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Keith John Paul Horcasitas

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Happy Halloween / Trick & Treat / All Saints Day
By Keith John Paul Horcasitas
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rated "G" by the Author.

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A Halloween Fantasy in the Future with ties to the movie "Planet of the Apes"

Permission provided by Mike Gruhn to use the comic.

It's Monday, October 31st in the year 2024, and life as we knew it has changed drastically since World War III destroyed most of the earth. Who would have thought that the Charlton Heston depiction in the Planet of the Apes movie would really come true as we noticed the Statue of Liberty toppled on the barren shores of the former Manhattan Island that we were walking on and rummaging through in search of other life and food?

I made 65 years of age in March and now could only dream of what had been my hope to retire then and continue part-time senior outreach work to supplement our income. We had moved to the Adirondacks in 2020 to enjoy the wonderful outdoors and climate that I had first been exposed to when I went to Blake's camp for a summer excursion back in 2011.

Not long after arriving to New York State, Maria and I had started a thriving “Prayer-Line” business - a praline bakery that she developed out of our home by Tupper Lake nestled in the beauty and grandeur of the Adirondack Mountains. No matter how passe' dot.coms had become more than a decade ago, we found a way to capitalize on people's insatiable appetite for some sweet indulgence while still striving to keep their overall health status in better management.

And my social work private practice and geriatric assessment and referral program, Prayer Care, that I had developed full-time in New York had blossomed as the age wave of baby boomers and their caregivers needed exponentially more help with their care needs. I had been also able to run that business out of my home per the extensive aging network of providers that I had been able to establish.

Here we were – a few survivors who happened to find a way to stay alive after hiding out in some caves on our Y2k-like stockpile of red beans and rice, water and Bergeron pecans for the past 1 ½ years. Being 'Yat natives from Louisiana and transplants to the Red Stick for many years before our move to the Big Apple area, it had taken us a while to get accustomed to the colder winters, but we had finally gotten used to it – with many more “cuddle alerts” there as the Baton Rouge television weatherman used to call them!

Fortunately, our adult kids and grandchildren were with us on the run, but there was no way for us to communicate with anyone else in the area or the world who may have survived the nuclear holocaust as all cell and other communication devices were non-functioning. After we had waited months for the nuclear fallout to clear, we finally were venturing out on foot after making our way south to “Wall Street” on the Hudson River per a make-shift raft that we had made.

Back in 2011, who would have thought that the growing turmoil in the Middle East would have eventually triggered such a tumultuous WW III within a decade? Like remnants of the old 9/11 attacks, everything was leveled with no skyline to speak of! We did our best in our travels to pay respects to and pray for all who had perished in the terrible cataclysmic events that had taken place. It was so lonely to feel like we were the only survivors maybe in the whole world!

As darkness settled in and everything was pitch dark except for what was illuminating from the beautiful full moon and stars that night, we settled into our shelter – which reminded us of that old ”Survivor Show” from the 1st decade of the century. No sooner had most of us started to snooze after bedtime prayers – I still like to sing the one by Ringo and The Beatles from the White LP – than we heard something we had sorely missed since the wars: another voice!

We got up and saw a large UFO nearby with friendly apes coming out and walking towards us with bags in their hands and cheering to have found us. In a beautiful harmonic chorus, we heard them chant, “Trick or Treat! Trick or Treat!” Since we had so many red beans and rice rations left over and as 'Yats that was always a tradition for Mondays, Maria just cooked up some more for our friendly aliens for a feast, including treating them to some of Maria's freshly made pralines.

In a return favor to us from our visitors, we were brought in an instant (like those “beam-me-up Scotty” Star Trek days) to the human colony on Mars in an earth-like enclosed atmosphere and got to see many other displaced friends for the first time since the tragic wars. What a great day that was and like another New Orleans tradition, the following day we commemorated the lives of many saintly people we had known who no longer were around – All Saints Day!     

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