13 Scary Stories for Tweens! Written by the Nardini Family. Now available at amazon.com. Read a spooky tale FOR FREE!!!


pretty sure my parents are aliens. I know this because they actually said I could go out with my friends tonight unsupervised. They said it was because I was a teenager now. Halloween night and no parents tag-ging along? Sweet!

    My friends and I decided to meet at the end of the block by the school. We all agreed our costumes had to be scary and we also agreed not to tell each other what we were going to be. Mine was so awesome. I rummaged through our junk closet and came up with a rainbow wig, an old red coat, and a straw hat. After borrowing some make-up from my mom, I was a scary clown. Perfect.

My friends were already waiting for me when I arrived. Harland was dressed like a mummy. He was covered head to toe with toilet paper. Bryce was dressed up like a creepy scarecrow and Jarrin was dressed like a zombie. We looked great.

“Let’s hit the houses while the treats are flowing,” Jarrin said.

“Dang. I forgot the toilet paper for the houses who give us bad treats,” Bryce said.

“No need to worry. We can always use Harland’s costume,” I said.

“Ha-ha, very funny Shaun,” he replied.

We spent about an hour trick or treating and had pretty full bags, but I guess it wasn’t enough for Bryce.

“Let’s steal some candy from little kids,” he said.

“Dude, that’s not cool,” I answered.

“Come on. Everyone does it,” Jarrin said.

“Little kids will be with their parents. It will never work,” Harland said and I was grateful. I didn’t want to steal from little kids.

“Then let’s steal from big kids,” Jarrin said as he approached three boys who were about our age.

Bryce and Jarrin cornered the boys up against a tree. “What are you guys supposed to be?” Jarrin laughed at them.

The biggest boy replied, “We are gypsies.”

“Gypsies, how lame!” Bryce laughed.

“Now give us all your candy,” Jarrin de-manded.

The smallest boy held out his bag of goodies. It was a pillowcase that was worn and shabby.

“That’s it?” Jarrin asked. “For all three of you? You are sharing one bag?”

The middle boy answered. “The smallest bite can bring pleasure to the tongue, but a greedy man who gobbles, tastes nothing.”

“Whatever. Just hand it over,” Jarrin said.

“Why don’t you leave them alone, Jarrin? We have plenty,” I said.

“Says who? Not me. What about you, Bryce? Do you have plenty?” Jarrin asked.

“Nope. I could use some more,” Bryce added.

I looked at the three boys again. They looked alike; they could be brothers. They had olive skin, black hair, and dark eyes. Their clothes were tattered and torn, and their shoes had holes. Pretty convincing cos-tumes, really.

The oldest boy grabbed the bag from the youngest boy, removed one small candy bar, and tossed the bag to Jarrin. He unwrapped the candy bar and divided it into three pieces sharing it with the other two boys. A very kind thing to do and also a bit brave.

“Wise choice,” Jarrin said. “You get to keep your teeth.” Jarrin held up his fist to scare them, but it didn’t rattle any of the boys.

I felt really bad about taking their candy. I knew Jarrin had a mean streak, but usually he kept it at harmless bullying. I’d noticed lately he was becoming meaner though.

“Give it back, Jarrin,” Harland said.

“Why don’t you make me?” he answered and pushed Harland.

Harland was the biggest guy out of all of us. I knew he could take Jarrin. He went to push him back and the oldest gypsy boy grabbed his arm.

“It’s okay,” he said. “We’re leaving.”

“I’m leaving, too,” Harland said. “And I’m done hanging out with you two thugs,” he added, looking right at Bryce and Jarrin.

“What about you, Shaun?” he asked.

“Yeah, Shaun. Are you going to hang with these losers or stay with us?” Jarrin jeered.

I knew the decision I made now would have big consequences. Jarrin was easily the most popular boy in school. Of course, most kids were scared of him, so that may have been why. I knew if I crossed him, I would no longer be part of the “A” crowd. Harland had been my friend since kindergarten. He was big and dorky, but he was a true friend.

“I’m with Harland,” I said.

“Oh really? Then you can leave your candy with us too!” he said and pulled a switchblade out of his pocket.

Wow! That got out of hand quick. I threw my candy at him and ran. Harland was on my heels. The three gypsy boys just strolled away like they had all the time in the world.

After about a half a block, we stopped to catch our breath. The three gypsy boys came around the corner.

“You guys alright?” the oldest one asked.

“We’re okay,” I answered, gasping for breath.

“You made a very wise choice tonight,” the middle one said.

“Not really,” I answered, finally getting my breath back. “We made a bad enemy I fear.”

The littlest boy just started laughing when I said this. Soon, the other two were laugh-ing too. They strolled away like they weren’t afraid of anything. It was a little bit creepy.

Harland and I walked home with heavy hearts at losing our Halloween booty and becoming “B” listers. I couldn’t help but worry what would happen Monday morning at school, now that we were on Jarrin’s enemy list.


On Monday, I entered my homeroom class cautiously. I fully expected Jarrin to dog me about Halloween night. I was scared he’d try to knife me. I was relieved to find he and Bryce were both absent.

I sat next to Harland and sighed. Just then, Shikeria bounced over to us. She always had the best gossip.

“OMG! Did you hear what happened to Jarrin and Bryce?” she practically gasped.

“No,” I answered.

“They were eating candy from an old tattered bag and it was spiked with razor blades! It cut their tongues off! Now they have to eat through a tube!”

“Will they die?” Harland asked.

“I don’t know,” she answered.

All I could think of was what that poor gypsy boy said: “The smallest bite can bring pleasure to the tongue, but a greedy man who gobbles, tastes nothing.”

It seemed to me that Jarrin and Bryce had tasted their last treat.

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