The following is probably a work of FICTION.
It was sent back in time in a quantum bottle.
So who really knows for sure? ...

Feel free to reprint or take credit for it
(as if I could stop you), but please don't make
any changes, or I won't write anything new!


by TooMuchTime (

Copyright(c) 2002, TooMuchTime. All rights reserved.

Henry felt like an idiot. Here it was, Halloween. All his friends were out egging people's doors, throwing water balloons at cars, and just generally causing trouble -- exactly what every 14 year-old boy SHOULD be doing on this day in a small town ... exactly what he should be doing. Instead, thanks to his mom, who had to work an extra shift tonight, he got stuck walking his little sister Trish around for trick-or-treat. It just wasn't fair. He loved his sister and all, and she wasn't nearly as much of a pain in the ass as some 8 year-olds he knew, but still ... when was his mother going to understand that he was growing up now, becoming a man, and that he didn't want to be a babysitter any more?

"Let's go down Dogwood Street," Trish said, tugging at his hand. This year, she was a white bunny rabbit. The costume was store-bought, and Henry himself had taken her to go buy it, at the local 5-and-10 shop.

"Why Dogwood?" he asked.

"Because nobody's over there," she said. "Maybe they have more candy."

Henry didn't quite get the logic of this, but he agreed anyway. "Whatever." It seemed to him, if no other kids were on this street, it probably meant there was no candy to be found. But he didn't feel like arguing with her. They'd been out for about an hour now, her bag was getting pretty full, and he could tell she was getting tired. Soon, she'd get cranky. Dogwood Street would take them back to Canal Street, they could make a right, and a few blocks later they could cut up Fairlawn Street and head home.

It turned out he was right. There were no porch lights on at all on Dogwood ... and therefore no candy. By the time they reached the small, quiet intersection with Canal, Henry was more convinced than ever that it was time to just go home. He noticed that his shoelace was untied, and told Trish to stand still while he took care of it. As he knelt down, he heard some voices approaching out of the darkness down the street. He recognized them immediately. It was Joe and Eddie and Russ, his friends, laughing it up. Shit, he thought. The last thing he wanted was to put up with ribbing from those guys right now. He'd lied to them the day before, and told them he was going to a party at his cool older cousin's house, two towns over, where he'd probably be playing kissing games with older girls. If they found out what he was really doing, he'd never hear the end of it. Bad enough they always made fun of him for being the shortest one in the pack.

Henry grabbed his little sister's hand and quickly ducked into the bushes in front of a large house on the corner.

"What are you do--" Trish started, but he quickly clamped a hand over her mouth.

"Ssshhh," he whispered. "Just be quiet for a few minutes."

To Trish's credit, she did as she was told. Henry quickly noticed, however, that the streetlight was shining directly on them, and that if his friends passed by close enough, the bushes wouldn't provide much protection at all from being seen. Again, he grabbed his sister's hand and scurried low with her across the small yard in front of the house, this time not stopping until they'd reached the shadowed safety of a narrow alley between the large house and the one next to it. He let go of Trish's hand and peeked around the wall to see what the guys were doing. Thank god, he thought. As he watched, they passed the spot where he'd been tying his shoe, laughing and talking about something, and continued on down Canal Street. When Henry couldn't hear their voices any more, he took a deep breath. That was too close, he thought.

Before this surge of relief had time to settle in, though, he was presented with a whole new dilemma.

Without warning, there was a bright light in front of his eyes. It took them only a few seconds to adjust, but when they did, he realized that he was standing directly in front of a window, and that somebody inside the large house had just turned the light on in that room. Shit, he thought again. Now he was going to get in trouble for lurking outside people's windows. His first instinct was to immediately grab Trish and run again, but a voice inside his head told him to stay calm. So he pushed his back flat against the alley wall, kept very quiet, and waited.

The bottom of the windowsill was about 3 feet off the ground, and fell just about at chest height for Henry, who didn't take long to figure out that he was looking at a bathroom. It was twice the size of the one that he and his mother and sister shared. Along the wall that he had the best view of were wall-to-wall mirrors, which extended from the ceiling down to the sink level. The fixtures on the sink itself, as well as everything in the bathroom, were shiny and fancy. Clearly, whoever lived here had a lot more money than his family did.

