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Halloween On The Moon

Freddy was grounded -- on Halloween! It was one of those days when everything went wrong. And then, when Freddy accidentally spilled paint all over his sister's costume, his mother sent him to his room for the night -- no trick-or-treating for him!

Freddy was sitting on the bed in his spacesuit costume when there was a tapping on the window. Freddy looked up. A witch on a broomstick was tapping at the pane. The window flew open.

"I'm Hecate Fitch, the space age witch," she announced. "I just stopped by to see if you'd like to come to a Halloween party with me -- on the Moon!"

"Wow!" yelled Freddy. "How could we get there?" "On my broom, of course," said the witch, patting the broom handle. "It's the latest jet-propelled model."

"Great!" Freddy shouted, and he began to climb out of the window. Halfway out he stopped. "How will we breathe?" he asked. "There's no air on the Moon."

"Witches don't need air," Hecate laughed. "And you have a spacesuit." Freddy climbed onto the broomstick and put his arms around Hecate's waist. "Hey, wait," he called. "My spacesuit isn't real!"

"Don't worry!" said Hecate, and with a whoosh the broom took off.

There was a loud meow from under Hecate's cloak. Two bright yellow eyes gleamed out at Freddy.

"That darn cat!" exclaimed Hecate. "He never could get used to the acceleration." Quiet down now, Moonbeam!" Freddy reached out to pat the cat.

With a jerk the broom jetted upward and picked up speed. The sparkling lights of the city below quickly faded to a tiny pinpoint of light. The Moon above was getting larger and brighter each minute. "Hey!" Freddy exclaimed. "My spacesuit is working!"

They were flying down toward the Moon now. Freddy could see the mountains and craters. And high in the sky above them was the earth.

"Fasten your seat belt," Hecate called. "We're coming in for a landing."

Freddy had just opened his mouth to ask "what seat belt?" when Moonbeam's long black furry tail suddenly whipped out and wrapped tightly around him.

Down they went. The broom's jets brought them to a soft landing at the edge of a large crater. There were dozens of brooms already parked. In the center of the crater a crowd was gathered around a fire.

Freddy took his first step on the Moon and bounced six feet into the air. "Say, this in great!" he shouted.

In five bounds they reached the group by the fire. "Here I am, girls," Hecate cackled, "and I've brought a guest."

"Shh," cautioned one of the witches. "We're just starting the conjuring contest." At the center of the group, a witch with a very long neck was just beginning a spell.

Suddenly the rocks and craters disappeared. They were surrounded by a rolling green meadow. Nearby some deer were drinking at the edge of a pond.

'What a spell," Freddy gapped. "It's just like Earth. I wonder how far it goes. Does it cover the whole Moon?" He climbed up a tree to look around. Greenness stretched out as far as he could see. Down below, Moonbeam was meowing up at him and twitching his long black tail.

"I wonder what Moonbeam is trying to tell me," Freddy thought.

Just then everything turned black, and the tree disappeared. Freddy came tumbling down. It was lucky the moon has weaker gravity. He landed as lightly as a feather.

Back at the fire, the next witch was beginning her spell. As she chanted, she threw a handful of pebbles down on the ground. The pebbles disappeared.

"Big deal," thought Freddy. "What's so great about that spell?" Then everything disappeared. The Moon and the stars were gone. Freddy was floating in black and empty space. "Help!" he shouted. A black furry tail wrapped around him. He hugged Moonbeam close to him, and soon the spell ended.

Back at the fire, another witch began her spell. She took out a handful of pencils from her pocket and threw them on the ground, chanting over then. Suddenly the pencils began to wiggle and grow. They were changing into scary monster shapes. "Don't worry, Moonbeam," Freddy whispered.

Just then the witch looked up. She shrieked and backed away. Then she tripped and fell, striking her head on a rock. She lay still. And now the monsters were out of control!

Witches scattered in all directions. But as Freddy tried to follow them. a monster seized him in one of its hairy legs. It carried the struggling boy off into the shadows, and the other monsters followed.

The witches clustered around the unconscious witch. Only she knew how to end the spell and make the monsters disappear. But when she sat up dizzily, she couldn't remember it.

"Don't worry," said Hecate. Reaching under her cloak, she pulled out a pocket computer. Quickly she punched in the beginning of the witch's chant and set the computer to run at super speed. There was a whirring and clicking, with red lights flashing on and off. Then a tape popped out.

"Aha!" Hecate exclaimed. Printed on the tape was the rest of the spell. Hecate quickly read it off, as loudly as she could.

Deep in a crevice at the edge of another crater, Freddy saw the monsters suddenly disappear. He was safe. But where was he? There was no sign of the witches or their camp. Freddy was lost on the Moon.

Up above he saw the Earth, hanging large and blue in the night sky. He tried to pick out just where his house might be. "Will I ever get home again?" he thought.

Just then he felt a furry tail wrap about him, and Moonbeam's bright yellow eyes glowed up at him. The cat led Freddy back to the witches' camp. It was time to go home now. For they had to be back to Earth before sunrise.

Hecate Fitch jetted right down to Freddy's window. As he climbed off the broom, he shook hands with Hecate and hugged the cat goodbye. "That was the best Halloween I ever had!" he exclaimed. "I'll always remember you and Moonbeam." The cat gave him a peculiar smile.

It seemed that Freddy was hardly back in bed when his alarm clock rang. He opened his eyes. He was still in his spacesuit. As he sat up, he noticed something black and furry at the foot of the bed. Two bright yellow eyes gleamed at him.




©1973, 2013 The Silversteins