Candy Stealing Squad

by Evil Roda

Origianlly posted on DeviantART on October 31, 2013

NOTE: This has been heavily edited from its original posting. I used to do an annual Halloween story, and this was originally part of that. One of the rules of that series was that once I posted a story, I could only edit it for grammar; if it's posted, it's done, essentially. Five years after the original publish date, I have decided to break that rule and fix up this story to repost it here. Please don't go searching for my old DeviantART; if it's worth reading, I'll repost it here eventually, edited or not. Anything else there is frankly quite embarassing.

I peeked out from behind the bushes, then pressed the button on my radio. “Alright, we have a group of three that just passed by me. One skeleton, one witch, and one Starfleet officer. The skeleton shouldn't prove a problem, and the Starfleet kid looked unarmed, but make sure you watch out for the witch, don't let her get anything off of you, not a hair, nothing. You know what happened to Tito last year.” Even for pros like us, people who had been pilfering candy well into adulthood, the incident with Tito is something nobody could ever forget.

“Copy that, Gary, I'm going in.” I watched as the kids approached Jeff's position. “Come on, come on...” I whispered under my breath, waiting for him to come out of hiding. Finally, just before they reached the tree Jeff was hiding behind, he ran out, grabbing all three of their bags before running to his hiding position. Suddenly, a phaser beam hit him. He fell to the ground, and the kids, taking the opportunity, ran up and started kicking him savagely.

“Stop! Stop!” I screamed, coming out of hiding. I had seen good men go down before, but not this time, not my best friend. Johnny, our rookie, came out of cover from the other side of the road, and Ken came out of the hedgerow down the street. I got to the group first. “Get! Off! Of! Him!” I screamed, kicking each of the kids in quick succession. The skeleton and witch ran off, but the Starfleet kid pointed his phaser at me. “You little son of a bitch!” yelled Jeff as he punched the kid in the backside, making him drop the phaser. I stomped on it. “Waaah, I'm telling the CTS on you!” shouted the kid just before he ran off. I wondered what he meant by CTS, but then Jeff moaned and I forgot about it.

“Jesus, Jeff, are you alright?” I said, helping him up. “You said he wasn't fucking armed! How did you miss that?!”

“He must have been hiding it under his candy bag.”

“Man, I could've been dissolved to molecules! Hell, that witch could've easily gotten something off me!”

“Sorry, Jeff, but you know these fuckin' kids, man, they get more and more clever every damned year.” Jeff nodded. The incident with Tito last year was the first time we realized just how big a threat witches posed. The little assholes had realized they could get revenge by using our things to cast spells on us. Everything, even a single hair, could be used for a curse. The kid who killed Tito, she cast a spell that made his body fall apart, one appendage at a time. There was nothing the doctors could do for him.

“Oh man, that kid could've killed you!” said Johnny.

“I'm aware of that, Johnny. I'm just a little bruised is all.”

“Maybe we should give this whole thing up, guys, I mean, it's easy enough to buy candy from the store. It's just not worth it anymore,” said Ken.

I balled up my fists. “Just not worth it? Ken, we don't do this for the candy, remember? We do it for Tito! We do it for Billy! Fuck, man, we do it for all the candy thieves who have fallen in the line of duty! We do it in their memory, in their honor! And that's what this is all about, people! Honor! We never run unless we've got a freshly snatched bag of candy in our hands!” Just then, there was a weird noise, and Johnny was reduced to what can only be described as exploding mayonnaise. “Johnny! No!” I looked up the street and saw five kids in identical alien soldier costumes, marching towards us in a line. Another one fired, the shot whizzing by my head so close, I could feel the heat. “Grab the candy and run!” I screamed, picking up one of the bags.

The run home was a blur. That's how it always is when you're running for your lives, right? I guess I should give some background here. There were five of us, me, Jeff, Ken, Arnie, and Billy. All of us were 17, except for little Billy, who was 15. I remember it perfectly. We had just spotted our first score of the night. It was a group of three kids, one Confederate, a Union soldier, and a Stormtrooper. We sent Billy out to get the candy. It was supposed to be his first time, one of the most glorious and satisfying steals in any candy thief's entire career. Instead, what he got was a Confederate bullet in his shoulder and a Union bayonette in his abdomen. We all ran out to fight, kicking and punching the Confederate and the Union soldier and then dragging Billy away. The Stormtrooper tried to fire at us, but we didn't bother with him. We all knew Stormtroopers can't shoot worth shit. When we got Billy to safety, it was already too late. He was dead. The doctors told us the bullet had hit a major artery in his shoulder. He bled out in seconds, already lost consciousness by the time the bayonette went in. Later, we saw the news reports. Kids all over the world were gaining the powers of their Halloween costumes, and losing them by the time midnight came around. Anyone 13 and older was unaffected, they said, because they were too old for trick or treating. Kids started destroying houses that didn't give out good candy, and anybody who fought back was brought up on charges. Most of them were acquitted, but over the years, lobbyists for the candy industry passed laws forbidding anybody to resist. We didn't know any of that would happen that Halloween, but on that day, we all took a vow that we would keep stealing candy every Halloween, that we would avenge the death of Billy and every candy thief who died valiantly in the name of taking candy from kids. On that day, we became the Candy Stealing Squad. We've all sacrificed things, though I've probably sacrificed the most. Jobs, university, girlfriends, my own living space. It's all worth it, though. Over the years, we'd gained and lost members. The very next year, Arnie was impaled on a harpoon by a whaler. The only constant members from then on were me, Ken, and Jeff. Tito only lasted three years. And Johnny, man... Johnny was so promising.

We arrived at the hideout in my mom's garage and gathered around the TV, having narrowly just escaped the onslaught. I turned it on. “On tonight's Channel 56 News at 11, how one group of kids has joined together to stop candy thieves, calling themselves the Counter Theft Squad.” I turned it right back off. “Oh, for the love of fuck, guys, why didn't we see that?” I said.

Ken looked up from the chair across from me. “Isn't it obvious? They didn't want us to see it, so we could be caught by surprise. They probably threatened the news station so they wouldn't air anything about it until after we started our operation.”

“Whatever, man. I just want to enjoy some candy. I think we can all agree that we earned it, right?” said Jeff. He opened up a Tootsie Roll and ate it. Suddenly, he screamed and clutched his stomach. “Shit! Ken, go call an ambulance! Now!”

“Right!” he said just as he ran out to the phone. As he left, Jeff's scream turned to a gurgle, and his mouth started to foam with a pinkish mixture of blood and saliva just before he fell out of his chair onto the floor. Without even having to check his pulse, I knew he was dead. I crouched over him, and looked at his candy bag. It was the witch's bag.

“That fucking cunt! Jeff, I swear to you, I'll get them back! I'll get them all back! I'll steal all their candy, do you hear me? I'll fucking steal all of it, then I'll fucking eat it right in front of them! I'll make sure they all pay! Oh, Jeff, Jeff...”

The paramedics confirmed what I already knew. Jeff was dead. Ken, the coward, left the squad after that night. From that point on, I've been a one-man band. Nobody wants to join me. But that's okay. I'll steal it all, steal all of their candy. I'll eat it all right in front of them, too! Right in front of their stupid, crying faces! I'll make them weep, just like I wept over the corpses of my friends! And one day, one fine day, there won't be anymore Halloween. There won't be anymore candy to steal. No more kids in costumes to knock over. Only then can I retire, knowing I had finally avenged my fallen candy thieving brethern.