Henry didn't have much time to size the room up, though, because the person who'd turned the light on was already walking through the door. It was a woman, about his mother's age, with shoulder-length black hair and very striking features. He guessed she must be Italian, because her complexion was fairly dark and her nose, while almost too big, seemed to suit her face. It was framed nicely by wide brown eyes like a doe's. As for her body, well ... that caught his attention immediately. All she wore was a short pink bathrobe, cinched tightly around her thin waist. Stopping at half-thigh, it accentuated not only her toned legs and wide hips, but also the noticeable swell of her chest. This girl looked just as "stacked" as his friend Joe's mother and older sister, both of whom Henry had drooled over countless times in the past. He began to wonder if it was an Italian thing, and if so, he might consider moving to Italy when he got older.

Again, a surge of fear shot through him, and he considered running. But by now, his hormones were beginning to get the better of him. He'd never seen a naked woman in person before, and on the off chance that he might see one now, he didn't see how he could pass up the chance. So once again, he decided to keep very quiet ... and wait.

As he watched, the woman turned to face the mirror almost as soon as she entered the room, sparing not even so much as a glance at the window. She turned the water on in the sink, then used a scrunchie to pull her hair back as she presumably waited for it to get warm. Testing the water again, she reached down, splashed some on her face, then began to soap it up with something she had in a jar -- probably Noxema or one of those other smelly things his mom used. He wasn't nearly as interested in this, though, as he was with the fact that as she vigorously scrubbed her face, it set her boobs to jiggling inside her robe, which was as beautiful a sight as he could imagine ... and which set his manhood to rising inside his jeans.

After a minute or so of this, the woman rinsed her face off, dried it, then turned and walked to the shower on the other side of the bathroom, still seemingly unaware of his presence outside the window. At this point, Henry could only see her reflection in the mirror ... but he could still see her. And when she reached in to turn the water on in the shower, it set his heart to jack-hammering inside his chest. Because if she was taking a shower, it meant she had to take the robe off first, which meant that any minute now ...

But then everything suddenly changed. The woman stopped, and looked over her shoulder toward the still-open door with a look of consternation on her face. She reached back into the shower and turned it off, then -- much to Henry's dismay -- left the bathroom, flipping the light off on the way out. Shit, he thought again. I just never get a break.

"Oh well," he muttered. And in that moment of disappointment, Henry suddenly remembered his sister. It was probably just as well that things hadn't gone any further than they did, considering that she was standing right next to him. He spoke quietly into the darkness. "Ready to go, shrimp?" He reached his hand out, thinking he'd feel her head a foot away from him. But there was nothing there. "Trish?" No response. He dared to speak a little louder, he eyes trying to adjust to the darkness in the alleyway. "Trish, where are you?" He made his way slowly and quietly up the alleyway. It was the only way she could have gone, because he'd have noticed her walking past him back out into the yard. "Dammit, Trish, quit playing."

By the time Henry reached the end of the alley, he realized what had happened. Peeking around the wall, he could see the woman ushering Trish into the house through the back door. He back-tracked along the wall to the first window, which looked into the kitchen, and saw the woman squat down to his sister's height and touch her face. Apparently, Trish was crying. Great, he thought. I guess I won't be winning any brother of the year awards this year. Let's see what kind of a shit-fit mom has about this when she finds out.

There was only one thing to do. Henry took a deep breath, then left the alley, walked around to the door, and knocked. The woman answered right away, and as she pushed the storm door open, the first words out of her mouth were, "You must be Brother Henry."

He felt immediately guilty, and thought for sure that it must be showing on his face. It was one thing to peep on somebody through a window, and it was another thing entirely to have to then talk to them face to face a few minutes later. "Yeah, I'm Henry," he said.

"Come on inside," the woman said, smiling. "She hasn't been here long." She had a noticeable accent. Maybe she was not only Italian, but actually from Italy?

