The Mummy. It made Jack jump in the appropriate parts and snuggle in closer to Ennis, which wasn't such a hardship.

There was a knock on the door. Trick-or-treaters, they presumed. Jack got up and grabbed the bowl of candy they had ready. He knew that it might get to Ennis too much if he went to get it, to see those kids doing something he'd always wanted to but had never been allowed to.

Jack opened the door to see a skeleton, a witch and a vampire, all aged around ten, he guessed.

"Well hey there!" he greeted. "Don't you guys look great?"

"Trick or treat!" they chorused. The high voices kind of spoiled the effect but Jack found it endearing. He distributed some candy amongst them and they thanked him before running off again. He shut the door and put the bowl down. He could see that it was affecting Ennis, so he came back to the sofa and moved in close again.

"You okay, cowboy?" he murmured.

"Yeah. Just...hard seein' it, knowin' I couldn't never have it."

"I know. Me an' Becky went fer a few years, 'til she moved. I never wanted to go after that."

Ennis was silent for a moment. " time, that year I saw Earl...on Halloween, someone put a fake corpse in the school corridor. I was one of the first to see it..."

Jack felt his heart sinking. "Oh Ennis..." He rubbed Ennis's arm and pressed his lips to his cheek. "Don't think on it."

"I know. I...used to have nightmares. A lot. Tried to stop myself goin' to sleep so I wouldn't have to see it again, but it never worked. Always ended up back there." Jack sensed that Ennis needed to get this out, so said nothing and just rubbed his arm. That was all he could do, he figured.

"I don't get the nightmares so much these days, kinda managed to push them away. Only tends to get bad on Halloween..." He trailed off, and Jack saw his fear of going to sleep tonight.

"Don't worry, cowboy," he whispered. "You ain't got nothin' to be scared of no more. I'm here for ya." He kept kissing Ennis's cheek and neck, feeling his heartbeat.

Ennis tried to smile. "I know."

Jack thought for a moment, and then an idea occurred to him, a way of helping Ennis to get his mind off his bad memories.

He got up and shut off the TV, then turned back to Ennis, a smile on his face. Ennis recognised that smile and started blushing. He knew that smile appeared when Jack had sex on his mind.

"C'mere," Jack whispered, gesturing at Ennis to get up and coaxing him into his arms. He kissed him softly. "Go upstairs an' get on the bed. Let me take care of you tonight." Ennis pressed his forehead against Jack's and nodded, breathing slightly heavily. He went upstairs as instructed and Jack picked up the bowl of leftover candy, smiling when he saw it was starting to melt in front of the fire. Perfect.

Bowl in hand, Jack made his way upstairs to their bedroom, suspecting that his plan would take Ennis's mind off all those Halloweens that he hadn't been able to enjoy. He entered the bedroom to see Ennis waiting for him, fully clothed. Ennis smiled shyly at him as he shut the door, and then noticed the bowl in Jack's hand.

"What's that for?" Ennis asked curiously.

Jack smiled. "You'll see." He crawled onto the bed, putting the bowl on his bedside table. He lay on his side facing Ennis and kissed him softly. "Gonna have us some fun tonight," he murmured against Ennis's lips.


Jack sat up and placed a hand on Ennis's chest. "Keep still." Ennis did as he was told as Jack slowly began to strip him, unbuttoning his shirt slowly and tantalisingly. He brought Ennis into a sitting position so he could take the material off. The shirt slipped from Ennis's shoulders and was thrown to the floor. Jack took Ennis's hands and brought them to his own buttons. Ennis got the message and took Jack's shirt off while Jack kissed him.

Jack laid him back on the bed and looked down into his lust-filled eyes. "Close yer eyes," he whispered. Ennis did so, a shiver of anticipation running through him. Whenever Jack told him to close his eyes, Ennis always knew something special had been planned.

