This is a story for the Halloween Challenge

A Halloween to Remember at Gulls-Way

By JeanneZ84

"Hey McCormick! Where the hell are ya?" Hardcastle called out all through the house as he went on a hunt to find Mark McCormick. The Judge finally found McCormick in the very last place he looked, in the kitchen, feeding his face as usual."Why didn't I think to look there first?" he muttered to himself.

McCormick looked up from his food and, after eating his last bite, said, "Hey good morning there, Judge. It looks like this will be a nice evening for the trick or treaters and the party tonight."

"Yea, McCormick. You better get a move on. You need to go into town and get us some costumes. I'm sure they are all picked over so you better get outta here soon as you can and get what you can get." After McCormick showered and changed, he headed out in search of costumes for the night's festivities.

Nearly two hours later, he returned. As he entered the front door of the main house, he yelled "Hey Hardcastle I'm home. Where are you?"

Hardcastle yelled back "Hey kiddo."

As McCormick headed in the direction he had heard the judge's voice from, he said " I found two perfect costumes judge. You are just gonna love them." As he was walking down the steps into the den, he made an abrupt stop and just stood there to admire how great the room was decorated. After a few seconds he whistled and said "Hey Judge! Great decorations!"

Hardcastle reached down behind his desk and picked up a pumpkin he had decorated and handed it to McCormick. The judge had made it look like McCormick by carving a big smile on its face and adding a curly haired wig. Grinning he handed it to his friend and said "McCormick this is your very own pumpkin. Happy Halloween."

Mark smiled."Thanks Judge, you really shouldn't have." Milt grinned, "Now that that's all over with, what costumes did you get?"

Mark avoided answering. "Well judge, let me finish getting the house and the grounds outside decorated first. I have all kinds of witches, ghosts and other spooky stuff to put up. Oh, before I forget, I got lots of candy for all the kids as well. I remember you told me that not many kids come around anymore, but I thought it was better to be safe than sorry." Mark quirked up an eyebrow before continuing. "When I come back in, we can get all the candy ready and then you can finally see the wonderful costumes I was able to get."

Within two hours, Mark was back in the house. He came in through the kitchen door to grab all the Halloween candy and bowls to take in to the den to show Hardcastle and to have Hardcastle help him sort it all out. After they sorted the halloween candy out, Hardcastle said in a growling voice "Alright McCormick, enough is enough. Where the hell are these costumes?"

McCormick showed him his own costume first to make it more of a surprise when he finally showed Hardcastle the costume Mark had chosen for him. Mark had chosen a costume that he thought was appropriate for himself. It was a costume of Tonto. As he handed Hardcastle his costume, the front door bell rang and McCormick went to answer it, missing Hardcastle's reaction to the costume when he opened it.

Opening the door, Mark was intrigued by the sight of Frank Harper dressed as his favorite detective, Columbo. The sight of the normally well dressed detective appearing so slouchy amused Mark. Before either man could comment, both heard a roaring growl from the den. As McCormick started to turn around. he heard the voice getting louder.

"McCormick!" Hurrying into the den, both men stopped short at the sight that greeted them. They burst out in a burst of uncontrollable laugher that just couldn't stop as they looked at the man's face who was wearing the best costume of all. McCormick thought it was very appropriate for him

It was a donkey costume. It had a very long tail and Hardcastle was not pleased at all. He said "What's's the big idea wise guy?"

Frank stopped laughing long enough to say, "Hey Milt! I see McCormick got you a terrific costume." As the rest of the guests for the party arrived, there were lots of laughs over Milt's costume, but all in all they all had a delightful time. McCormick played some Halloween music and there was punch and cookies and soon the kids started swarming to the door to say "Trick or treat!" The kids also got a nice laugh at Hardcastle's expense over the costume McCormick had chosen for him.

In the middle of the party, Hardcastle suddenly disappeared for several minutes and no one knew where he had gone. McCormick was even wondering if he maybe had upset the judge by the costume he chose, because that wasn't his intention. He had only meant it as something funny, a prank or a joke because of Halloween. He wouldn't hurt Hardcastle for the world. As McCormick was going upstairs to find out where the judge was, and if he was alright, Hardcastle came back downstairs.

McCormick said worriedly, "Judge, are you alright?"

The judge answered him gruffly, "Of course I am, McCormick" and walked back into the party.

Later, after everyone left and everything was cleaned up, McCormick suddenly said "You were thinking about your wife, how much she would have loved all of this, how much you miss her, weren't you Judge?"

Milt looked up at McCormick and said "Yea kiddo, I was. And yea she would have loved all of this." Then he started to walk out of the room but suddenly turned and said,"Hey McCormick." McCormick turned to look at him. "By the way, thanks for the little gavel I found in the pocket of my donkey costume." Then he walked away.