Before he was even two steps in the door, Trish rushed up and hugged him. "Where were you?"

"I was right there ..." For obvious reasons, he hesitated to say exactly where he was, instead adding, "where we were."

"No you weren't." His sister's voice was getting angry now.

The woman came to Henry's rescue, though. She put her hand on Trish's head. "Now now," she said. "Your brother is here now. That is the important thing, no?" Trish shrugged, letting go of him, and gravitating toward the obvious maternal comfort of the woman instead, who took advantage of the moment to offer his sister some cookies.

"Thanks," Henry said. "But we should be getting home." In the process of making eye contact with the woman, his eyes panned up from Trish's face to the woman's, and along the way, couldn't help but notice that her robe was considerably looser than it had been in the bathroom. Perhaps squatting down had loosened it? In any event, from this angle there was enough of a gap between the folds to show off the side of one breast. He only lingered on the sight a moment, but thought for sure that she would notice. Yet if she did, she didn't seem to react in any way.

Trish, meanwhile, had other priorities. "Why can't I have cookies?"

"Please," the woman said. "I insist. Someone with such a cute kitty cat costume should have some cookies and milk."

"Hey, I'm not a cat, I'm a rabbit!" Trish yelled.

"Oh, I am sorry," the woman said, giggling as she raised a hand to her mouth. "A bunny rabbit, of course! Please excuse me. I may as well almost be blind without my glasses on." Interesting, Henry thought. No wonder she hadn't noticed him standing outside the window, or copping a look at her just now. "So what does big brother say," she asked. "Can the cute bunny rabbit stay and have some cookies?"

"Sure, why not?" Henry said, his eyes this time focusing down directly at her chest as he spoke. When they returned to her face, it was clear that she'd noticed nothing. This is too cool, he thought. He could pretty much stare all he wanted, and she'd never realize. Almost as good as being invisible -- a fantasy he'd had more than once.

The woman poured a glass of milk, then brought it, a plate of cookies, and Trish to the adjoining dining room. Henry watched her all the while, and quickly began to realize that she was even more attractive up close than she'd seemed from outside the bathroom window. Very pretty, and with a seductive wiggle to her step. The way her breasts shifted and settled inside the thin robe with only the slightest motion was almost mesmerizing. And the way her firm round ass looked through the robe when she bent over to put everything on the table ... incredible. Without his even realizing it, a fresh new erection had cropped up in his pants, and he wished more than anything that he could reach in and start jacking off right there on the spot. But of course this would be a bad idea. There was no way she could be THAT blind, was there? Still, there was another option ...

"Excuse me," he said to the woman, "but could I use your bathroom?"

"Yes, certainly. It's right down that hall. I think the light is still on."

"Oh, I see it. Thanks." Henry made his way down the hall, and felt an odd sense of deja vu as he stepped into the bathroom -- just as he'd watched the woman do ten minutes ago -- and pushed the door shut behind him. The door was old and skewed, and didn't quite click in place or anything, but after giving it the hardest push he could, it seemed to stay put. He did, however, make a point of quickly pulling down the shade, for obvious reasons. After this, he wasted no time. Within seconds, his pants and underwear were down around his ankles and he was sitting on the toilet seat, his skinny legs spread at the knees, his eyes closed, a clear image of the busty Italian woman in his mind, stroking himself for all he was worth.

This went on for about ten minutes, until Henry could tell that he was just on the verge of cumming. He paused, opening his eyes to find the toilet paper or tissues he'd need to use to catch the mess as he made it ... and saw something that terrified him. The door to the bathroom was open. Wide open. And the woman was standing in it. With glasses on. Watching him, with kind of an amused expression on her face. "Having fun?" she asked.

Henry's first impulse was to blurt out, "Oh, SHIT!" which he did, and struggled to reach down and pull his pants up as fast as possible. But he was in too much of a rush. The maneuver was clumsy at best, and he only succeeded in falling over onto the floor and nearly banging his head on the sink on the way down.

The woman's first reaction was to raise one hand to her face, shush him, then take another step into the room and re-shut the door behind them. "Quiet," she said. "Your sister is asleep at the table. You'll wake her."

