Happy Voting Everyone!
So, is the camera on?
It is right?
Yes! The light's red!
Well I don't know! I don't handle this techno stuff.
That's because you waste your days away in your father's harem.
Hey! Don't get all uppity with me just 'cause the doctor tried to re-electrostatic you back into existence!
I was sleeping! He should know this by now!
Whatever. Whatever! That's not important. It's on though, yes?
OK, OK. Ahem. Hello, youtubers. This is Alucard. You know, son of Dracula? General badass?
Would you get on with it!
Don't rush me! Anyway, so like, there's been a lot of vampire hype and stuff. I've seen a lot of stuff. Too much stuff. It's everywhere really. I don't really get it, but you all seem super into this for some reason. Mostly women. Which, you know, I get. Us vampires are pretty cool. Sexy. Awesome. Like, really really good in bed. We can do a lot of different thi–
I'm turning this off if you don't get to the point.
It's not my fault, Tut's kid was supposed to handle this, but nooooo. He was too busy. Liar. That lazy ass just didn't want to get out of his pyramid for one damn day to help someone who thought that he was a friend. Stupid, rotting piece of used bandages and alcohol.
Take a breath.
I'm good, I'm good. It's all good. Where was I?
Vampires in the media.
Right! So, I made a list of things. These are the things that are not true that you think are true but aren't. Pay attention, 'cause I'm sick of hearing people talk about us like any of you have a clue.
Actually, I think the big thing right now is zombies.
Zombies? We make those anyway, so it's basically the same thing. Actually, that's another point. I gotta write that one down real quick.
OK, number one. We're not humans. We're vampires. We're awesome. Humans are not awesome. So don't write us like we're humans. That's not cool. This is Logic 101, people. S and P... and M...? You get it.
Somebody has to.
Peanut gallery gets to be quiet. Anywho, number two. Vampires are not weak to garlic. That's stupid. It's garlic. Who gets hurt by garlic? We don't like garlic, because garlic sucks. This is a fact. It is crap and no one should like it. Ever.
That's true. Garlic does suck.
So does broccoli.
Um, excuse me, not about you. Number three. No vampire is stupid enough to burned by the sun anymore. If I knew a vampire who got killed by the sun, I would probably laugh at him. And his family. Sunscreen exists, you know. Not that big a deal. You pretty much just have to not be a moron and you're fine.
Number four. You guys are bad at accents and you should stop immediately. You guys sound like my great-great-grandfather.
He still alive?
Yeah, but he kinda just keeps to his own in a cave near the next town over. He's not exactly family-friendly.
Number five. Every teen romance novel ever. Just... wow. Why even? I don't even know what to say. You guys are touched in the head.
Number six. I'm tired of everyone thinking that we wear these old guy clot–
Son, I'm home.
So how was your da– What are you doing with that camera? Oh god.
No, no! It's not what you think.
Are you making another amateur porn video?
No! That's no–
I gotta be straight with you. I've been talking to the girls, and they really aren't okay with all of this weird stuff you've asked them to do. You just can't ask a lady to do that with a stake. Where did you even pick up a fetish like that?
Like I was trying to sa–
And Frankie, I thought you had more class than this. This is the kind of thing I'd expect from Tutankhamen's little punk.
I have no excuse.
You're not helping!
You leave me no choice. You're coming with me, and we're going to get a list made of all the things you aren't allowed to ask the girls to do. It's high time you learned how to listen to them.
No! Wait! I can explain!
Happy Halloween, everyone! Unless it isn't Halloween where you live. In that case, good night!
Oh, and... um... boo.
In the midst of Halloween's Eve,
There was a boy named Steve.
You see, he once had dreamed
Of a night where ghouls and ghosts
Come out and frolic alike;
Where werewolves and vampires ruled the night.
This was a simple dream,
But one that could not be;
It wasn't reality.
Steve just couldn't see this,
So he made a pact.—
A pact with a wicked witch,
Some who would call that wicked itch
That some just cannot scratch.
The details of the pact were as followed:
To allow the wandering of creatures from hellish domains,
One must give up all that is sane,
And with a single hair, the said one shall claim
A night full of fright and fear that causes all forms of dismay.
So, as requested, the night went on,
And Steve was among
The creatures he begged to become
A reality that no one would ever wish for..
Except for Steve, of course.
He loved every bit of the night that became to be known as...
The Night of True Horror.
End of October was drawing nigh, and if one were to take a walk on the main streets of Destiny Islands, he would be able to see many kinds of spooky, yet at the same time elegant, decorations.
On board a bus that happened to pass by one of those streets were three friends, none of them looking more than a mere eight years old. One of them, the oldest of the trio, knelt on his seat facing backward; it was a dangerous position indeed, but it allowed him to converse face-to-face with his other two friends: a cheerful brunet and a gentle, reserved red-haired girl.
