The plastic bag fluttered in the nightly breeze, chilling the thin fingers gripping the handle. The boy bundled his clenched knuckle within the sleeve of his sweater, raising it to his mouth to breathe warmth onto his pale skin. His friend wrapped his arm around his waist , quietly watching the darkness overtake them.
Although it was nearly ten o' clock, their trick-or-treating bags contained pathetically few sweets. Most of the candy was from their own houses, candy they had thrown in the bag so they wouldn't come back empty-handed. The boy with the sweater took his balled up hand and moved a dirty strand of blonde hair from his eyes. He on one hand looked longingly at each decorated house, licking his shivering lips at the thought of sugar. On the other hand his friend Noah didn't bother to step up onto anybody's lawn, feeling odd trick-or-treating at their age. From time to time his eyes would dart from house to house, but he couldn't trust the melting pumpkins or the butchered sheets hanging from porch ceilings. He only trusted the hand curled tightly around his own, and the uneasy boy attached to it.
They walked in silence, soundlessly dragging their feet across the pavement, the night air breezing up their exposed necks, pulling on each tiny hair. The fair-haired boy glanced worriedly at Noah's clothing, frowning at the thin turtleneck that clung to his rigid body. Noah had sacrificed his sweater the moment his friend had begun to shiver. Watching him twist his hand deep into his pocket and hunch over, his dark hair matted against his face, his friend asked if Noah was cold.
Noah tightened his grip around his waist as an answer. "I'm fine, Adam," he responded, smiling, the cold air whipping at his exposed lips. His face was numb and his cheeks a bright red, but he insisted on not wearing his jacket.
"You look cold," Adam mumbled, leaning his head against Noah's shoulder as they walked, his bony hands still hidden within the jacket sleeves. His frozen fingers poked his lips numbly, grazing the faint stubble that crawled across his chin. His eyes wandered toward Noah's face, examining his sharp chin and long neck, and the small, brown hairs running along his jaw. He clung to Noah's arm as he walked, able to feel his heat of his body as he touched him, and his heart began to pound hard against his ribcage. He let out a shaky breath as he continued walking, but stopped dead in his tracks the moment he heard something snap. "What was that?" He whispered, his eyes darting across the dimly lit street.
Noah pet his head and looked through the darkness, seeing only murky lights in the black of night. He turned toward the direction of the woods, watching them carefully, waiting for something else to make another noise. The two boys stayed completely still. Adam held his breath.
There were footsteps behind them. Running.
Noah grabbed Adam's hand harshly and, his legs longer and leaner, sprinted into the darkness without a second thought. Adam looked behind them, and could barely make out a figure of a man running just as hard as they were. He whipped his head back around and stumbled as he ran with Noah, who was running out of breath as quickly as they started.
They sprinted as fast as they could before diving onto the grass and behind several large shrubs, Adam's white knuckles still around the crinkling bag. A hand clasped over Adam's mouth as he panted, and they waited silently from behind the bushes until they would deem it safe.
The grass was wet with dew; they had ran far away from most of the houses, and it was completely black. Adam gripped his friend's arm tighter, breathing softly into his sleeve. An arm wrapped around his waist again, pulling him closer; Adam was frightened to leave the safety of his side. They waited.
The bushes rustled. Adam screamed and was wrenched from his friend's grasp, his bag of candy lying in his place, limp and damp. He screeched at the top of his lungs before Noah heard only silence, and then sound of his own panting and the sweat leaking from his forehead. He leaped up from the wet grass and charged into the darkness.
Adam's neck was clenched between two hands, and he was slammed against the dirt, rocks cutting through the sweater and stabbing his back. The man on him was only a handful of years older, with dark hair and gleaming dark eyes. Adam choked, gasping, trying to let out any sound. His felt lifeless under the pressure, his chest unable to move, his stomach crushed. The man made the mistake of letting out a grunt as he kicked the dirt, still sitting on top of Adam, who's frail fingers vainly tried to pry him off his neck.
Noah heard the grunt and found Adam on the ground, his legs sprawled across the grass. Without hesitation he shot out his leg and thrust his sneaker against the man's ear. He fell off of Adam, his hand instinctively reaching at the side of his head. In the dark they couldn't see each other very well, and Noah danced around in the darkness, squinting his eyes to find some sort of moving figure.
That moving figure charged toward him from behind, taking hold of one of his wrists. Noah tried to wriggle free before his other wrist was taken and yanked behind his back. He kicked his leg wildly, aiming at his rival's ankles, but each kick hit only cold air. As he kept missing, he too was thrown on the ground. With both his hands kept behind his back, a fist sunk into eye, and then struck his lip. Blood trickled into his mouth. His legs weighed down by being sat on, Noah only struggled, wanting to scream at himself for being so helpless.
Adam was terribly confused. He didn't know where Noah was, and he breathed unevenly, standing up warily and silently stepping into the darkness. He still felt the fingers closed around his neck, his choking, his eyes wide and his cheeks turning from white to blue. The wind whistled as it played with his hair, ruffling it and making it fall over his eyes. He took the sweater-clad hand and moved the hair out of his way, before he saw a face in front of his.
He felt fingers dig into his arms. He heard other footsteps, but he didn't know where they were coming from or what they wanted. A voice taunting him, asking where his faggot friend was now, and asking who was going to help him, who was going to save him. He felt dizzy, his head was spinning, and Noah was nowhere to be found. He called out his name, and he was shoved up against a prickly bush, the thorns slicing his bruises. He screamed his name again, his breath heavy, his body numb with fear; he received no reply. Just an empty, eerie wind gently caressing his hair.