This, of course, immediately confused Henry. What was she talking about? How was the fact that his sister was asleep more important than the fact that he'd just been caught masturbating in a stranger's house? He brought himself to a sitting position on the floor, and again started struggling with his pants, trying to pull them up, his erection wagging around all the while. Again, he fell over.

"Calm down," the woman said. "You are going to hurt yourself. Bang your head or something."

Almost frantic now, Henry tried again to sit up, his hand slipped on a throw rug, and down he went once more. Frustrated, he realized that he'd begun to cry. He felt embarassed, ashamed, guilty, and afraid, and didn't know how to handle those emotions all at once. Dammit no, he thought. Don't cry, not now. But the tears were already there. He'd always been an emotional child, prone to cry for no reason at all, and took some ribbing for it when he was in grade school. He thought he'd outgrown it. Apparently he hadn't yet.

"Oh, now now," the woman said. "It's okay." Her voice was suddenly very close, and as Henry glanced up, he saw that she was squatting beside him. Her hands found his shoulder and she helped him up to a sitting position, propping his back against the wall. Then, to continue the comedy of errors, her foot slipped on the same rug that his hand had a few moments before, and down she came as well ... right on top of him. Instinctively, Henry threw up his hands to break her fall -- one caught her arm, and the other caught her stomach. But something short, sweet, and amazing happened as well ...

As the woman fell, her chest landed directly on Henry's face. In fact, for all of about ten seconds, as both of them readjusted their weight, her warm breasts pressed and rolled against his face, the satin of her robe whispering smoothly across his skin and the subtle smell of her perfume filling his nose. For Henry, it was perhaps the most profound experience he'd ever had in his life. What's more, several times her hip and leg bumped his erection, which up till that moment had begun to flag a bit. Now, however, it sprang to life again.

"I am sorry," the woman said, finally getting her bearings and taking a seat on the floor, sitting Indian-style in front of him. "I can be so goffa sometimes."

"So what?"

"Goffa ... uh, clumsy?" It must have been an Italian word.

"Oh. It's okay," Henry said, still crying a bit, trying to pull his legs up to hide his aroused member. But by now, his pants and shorts were so tangled around his ankles that he couldn't even manage this much. His hard cock stood up straight and tall -- well, as tall as it got anyway -- and was as obvious as a giant fly in a small bowl of soup. "I should be the one saying I'm sorry."

The woman looked more amused than ever. "It's okay," she said, reaching out to put a warm, well-manicured hand on his knee. Her nails were painted a bright red, and this seemed to arouse him all the more for some reason. "You are just doing what boys your age do. There is no reason to be sad about it."

"I know, but ... in your bathroom. That was wrong."

"Why?" she said, looking almost insulted. "Is my bathroom not good enough for you to pleasure yourself in?"

Henry didn't know how to respond to this. "I ... no. I mean, yes. Of course it is. Obviously."

"Well then," she smiled. "What is wrong with it then?"

"Nothing, I guess. If ... it's not wrong to you. I guess."

"It is most certainly not wrong to me. But may I ask why you chose my bathroom?"

Uh oh, Henry thought. This could get tricky. "I ... um. I don't know. I was just in the mood?"

"Just regular teenage boyness?" she asked, gesturing to his exposed erection.

"Yeah. Something like that."

"There was nothing specific to make it happen?"

"Well ... I don't know."

"You don't know? Or do not want to say?"

"I ... both I guess." Henry couldn't make up his mind if he was really enjoying this conversation or if he wanted to run screaming into the night. A bit of both maybe. He'd never had a conversation this frank about horniness with anybody, much less an attractive woman who was twice his age.

"Why, what are you afraid to say?" she asked, again looking almost insulted.

"You know. Just ... private things. Embarrassing things."

"What, you can sit here letting me see your splendida erezione, but you can't tell me what made it that way?"

"Splendido what?"

She giggled at bit at this, then pointed slyly at his lap. "Your beautiful hardness."

