Supply and Demand
Genre: A little
lighthearted romance and family comedy.
This is part of the One-Shot Halloween Challenge. Thanks to
Stephen Colbert and his report on the War on Halloween last
night for a little inspiration in this one.
Supply and Demand
"Any good booty, Matey?" Olivia asked in a pirate
voice that matched her costume.
Six-year-old Francesca, the butterfly, held open her bag as
they walked the sidewalk of downtown Springfield.
"More yucky candy corn," she said frustrated.
"Your dad likes candy corn," Natalia said
optimistically dressed in her witch costume.
"Dad has no taste," Francesca shot back.
"Outta the mouth of babes," Olivia muttered under
her breath while Natalia giggled, "Thatís not
"Yes it is," Francesca insisted. "He even
likes liver and onions. See? No taste."
Natalia sighed. "Your dad loves you so I know heís
got great taste."
"Well, not when it comes to food. Heíll love half
this bag because itís gross candy corn. Who gives little
packets of candy corn anyway?"
"Cheap people with no taste," Olivia replied,
which earned her a light slap from her wife. "What? Itís
true," she insisted.
Francesca reached into her bag and pulled out a book.
"Itís almost as bad as that crazy guy in white towel
giving out these little bibles," she added and then
tossed it back in with annoyance.
Natalia tried not to laugh. "He was wearing biblical
robes, Sweetie. Like Jesus wore?" she said in a reminding
"If that guy thinks heís Jesus, Iíd say heís got
the scariest house on the block!"
"Nailed it yet again," Olivia muttered once more
while Natalia tried not to laugh.
"Thatís not very nice to say," Natalia said.
"But itís true, Ma. He shouldnít be running around
and acting like God. Do you think Reverend Peters would act
"No," Natalia answered honestly.
"Right, so why canít that guy dress up in something
fun and give candy like normal people?"
"Well, some Christians..." Natalia began.
"Arenít cool like your Ma," Olivia piped in.
"I was going to say," Natalia stressed as she
continued, "They feel Halloween is a satanic holiday. Itís
designed to worship demons and evil things."
"No, itís not! We donít worship that stuff! We do
stuff as a family even if you are a witch."
"Excuse me?" Natalia asked. Francesca just waved
to her Maís outfit. "Oh, well, some people do worship
demons and evil things at Halloween," Natalia replied.
"Like who?" Francesca asked.
Olivia laughed. "You canít name one, can you?"
"Iím sure thereís someone," Natalia replied.
"Reva!" Olivia said.
"I know youíve had issues, but I donít think sheís
a devil worshipper," Natalia said. She then watched as
Francesca broke into a run toward eight-year-old Collin.
"Oh, you mean you SAW Reva; not that she was..."
"Evil?" Olivia offered. "Oh, Iíd never say
that about good ole Reva Shane- Lewis," she said
"Behave," Natalia warned her.
They approached Reva, who was also dressed like a witch. At
the moment, Collin, aka Superman, and Francesca were comparing
treats. Olivia grinned as she got closer.
"Those are some cool false teeth, Reva. Pretty
Reva looked annoyed, but then smiled. She didnít let
Olivia bait her. Instead, she calmly said, "Iím not
wearing fake teeth, Olivia."
"Oops, my mistake," Olivia said smugly.
Reva looked like she was considering a retort, but she let
it go and faced Natalia instead with a genuine smile.
"So, how are you, Natalia? Iím sure you have your
work cut out for you with this one," she as she motioned
"There are days," Natalia admitted and then
chuckled. Still, she hooked her arm around Oliviaís
affectionately. "But I wouldnít trade her. Howís Josh
"Good. Still in Central America, but coming home
"Mom, weíre missing houses!" Collin said like
he was playing beat the clock.
"Oh, fine," she told him. "Are you heading
to Company later?" she asked the Spencer-Rivera trio.
"Yep. Emmaís meeting us there," Natalia said
with a nod.
"Okay, we might see you again then. If not, Happy
"Same to you two," Natalia said as she ruffled
"Olivia," Reva said a bit too politely to be
"Reva," she returned in exactly the same tone.
