Guilt. It consumed him.
He knew now he shouldn’t have done it but, at the time he wasn’t thinking.
Oh, some people would excuse his actions as a fit of passion but the fact was, he wanted to. He’d heard about people who’d done similar things. They showed it in movies and talked about it on the pages of books.He always wondered what it would be like. What it would feel like.
Now he knew exactly what it felt like.
It felt awful.
Worse, he knew his actions were even affecting his appearance. Some choices you just couldn’t hide, but he needed to try.
Carefully he washed his hands, then scoured the sink. That finished he moved through the rest of the house, cleaning up the evidence of his ‘fit’ before his wife and children returned home from trick-or-treating. He didn’t want them to find out. They’d be shocked, hurt, angered.
He could just imagine the looks on their faces.
How could he have done such a thing?
With his stomach in knots he gathered up the last of the proof and took it outside to the trash. Carefully he buried it beneath the dinner refuse.
Walking in the back door, he heard the front door open. Excited shouts filled the air. They were home early. Maybe, if he didn’t act different…
Forcing himself to face his family, he moved down the hall and past the bathroom. He turned to look at his disheveled reflection in the mirror and grant himself a moment of self-loathing. Then he saw, with horror, a hideous stain still on his face. Evidence! Frantic he darted to the sink, turned on the water and scrubbed at the tell-tale sign.
His wife appeared in the doorway. “Why did you turn off all the lights, dear? Trick-or-treaters won’t come if the house is dark.”
A princess bounded into the room, toting her crown and a bag of goodies. “We got so much candy, Daddy!” she exclaimed, and dumped it on the bathroom rug.
A vampire squeezed in next. “Yeah, it was great, Dad! We got JoJo Balls and Chocolate Bursts.” Dracula looked into his bag, taking inventory. “I even got six packages of Fruit Chews, some cinnamon gum and licorice sticks, only nobody had any Peanut Crunches.” His fangs and bloody makeup frowned, but only momentarily. With delight, he looked up at his father. “Where are our Peanut Crunches, Dad?”
The princess jumped up from her treasures. “Yeah! We bought three bags.”
Three bags? The number horrified him.
Had he really eaten all three bags?
Deep in his stomach, he felt the answer rumbling. He’d turned off the porch light, taken the entire bowl of Peanut Crunches to the living room, turned on a Halloween show and stayed there eating one after another until the bowl was filled with empty wrappers and chocolate and peanut crisps littered the couch and covered his fingers.
Candy. He’d consumed it all.