Did she just say beautiful? He blushed instantly. She was probably just being polite. Still, she was right, of course. What was there to hide at this point, really, considering what she'd seen already? Still, he wasn't sure ...

"Please," she said, leaning forward, offering a clear glimpse of her ample cleavage, whether she meant to or not. "There are no secrets here. Tell Mama Gina all about it." But as Henry stared down into her robe, into the valley between her magnificent breasts, she apparently figured it out for herself. "Oh, I see. Is that what this is all about?"

Henry shook himself out of his drooling reverie. "What? Sorry. I didn't mean to --"

"Did not mean to what? Stare at my tettas?" Henry didn't need a translation for that one. It sounded close enough to the word he and his friends used. She smiled devilishly. "Oh, I think you did mean to."


"In fact, I think maybe you were staring at them in the kitchen, when I didn't have my glasses on yet. Weren't you?"

Henry nodded.

"And I think maybe you liked Mama Gina's tettas so much that you had to come in here and pleasure yourself. Am I right?"

Again, Henry nodded. "Yes," he said, his voice cracking.

"Well well," she said. "Arrapato E onesto." This time, Henry just looked confused, and waited for the translation. "You are both a horny AND honest boy."

"I try to be," Henry replied. "Um ... honest I mean."

"Well, I believe that honesty should be rewarded," she said, still smiling, and reached down to the sash on her robe. Slowly, teasingly, she untied it. "Do you agree?" she asked.

"Y-yes. Definitely." Henry hoped he wasn't dreaming.

The woman ran a fingernail up and down the hem of the robe, teasing it open just a little. "Are you ready for your reward then, young Henry?"

"Oh yes."

She glanced down at his now throbbing erection. "Yes. I think you are." With this, she spread the robe open and pushed it aside. Her now-revealed tits bobbled slightly. They were perfect. As huge if not huger than Henry had expected, bigger than the biggest grapefruit he'd ever seen, round and firm, the nipples dark and wide and erect and curving outward slightly. If only she really was his "Mama", he didn't think he would ever have stopped breast-feeding.

At this point, Henry didn't quite know what to do. He stared, of course, his mouth partly open. More than any other time in his life, he wanted to jerk off. But for all of her sexual teasing, he wasn't sure whether she'd get mad about it him doing that in front of her or not. All he knew was that he was about to explode.

"So, Henry. Tell me. Are they everything you dreamed they would be?" she asked.

"Oh yes," he said. "And more. Holy shit, more. They're beautiful!"

She smiled. "It makes Mama Gina very happy to hear you say that." With this, she pushed the robe off entirely, over her shoulders and down her back, uncrossing her legs and standing all in the same motion. The robe fell to the floor around her feet -- which he saw now had toenails painted the same bright red as her fingernails -- and Henry was greeted to a worm's-eye view of her black bush looming above him.

He'd seen pictures of several women's pussies in dirty magazines before, of course, but all of them, it seemed, had been either trimmed to almost nothing or shaved entirely. Hers, however, was lush and dark and hairy, almost the size and shape of some of the smaller bikini bottoms he'd seen girls wear at the beach. Unlike the women in the magazine, hers added a bit of mystery to the sight. He couldn't help but wonder what it would feel like to run his fingers through that bush ... or even his face. What would it smell like?

Henry let his hungry eyes trail upward, where they fixated once again on her amazing breasts, which from this angle jutted out even more seductively from her body, swaying slightly as she moved her weight from one foot to the other. She reached her arms down to him. "Stand up, please." He did as she said, taking her hands and allowing her to pull him up. Once they were both standing, facing each other, the height difference between them became even more noticeable than it had been in the kitchen. She stood almost a foot taller than him ... which put her tits directly in his face once again. "Now give Mama Gina a big hug," she said, and Henry almost fainted on the spot.

Again, though, he did as he was told. He reached his arms around her as she did the same, and as they hugged, her huge wonderful bare tits pressed into his face. The nubs of her hard nipples kissed his cheeks. "Such a good boy you are," she said, reaching her hand up to the back of his head, running her long red nails through his hair as she rocked her body a bit, until one of her nipples landed squarely in front of his mouth. "Mama Gina loves her bamabino so much." Hearing this, remembering what he'd thought about before -- breastfeeding -- he couldn't resist any longer. Carefully, he opened his lips, and let her nipple enter his mouth. Then he waited to see what she would do.