After Reva and Collin walked to the next house, Natalia
shook her head.
"Iíll never understand why you just canít let
things go with her. Is this still about Josh because if youíre
still carrying a torch-."
Olivia nuzzled into Nataliaís ear. "Honey, I burn
for one person now Ė you. And you totally rock that witch
costume more than Reva ever could."
"You think so?" Natalia asked suggestively.
"I know so," Olivia said decidedly.
"Then let me cast a spell on you so you can explain
this whole Reva thing."
Olivia groaned. "Youíre killing my arousal level
with all this Reva talk."
Natalia giggled. "Tell me why you hate her."
Olivia sighed. "I donít hate her. You have to see it
for what it is. Reva will forever be my... frienemy."
"Has she made my life hell at times? You bet. When I
really needed someone, has she been there to watch my back?
You bet. I gave up trying to understand it a long time ago. Iíd
suggest you do the same."
Francesca began to walk past a house and Olivia motioned as
she spoke, "Hey, Lollipop," she called out.
"Youíre missing this one."
"Collin warned me... Just more candy corn."
She quickly made her way to the next house. Natalia and
Olivia just grinned at her ingenuity and time management
About an hour later, the porch lights were now out and jack
oí lanterns had been extinguished. Trick or treating came to
a close, so they made their way up the steps to Company.
"Can I ask something?" Francesca asked. "Why
wasnít Dad out here walking around? Weíre doing all the
work and he gets half the goodies?"
"Well, charge him a $.20 handling fee on any candy
piece he takes."
"Olivia," Natalia groaned.
"No, hear me out," she said as she had Francescaís
full attention. "You charge him and then use that money
to buy something you want. He doesnít get free candy and you
end up getting the candy you want at the store."
"Thatís smart!" Francesca said.
"Thatís extortion," Natalia added.
"No, thatís business!" Olivia countered them
both. "The exchange of goods and/or services for cash.
Capitalism at itís finest. So, before you let Pop reach in
the bag, you let him know the rules and you let no candy out
of your sight until he pays. Got it?"
"Got it!" Francesca replied.
"Youíre creating a monster," Natalia giggled.
"Monster. Heir. Call it what you will." Olivia
shrugged as she led her girls inside.
Once there, they found a small group of people, including
sixteen-year Emma, elbow deep in pumpkin guts.
"What in the world?" Natalia asked.
Emma sighed. "Buzz is baking pumpkin seeds so we have
to pick them out of all this... shiiiii-stuff. Iím going on
record to say this is gross beyond measure."
Olivia smiled and leaned over to kiss Emma on the temple.
"Howíd the party go with your friends? Is the farmhouse
She grinned. "Yes," she told her mom. "And
we only had two trick-or-treaters so the rest of the candy bag
is ours little sis," she added conspiratorially to
"Woohoo!" Francesca said.
"Did I hear a butterfly with a bag of candy say, ĎWooHooí
out here," Frank said as he came out from the kitchen.
Francesca dropped the bag and ran to Frank, who lifted her
into a hug. "Did you get lots of candy?" he asked.
"Yep!" she told him. "And candy corn too,
but if you want them there will be a small handle fee."
"Handling," Olivia whispered in her ear.
"Sorry, handling fee," Francesca corrected
herself as Olivia smiled.
"Why do I get the impression your Mom has something to
do with this?" Frank asked as he looked over to Olivia.
Olivia raised her hands in an Ďit wasnít meí fashion.
"Because itís her idea," Francesca said with no
The small group around them laughed.
"So whatís the price?" Frank asked. "A
college education someday?"
"Nope, itís only $.25 and it goes to the Francesca
Spencer-Rivera Fund for Candy Worth Eating."
"Is that so?" Frank asked with a laugh.
"I thought I said $.20," Olivia told her.
"The price went up," Francesca replied. "He
looks like he really wants candy," she said in a softer
Once more, everyone in the circle laughed.
"Ah, sheís already understanding supply and
demand," Olivia gushed. "Thatís my girl!"