Through the Eyes of Madness—Part Twenty–two
By: David K. Montoya

The city was a different animal twenty–five years ago, the emotionalism in people and blood lust in others were more sexual than insanity. It was a crime of passion, love gone awry. While there were less murders in that era, they were more savage especially during the Halloween season.

Sandy Miller was a ten–year–old from South Park, the toughest part of the area where it met the city and ocean. It was a beautiful area the closer to the bed of water you were, but the farther away one got the nastier it became.

Unfortunately for Sandy, she lived in the downtown area and was so close to the city limits she had to walk to a school located on the boarder of the big city. The little girl's parents, both immigrants from Haiti who migrated to Florida when she was only two and moved westward shortly thereafter.

While the area was mainly a Hispanic population, Sandy came to know South Park as home.

"I'm gonna go play, mom," Sandy said as she grabbed her coat and headed for the door.

"You be careful, Sandra," Her mother said while she prepared supper for the evening. "The news said that Halloween Man was spotted around in these parts."

Sandy chuckled. "Oh mom."

"Don't you, oh mom, me young lady," Her mother said as she walked over to the little girl and begin to straighten Sandy's coat. "We did not cross the ocean for you to be taken by some crazy–ass white man who watched that Michael Myers movie too many times."

"I'll be fine, mom." Sandy retorted with a soft sigh.

"I know you will be, you are my girl," her mother said and then kissed her on her forehead. "I love you child, now go play…but be home as soon as the sun starts to go down."

"Yes, mamma." Sandy said. The young girl walked out the door onto the sidewalk, the wind gusted by her as she made her way toward a few kids who played on their bicycles.

Sandy stood a few feet away and watched the others ride around on their bikes, while her parents both had jobs, they could not afford to buy their daughter the ten–speed she dreamed of. Sad, the little girl turned away and headed for downtown. Her parents did not like when she went into the heart of South Park by herself, especially her mother, Manoucheca.

The young mother was terrified with reports from a local news station that a tall man, who wore gray overalls and a rubber mask to resemble the villain from Halloween, was seen walking around town. While no one actually saw the man perform any crimes, he was the immediate blame for anything out of the ordinary from a dead cat in an alleyway to a broken stoplight.

Sandy found herself in front of a movie theater, it was rather full as most people would catch a flick on a Saturday afternoon. The little girl looked down at her worn wristwatch and thought, If I go now, I can make it home in time. But, if I wait an hour, I can catch a double feature for the price of one…but, I would be home way past dark.

Sandy walked to the box office and asked the lady behind the glass, "What are the double features tonight?"

The lady looked at Sandy with an aggravated expression and popped her bubble gun. "Little Vampire and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman."

"Okay, one for the double feature, please." Sandy requested with an innocent smile.

"That'll be $5.39," the lady behind the glass said before she popped another giant pink bubble.

"I only have a five–dollar bill," Sandy cried.

The lady in the box office shrugged.

"I'll cover the forty cents, little one," a deep voice said which came from behind her. Sandy turned and there stood a well–built man, who wore a long overcoat. He had jet black hair combed back and a matching tapered beard and mustache. He reached into his coat pocket and removed a handful of change. "Here you go, little one."

The man dropped the loose change into Sandy's small cupped hands. Her eyes grew at the amount the stranger gave to her as she exclaimed. "Sir. I–I only needed thirty–nine cents. This is waaay too much."

The stranger laughed.

"Meh. It's just pocket change little one, besides you are about my Emily's age…do you have a good daddy? I mean, is he still with your mommy, hard worker at home when you arrive from school?" He asked.

"Yes, sir," Sandy answered with hesitation, it felt like an odd question to ask a child.

The stranger smiled, and said, "That is good to know little one. All little girls should have a good daddy in their lives."

There was a moment of silence, as Sandy did not know what to say offhand, until she said softly. "Thank you for the change."

The stranger smiled brightly, "Don't be afraid, little one, I'm one of the good guys…Now, go enjoy your Halloween movie shows."

#

Sandy got her ticket and moved inside the theater, she noticed that the stranger that gave her the spare change was behind her. He was even a few people back while she stood in line for popcorn, and followed her to the auditorium to enjoy the double feature. Her heart raced as she watched him walk up the steps to the seats, she decided to set behind the rails—just in case she needed a quick escape. The stranger walked all the way toward the back and sat in the very last row.