"Oh, the baby is hungry, is he?" Instead of getting angry or pushing him away, she gripped his head and pulled it even closer. He took this as his cue to take even more of her nipple, her sweet soft tit into his mouth and begin suckling it, licking it, kissing it. This is it, he thought. This is heaven. I don't remember when I died, but I must have.

Meanwhile, his throbbing cock, which had been poking straight out in the air between her long legs, now brushed against the inside of her warm thigh, sending a jolt of electricity through his body. He wanted, needed to touch it -- to stroke it -- so badly. So as he hungrily suckled her tits, he slowly reached down to do just that.

"No no no," she said, slapping his hand lightly a split-second before it made contact. "That's Mama Gina's job."

Henry's first instinct was to be frustrated. Until he realized what she was saying. "Your job?"

"My job, yes," she said, smiling. Then, without any warning, she took him by the shoulders and gently pushed him against the wall. With her chest still in his face, one tit still glistening from his saliva, she reached down and gently ran her fingernail along the underside of his throbbing member. Again, Henry felt something like electricity pass through him. It was the first time anybody other than himself or a doctor had touched his cock. Next thing he knew, she was gripping it lightly, barely touching it with the skin of her fingers ... a teasing, tickling sensation that made him stand on tippy toes. "Does that feel good?" she asked.



She teased his shaft a few more times like this, nearly driving him insane, then stopped, and began to shrink. Well, not shrink actually, but get shorter. She was lowering herself down, getting to her knees. Oh my god, Henry thought. She can't be ... is she? A moment later, there she was, on her knees, peering up at him, her tits at the level of his cock. Considering this, it didn't seem likely that she'd be able to put him in her mouth. Not unless he grew some in the next few minutes or unless she had a spine made of rubber.

But this quickly became a moot point. Because the next thing she did happened so quickly that it seemed she might have had it in mind all along. Putting a hand under each tit, she leaned in closer to him and wrapped the beautiful globes around his erection like a bun around a hotdog, then shook them playfully up and down. The sight of it, the thought of it, the feel of it drove Henry instantly insane. It was something he had fantasized about a thousand times in the past.

Finally, the electricity that had been building up could no longer be contained. He was overexcited to the point of no return. As his balls began to contract, Gina seemed to sense what was about to happen. She pulled herself back a bit, then brought one hand up to grasp his cock. Expertly, she stroked it, milked it. Almost immediately, it exploded, the first blast of semen shooting out so fast and hard it nearly made a splattering sound as it struck her just beneath the chin. "Oh yes," she said, grinning widly. "Show Mama how much you love her." And so he did.

Henry's body sang with a humming kind of pleasure as wave after wave of cum jetted out of him, urged on by this beautiful woman's hand. Warm, thick strings of it painted her tits and neck -- over and over -- more of it than he even realized he had to offer. It seemed as if he must have shot out a gallon already by the time the orgasm subsided. And even then, as the cum dwindled to a trickle, his cock continued to spasm quietly. Using his own cum as a lubricant, the woman continued to stroke, more gently now, concentrating mostly on the tip, the most sensitive area. As sensitive as it was now, the sensation was overly intense, and sent a shudder through his body that culminated in making him laugh. Finally, he couldn't take it any more. "N-n-no more," he sputtered. "Please. It's too much."

And so the woman stopped, then stood, smiling widely like the cat who's just eaten the canary. Henry could see his dripping seed spread out all over her chest and neck, and thought he may never glimpse a more beautiful sight. He wondered what would happen now. The possibilities were endless.

Just then, a small voice came from down the hall. "Henry?" His heart sank as he realize it was his little sister. "Where are you?"

As his eyes met "Mama Gina's", she seemed to anticipate the question on his mind. Shrugging, the woman said, "I guess she woke up. Perhaps you should let her know you are here."

