Castle Roland

Short Story

Posted: 25 Apr 16

Do They Bite Dad

Copyright © 2015 by Maxieplus
All Rights Resrved

"Do you want to talk?" I said to my six-year-old son on the way home from school.

"No." He pouted.

I could see him in the rear mirror and something was up, he wasn't his usual bubbly self.

"Okay," I answered.

"Can we go for a drive dad?" He actually made a full sentence.

"Yes baby."

"Thanks dad," he said. It's Friday so he gets off school early today and I usually take him for a few little treats but he picks what we do. I don't have to collect Geoff until four, I've got plenty of time for our son, he's a great kid.

We decide to drive down to the beach to watch the waves, it's not hot enough for a play in the sand yet but we like looking. I knew this mood Declan was in, he's upset about something so it's my job to pry it out of him.

"Want to talk now?" I unbuckled my seat belt and turned to look at him.

"No." He looked outside at nothing in particular but his left hand was playing with the rubber seal on the window.


I push my seat back and recline and he moves over to the front and places his head on my shoulder, I kiss the top of his head and we have a small nap.

Waking about twenty minutes later I notice him staring into my eyes.

"Let's eat dad." He smiled.

"Okay, you feel better?"

"Yes." He smiled again.

"I guess our little talk solved that problem then." Lucky for me he didn't get all kiddy crazy too often.

"Thank you." He kissed me.

I drove to the nearest KFC, I already knew what I wanted but he stared at the menu.

"Why don't you get your usual chicken burger?" I suggested.

"Don't know what I want yet." He dismissed me.

"Okay." I smiled.

The girl serves me and I get a table nearby as he looks at me like I've betrayed him.

"I'll wait here for you, the chicken burgers are nice and so are the chocolate milkshakes," I add.

He orders a chicken burger and a milkshake, what else? He always gets them, nothing different, I think maybe he just likes reading the menu; my boy likes to read.

While I pay and take his order he sits down at the table, my fries are already gone; I ate them while waiting for him to make his mind up.

He peels the paper off the burger then looks at his milkshake trying to decide which one to attack first, the burger won but his eyes are on the shake just in case it decides to run away.

"How's your burger?" I say trying to get a conversation going.

He chewed and chewed then said,


"Good." I had finished; he had only just taken the second bite.

I sat and read the newspaper and the headlines screamed the country is in ruin. I check my wallet to make sure I have some cash, just in case, then I see the other headline.

Halloween sparks a rush on pumpkins at the Big Pig stores.

Oh no, not so soon please, don't be this soon to last year's disaster, I couldn't stand it again. Maybe if I don't say anything he might not realize it's coming, maybe we can go away for the weekend. Thank God, he can't read my mind, I think the kids at school haven't been talking about it yet, maybe they won't or maybe they already have.

He finally finishes his meal, and slurps the rest of the milkshake.

"Did you get it all?" I asked.

"Yes I think so."

He checks.

"Yup all gone." He lets out a big burp.

"Okay let's go pick up dad."


I sigh as Geoff's image appears in my head; my dick stirs in anticipation.

He tries to get in the front but I open the back door for him then belt him up.

Then I drive in the general direction of Geoff's work, Declan is talking to himself in the back, I guess trying to figure out a sum or something he learnt today.

"Dad, do you know anything about ghosts?" That's it; the kids have been talking about it today, shit.

"Yes son, what do you want to know?"

"Do ghosts eat little kids?"

"No son, they don't exist, they are not real, why?"

"Ben said he saw a ghost in his bedroom and it was going to eat him."

"Well he didn't son, they are not real."

"But what if they are dad? I don't want to be eaten dad."

"They are not real and they don't eat little boys, Declan, I should know, I'm your dad and I know lots of true things, they don't exist."

"Dad, but what if they do?"

"They don't."

"But what if they are real dad?"

"Well if they are real then I would come and hit it over the head with a cricket bat and dad would sit on it until its dead. You know how big he is, he would squish that ghost, if it was real that is."


"Yes son."

"What if dad was sick from a ghost bite and he couldn't kill the ghost?"

'Oh good, Geoff's work up ahead.'

"Then I would, there's dad out the front so why don't you ask him?"

"Okay daddy."

A very good looking, sandy haired, blonde man was waiting outside his office with the biggest smile on his face, his briefcase in one hand and his jacket in the other, he had undone his tie and he was so fucking sexy.

"Hey baby." He leant over to kiss me. "Hi yourself handsome," I winked.

"Hi baby boy, how was school today?"


"What's up?" Geoff looks at me.

"Halloween," I whisper.

"Ugggh," I heard him groan. He knows from last year what a trial this is going to be. It was easier when he was a baby, we didn't celebrate it much and there's the neighbor, Eric Dingle, what an asshole.

"Dad how do you kill a ghost?"

"I sit on him and all his wind goes away until he's a flimsy cloud and he disappears through the floorboards." Good one Geoff; sounds about right to me.

"But dad do they bite what if he bites you?"

"He won't, ghosts don't have teeth."


"Yes really." Well-done Geoffrey, well done; I didn't really know that.

"What do you feel like for dinner tonight hon?"


"That's dessert and it's hot for it tonight." I grinned.

"I don't know, I'll leave it up to you then." He smiled.

"Hot dogs it is then, Dec's has just eaten but I will make extra just in case." I smirked; he loves his hot dogs they remind him of his footy days at school.

God, he's so handsome, I normally don't swoon over men but Geoff, well that's a different story; he pursued me relentlessly at school; I didn't even know I was being stalked until this six foot three muscle mountain jumped me at a party I was at. He drove me home and told me he had been watching me, he had no fear and no hang-ups, he loved me and if I wasn't on board then I soon would be. He was going to make sure I was his I was flattered, well I was instantly in love with him and one thing lead to another and we caught up the next week. By this time I was gone and was picking out baby names, he is my first and last.

Pulling into our driveway I killed the engine while the garage door groaned its way through its dying moments; finally clumping down on the concrete floor dead to the world. I did notice the car was empty when I came back to reality.

Lugging a half dozen supermarket bags through to the kitchen my men were nowhere in sight so I went to look for them.

"See Declan, no ghosts under the bed, look for yourself. There's none in your room at all, none, zilch."

"But dad it's not night, they don't come out until night."

"Well they wouldn't dare come into my son's room, I would beat them to a pulp," Geoff said in amazement.

"Would you dad, would you really beat them up?"

"Of course I would, now go wash up and let's go watch TV; I'll teach you how to watch the news."

"Okay dad, is it hard to watch?" He rushed off into his bathroom.

"Looks like we don't sleep alone for the next two weeks again," I thought out loud.

"I thought he might have grown out of it by now, but looks like last year's disaster is still fresh in his mind."

"I could kill Eric Dingle for scaring the wits out of him last year, it wasn't nice Geoff."

"I know maybe we had better just stay in this year."

"Maybe," I was reflecting on Dingle's need to scare the crap out of the local kids, it's not required or needed. Maybe I will go have a talk to him or maybe I will send Geoff, he's a lot bigger than me.

They sat and watched the cartoon channel for a while then my man turned it over for the news. The news anchor said Big Ben's barn up in high street had the best pumpkins this year and if I wasn't quick I will miss out.

"Can you get a half dozen for us babe?"

"Do I really have to Geoff, they are so messy?"

"Well we gotta have them babe, it's Halloween." He lifted his eyebrows.

"But Declan?"

"He will be okay, I'll go talk to Dingle, maybe he's settled down from last year." By the looks of Dingle's place it looks like he will never settle down, I noticed he's already got his lights up and webs all over his front door not to mention the six foot spider lying across his porch.

"I had better get some sweets then; I wish we could go away Geoff."

"No can do this year babe, we better find out what the boy wants to wear."

"Shit, shit, shit." I wish this wasn't happening he's such a happy boy most of the time, friggin Dingle.

After boiling the dogs I cut one into three and made a small one for Dec. "Come and get a hot dog Declan before they get cold," I yell, Geoff jumps; I think I woke him up. Oh well he loves his hot dogs, plenty of tomato sauce, how Geoff opens his mouth that big who knows but I think he just does it to get me going, it works.

In the mean time I have cleared the clothesline and started folding sheets and assorted clothes; Geoff's shirts I will iron in the morning. I think about us going to university together and working our butts off to go to law school. We had so much fun then and we made it. When Dec came along three years later we couldn't look at one another because we would burst out laughing we were so happy. Enough of the memories, I have nearly finished for the day, I get Declan's bath ready, not too hot not too cool. I sit on the couch and lift him off the floor then start taking his school clothes off. When he's nearly naked I give him a gentle slap on the bum, which he doesn't feel and say, "Bath time baby."

