Octavius on Halloween

Vintage Halloween card
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library.

The neighborhood wizard tries to keep his identity secret while still having a bit of Halloween fun.

In the end, his fun proves a bit too much and he has to resort to desperate measures to keep his secret.

(Yeah, I’m a bit early but this was too fun to wait.)

knock knock knock

Octavius answered the door in a lavish bathrobe. It was the weekend, he just wanted to lounge around for a bit… to relax. But it was Halloween too. “Yes?” he asked as the door glided open.
Octavius lowered his gaze further and further. Beginning at the level of an adult, then moving to that of a child, a medium-sized dog and finally a gnome. And there it sat on his doorstep; someone had left a flaming paper bag of dog feces. “How thoughtful…” he muttered as he picked up the bag, shaking the still-burning fire into his pocket for later use. “As for this,” he said with disdain, “reditum.” The bag flew down the street, hitting the teenager who left it in the back of the head. He permitted himself a chuckle.

A little girl dressed as a witch stood slack-jawed at the end of Octavius’s driveway. “No treats left,” he said with a wink, “only tricks.” He went back inside and let the door close behind him. Time to relax. Octavius materialized a long pipe and took a puff. Before he could exhale there was another knock at the door. “Trick or treat!” the voice said.

“Here we go again.” he said. Octavius left the pipe floating by his chair and teleported to the door; he didn’t feel like walking again. Once again the door swung open. Expecting another prank, Octavius started his gaze at gnome level. Luckily, he had to adjust it to child level. Before him stood three children: a dirty handkerchief or possibly a ghost, Iron Man and a dinosaur. Octavius looked around for any sign of parents. Not finding any, he swung out his hand with a flourish and yelled “Bellaria!” Each child left wide-eyed and with a sack full of candy.

Word of the magical candy man traveled quickly, as word often does, and after treating dozens of children Octavius found himself on the receiving end of a very loud knock on his door. This time there were no children, but parents.

“My kid swears you gave him all this candy. And that you’re a wizard!” said one parent. “My kid says you threw dog poop at him! And that you’re a wizard!” said another. Octavius stood there in his robe, stroking his beard. This had never happened before. He had to keep his wizardry secret. What was he supposed to do now? There was only one thing he could do….

Octavius took a deep breath and said the words people had come to expect from a man his age… “Get off my lawn!”


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