Cubes for Thu Mar 18 2021 00:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

The Halloween Climb

Every year, everyone in the apartment building1 put together an elaborate Halloween for the children. The rules were simple: Start at the ground floor and work your way up using the stairwell; the higher you went, the better the treats2… and more scary the tricks.

Xander had lived in the building for as long as he could remember. At a young age, he started participating in the celebration, but he had never made it to the top. It always seemed just around the corner3 and then one floor would trap4 or scare the courage out of him and he’d come racing down. One year, he remembered baby dinosaurs5 chasing him.

This year would be different. He had sneakily6 asked as many people as possible what they were planning for the climb. Most wouldn’t let on and talked7 about what they had done last year, but he was able to get enough information to plan ahead. He’d be rolling in candy in no time, counting8 all the ways he’d make it last.

He put on his costume — a superhero outfit9, this year — and took the elevator to the ground floor.