"Okay." He gets up but doesn't move.

"Declan, time for your bath."


Nope, still standing there so I stand and throw him over my shoulder and he screams; he wants to learn how to watch the weather report with dad.

I get his underwear off and lift him in the bath before he can protest some more.

"Dad do you think Mr. Dingle will scare me this year?"

"No honey, dad is going to talk to him."


"Have you decided what you want to wear yet?"

"No dad but you're coming with me, aren't you?"

"Yes son, both dad and I will come with you, why don't you wear your ghost outfit?"

"No dad, I can't see properly so I think I want to go as a cowboy."

"That's not very scary Dec, why not a ghoul or something like that?"

"I'll think about it dad but I really like cowboys." I dry him and he's all smelly and warm, then I take him out to where Geoff is and while I clean the bathroom up, Geoff dries him again and puts his PJs on, then cuddles up to him on the couch.

"What are you wearing dad?"

"I think my football jumper with the knife through my neck."

"That's scary dad, will it hurt?" "No son, not at all."

"Are you sure, I think it might hurt dad?"

"No son, it's a fake one like I had last year only that was an axe."

"You scared me dad, last year I was scared of you."

"Well you know you don't need to be scared of me baby, I'm a good ghoul."

"What story do you want tonight Declan?"I ask, as he gets a story every night, sometimes he has preferences and I want to change the subject.

"The one with the talking parrot dad."

"Madagascar it is then, come on, let's get started." I reach for him but he moves my hand away.

"I can walk dad."

"Oh so you can son I sometimes forget, come on."

We get him into bed and make sure he's warm enough and Geoff starts reading. I enjoy listening to his voice; he should have been a politician they talk all day, granted about nothing but he could do that.

"He's asleep." I get the nod and kiss my boy then go shower, he joins me and we fool around a bit but not for long just in case Dec wakes and wants us. I dry him off and marvel at his body sculpture, he's perfect, even better than when I first met him.

Geoff sighs and pulls me into our bedroom.

"Do you feel like getting fucked?" Blunt, my man is blunt.

"Okay." Of course I do, I have been hanging out for it all day.

We lose the towels and get into bed where he begins to slowly make love to me. He's good at this and in no time he's slipping out of me wiping up then holding me in his arms, which was nice.

"Daaad," I heard screaming, bloody Halloween.

Geoff goes to get him and puts him in between us. He's a little scared but it doesn't take long to get him back to sleep. My God, another two weeks of this and then the big night; am I going to cope?

In the morning he's still asleep and Geoff is making breakfast in bed for us. He always does that Saturdays, it's his thing to do. By the time he gets the big tray into bed Dec is awake and ready for some soldiers and egg. We feed him and ourselves then talk about what we have to do this weekend. Somewhere in there we have to visit his parents. I hate going there because they make me feel so inadequate as a parent. Not that I think they are angels because they are the complete opposite, it's just that Geoff's mum thinks she knows it all and his father, well he's so into sports he can't see his son's achievements beyond a ball. But we must do what we must.

"I will get Scotty from next door to fix that garage opener Sam, he's home this weekend."

"Oh no threesomes on Geoff?"


"Nothing," I know Scott has a thing for threesomes because Nana West over the other side said her grandson Paulie told her. I also know he has this thing for Geoff; I have caught him more than once ogling his butt out in the front yard. I should tell him my husband is strictly a top and that's the way I like him, his ass is mine to grope and love.

Geoff had taken the dirty dishes out to the kitchen where he puts the coffee on. We don't have coffee in bed, not with a wriggly worm in with us. He might spill it and it's too late when they have been burnt so we watch that. While Dec plays with one of his farm animals, Geoff is playing in the kitchen and every now and then he would rub his crotch on my bum as I rinse our plates, and I of course moan, because he likes that. I pop Declan's milk in front of him and he plays with it, I know this because I'm watching him from the kitchen, he's feeding his animals with it. Geoff sneaks up for a grope, just as I yell,

"Declan drink your milk." Geoff jumps and heads for the table. I chuckle to myself, sometimes I think I have two little boys to bring up but that's okay, I kinda like both of them.

"What's wrong with the track Sam?" Scotty asks as I pour him a coffee.

"The chain keeps coming off it Scott, I have put it on twice now but it keeps slipping off. I think it needs tightening but I don't know how to do it properly, it makes such a mess."

"Okay I will have a look at it, how's work Geoff, plenty of legal stuff to keep you busy? I saw you the other day, running through the city, do you exercise every day?"

"Yes Scotty, I run every day and I did three divorces this week, it seems they are growing in the area, no one wants to be married anymore, I think it's more about the money not the love."

"Well it's a bit old fashioned, a lot of people I know fool around a lot, it's in our nature." I look at him then Geoff who sniggers at me.

"Give me a hand with the ladder Geoff." They go out to the garage and I hear my husband yelp after a few minutes.

"What's the matter?"

"Nothing hon, Scott's hand got caught in my belt and I jumped." He laughed.

"Sorry Geoff." Scott was very red faced.

I stood there and watched them and I think Scotty was a little put out but every now and then his hand would move over to Geoff's bum and of course my husband would jump, Scott said sorry more times than I have eaten chocolate biscuits and that's a lot.

"All fixed, that will be forty bucks Sam," Scott says.

"I have to go to the bank this afternoon Scott so I will drop it off later."

"Okay mate, no hurry."

Caught in his belt, play with his ass and you still charge me, I'll show you prick. Touch my husband again and you're dog meat.

"He tried to grope me babe."

"Oh he did, did he?" As if I didn't know, I've got eyes.

"Yes here, I'll show you."

Geoff showed me how Scott grazed his balls and I had to do it twice so I would remember how he did it. Then I had to get on my knees to show Geoff what was going to happen to him. He was very happy and so was my garage door when it went up, bursting into new life, it seemed very happy. I clean up all the greasy rags and extra nuts and bolts while Geoff showers then I do the same and get ready to hit the supermarket.

We do the big shop on Saturdays and armed with my shopping list we grab a trolley and stuff Declan into the kiddy seat. I had brought a towel to put on it first; they must be so hard on the kid's bums. Geoff threw shit into the trolley which I put back on the shelves when he wasn't looking. Just normal stuff like biscuits, sweets, potato crisps, things like that. We turned into the haberdashery aisle and there they were; Halloween costumes in a bag, on special so not too expensive today. I know he has his ghost outfit from last year but he wants a cowboy one this year. Don't know if they make them for this holiday, so we look through some racks of kids' costumes and we find something he might like, a skeleton suit and it's his size too.

"No dad, I want to be a rabbit."

"What happened to the cowboy?"

"I like rabbits, dad, they are cute and fluffy."

"Well they don't have a rabbit or a cowboy costume Dec; we will have to wait until we go to Kmart. Geoff throws in a fistful of chocolate bars. I put some of them back on the shelf while he was looking at frozen food. I pick out a couple of packets of muffin mixes and I grab a packet of chocolate éclairs. I don't want my pantry full of rubbish food.

At the checkout we get Sally; a nice kid but full of teeth, tits and blond hair. She used to babysit Dec but since she's got this new job we don't see her too much, only when we shop.

"How are you today Declan honey?"

"Good Sally." He's only six so he's not interested in Sally yet.

"Hi Geoffrey, how was work this week? You look tired, maybe when I come to babysit next I will give you a free massage, I'm studying it at night school you know." I can only guess what she's doing with those lessons and there's no way she's going to get her hands on my man so I take the bull by the horns and say,

"What a great idea Sally, Geoff needs one badly, we had better ring and set up a time."

Geoffrey goes red and I mean beetroot red.

"Sam you can do that tonight, no need to bother Sally." He pleads with his eyes.

"No Geoff, Sally is the professional so she can do it next time she baby sits."

I make a mental note to toss Sally's number in the bin; she's getting too old to be a babysitter anyway.

"Two hundred and twenty dollars, thank you kind sir."

Geoff swipes his card. I put the bags into the trolley and look at the smoke shop then slump cause I don't smoke anymore.

Declan gets his card for his collection stamped and we say bye-bye to Sal, who by now has spotted a couple of older boys I think she would like to help out with a special massage, and by the looks on the boys; faces I think they are eager.