Jack took a melting chocolate bar from the bowl, unwrapped it and put it in his mouth. He then crawled on top of Ennis and kissed him again, opening his mouth so Ennis's tongue tasted the chocolate. Ennis made an appreciative sound and kissed back, the chocolate melting over their tongues and mixing with their saliva. When the chocolate was gone it was Ennis's turn. He shyly took one of his own and repeated Jack's actions. Jack was loving the taste between them.

Jack rubbed against Ennis as they kissed, the friction between their jeans driving them crazy, and soon enough they could no longer hold back, fingers fumbling for their buckles. Jack rolled off Ennis so they could remove their jeans and throw them to the floor. Ennis held him in his arms and kissed him as they lay on their sides, hands running through hair and groins rubbing together freely.

Jack kissed Ennis's chest and whispered in his ear. "Get on yer back, I wanna ride ya." The words sent volts through Ennis and he willingly did as Jack instructed. Jack grabbed the lube and slicked up his lover quickly. He crawled on top of Ennis again and lowered himself down, gasping a little at just how well Ennis seemed to fit him. Ennis was already starting to sweat at how good Jack felt up there. Their fingers laced together as Jack rode Ennis slowly, up and down like he rode a horse. It was an incredible feeling for both of them.

They rocked together for several minutes, silent except for a few moans and sharp intakes of breath. They'd only been lovers for almost five months and they'd already reached an unbelievable comfort level in the bedroom, trusting each other enough to give themselves over. Jack soon let loose and with a yell spilled over Ennis's chest. The feeling of Jack shaking around him sent Ennis over the edge too as his muscles clamped up in orgasm. Jack fell onto Ennis's chest and they panted heavily.

"Damn," Jack breathed.

"Yeah. That was...pretty damn good, darlin'." Ennis kissed Jack's forehead.

After a few minutes, they began to realise that they were up for more and soon they were kissing again, blood surging through their veins like fire. Jack had another idea and reached for another chocolate bar. Instead of putting it in his mouth, however, he gave Ennis a sweet, innocent smile and moved down his body. Ennis's eyes widened. Jack unwrapped the chocolate and smeared it onto his fingers. Thankfully Ennis was erect again by now and Jack took full advantage, slathering Ennis's shaft with it and licking his lips. He threw the wrapper aside.

"So," he whispered. "You ready fer a little treat?"

"I am if you are," Ennis replied, a husky tone in his voice.

Jack grinned and moved towards his target. He slowly licked at the chocolate along one side, feeling Ennis squirming with pleasure. He licked the chocolate right off and then gave equal attention to the other side. Meanwhile, his (thankfully clean) forefinger had wandered up between Ennis's legs to stroke his prostate, which he knew could drive them both crazy.

Jack then took him fully in his mouth at last; giving Ennis what he'd almost been begging him to do. Ennis was groaning and had his hands gripping the sheets, his forehead covered in sweat and darkening his hair. Jack could feel Ennis bucking against the combined movements of his finger and mouth and loved rendering him helpless like this. He continued to stroke at Ennis's prostate in time to his lip movements and soon was holding down Ennis's hips as he took it all, the combined taste sending volts to his own groin as he spilled again onto the sheets.

Ennis collapsed back and was once again breathing heavily. It took Jack several minutes to gather the state of mind to crawl back up, and he laid his head on Ennis' chest, sighing in contentment. The night had been amazing, the best Halloween he'd ever had. He was so happy here with Ennis and he hoped that they would have much more happiness to come.

"Darlin'," Ennis whispered, stroking Jack's hair.

Jack lifted his head, devoid of energy. "Hmm?"

"Had a damn good night tonight. Best Halloween ever."

"Mmhmm. Me too." Jack yawned tiredly. "Best get some sleep, cowboy. You gonna be okay?" he asked, remembering what Ennis had said earlier about the nightmares.

Ennis smiled. "After a night like this, I ain't gonna have the energy to have nightmares. Love ya, Jack."

Jack smiled widely. "Love ya too."