Ali spun the lock on the carabiner and double checked the buckles on his harness. He followed the safety tether back to where it was attached to the door frame and made sure it hadn’t shifted and the safeties were engaged. “All good,” he said cheerfully to the woman on the ratty brown couch, “Wouldn’t want to go splat, eh!”

She looked like she was close to tears, but Ali suspected that it really wasn’t just the joy of his cheerful presence or his offer to scrape the mess from the outsides of her windows. She looked like she was having a hard day…a hard week perhaps. And since it was within his power to bring a little cheer into her life, well Ali was going to do just that.

Ali picked up his bucket and squeegee and walked back to the open window. These old apartments still had the traditional wood frames with the lousy slides. Charming, but they really hadn’t worn well over the decades and often made squeezing the windows out of the tracks a bit of balancing act. Often people just left them in like his charming host and tried to perform some sort of circus act when cleaning the outsides. It involved bending two opposite ways and having the arms of one of those big orange monkeys, but Ali supposed it could be done.

Really, though, it was all in the type of persuasion you chose to apply and Ali had just the tool.

As Ali approached the window he glanced at eh mess he was there to clean off. It certainly looked disgusting, but between the years of grime on the glass and the thick goop itself, Ali had a hard tim e identifying just what it was.

He put down his bucket and with one last unconscious twist on the carabiner lock, he slid out onto the window frame to get a closer look. No point dragging the mess into the apartment if he could get the bulk of it off before he removed the window.

As he leaned back to give his old eyes a chance to focus, a sudden thought spiked into his mind. It was Hallowe’en.