I’ve fallen behind in my weekly writing prompts, with a bit of writers’ block. Hopefully, this conquered it and I’ll be back in my groove. Happy Halloween!
I should have known better than to wear wings to a Halloween party. The left one was handing by a bit of glittery fabric and the right was bent flat against my back. Why was I even dressed like a fairy anyway? This was the first year that I hadn’t chosen something scary.
The clock on Brianna’s mom’s mantle struck 7, not exactly the witching hour, but I was ready to go. This had been Tanner’s last chance with me and I found him in the basement, with his tongue down a sexy witch’s throat.
The huddle of smokers on the front porch slowed my dramatic exit. Brianna called after me.
“Don’t leave, Aubrey. He’s a jerk.”
“Your pointed hat is still askew.”
She reached up automatically.
“Brie, I’m mad at myself. It’s Halloween and I’m sitting at a lame party waiting to see which girl my boyfriend will cheat on me with. See you at school.”
The streetlights on Britney’s block had been the victims of mischief night. Her street was lit only by jack-o-lanterns and porch lights. Groups of trick-or-treaters ran up and down the street. I remembered the fun of dressing up and getting to be out after dark, mixed with that feeling that anything could happen. That’s what I was missing.
The wind sent swirls of leaves flying down the sidewalk. The gate to the park creaked open. Usually they locked it at dusk.
“Well, are you just going to stand there all night?”
He was tall, at least 6’. Stick thin, he was dressed like a scarecrow, with his face painted like a jack-o-lantern.
He smiled, his teeth white against the orange. “Sorry I didn’t mean to startle you.”
“I think you did.”
His grin grew larger. “Yeah, maybe I did. I can’t help myself. It is Halloween, after all. So are you coming, or not?”
“The party; the real Halloween party. Come on, I’ll show you.”
He grabbed my hand and slipped through the open gate.
I stopped, trying to pull my hand back.
He turned. “What’s wrong?”
“I don’t know you. I’m not just going to follow you into a deserted park.”
He laughed. “Ok, don’t come. It makes no difference to me, but you were the one wishing for a true Halloween.”
“How…how did you know that?”
He just laughed and left me to make up my mind. I stood there, every warning that my mother had drilled in me flowed through my head. The scarecrow’s laughter mingled with others. It was just another party. I shook my head and stepped through the gate.
Coming around a bend, I saw the scarecrow was talking to a man with long curly horns jutting straight from his forehead. In the dark, the park looked different. The I realized that it was different.
“What did you do with it all?”
He turned to me. “With what?”
“The playground. The slide is gone. You have a band playing where the swings usually are. The only thing you kept was the picnic table. How?”
He shrugged. “It’s Halloween. I’m Guy, by the way, everyone calls me G.”
I hadn’t noticed the horned man leave until he came back over, fumbling with some plastic cups. G grabbed two and handed me one. I eyed it suspiciously, until G took a sip of his. The drink was warm and tasted a bit like apple cider, there was something flowery that I didn’t recognize. I started to relax but I wasn’t even tipsy.
The horned man brought a cup to a woman covered in feathers, wearing an owl mask. A violinist joined the flutist and accordion player. The music grew louder, a group of girls started dancing around a fire. I wandered over, G trailing me.
The girls looked about my age. They were dressed like true storybook witches. Two of them stopped dancing as we approached.
I said, “Nice costumes.”
“We like yours too.”
“Mine was a lot nicer earlier.”
One reached out a brushed my wing.
“It looks fine to me.”
She was right, my torn wing wasn’t hanging as low, the folded one was standing, and somehow the body glitter that I’d brushed on was sparkling in the firelight.
“Come dance with us.”
I handed my drink to G and let the music take me. One song blended into another, then another. We danced like they didn’t care who was watching. Finally, the music slowed, and I was in front of G gulping down my now cold drink.
“Thanks, I needed that.”
I squealed as a purple furred monster came out of the shadows.
“I’m sorry. You just look awesome.”
“Thank you, pretty fairy.”
G said, “Maurice, how did your evening go?”
“Good. I scared lots of people. More than last year, even.”
“That’s great buddy.” He held up his hand for a high five.
G led me over to the picnic table to refill our cups. I looked over at Maurice talking to the owl faced woman.
“So, he’s been running around all night, scaring people?”
“Well sure. He’s a monster. It’s what they do. It’s what they all do.”
“Right, those girls I danced with are real witches? And he’s what, a real vampire?”
“I’m more of a spirit of Halloween. I send the others where they’re needed. Maurice was down at a charity haunted house. They were in need of a really big scare.”
“What about me?”
“Oh well. I don’t usually get personally involve but, I heard you ask for better Halloween. What’s better than spending the night with real monsters? And the gate opened for you. It wouldn’t have done that, unless you belonged with us.”