"Why didn't you help me out Sam, there's no way I would let Sally touch me?"

"Geoff, I have heard she's very good, especially with her mouth." I grin.

"Not as good as you, shit Sam here I go again. Can we drop Declan at Nan's place, there's something we have to take care of?"

"No Geoff, your mum will fill him up with sugar and your father scares him."

"He bloody scares me Sam."

"Well we have to call in, baby, he needs to see his grandparents, just for ten minutes otherwise my ice cream will melt."

Geoff groaned all the way there

After a lot of hugging she makes coffee and fusses over Declan again. I put my frozen stuff in her freezer. Shirley gives Declan an icy pole; she makes her own; sugar with coloring and water.

He gets hyped up and wants to watch TV with Pa.

Pa tickles him until he's nearly crying so I put him on my knee and he goes very quiet.

Nana Shirley talks about everything I have heard before, I listen like it's the first time but I've heard it.

"What are you wearing for Halloween Declan?"

"A rabbit costume."

She laughs; I knew she would.

"A bloody rabbit costume, what about a ghost or a monster with big green fangs or maybe a creepy, crawly spider?" She runs her fingers up his arm teasing him. I don't like her and I don't think my son does either. Then she starts telling me how pale Geoff looks and asks is he getting plenty of vegetables and meat. Do I buy him the choice cuts, is Declan still pissing the bed, enough, fucking enough. This is a bloody mad house. I jump up and carry my baby into the lounge to see if Geoff's ready and I think he is because his face is beetroot.

Geoff's been talking footy with Pa. He tells him he doesn't know what he's talking about but my man does know. He's actually a star when it comes to playing football; he just happened to love the law better and his dad never got over the shock his son didn't want to play anymore.

"Geoff, Declan's tired." He is tired; I think all that sugar has caught up with him.

Geoff takes him and gives him a piggyback to the car. I grab my frozen goods and kiss Nana Shirley goodbye, I ignore Pa, he's not interested anyway.

Geoff is driving crazily; he almost goes over the speed limit.

"Calm down baby."

"I can't, he's a flipping fool." We try not to swear in front of our kid.

"It's over now so drop it, we don't have to go there again okay?" I try to get him to calm down but the only thing that seems to work is my hand resting on his crotch, he opens his legs.

"Okay." He smiles at me and we have a very pleasant drive home. As we pull up Dingle across the road is running around outside his house dressed as some sort of monster, Geoff shields Dec's eyes as I push the up button.

What a fool that man is. It's not Halloween yet and he has already started dressing up, I know he's trying to scare the neighbors.

You would think with all that hard earned money I'm paying out to Scotty the bloody chain would hold for more than six hours. Oh no, of course not, the garage door stops halfway up, so I grab a spanner. The boys watch as I belt the shit out of it, then try the button again, it works and continues its journey up.

"Good one dad." At least my boy appreciates me.

My men run inside, okay boys it's no biggie, I'll get the shopping, I struggle with shopping bags through to the kitchen where I plunk them on my table.

But they do help me put it all away, Declan and Geoff are looking for something, I hide my éclair's.

Geoff looks at me like I just killed his dog. Declan knows I killed his dog.

I lift my eyebrow, sorry guys I must have lost all that junk food.

They go to watch TV, there's a game on so I find a packet of potato chips and put them in a bowl, they both eat them, they have races to see who can eat the most.

"What do you want for lunch?"

"Dunno," Is all I get from them, I think Geoff is teaching Dec how the football works today.

Grabbing the keys and starting the car again I drive to the local shops, I get fish and chips, hey it's Saturday. Chill out day and fish is good for you, but don't tell Shirley.

When I get back they are eating my éclair's.

I put plates on the table with knives and forks, they load up their dishes, salt, tomato sauce and vinegar and they both sit on the couch. I sit down at the table, looks like I've been put on a diet, my plate is half full, or is that half empty. I scrape the bottom of the box and find the last chip.

Geoff walks by and grabs it out of my fingers; he pop's it in his mouth then kisses me.

"Thanks babe."

I nearly cry I love him so much.

He's never gotten on with his father and his mum is no better. She's always telling me I have to try harder to cook good meals for my boys, or was that ordering me? I can't separate the two sometimes. Geoff had it tough when he was younger, his dad had him at every sports game that was on and entered him in every fun run that was around. Of course his dad wasn't sporty as he had a gut, but he loved the bragging rights when Geoff succeeded in something.

When he got to high school he joined the football team and fast became their number one player that was until he met me. I encouraged him to follow his dreams; I knew he wasn't suited for football as his heart was leaning towards helping people so the law became an option. His father nearly fainted when Geoff told him he was taking up law studies after he entered university. But there was a glimmer of hope for his dad because Geoff told him it was just for back up, he wanted something to fall back on if his sporting career didn't work out, he's smart my boy. By the time I got to uni Geoff was working two jobs of course. I helped and my parents were agreeable that I do law so between the two of us we got through it with very little help from his parents.

We even managed to live in a very small bungalow off campus. It was nice then, just Geoff and me, I knew he would never leave me because I loved him too much.

My beautiful sister gave birth to Declan for us, she has got three kids of her own and said she would have Geoff's baby when she decided it was the only thing missing from our lives. It was the most unselfish, loving thing anyone has ever done for us, that little boy changed our lives and made us complete as a family. I wanted more but I am also so grateful for the one perfect kid. We try to explain to him he has brothers and sisters but he sees them as cousins which is okay for now. He sees them a lot when we go up the country, they love him and he idolizes them.

Geoff's mother thinks she knows everything about bringing up kids, although they did a good job with my Geoffrey, I do believe it was his inner beauty and intelligence that saw him through it in the end. But as I said, she knows everything and that gives her the right to push me around and his father pushes him around and so it goes on and on and on, sorry just babbling, but you get the picture.

While the last quarter is on the TV, I make coffee and sit on the back verandah, it's my peace and quiet time and I begin to weed some pots of flowers I started a few years ago. They never really took off but I persist with them and one day they will bloom into something stunning. It all takes time and that I have plenty of. I wish I still smoked, I loved sitting here and having my afternoon fag but alas when Dec's came along he likes sitting here too, well not actually sitting, laying in his bassinet so I couldn't fag on anymore with him around. Geoff was happy with that but I still miss those times. My parents weren't as strict as Geoff's. They let me do what I wanted and of course they knew I was different before I did. There's never been an issue. I hope we have the same relationship with Dec. I want him to be able to come to us if there's a problem in his life, he's such a dad magnet our kid.

Geoff helps Declan with his sums and they are correct as usual but it's starting to get dark so I may as well take Scott's money over to him. I should have a good word to him about his shoddy handiwork but I'll keep the peace for now. Tramping through the bushes that border our houses I see his house is in darkness. He must have found a threesome somewhere. I knocked twice but no answer so I slip his money through his mail box, oh shit I need a wee, looking around I don't see anybody so I take a leak on Scott's welcome mat, I hope he doesn't mind but when ya gotta go, you gotta go, I feel better now.

"He wasn't home so I left it in his mailbox."

"Okay babe, I'll talk to him tomorrow about the opener, maybe we should just buy a new one instead. God knows how old that one is, is it time for bed yet?" I think he's hot for it tonight.

"It's Saturday Geoff, Dec's late night so we've got a few hours yet." I say and smile sympathetically.

"Oh, what's for dinner?" My god you just had a kilo of fish and chips.

He was looking through the pantry, I guess for chocolates or biscuits, well I have news for you, your diet is paramount baby.

"I can do party pies baby, go wash up and can you get Dec to clean his teeth?"

He and Declan go do that and I get the pies ready then I hear a crunch coming from out the front.

Looking out the window I see a truck dropping off a rather large plastic dinosaur over the road to Dingle's house, fuck me what now? Dingles now changed into a witches outfit and is waving a broom around, boy has he ever lost it.

"What's going on dad?"

"Nothing, Decs, just a delivery across the road."

I try to steer my boy back to the kitchen but he's hanging to look out the window, Geoff goes and has a look, he curses then flies out the front door. I hear the heated argument and it's not going too well for my man. Dingle is in his face poking his chest with that broom; thank God my man has restraint, after all he's at least a foot maybe two taller than Dingle. He comes back and is furious, I calm him down with a beer, he skulled it and reached into the fridge for another.

"He's a dickhead Sam, frightening little kids like that, it's not right. I'm going to go to the police tomorrow, there's got to be something they can do, he's a public nuisance."