Henry nodded, trying not to let his disappointment show through too much. He started toward the door, then realized that his pants were still down around his ankles and pulled them up and buttoned them. Once at the door, he paused to turn back and gaze with longing at the tall, dark-skinned, buxom beauty he was leaving behind. As if to tease him once more, she ran two fingers up along one of her tits, scooped up a fair amount of his still-dripping cum, then licked and sucked the fingers clean. Then she winked at him, and shooed him away. "Your sister is waiting."

The next time he saw Gina, it was in the kitchen again, when she emerged from the bathroom dressed in the robe to say goodbye to he and his sister. After some prodding, a sleepy Trish thanked her for the cookies, and Henry thanked her for finding his sister.

"It is nothing, really," the woman said, a bit slyly. "Any time." As she said this last bit, she made full and deliberate eye contact with Henry. "Any time at all," she said again, then winked.

Encouraged by this, Henry felt his erection begin to rise, and decided that now was as good as any time to make his escape, fairly certain that she'd just invited him back for another round of fun whenever he wanted. He and his sister said their final goodbyes, and as they disappeared into the night, Henry could feel an extra spring in his step.

*          *          *

The next day, after school, Henry made a point of ditching his friends when they all got off the bus. They were going downtown to buy some comic books, but he claimed to have to do some yard work for his mom. They hounded him for being a momma's boy, but let him go, and once he knew they couldn't see where he was going, he cut down Dogwood Street, just as he had the night before. But when he got there, he was instantly confused.

He knew where the house was. Or rather, he knew where it was supposed to be. But it wasn't. Which is to say, there was nothing on the piece of property but a wide lawn of green grass. Henry spun around a few times to get his bearings. Maybe he was wrong? But the more he looked around, the more sure he became that he was looking in the right spot. But ... how was that possible?

He spotted a middle-aged man raking leaves on the other side of the bushes he and his sister had ducked through the night before, and started down the sidewalk toward him. "Excuse me," he said.

"Yes?" The man lowered his rake to his side.

"Um ... this might sound like a stupid question. But didn't there used to be a house here?"

The man looked over his shoulder at his own house. "There still is. Right there."

"No, I mean ... where this yard is. Another house, right next to yours."

"Next to mine?" He shook his head. "Nope. Well ... not for a long time anyway."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, there used to be a house on this lot. A big one. But that was a long time ago. Before you were ever born. It burned down to the ground back in the forties. The whole family died, I think. My father bought up the lot for almost nothing, and it's been the way you see it ever since."

"Oh," Henry said, a persistent chill running up and down his spine.

"It was a shame too," the old man went on. "They were nice people as I remember. I was only a boy at the time. Italian or Greek, I think they were. They had money for some reason, when nobody else did. My friends and I always got the impression it was dirty money. Like maybe they were the children of gangsters or something."

"Oh," Henry said again. "Um ... what do you remember about the people who lived here?"

"Well, I don't remember much about the father. He got sent off to Japan during The War and never came back. The mother, though, she was hard to forget. Very beautiful. Dark hair, tall, dark skin." A wistful expression passed over the man's face. "She was ... quite a woman. And nobody's victim either. Even with a dead husband and all that money, she always helped out where she could. She babysat half the kids in the neighborhood at one point."

"Do you ... happen to remember what her name was by any chance?"

"Her name?" The man scratched the back of his sweaty neck. "Hm. Not sure I do."

"Was it Gina maybe?" Henry asked.

"You know, that sounds right. She babysat us a few times, and I can remember now, she used to make us all call her Mama Gina." The man chuckled. "Yeah, that was it. Mama Gina." He sighed. "Quite a woman, she was."

"Well ... thank you," Henry said, and started to walk away, his mind buzzing.

"Hey, how did you know what her name was?" the man asked.

"I ... um ... somebody just told me a story about her once."

The man nodded. "I'd love to hear that story someday. She was--"

"I know," Henry said. "She was quite a woman."

Boy, did he know. He wasn't sure how exactly it was possible that he should know ... but he did.

Just like he knew that the phrase "Trick or Treat" would never have the same meaning again.