Author : Steve Smith, Staff Writer

Roscoe dimmed the lights in the living room and then powered up his suit. In the floor to ceiling mirror beside the stone fireplace he could admire how truly daunting a warrior he looked. From the heavy platform boots on his feet to the armored headgear, from the pipe lighting that traced each limb to the bandoliers criss-crossing his chest packed full of dangerous looking glowing ammo in a variety of colours and special purpose tips. He stood sideways to the mirror and, turning at the hip to face his reflection raised both eight barrel chain guns to the firing position.

“Kick ass mother,” he grinned around the cigar butt clenched between his eye teeth.

Through the bay window a streak of light cut the sky, followed by a ground shaking impact somewhere between the farmhouse and the corn fields.

“Fecking kids,” he swore out loud before storming off through the back door and out under the evening moonlight.

He’d crossed nearly half the distance to the fields when two short figures in dark jumpsuits appeared out of the shadows, their heads encased in tall conical reflective helmets.

Instinctively, he raised both weapons. It was likely similarly instinctive that the figures abruptly halted their advance.

“You’ve no business on my land, ” his voice was raised as he assumed the helmets would impair their hearing somewhat. “Get back in your vehicle and mosey the hell on out of here.” He peeled his lip back in a lopsided snarl. “Now,” he added for effect.

The two figures turned to face one another, the reflective surfaces of their visors rippling and changing colours rapidly for several minutes before they turned back to face Roscoe.

“We are come to be your land master.” The sound was tinny and artificial, and he wasn’t quite sure which of them it originated from, but Roscoe was having none of it.

“You can go and stuff peppers, now get the hell off my property.” Roscoe drew himself up to his full height, appreciative of the extra few inches his boots added. “Git. Skedaddle.”

The figures turned again to one another, but Roscoe was starting to lose his cool. He stepped forward and jammed the barrel of a weapon against the side of each of the small figure’s heads.

“You gotta ask yourselves, do you feel lucky?” He put on his best Eastwood, but something about this situation was starting to make him uncomfortable.

The figures froze, their features shimmering uncertainly. Roscoe pushed once, sharply.

The two figures slipped silently sideways, their shapes darting and blending with the landscape under the moonlight such that Roscoe had to look away in order to actually see them in his peripheral vision. As they reached the edge of the corn field, a fox burst out from between the rows of six foot tall stalks. There was a burst of light from one of the figures, and the fox was instantly spattered across the crops. The figures didn’t break stride, and no sooner had they disappeared from sight than a blast of light erupted from the ground towards the star filled sky with a rumble every bit as powerful as that which had brought Roscoe from the safety of his living room in the first place.

Roscoe felt an uncomfortable warmth spreading down one trouser leg as he stood frozen to the spot. Breaking the silence, a chorus of ‘Trick or Treat’ erupted from the side-door of the farmhouse, and a startled Roscoe squeezed both triggers, sending a volley of luminescent Nerf darts off into the darkness. He laughed, a nervous uncertain laugh before turning to head back inside.

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