"Geoff, just calm down, maybe there will be a blackout on the night so at least we won't have to listen to his gruesome music and watch his hideous lights."

"Can you get twelve pumpkins at the market Sam; we need to liven this place up a bit?" He's planning ahead.

"No I will get six Geoff, that's enough and maybe we can put the Christmas lights up too, but that's it. There was a hell of a mess left last year and I had to clean it all up, it took me days."

He didn't answer me so I left it there; I knew he knew I was right.

"Dad there's a dinosaur in Mr. Dingles' yard, dad they bite don't they?"

"It's not real Declan, they haven't existed for thousands of years now, that one is made of plastic, it's not real."

"But dad, it's got teeth."

"They are not real Dec; now eat your pie before it gets cold." He plays with it.

I heard Geoff on the phone he was talking loudly to someone, maybe the police so I walk into the den and whisper,

"Fire hazard." That will get them moving if they think that.

He sits at the table and keeps looking my way, he is in a foul mood so maybe I won't get a good humping tonight after all. Having said that he goes and checks if Declan has finished eating then turns the TV over to Ice Age 2. Declan smiles; he knows all the words to this one. Just as I was about to take a bite of my little pie Geoff takes my elbow and leads me to the garage where he has my shorts down in no time. He spits on his hand and bends me over the car bonnet; it was hard, deep and urgent, and pretty fast. By the time everything that had happened caught up with me he was back inside watching Ice Age on the couch and chewing on a party pie, I look for mine, nup, all gone.

"Thanks babe I needed that."

"It's okay babe." I secretly smiled cause it was more than okay.

"I'll catch you later on." He smiled.

"Thanks." I went back to the kitchen and made a sandwich.

In bed that night he returned the favor after he dabbled in my bum again, he was a bit slower this time and I did get comfortable, too comfortable because he had to put his hand over my mouth to stop the moaning, we didn't want to scare the kid.

An uneventful night brought me out the back this morning. It was a lovely day and I sat on my porch and sipped my coffee in peace. I look for cigarettes again but I know I haven't bought any.

"I see he's now got a dinosaur." A familiar voice came from over the fence. Nan is out there having a fag, I resist the urge to ask her for one but I smell the smoke and move closer to the fence.

"Yes Geoff had words with him last night but he's not going to relent, he loves Halloween apparently, so I guess he's never grown up but I'm a bit worried he might have lost the plot somewhere along the line." I sighed.

Nan West was a mother of eight and had twice that in grandchildren. A big family, she's always been good with us and she sometimes babysits Declan, he loves it in there, cause he gets biscuits.

"When is your grandson due home Nan?"

"Today honey, he's been in detention for three months now, but they are releasing him today."

"Well, tell him I have an important job for him when he gets here."

"I will sweetheart; can you get me a couple of kilos of sweets when you go to the shop next pet?"

"Sure thing nan, I'm getting the pumpkins Monday so I will grab them for us while I'm there."

I sip more coffee and I hear her back door slam, she's got one of those wire things on it that bashes the shit out of the door when it closes.

"What ya doin?" A beautiful manly voice asks.

"Having a coffee lover," He bends down and kisses me.

"Any left for me?" He holds his cup up and makes a sad face so I fill it for him.

We sit in silence for a few minutes.

"He's not going to give up Sam and there's nothing the cops can do." He looks worried.

"Leave it to daddy baby." I pat his bare leg; he thinks I'm crazy.

"Dad, dad where are you?"

"Out the back possum," I yell and Geoff jumps.

"Good morning handsome son, why you up so early?"

"I couldn't sleep dad." I pull him onto my knee.

"Well how about you close your eyes and I can rock you a bit."

"You won't let me go to sleep dad, will ya?"

"No baby, I just like rocking you that's all." I smile at Geoff.

Within seconds he was fast asleep I indicated to Geoff he should get some more coffee going.

We sat there holding hands for the next half hour then he started stirring so I handed him over to Geoff who gently dumps him on the sofa in front of the TV then goes for a shower.

He calls me to get him a fresh towel and I end up looking in the mirror, while bent over the washbasin. This gorgeous man I know is behind me grunting and doing some mighty fine daddy moves too.

The noise from across the road is unbelievable, he's hooked the dinosaur up to a speaker system and all we are hearing is animal sounds. But after an hour it all goes quiet, Mrs. Dingle must be watching her shows on TV. I get the mower out and start on the back lawn; it's not a hard job it's just that I'm the only one that likes doing it that's all. I spy this good looking kid jump onto the woodheap next door, it's Paulie, he's home from his little holiday courtesy of one stolen car, two bottles of bourbon and a judge that hates his family. I was to find out after that poor Paulie was into most things that involved the law and so was his twin, but good looking kids just the same. They will go a long way when they get their shit together, maybe the porn industry will take them on I chuckled to myself.

"You wanted to see me Sam?"

"Yes Paulie, I have a proposition for you."

"I don't do threesomes." Oh my God, Scott has been talking to him; I shake off that thought and answer,

"Good because I don't want one, but thanks for sharing."

"Now Paulie, how would you like to earn some cash?"

"Who do I have to kill?"

"No one mate, just go up into the roof cavity and look out that little dormer window and see if there's a straight line to Dingle's power box."


"Have you still got your slug gun?"

"Sure have, gran has got it stored in the ceiling along with dad's guns." He smiled.

I told Paulie what I had in mind and he chuckled, it would be his absolute pleasure. Dingle was always giving the kids grief and they try and make his life hell whenever they stay at nan's, this will liven up the neighborhood. I pull the ceiling stairs down and Paulie scoots up, he's only up there for a minute then comes down with his thumbs up, all good.

"What was that all about Sam?" Geoff caught us.

"Nuthin Geoff." I walk off leaving him to push the staircase back up.

"Hey Geoff do you think Scotty is into twinks?"

"Don't know Sam, why?"

"Just something Paulie said about threesomes, maybe Scotty has tried it on with him and his brother?"

Geoff groaned, he was deep in thought.

"Oh forget it Geoff, they don't do threesomes. Paulie just told me so I don't think Scott has been there but then again if it involves money?" I laughed.

He looked confused but gave up trying to work it all out. Kissing me and grabbing his car keys he went to look for our son.

Geoff always takes Declan to the park for some father and son time on Sundays; they kick the footy around and throw some hoops, all the man stuff you have to do with your kids to show them how to do stuff. I kissed my men goodbye and I begin ironing his business shirts and get his suit ready for the cleaner's tomorrow. He looks so fucking hot in a suit especially when he's all freshly showered and groomed. I used to look like that but had to give up work for our son; maybe in ten years I might go back to the law firm we started. I don't miss the agro but I do miss the executive bathroom Geoff and I shared. You know he started all that just for me. He was making sure our bonds were tight so I wouldn't leave him. He had a life plan and I really liked it so I let him go ahead and plan my life around his.

I heard the car coming up the drive; the door opener screeched in its attempt to get that heavy door up, it won this time. Just as he was about to close it Dingle started testing his bloody sound system again, Declan hugged Geoff's legs as I turned to go inside and to wait for Paulie.

"What the fuck is that noise?" Paulie yells as he flies through my back door.

"Dingle's place baby, he's testing his lights and music out." Paulie ran back next door as I pulled the ceiling ladder down. He reappeared three minutes later then scooted up into the ceiling cavity. I waited a few minutes and with one shot everything stopped across the road. There was a big flash of light then nothing. I slipped a grinning Paulie a twenty-dollar note and thanked him and he scooted back to his Nan's place.

"What the hell was that?" Geoff looked at me.

"That was Paulie from next door, he was doing a little job for me." I winked. We heard cursing coming from across the road so we three knelt on the floor and peered out the window. Old Dingle was cursing at his power box and that wasn't all, Mrs. Dingle was cursing him. I guess no power for them tonight so she will miss her shows, poor lady. Dingle was dressed as an Arab this time; he's got no sense of Halloween at all.

"Sam you better not do it again, apart from it being highly illegal it's also very dangerous." Geoff pointed his finger at me, I sucked on it, he groaned.

"I'm not doing it, Paulie is." I grinned, that kid has been in juvenile hall more than I have had baked dinners. He's used to being in trouble with the law and at the moment he's my best friend. Peace and quiet, that's what I want and a good night's sleep for all. Geoff was just finishing up Declan's story so I stripped down and crawled into bed. I was so tired but of course he had other ideas. He had my legs above his shoulders as soon as he was under the sheets and the only noise I could hear was the small squeak of the bed and my moaning coupled with Geoff's deep breathing, it was magical, so peaceful, so quiet.

