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October 31st, 1989

Kevin sat at the piano, letting his fingers dance gracefully over the black and white keys. Meanwhile, a young girl from their church choir jumped in right on time to start singing the song they were rehearsing for mass. “My Jesus… my Savior, Lord there is none like You… all of my days, I want to praise, the wonders of your mighty love…”

Brian, his cousin, jumped in next. “My comfort… my shelter, tower of refuge and strength… let every breath, all that I am, never cease to worship You…”

The choir, altogether, belted out the chorus. “Shout to the Lord, all the earth let us sing… the power of Majesty, praise to the King, mountains bow down and the seas will roar, at the sound of Your name… I sing for joy at the works of your hands, forever I’ll love You, forever I’ll stand… nothing compares to the promise I have In You…”

Kevin continued to play the keys of “Shout To The Lord” and had stopped when their music director signaled him to cut. “Great job everyone.” their music director had told them. “I’m very proud of each and every one of you. I want you all to be here when?”

“8:00 sharp.” everyone replied in unison.

He simply smiled as he began to clap. “Very good. You’re all dismissed.”

Kevin rose from where he sat at the piano and began to make his way out of the church. He felt a presence fall in step beside him, but didn’t turn to address the person.

“I’m very proud of each and everyone of you.” the person beside him mocked in a distinguished tone.

Kevin laughed as he shoved Brian away from him, “Shutup cous, we ain’t even out of the church yet and you’re making fun of the man.”

“You just said shutup… in the Lord’s house man.”

“You just said it too.”

“But I… dangit.”

“And you also said that word.”

“What word?”

“The “d” word.”

“What “d” word?”

“I ain’t falling for that… you ain’t getting me to say it.”

“I tried.”

“Are you gonna follow me home or something?” Kevin asked as he finally turned to address his younger cousin.

“Me?” Brian asked as he pointed to himself. Kevin only laughed and shook his head. His cousin had a strong southern accent that was hard to miss. He had an accent too, just not as strong. When he was younger though, he always wondered why he was the only one in the family that didn’t have a southern twang, but quickly picked it up.

“No, the guy behind you.” Kevin finally replied.

Brian began to turn around, which only caused Kevin to roll his eyes and playfully push him away. “You dork.”

“Nah, I’m going to your house because we’re going trick-or-treating.” Brian said with a big smile.

“Trick-or-treating?” Kevin repeated. “Uh, aren’t you a little too old for that?”

“Who said anything about me trick-or-treating? Mom and dad’s over at your house right now as we speak… they gave us the duty of taking our snotty little cousins out to trick-or-treat.”

“Are you serious?”

“Why would I make something like that up?”

“I don’t know… cause you’re a dork.”

“Are not!”

“Am too!”

As they continued to banter back and forth, they crossed a house that looked desolate and rundown. The house looked extremely old and about to fall at any given moment. The lawn was completely dead, and the house was encased by dead flowers, vines and weeds.

Brian shivered a bit, “That house gives me the creeps. Doesn’t it remind of that house that was in ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’… I think it was Boo Radley’s house.”

Kevin completely ignored his cousin as he continued to stare at the dead lawn in front of him. “I don’t think anyone lives there… I keep asking dad if I could take care of the lawn.”

“Why would you want to take care of the lawn?”

Kevin shrugged as they continued walking, “I don’t know… gives me something to do I guess.”

Brian rolled his eyes, “Whatever you say tree-hugger!”

Kevin looked over at his younger cousin and grabbed him in a light headlock, ruffling his hair. “What did you just call me?”

“Nothing!” Brian laughed, struggling to get free from his grasp.

As they neared Kevin’s house, Brian shook his head upon seeing their green grass and abundance of floral life. “I feel like I’ve just entered the secret garden…”

Kevin rolled his eyes, “Shutup.” he said as he began to walk up the path towards his house. “And stay off the grass!” he shouted before he disappeared into his house.

“And stay off the grass.” Brian mimicked as he walked into the Richardson’s home, immediately finding his parents in the living room, conversing with Aunt Anne and Uncle Jerald.

“Hi sweetie.” his mother said from the couch. “How was choir practice?”

“It was good mom.” Brian quickly replied as he bypassed his family and little cousins, making his way towards Kevin’s room, knowing that’s where he automatically went.

He opened the door, to find Kevin watering the potted plants that decorated his room. “Don’t you know how to knock?” Kevin asked as he continued to water his plants.

Brian closed the door behind him and rested against it. “Sorry, had to get out of there… it’s pure chaos man, I don’t see how our parents can sit there talking with those little runts running around.”

“The little runts we’ll soon be taking out to trick-or-treat.” Kevin said with a lack of enthusiasm.

“Aww, c’mon Kevy… where’s your holiday spirit?”

“This isn’t a holiday Brian.”

“Well, I thought of an idea. So, you know that old, rickety house we passed by on the way here?” when Kevin nodded, he continued on. “Well, I think we should take the kids there, tell them a spooky story and scare the poop out of them.”

“Scare the poop out of them?” Kevin repeated, laughing.

“Well, I don’t see you coming up with any better ideas!”

“How’s about this…” Kevin walked up to him, as if he was going to tell him a secret. “You take them trick-or-treating.”

Brian’s eyes widen as he watched his cousin walk away, a grin on his face. “You enjoy torturing me, don’t you?”

“Now, why would you think such a thing?” Kevin replied sarcastically.

“Well gee, I don’t know… maybe because you…” Brian stopped in the middle of his sentence when something on Kevin’s desk caught his eye. “Whoa… what in the world is that?”

Kevin turned to find Brian at his desk, looking down at a bunch of metal parts and tools. “It’s a fighter jet model kit my dad brought me for my birthday… I have yet to figure out how the heck to construct it.”

Brian marveled over the metal pieces and tools, looking everything over. “I think I could figure it out.” he muttered as he continued to look everything over.

“Be my guest.” Kevin replied with a shrug. “The instructions are in my desk.”

Brian rolled his eyes, “Ppft, I don’t need no stinkin’ instructions…”

“Suit yourself.” and with that, he went back to watering his plants. Once he was done, he turned to find Brian sitting there, holding up a completed fighter jet model, a big grin on his face.

“No way.” Kevin said in disbelief as he made his way over towards Brian, grabbing the model jet out of his hand and holding it up. “There’s no way you could’ve… where are my instructions?”

“In your desk, where you said it was.” Brian replied, the smile never leaving his face.

“You mean to tell me… that you were able to construct this friggin’ model… in less than five minutes, with no instructions?”

Brian simply nodded, “Yep.”

“Well, if you’re so good, why don’t you take it apart right now in front of me.”

Without saying another word, Brian went straight to taking the jet model apart, working quickly and diligently. In less than three minutes, he was able to take the whole thing apart, leaving nothing but scattered pieces of metal.

“Now put it back together.”

Again, Brian was able to reconstruct the model in less than five minutes. Kevin stared at Brian with wide eyes. Brian simply gave him a smug look and had held his hand up, breathing on his nails and rubbing them on his shirt, pretending to shine them. “Yep… I’m marvelous, I know… some call it a gift.”

Kevin laughed as he playfully pushed Brian’s shoulder, “You’re a freak.”