I raised my eyebrows.
“Are you calling me a monster?”
“Here that’s not an insult.”
I looked around at the others with new eyes.
“I guess not. It makes me really wish I’d gone with a different costume.”
“I don’t know, I think fairy suits you. Let’s go see what you can do.”
He waved over the horned man.
“Bret, are you up for one more trip out?”
“Sure G, let’s go.”
G took my hand and we followed Bret out of the park. Two mothers were walking with some little trick-or-treaters. One was pushing a stroller. G stepped in front of them. My mouth dropped open as they passed right through him.
They were all rubbing at goosebumps on their arms. One little princess took her mother’s hand as they headed to a better lit street.
“How?”, I asked.
‘Sometimes, there’s an explanation for those unexplained cold spots.”
“I knew it. My parents always said it was just my imagination, but I knew there was more.”
He smiled. “Of course, you did. Now watch.”
A group of boys, they looked about twelve or thirteen, were throwing rocks at one of the working streetlights. Bret had stepped into the shadows. The boys noticed him one at a time; saw his glinting horns and glowing red eyes. Bret’s growl echoed off the houses. They screamed and fled.
Bret whooped in triumph. “All five, did you see that G? Usually, there’s one non-believer.”
G said. “I saw. Now, Aubrey gets a turn.”
The neighborhood had quieted down. The treaters were home, sorting their candy. We walked down the middle of the street, Bret telling me stories of his best scares. We were approaching two people leaning against a car. I realized it was Tanner and Brie. We stopped right in front of them, completely invisible. They were holding hands.
I asked G, “Just how long were you watching me?”
“Most of the evening.”
“I don’t need revenge or anything.”
“They need a scare. Bret would be happy to do it.”
Brie pulled her hat off. “I can’t believe she called my party lame.”
“Don’t worry about it, babe.”
Did he just call her babe? How long had they been together, anyway? Before I knew it, I was standing in front of them. G hadn’t told me how, but I somehow knew what to do. I sent leaves swirling around Brie feet. She looked up and around. I felt my smile grow into a grin. Tanner was oblivious but, Brie would react to a subtle scare.
She inched closer to Tanner. He threw his arm around her.
“Did you feel that?”
I leaned around and blew gently on the back of her neck. She flew off the car.
“You…you didn’t feel that?”
She slid her arms around him and put her head on his chest. She couldn’t get away from me that easy. I knew enough about fairies, to know what a glamour was. I imagined myself in a hooded cloaked and wished to be visible. She saw me over his shoulder and screamed. Tanner turned around, but I was gone again. I walked back over to G and Bret.
“You guys are right. This is fun.”
G said. “I know that you aren’t about revenge, bur I enjoy it.”
“What are you going to do?”
G took my hand and made us visible. He led us to Tanner comforting a hysterical Brie.
“Hey guys. What’s going on?”
Tanner looked at me, then noticed G. His eyes narrowed at our clasped hands.
“G. After I left. I ran into him and his friends. Hey Brie, is everything okay?”
“No, I saw a ghost. A real one.”
Tanner said, “I don’t think I’ve seen you around G. Where do you go to school?”
“I’m not from here. I guess you could say that I’m home schooled.”
“And, you just met Aubrey?”
“Yes but, we’re already great friends.”
I smiled as G put his arm around me. Maybe I was a little petty.
Brie said, “Tanner. Who cares about Aubrey and that guy. I just saw a ghost.”
G said, “I’m hoping she and I will become even better friends.”
Brie let out a little squeak as G’s eyes started to glow.
“Tanner.”, she said.
Brie said, “That’s it, I’m going inside and putting garlic on my window sill.”
“That’s vampires.”, I called as she stomped up her driveway.
“So, I’ll see you at school Tanner.”
As we passed Bret, I said, “He’s all yours.”
G and I were sitting on my front porch.
“I guess you disappear at sunrise.”
“Not really. Enough people Halloween all year, that I remain corporeal.”
“Sure. I’m not as strong as the stupid Spirit of Christmas.”
“I don’t understand why. She just spends her time curled up in front of a cozy fire, drinking hot chocolate.”
“Well, that does sound nice.”
“Just kidding. So…um if I want to call you; maybe get together for a monster movie?”
“Step into a shadow and say my name, if that’s really something you’d like.”
I surprised him with a kiss. His surprise lasted for just a minute, then he was kissing me back.
I woke with my mother shaking me.
“Why are you sleeping on the porch swing?”
“I just sat down for a second, I must have dozed off.”
“How was your evening?”
I ran my tongue over my lips. They still tasted like him, all pumpkin spice and apple cider.
“It was the best Halloween ever.”