After the morning groans and protests, I, as always, was getting my boys ready, one for school the other for work. I dropped them both off but Geoff wanted me to look at the executive bathroom that he was thinking about remodeling. I obliged with a big grin on my face but I really didn't see much, cause I was on my knees checking his nuts out, just making sure it was clean for his long day that's all. Thank God we were early; I don't think his secretary would appreciate the image if she had caught us.

Finally, with my head in the clouds, I headed for the Big Barn to get his pumpkins; they were nice this year so maybe I will get an extra one and attempt to make a pumpkin pie. Geoff loves them and maybe I'll throw in a possum or two for good measure. I always wondered how you would make possum pie. My trolley was almost full but I managed to get five big bags of sweets in with it. Then I looked at the costumes but there were no rabbits or cowboys so maybe he will wear the ghost one after all.

Turning into my drive I noticed an electrician working on Dingle's power box and it looked like he was installing a new beaut, bigger one; that will cost a bomb. The garage door groaned as it went up and now it's squeaking thanks Scott, sterling job you did"...not! I unloaded the pumpkins and dumped them on the back lawn where Geoff will attack them when he gets home and I suppose Dec will help a little but I don't like him playing with sharp knives, so maybe he can use a plastic one?

"Did you see the big bang last night Sam?"

"Yes Nan West, wasn't it nice and loud."

"Very nice son, I bet Beryl wasn't too happy though." She chuckled at the thought of Mrs. Dingle missing her shows I suppose.

"She didn't look too happy from where I was kneeling Nan, I'm amazed she didn't kick him out."

"Oh well stranger things have happened around here, talk later Sam, did you get my sweets?"

"Yes, I'll hang them over the fence when I get unloaded."

"Thanks my boy." I heard her chuckle as her back door slammed and I moved a little closer to smell her cigarette smoke. After a minute or two I set about bringing the shopping in then hung the sweets over the fence post.

"Can we do one with big teeth dad?"

"Okay I will draw it on and you can clean out the middle with your spoon."

"Okay dad, dad are you gonna put candles in it?"

"Yes son, we have to have candles, I hope dad got some for us, want to go ask him?"

"Okay dad." My boy ran into the kitchen, I think he's a bit excited now; he loves doing things with his dad.

"Dad, dad did you get candles for us?"

"Yes Dec, they are in the pantry on the bottom shelf."

He rummaged through the shelf until he found the bag and I noticed he had a chocolate éclair in his gob and probably one in his pocket, for Geoff, as he ran out the back door to help again.

"We got four done dad, they look scary dad, can we put them on the porch now dad?"

"Sure son, give me a hand," I heard Geoff say.

They both carried the pumpkins through the house and lined them up on the porch while I went to get some blinky lights from the garage. It never ceases to amaze me how these things get so knotted. I put them away nice and neatly ready for the next use but somehow they manage to get themselves into a ball of knots along the way. I finally untwisted them then begin to rope them over the balustrade that bordered the porch. Geoff had already lit the candles and it all looked smashing, my son was clapping his hands and having a wow of a time but I knew what he was up to, dads know these things. It was his bath time and he was trying to put if off as long as possible so I went along with it, I'm such a softie.

Wrapping him in a big fluffy towel I carried him out to Geoffrey who rubbed him even more and did a lot of kissing, he does that a lot I've noticed.

"What do you want for dinner?"

No answer as usual so I say,

"Okay salad and chips."

"No dad, can we have some nuggets please?" Declan didn't look at me but found his voice anyway.

"Okay son, nuggets it is."

"And some chippies?" he added.

"Chips coming up," I take their orders.

"I don't want nuggets Sam, just some chips," Geoff moaned.

"Okay chips for dinner then you can make chip sandwiches," I suggested.

My son's eyes lit up at the thought and Geoff's mouth opened in anticipation, lucky I bought fresh bread today.

"What did you say?" I lifted my head.

"Use more tongue baby, your being lazy tonight."

"Oh sorry."

He was a force to deal with tonight. He wanted another cleaning so I went along with it again, his perfect directions helped.

"Dad, dad!!" Oh God, not again.

"I'll go," Geoff moaned.

"See no ghosts Declan, there's no ghosts anywhere, they have all gone home to sleep."

"But what if they bite me while I'm asleep dad?"

"They won't because you will be in our bed with your dads tonight."

He carried him into the bathroom and I heard him running the water.

"That's better baby, now put these on."

"I'm sorry dad."

"It's okay son, don't worry about it, just as long as you get some sleep that's all that matters to dad."

He had wet himself, poor little thing, I remember those days and they weren't very nice.

We cuddled up to him making him feel safe but I really couldn't blame Dingle for everything, it's this whole Halloween thing, it should be banned. It just doesn't make sense to me; on one hand Declan is so excited about it but on the other it frightens him too.

Geoff and Declan were up by the time I woke and they were watching TV. Dec was having some toast so I really didn't have to do a lot, just kissed them both and made myself coffee. I went into Dec's room and stripped his bed gathering up his wet sheet then started the washing machine; I will air his bed out a bit then remake it for tonight. The less we make a big deal out of it the better. I was a chronic bed wetter as a kid but I know I wasn't the only one in my class. The smell of stale pee could be smelt on some of the kids I played with. I always made sure I wiped myself down with a washcloth after it happened. Slowly by the age of six I forgot all about it because it stopped suddenly and I was very glad it did. We don't make a big deal out of it with Dec. He will also grow out of it but I guess it is that time of year when everyone is a little over excited.

He was quite chatty on the way to school and I noticed the other kids had gone in some costumes. There were skeletons and ghosts everywhere but Declan didn't say it was a costume day; he just had his uniform on.

"Why didn't you tell me baby?"

"I didn't want to dress up dad, I don't have a costume."

"You could have worn the ghost one?"

"No dad, I want to be a dog."

"What happened to the rabbit?"

"I decided on a dog dad, I like dogs, can I have a dog dad?" "Okay but it's not scary and talk to your father about the dog."

"I know they aren't scary dad, their teeth are nice and small." He dropped his head; fuck me, now he doesn't even want to join in the festivities at school, why didn't he tell me? But to be fair I did notice a lot of the kids had their uniforms on so at least he won't be on his own, maybe he's coming down with something? I felt his forehead but it seemed fine, maybe a little warm.

"Okay baby, I will go look for a dog costume today."

It's on its last legs, this chain, I just know it, it took ages as it struggled to get the door open. When I slammed my car door I looked over the road and Dingle was sitting on his porch. He was pointing at me and he didn't look very happy either, but he shouldn't be, he had his ogre suit on, they are not a happy race.

I hung the washing out then sat and had coffee out the back, and thought about my kid's costume dilemma.

"What's he wearing?" came a voice from over the fence.

"A cowboy, a rabbit and now a dog," I smiled.

"Here's your money Sam and when Declan gets home send him in, I might be able to help."

"Thanks Nan, I really appreciate it." I can always depend on her to come up with an idea. Her door bangs shut.

I took the plastic bag off the fence and gathered up the coins she had left in it. Declan really likes her, he used to spend a lot of time in there while I did some part time work. I had to give it up; I missed my son too much. I put the coins in his moneybox and noticed his bed soaking up the sunshine that's coming through the window and thought I had better remake it. The rubber sheet helps protect the bed but it shouldn't have happened. The same thing went on last Halloween, it took a few weeks to pass and he came good, but I wished it hadn't happened for his sake.

I picked him up from school and he wasn't his bubbly self, he is coming down with something, I feel his forehead again he leans into my hand.

"You okay baby?"

"Yes dad, just that it was a boring day today, everybody was going crazy, I sat in the class room at lunch cause I was getting annoyed."

"Okay baby let's go get dad, maybe you had better have an early night tonight; you know, get some rest."

He went to sleep on the way to the office where I picked up my other man who looked so beautiful all suited up.

"What's up?" He nodded towards the back seat.

"The school had a Halloween day today but he didn't tell us and I think he felt a little left out. But in reality I think he is coming down with something, he's a little feverish"

"Oh." Geoff leans over the back and feels his forehead.

"Didn't he have a note?" he asks.

"I don't think so, he never said anything but I will go through his backpack tonight, maybe he just forgot."