The auditorium became dark and the surround sound boomed from the speakers, for the next four hours Sandy sat back into her seat with fresh buttered popcorn in hand and along with everyone who were in attendance forgot about reality.

#

After the double feature, Sandy was struck with panic. She had expected it to end at 7PM and would only be an hour late, but the young girl forgot to calculate the extra minutes like a bathroom break in between movies.

It was forty–five minutes later than she planned.

Sandy looked up when she heard a familiar deep voice who asked, "That was fun, eh?"

It was the stranger from outside, he was already descending the stairs toward the exit and had passed right by her. Sandy decided to stay in her seat until the theater was empty and it was safe for her to leave. She realized that it would get her home even later, and despite being a ten–year–old, she had sense enough to know something was not right with that stranger.

Not too long after, Sandy was the only one who was still seated, or in the auditorium for that matter. She watched a younger guy with overalls walk in and glance at the mess that was left from the moviegoers in disgust.

Cleaning crew is here, time to split Sandy thought. She got up and walked down to the guy who was awestruck by the garbage on the ground.

"Yeah, people can be such pigs, but I'll dump my bucket in the trash on the way out, okay," Sandy said as she passed by the janitor. He whipped around in surprise and stared at her with wild eyes, which caused the little girl to jump back in fright. "Whoa! Sorry dude, I did not mean to scare ya."

He did not respond, but as Sandy went to walk away the man snatched her by the back of the coat and pulled her back to him.

"What! Stop! What are you doing," Sandy screamed. The man reached into his pocket and pulled out a white rubber mask, and instantly the little girl realized who he was. "Help! Help! Let me go!"

Sandy did the first thing that came into her thoughts, she bit down into the man's hand, and while he did not scream in pain, his hand opened and she made a beeline for the emergency exit. The little girl ran for all she was worth, but the man known as Halloween Man calmly but briskly chased Sandy.

The little girl thought that she was going to get away, until she reached the release bar of the backdoor, the man lunged and tackled her—although they landed on the ground on the other side of the door. He was atop her and while she struggled the Halloween Man removed a carving knife from behind him.

"No! No! Please! I'm just a kid!" Sandy screamed.

The man held the long blade up and was about to strike, but from out of nowhere he was tackled off the little girl. Sandy sat up and saw it was the stranger from earlier, he wrestled the other man—both struggled over the carving knife.

It would be the masked man who won that contest as he drove the tip of the blade into the other man's shoulder. As the metal entered his body, he let out a cry of pain and with his leg, wedged it between them and flipped the Halloween Man onto his back.

But he was quick to his feet and charged at the man in the overcoat with his weapon drawn to attack. The man from earlier reached into his coat and removed a revolver and exclaimed, "FREEZE!"

That did not detour the man with the knife as he processed toward his opponent, who fired three rounds into the masked man's chest. Surprisingly, he ran five more steps before he fell dead into his enemy's arms. He lay the man on the ground and walked over to Sandy who was still by the door that the Halloween Man knocked her out of.

"It's over," he said in his deep voice as he leaned down next to her. "You're safe now."

Unable to speak, Sandy wrapped her arms around her savior and gave him a thankful embrace.

#

Sandy watched from the back of an ambulance as people loaded a body bag into another vehicle across from her. She saw the man in the overcoat, he walked over to a police car and opened the back door. The little girl's mother and father exploded from the back and the man pointed them in her direction.

Manoucheca and her husband ran to their child and embraced Sandy with love and kisses. She saw the man that saved her still by the cop car with a smile.

One of the police officers walked over to the man in the overcoat and said, "Good job Tidwell."

"Thanks, boss," Detective Dean Tidwell said with a pleased smile.

"Who knew that the Halloween Man was actually real," the officer said. "Your dad would be proud."

"Thank you boss," Tidwell said then walked away from the officer, and headed toward the little family.

"Mom. Dad. This is the guy who saved me," Sandy said to her parents.

"Detective Dean Tidwell," Tidwell greeted. "I'm sorry to give you a scare earlier, Little one, but I noticed a man that fit the description had been trailing you since you let your house…I'm glad I followed that hunch."

"Me too, Detective, me too." Manoucheca said.

With a smile and a pat on Sandy's head, "Happy Halloween, Kid."

To be continued…

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