The pair had known each other all their lives. Their parents were next door neighbours and they had played together before they could even walk. In kindergarten they had been inseparable and even today in grade school they sat together whenever they could despite the comments of their classmates. Even at night, or when they had been sent to their rooms for some innocent misunderstanding, they would talk to each other on the walkie talkies Sven had built.
Tonight, they were both grounded and were whispering to each other over the radios, trying to work out just where their latest idea had gone wrong. It had all started last Halloween when they had returned home with baskets that were not as full as they had hoped. There seemed to be quite a few houses in their neighbourhood that did not have doorbells or knockers and even though they had knocked on the wood until their little knuckles hurt nobody had come to the door. Some older children would have resorted to playing a trick on houses that did not answer but Sven and Llola were not that mean and had just left empty handed,
Sven had mentioned this to one of his older brothers and he had jokingly replied that perhaps Sven should invent a portable doorbell. Sven thought this was actually quite a good idea. He and Llola had spent many happy hours in his basement tinkering with some of his brothers’ cast off electrical components, linking batteries, bells, buzzers and switches to make something that would work. They finally came up with somethng that would work if pressed against a door but it was so heavy that it would take both of them to carry it and not let them collect any candy. Reluctantly they shelved the project.
About a week before this Halloween Sven had come in for dinner to find his brothers laughing over something that had happened at their high school. Someone had made up some special crystals in the chemistry lab that exploded if trodden on or thrown. They had scattered these down the main aisle of the school hall before assembly. As the principal had walked down the aisle there had been a series of flashes and bangs and little coils of purple smoke as his shoes hit the crystals. The principal had stormed up onto the stage and turned to face the students from behind his lectern. He had brought both fists down on the lectern in anger, only to set off more crystals that had been placed under the feet of the lectern. After giving the unknown student prankster a severe warning he had sat down on his seat only to set off more crystals.
Sven had an idea, if he could make some of these crystals he could wrap them in tin foil and throw them at the doors without bells or knockers, that would get people to answer their doors. It took almost the rest of the week for him to find out how these crystals were made and another day and most of his pocket money to buy the two simple household chemicals needed to make them (and no I’m not going to tell you what they are).
On Halloween Sven and Llola in their new costumes set off, baskets in hand to collect candy. Sven had not told Llola about his idea. He wanted it to be a surprise, and it was. It was at the third house they visited that Llola noticed it had no bell or knocker and said they may as well go on to the next house. Sven had smiled and said, “Watch this!” as he threw one of his tin foil packets of crystals at the door. With a huge bang and flash the packet hit the door and blew in two of the windows just as the home owner opened the door to see the Riddler and a Honey Bee running away as fast as they could.