"Nana West wants to see you when we get in Dec. I think she's got some ideas for you." His sleepy eyes lit up as he jumped out of the car and ran next door; I know his only thought was biscuits.

"No, Geoff I'm not in the mood." Fuck where did that come from? I never refuse Geoff's advances.

"You okay baby?"

"Yes just feeling a bit down that's all. I hate Halloween and I hate more that Declan might be coming down with something."

"Okay what would you like for dinner, I'm cooking? Maybe we should take him to the doc's tomorrow if he's not any brighter?"

"You don't have to do that baby; I was going to make some stir fry chicken. It's all ready, it just needs heating up and yes, the doctors maybe tomorrow." I worry all the time, sometimes it just gets me down too and I find it hard to straighten up and get on with life. I hardly slept the first year of Declan's life, he was so small and fragile then, he still is now, I guess I will never stop worrying about him.

"You go and have a hot shower and I'll get us organized." He kisses me deeply and I love it when he does that, his thing is as hard as a rock so maybe later on.

After my shower I dress in shorts and tank, my standard uniform nowadays and promptly went to sleep on Declan's bed. I was having a lovely dream but something was

growling at me so I opened one eye to be confronted with a very orange tiger and it was growling at me.

"Oh I think you look beautiful baby, you look just like a baby tiger."

"Roar, roar," my son yelled, showing his claws off.

His face was painted in bright colors and the whiskers were so long, Nan West had made a tiger suit for him, she's very clever that woman, with all those grandkids she's expected to be.

"You look awesome baby."

"Do you think so daddy, I never thought of a tiger but I like it dad, really a lot."

"Well Nana West did a good job, you look brilliant."

I got up and started taking loads of pictures of him then some of Geoff and him then me so we had fun looking through them streaming on the TV that night. I rang Nana and thanked her for putting a smile on our boy's face. She was happy to do it for him and promised she would dress him Halloween night.

He slept in his tiger's paint and costume that night but I didn't get to take him to school the next morning. Instead Geoff had put him in bed with us because early that morning he had wet his bed again and was burning up. When he woke he looked so sick, I bathed him and Geoff dressed him in warm clothes and we headed off to the health center, we were lucky to get an early appointment.

Geoff took the day off work to come to the doctor's with us and as the morning had progressed he had gotten worse. When the doctor saw him he immediately admitted him to the local children's hospital, my son was sick, really sick.

"Dad am I gonna die?"

"Of course not baby, you just have a bug that the doctor wants to have a look at closer, that's all."

"Was I bit by a ghost dad?"

"No, they don't exist son."

"Dad, I don't feel so good, are you sure a ghost didn't bite me?"

He threw his dinner up all over me then started crying, he was so listless and ill.

We sat through the needle for his blood tests and he cried more. Geoff was tearing up and I knew how he felt because I felt it too. Whatever happens to our baby happens to us tenfold.

We tried to occupy him with some stories when he was a baby but now he didn't look very interested and he was so pale, so fucking pale.

"He's got a viral infection causing influenza and we have to get some good liquids into him, to help him breathe properly the doctor is just working out which treatment is the best for him to have. He must stay in here for three days and then complete bed rest when he goes home. Our biggest concern is the fever that is appearing to be getting worse," the nice young doctor told us.

"Dad stay with me can ya please?" he whispered before he drifted off to sleep, his raspy breathing was making me panic. I didn't know what to do for him except wipe his nose and get plenty of water into him.

"I will baby, dads will be here all night with you."

I looked at Geoff and tears were running down his face. He wouldn't go home alone I know that. So we made ourselves comfortable in the big chairs they had placed in Declan's room. I didn't sleep; I was listening to my boy's breathing. Every now and then a nurse would come in and take his temp and at one stage she had a funny look on her face.

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"It's gone up a tad but not critical yet." She tried to smile but I didn't think it was appropriate and I didn't smile back, if anything I scowled.

Geoff took my hand, he had been awake and I cried, I cried so much my tears were drowning my shirt. After what seemed like a lifetime I calmed down. I wanted to listen to his breathing and I had lost it just for a moment. Geoff's big arms surrounded my shoulders and he had wept with me. In the morning Dec was awake but very drowsy. I could hear a commotion in the hallway so I peered out and it was Geoff's parents, they were trying to get into the room.

"He's our grandson; you have to let us in, what's happening with him, we have to know?" Shirley was telling the nurse, she tells, she never asks that woman.

"Parents only ma'am but I will ask them to come and speak to you." The nurse was trying to be polite.

"It's okay nurse, Shirley, Bill, nice to see you, if you would sit here I'll fill you in." I had flown out of the room.

"Where's Geoffrey, why isn't he here?"

"Because he's sitting with our very sick son Shirley."

"Well what's happening?"

"They have given him something for the viral infection but it's his temperature they can't control. It went up a little overnight but at the moment it's not life threatening. He's comfortable but very chesty and worn out."

"Where's Geoff?"

"Inside with Declan, didn't you hear that part Shirley?" I was furious, I won't have my son put in the middle, he's a sick little boy and I can see they weren't listening to me so I went back into the room.

"They want you they don't believe what I have told them, and Geoff, I'm sorry but there's no way I am letting them in here. They will only make it worse they will upset him. My God, Geoff, your father will probably tickle him silly." I kissed his lips and he smiled a little.

One can only imagine what Geoff told them but I did hear security was later called to escort them from the ward.

"Daddy I'm thirsty."


"I'm thirsty daddy."

"Oh baby of course you are. Dad will get some cool water for you and some ice chips." I leant over and poured a small glass of water for him, holding his head up he looked into my eyes and I saw it, pure love. I saw the same thing when he was a baby, a need, a love that only a parent would see. His need for me to help him and keep him safe, complete trust coming from those eyes that everything will be all right, he's in my hands and by God"...

I pushed the call button and the nurse came in.

"Could you try his temperature again please?"

She did willingly and smiled at him.

"It's going down, I'll call the doctor." She stroked Dec's hair and I think she saw it too.

I opened the door just as Geoff was coming back with coffee.

"It's down, his temperature is going down." I had tears in my eyes as he hurried to see his son.

"Hi matey, how are you feeling now?"

"Okay dad but I am still sick, aren't I? Maybe that ghost that bit me has come back?"

"Just a little bit sick baby, just a tiny bit, the ghost didn't bite you Dec. There are no ghosts but the doctors are making you well just for us. They are helping us to get you better." He kissed Dec's head then hugged him.

"It's a waiting game now; just pray it doesn't go up again, his urine is looking better too. Hopefully the drip is doing its job on the inside, why don't you both go home and get some rest. He will be okay here, I want him to sleep anyway?" the doctor said to us. Geoff looked horrified at this suggestion and sat down in his chair and said,

"You go Sam, get some sleep."

I flopped down into my chair and he had his answer.

Four days he was in that hospital bed, four days of nurses jabbing him, waking him unnecessarily through the night and four days of agony for Geoff and I. We finally got the nod to take him home but it will be bed rest for the next three or four days. He's not to get too excited or chilly but at least he can come home.

"You warm enough baby?"

"Yes dad, let's go home."

We had gotten him safely into the car, Geoff sat in the back with him and held a rug across his tiny body, it wasn't cold but we wanted him to be comfortable.

"Okay let's go." I revved the motor and off we went. The traffic wasn't bad and we made good time and as I pulled into the garage even the opener was being good today. Geoff carried him into his bedroom and he was so happy to see his toys again. We had to pile his bed up with them all. He played quietly until dinner was ready and we all ate together in his bedroom. His face was a better color and he even managed a smile or two when Geoff was telling me when his parents were ousted by security they weren't happy. He didn't seem to care all that much, just shrugged.

Five days to go and the Dingle house lights are lighting up the street, Geoff and Dec finished the pumpkins and they too were installed on the porch and it looked good. Already kids were starting to knock on the doors. I couldn't resist and gave them a few sweets but mostly they wanted to see their mate, Declan, who was happy to entertain them in his room.

Nana West made heaps of chicken soup I was very grateful for and Geoffrey stayed home with us. He would go back to work next week but at the moment he's enjoying his son's company and mine. We were back to making love at night and one day we humped in the work shop up the back yard; another quick one. Declan had homework to do but nothing major. No algebra or history or such, just add ups and letters.

He was slowly coming back to us bit by bit, Geoff had taken a shower while I fed him, We gave him a bath, wrapped him in a big towel and he sat on Geoff's knee and watched the news. I took more photos for my album then answered the phone. It was Geoff's mother and she wanted to come around to see Declan. I said she was welcome but he was to be in bed by 8.30, Geoff rolled his eyes, I cleaned up a bit.

They knocked on the door around seven, so while they talked to Dec, I made coffee and found a packet of biscuits I had hidden away. My boys dived on the biscuits while Shirley gave me a talking to about the rubbish I was feeding them. His dad talked about footy and how Geoffrey threw his opportunities away to study law. It was the wrong decision for him to make and he should try to go into coaching. He didn't say anything about Geoff being a successful lawyer who earns three times in one day what a coach makes in a month. As always the conversation was negative and I noticed his mum had Dec wrapped in his blanket so tightly he could hardly breathe and he was sweating, so I leant over and loosened the bloody thing, only for her to tighten it even further, So I stood over her and took my kid, unwrapping him in the process.

"You okay baby?"

"Yes daddy, just a bit too hot."

"Okay we will go brush your teeth; I think it's time for bed."

"Don't baby him Sam, he's a big boy now and can do his own teeth."

"I want you to help me dad."

"No problems son." I looked at her and bit my tongue.

She leant over and tapped Bill's hand and said under her breath,

"Babying him again," Indicating me with her eyes.

I was so fucking mad, she's a bitch and I am about to tell her too.

"Yes Shirley, he's my baby, I was at his birth and I have sat with him through all his pains and I have protected him, loved him, changed his dirty nappies and slept with him when he's scared, because he's my son so you can stop your shit right now."

"I didn't mean anything Sam, don't get so touchy."

"You did and you have to stop, otherwise I will stop any contact with my son for you two in the future. I have one of the best lawyers in the country sitting here beside me, not a thick headed drop kick of a football coach, so let's not push it anymore okay." I glared at his father.

"I think we had better go it's getting late, goodnight Geoff." His mum kissed him but not I and she hugged Declan before she left without another word.

"For god's sake Geoff, I feel so sorry for what you went through. I wish I had been your friend then because I would have told them outright to piss off." He hugged me.

"They are a bit freaky Sam but its okay, I have my dream family now. I don't think they will be invited back here in the future. I tried so hard to let them back in but I can see it's been a useless exercise." He was a bit low but when Dec went to bed all pink and breathing beautifully it all goes away. He read his story to him and blissfully he got a good night sleep. I on the other hand was kept up until the early hours and when I dropped off it was under Geoff's huge arms, feeling well and truly stuffed.

The morning found Dec sitting at the table, full of beans and raring to go.

"Dad I want to go to school."

"Not today baby, I need your help around here, there's lots to do."

"What dad?"

"Well I need you to help put six sweets into a bag and place them in that basket over there; do you think you can do that for me?"

"Yes daddy." He laughed then got a serious look on his face.

"Dad did I get bit by a ghost, is that why I was sick?"

"No of course you didn't, there are no ghosts here, we looked remember?"

"Oh okay, I forgot, can we look again tonight?"

"Yes son, dad will help you look but I already know there aren't any around, I looked last night and I cleaned early this morning and didn't see any either."

"Did you dad really, did you look?"

"Every night after you go to sleep I look everywhere for ghosts but I haven't found one yet. I don't think they like this house too much because they are scared of your dad. He's so big and strong he chases them away just like that." I snapped my fingers; he spent the next twenty minutes trying to snap his fingers, he can't quite get it yet but it kept him occupied.

Later that morning I put the big bags of sweets on the table with a stack of lolly bags and he started counting them out into stacks of six, Geoff put them in the bags and I tied a black ribbon on them with a small plastic stick-on red back spider, very venomous in Australia but luckily I was able to get the harmless ones.

The noise started across the street again, this is too much, then there was banging on the back door and it was Paulie so I pulled the stairs down and he scooted up. It took him five shots until I heard a big bang and it fell dead quiet. Slipping Paulie a twenty again I slapped him on the back and he disappeared over the fence. All quiet in the street except a few kids on bikes that came to have a look at the blackened electrical box on Dingle's porch, the smoke was rank.


"Don't ask it Geoff, because you won't like my answer. I'm making this street a ghost free area."

Declan yelled hurrah and slapped me on the back.

"Thanks daddy." He smiled.

There was a lot of yelling across the street so I opened my front door to find the Dingles at it in the front yard. It was two hours later when an electrician turned up and then a moving truck. The dinosaur and spider were loaded up along with miles of lights, which Mrs. Dingle had cut from the house with her gardening shears; she wasn't a happy camper. I chuckled to myself the X Factor must be on tonight.

The day went slowly for my boys. I guess they were excited about Halloween tomorrow night but around two they disappeared in the car. I wasn't allowed to go with them because it was all hush, hush but I made sure our boy was warm at least.

I suppose I had better do something about a costume, maybe I can bring Lurch out again? He's easy to do and I need to find Geoff's jumper, shorts plus that neck knife.

There was banging on the front door so I went and answered it, bloody Dingle was standing there dressed as a ghost in a white sheet with cut outs, quite crude but hey it's him and the man is totally insane, he pushed me into the house and said,

"Trick or treat pretty boy."

"Get out of my house this instant you mad bastard or I will call the police."

"I don't know how you're doing it but you have cost me a small fortune this past week. I know it's you destroying my power boxes and I'm here to collect a payment." He let fly with a left hook which landed on my right cheek. The skull ring he had on made a cut and blood was felt. I pushed him as hard as I could towards the front door screaming at the top of my lungs.

"Get out, get out." There were white sheets going everywhere and my blood was on it, making it all that scarier.

"I love fucking Halloween you prick and you have ruined it for me now, so I'm going to ruin your's and your kid's." From somewhere he pulled a knife out, he was now fully insane.

I took the opportunity when he got tangled in his sheet to run for the garage. I thought if I got a hold of the shovel I could defend myself but he was hot on my heels. He tripped me and I screamed in pain as my head hit the concrete floor. Just as he was about to plunge the knife into my body the garage door squealed into action. It made a bone rattling sound that took both of us by surprise, it groaned very loudly. Geoff is home, I hope to God Declan doesn't see this scene.

An almighty crunch sounded in the cold garage and the chain flew off its track and landed, twisted around Dingle's neck catching him off balance. He landed sprawling on the floor screaming. Geoff jumped on him and relieved him of the knife while Scotty from next door appeared running across the lawn. You took your time buddy but I'm glad you're here. He held Dingle down while Geoff got some garden ties to tie his arms and legs together.

In all that chaos Declan had got out of the backseat and was cheering his little head off. His hands were clapping and he had the biggest smile on his face. It took me awhile to realize what was happening and when I did, I swooped him up and said,

"It's okay now son, we captured the ghost and he's going to jail forever."

"Dad he bit you on the cheek, does it hurt?" His eyes widened.

"No son I am immune to ghost bites, they don't bother this super hero and dad and Scotty have the blighter in captivity so we can call the police to take that varmint away for good." He bent in and kissed me.

"Thank you daddy," he whispered then started laughing again.

He was still clapping and giggling when Dingle was led away by two very handsome cops. I saw Scotty talking to them and I think numbers were exchanged. Geoff sat and talked to them also but I didn't see any numbers exchanged there. I told them what had happened and they were amazed I wasn't hurt more than I was. The cut on my face was easily fixed by two ambos that were called and of course by law the fire truck had turned up too so Declan and his mates were kept busy looking over the trucks and things. He was a very happy boy now, the ghost had been captured in his mind and he was safe again.

I thanked Scotty for his help and he said he would get onto fixing that chain tomorrow. I said not to bother as we are going to get a whole new system put in but the old chain will take pride of place on the garage wall. It took courage for it to eventually sling itself at Dingle helping me in the process, well done chain. Geoff looked me over every which way he could and whispered in my ear I would be getting a thorough check up tonight.

"Dad we bought you a present today but you can't have it until tomorrow for Halloween." Decs laughed at me, Geoffrey laughed too, umm. Mrs. Dingle came over and apologized for her husband's appalling behavior. She said he was bordering on a breakdown and this spooky electric thing really had got to him. At last he will get the help he needs. I hoped he didn't end up in jail but from what Geoff and the cops were saying he will. He can scare some inmates, I'm sure they will appreciate it, but maybe they won't.

The boys decided the TV was more interesting than finishing off the sweets so I sat in the kitchen and did them and I put the basket next to the front door in readiness for tomorrow night. It was dinnertime so I made wings, chips and a salad and we three sat in front of the TV and pigged out. I made sure Dec had his pill and at bath time Geoff got in with him, it's been awhile since he did that, I had to hide my excitement. They giggled all the way through it as I washed both their hair and the rinsing off was a major chore because I couldn't get them to stop having fun. I left them too it while I checked out Dec's bed and turned our lights on, I will get Dec and Geoff to do the pumpkins. Unfortunately Dingle's place was nearly in complete darkness but I could see the flicker of a TV through the blinds, I guess she's happy now, peace and quiet at last.

"I washed your jumper and shorts today Geoff and your neck knife is in the garage on the shelf on the right.

"Can you show me where you put it?"


He kissed me deeply and forever as he crushed me up against the garage shelf, it wasn't a sex thing it was just him being loving and thoughtful but alas I detected a big tool that was dying to escape from his shorts but that's for later and I will be looking forward to it.

"Thank you," he whispered into my ear.

"What for?"

'Everything you do for Dec and me, you're amazing and I love you more and more every day." He kissed me again, what could I say, he holds the plan to our lives so I just gotta go along with it. That night was pure bliss, I won't go into details because it might turn you on but boy was I ever turned on. Geoff nearly fainted when I did that thing to his ass with my"...woops no peeking.

In the morning I was wrapped up in his arms and I could smell man smells and it was wonderful. I wish Geoff never showered; his smells were a major turn on for me.

"You okay baby?"

"Yep, ghosts don't frighten me babe, I piss on their heads and twist their necks off if they come near me." I grinned.

"You are so going to love your outfit tonight, Decs picked it out. I didn't have to suggest a thing, he's very color coordinated he is." He chuckled.

"What is it?"

"Can't say."

"Well I'm sure it will be just fine."

He grinned again, I snuggled my hand on a particular part of his genitals and I squeezed, he yelped.

"I'm still not telling."

"Daaad, happy Halloween dad, are you still in bed?"

"Yes son, come in, happy Halloween."

"Dad I had the best sleeps, can I be a tiger now?"

"No Dec, later on baby Nan's going to paint your face this afternoon."

"Okay dad, what's for breakfast?"

"Eggs and toast."

"Yeahhhh!" He's a very happy boy today so maybe the corner has been turned and Halloween will be a fun part of his year from now on. Geoff tickles him and I go to start breakfast. He comes out and hugs my legs then I walk him around the kitchen and he giggles. Geoff picks him up and says,

"Want to watch a game for awhile?"


They go off to do the father and son thing and I go and get the paper from out front. The headline tells a creepy story about a creepy neighbor. I feature as a hero and there's a photo of Dingle being charged holding a number and still wearing his sheet.

The phone rings and its Shirley.

"Yes everyone's okay Shirl, no one got hurt." I answered her questions.

"It's just a scratch and the ambos didn't even have to stitch it, I'm fine and looking forward to tonight." And I was.

"Oh that's a shame but I will take photos, you enjoy your party, do you want to talk to Geoff?" I hope not.

"Okay, then I won't disturb him, talk to you soon and have fun." I hung up.

Maybe they have turned the corner and decided they want us in their lives but that will wait for another day, it was nice of her to call though.

After lunch it was all I could do to keep Dec from scooting up and down the street. I could hear other kids out the front and maybe they are planning their attack strategy so I had better be ready for some tricks. Some of the little kids don't get it; after they get their treats they trick you anyway, not quite coordinated yet. All I had at my disposal was a water pistol, I got one for Dec too, that's all he needs, he's going to be a cute tiger and the ladies will love him.

Nan arrived with her paint box and he sat so excited, at the kitchen table, while she weaved her magic. Did I say she had a witch outfit on, it looked so her. Geoff put his on and he looked yum, just the way I remembered him on the field but I didn't like the knife through the neck bit, but hey, it is Halloween.

Declan looked beautiful and even more gorgeous when I helped him into his tiger suit I had washed and aired out for him, he was so excited he couldn't stop running around the house growling, nan had done a superb job. We sat and had coffee while Geoff took him outside into the street just to show him off. The council had put up barriers at the end so no one can drive up here so we would be totally contained, about thirty houses, that is enough for the kids to raid. They came back and Dec handed me some chocolates he had collected on his way. It won't start until six but he's obviously ready to move it along faster.

"Dad where's your costume dad, you gotta get dressed?" He laughed.

"I put it on the bed in the spare room." Geoff smiled.

"Oh no, Nan I can only dream they didn't buy something in pink."

"Well Sam, go on get dressed," Nan said, even she was giggling, she knows something.

I struggled into the carefully chosen costume and I actually looked good but it was something I wouldn't have chosen.

"Daad you look beautiful dad, come on let's go and get some trick or treating, come on dad." He was over excited by now, Geoff took my hand and kissed my cheek then he said to Nan we would be back in an hour or so, she would man our door while Paulie did her's. God knows what he's dressed in, probably a prison jump suit.

"Go go, you got your bag Declan?" she asked.

"Yes Nan, I got it and I'm gonna fill it with chocolates and you can have some Nan when I gets back, okay?" "Okay honey, have loads of fun."

Well my boy is a winner as a tiger, he was very popular and his bag was filling up with all that lovely sugar. We saw a few ghosts and had plenty of pictures taken, especially Geoff, he was magnificent. I don't think my pink fairy tights and tutu complete with green wig and yellow wings was as popular as he was but I did manage a genuine laugh from Paulie and I got a half bag of lollies so it wasn't all that bad.

"Your ass looks good in those tights Sam, good choice of Decs' eh?"

"Groan." I can only imagine what my husband is going to do with these tights tonight; I hope he doesn't rip them.

After walking up and down the street I got Geoff to take Dec around to the last lot of houses and God knows how long they will be. Last year he ended up in the next suburb and he could hardly carry his bag of lollies. I thanked Nan and she got me up to date with the eggs that had been thrown onto the porch. She had hosed it off but didn't quite get it all, just some hoons trying to be smart. They aren't interested in Halloween, just causing trouble that's all.

I waited by the door and my first victims were two tiny kids with their dad, they could hardly talk but I understood them so I gave them both a bag each and wished them happy Halloween and they chuckled as their dad steered them towards Nan's place. Another bunch came up and they got the same treatment. It was pretty easy so I decided instead of opening the door every time someone knocked, I would sit on the porch and wait for my men to come home. The crowds were thinning out and I noticed in the street around eight there were a lot of older kids. The young ones were probably in their beds by now counting their spoils from the night.

I spied a very good looking man coming up the street carrying a very tired looking tiger. The overloaded bags swayed from side to side as Geoff walked up the steps and let go of Dec into my arms. He was very tired and fighting off sleep so I took him to his bedroom where I placed him on the bed and he was out to it before I pulled the sheet up. I had changed into my sweats and top when I got in and Geoff looked disappointed until I pulled the waistband down and showed I still had the pink tights on.


"Sure baby that would be nice."

He went to get us a drink and I relaxed because I knew my boy was safe and well and because Geoff was handing out the last of the sweet bags to the stragglers. He also shouted at a few older kids who were trying to smash a streetlight with stones, I jumped.

"Thank God, that's over for this year, I hope next year is a lot better.'

"We can go away next year babe. I think Decs' ghosts have gone now so we can talk about it closer to the time."

"Sure babe."

"Go home you lot, I know where you live," I shouted to another bunch of louts, Geoff jumped.

We locked up and I put my baby's bag of sweets in the pantry. He can take one to school with his lunch each day or Geoff will eat them all, whichever comes first. I went out to the garage to check, my chain was happy; it was all curled up on the bottom shelf where it will stay for many years to come.

"Did he get many sweets love?" Nan called over the fence.

"Yes Nan, a bag or two full and thank you again for the costume, it couldn't have come at a better time." She passed her ciggy over so I took a puff and got a head rush.

"Thanks Nan, I needed that."

"Thought you might have dear, it's not every day you get attacked by a madman and I'm glad you're not hurt. Well night, night, tomorrow is another day as Scarlett O'Hara says." She chuckled.

"Thanks again Nan," Her back door slammed shut then I smoked the rest of her ciggie before I went inside.

I checked Declan out and he was smiling in his sleep so I kissed his head then started towards our bedroom but before I did I lost the sweats and T-shirt and I heard Geoffrey groan when I slipped into bed, I guess he's going to tell me ghost stories.

"Happy Halloween baby."