While the boys were chatting just about everything that happened to come across their minds, the girl had her attention fully fixed beyond the glass panes of the bus. It was her first time seeing those scary decorations lining the streets; just yesterday, there hadn’t been any of those things. She couldn’t comprehend why people would set them up, and truth be told, it unnerved her.
Despite that, she couldn’t take her gaze off them, and it was only when the bus made a turn to a drive more residential in nature that she finally let out an incomprehensible sigh. “Hey, Sora?” she called out.
Said boy, who had been talking with the other friend, ceased talking and turned to face her. “What’s up, Kairi? You’re so quiet today,” he said back.
“Those things outside…” the girl—Kairi was her name—gestured outside. “They scare me. What do they do?”
Sora tilted his head to the side in the most adorable manner, trying to comprehend what Kairi had meant by her question. His mind started to wonder why anyone would ask about Halloween decorations, but realisation soon dawned upon him.
Kairi was a newcomer to the Islands, and not even a year had passed since she and her family moved over from a faraway place. Halloween, being an annual event celebrated only by the locals of Destiny Islands, would therefore be an unfamiliar concept to her. It shouldn’t have come as a surprise that she would be curious about it.
With a smile pasted on his face and eagerness to help, Sora began. “Oh, those decorations? I think you’ve never seen them before—”
“They’re supposedly there to scare off evil spirits, because they're gonna visit the living world and snatch children away.”
Having been interrupted by the other friend, Sora’s cheerful smile turned into a frown. “Riku, I haven’t finished talking,” he pouted.
“That’s what you get for being so slow,” the silver-haired boy, Riku, retorted. Then, ignoring his friend’s death glare, he continued. “It’s a tradition here. So you see, those decorations are brought out and hung outside houses and buildings so that evil spirits don’t come near or break inside.”
“These spirits… are they real?” asked Kairi once again, her face now assuming an uneasy expression.
Riku found her display of fear amusing. “Who knows? But it’s better to be safe than sorry, if you ask me.”
By now, Kairi had become totally unnerved. She began questioning whether it had been a good turn of events for her and her family to have moved to the Islands. It was official that she wouldn’t really be happy about walking around the town all by herself, let alone at night. Not that her parents would allow her, but still.
Noticing this, Sora chimed in, not wanting Kairi to be uncomfortable. “You’re scaring her. That’s just a legend, and legends don’t happen anymore… right?” he said. However, he wished he had been more certain with his own delivery.
“You sure about that?” Riku smirked, obviously having something going on in his head. “That’s strange… I think I remember someone getting too afraid of leaving the house last year because he forgot to decorate the terrace. You remember who it was, Sora?”
The spiky-haired boy was shocked. He couldn’t believe Riku brought it up like right now; doubtless, he did it on purpose, and it was to embarrass him in front of Kairi. “Huh, w-what? Who—I don’t remember!” he shook his head fervently in denial.
“Hmm… I think it starts with the letter S…”
“Ah! I know, it’s… Selphie! Yeah, you know she’s scared easily… hehe…”
Sora’s immediate response took Riku by surprise. He hadn’t expected the other boy to come up with such an answer that seemed to shift the subject of the conversation to a completely unrelated person. He had to admit, it was so clever of Sora to have used such a sporadic tactic to escape a hairy situation, and decided not to nag him any further.
Finally, Sora managed to calm down and change the topic. “Anyway, Halloween isn’t just about scary stuff. We can have a lot of fun, too, and for this year, it’s tomorrow.”
Charmed by Sora’s interesting reply earlier on, Kairi eased up, as demonstrated by the smile that had made its way to her lips. “What’s going on tomorrow?” she inquired.
“Well, you see…”
Over the course of the next few minutes, Sora and Riku took turns explaining the local custom around this time of the year. The apex of Halloween would take place at the last day of the month, which happened to be only a day to go. On that date, a major evening festival would take place at the town square, and people were bound to crowd the place.
In the festival, stands selling food and snacks would be set up, and so would a stage for people to perform on. There would be stalls where people could try their hands on some games, too. However, those weren't the focal point; no, there was another aspect of the festival that just about everyone—young and old, boys and girls—would enjoy all the same.
It was the dressing-up part.
Most, if not all, of the visitors would dress up in every possible, imaginable way. This practice was best known among the circle of children, who for this occasion would brag about their costumes and see whose would be the best of the batch. Sora and Riku regularly dressed up, but they had been doing it for the fun and not for the competition; their parents always believed that the money could be saved for something more important.
Riku found himself recalling the events of the last Halloween. "Last year Sora and me dressed up as superheroes. We fought to decide the strongest hero, and I won."
"But that was last time! You won't be so lucky next time," Sora challenged.
"We'll see about that," Riku only shrugged in reply. "Anyway, have you decided on a costume, Sora?"
Sora crossed his hands over his chest. "Hmm… not yet, actually. But mom's gonna take me to the store tonight to see the costumes, so I think I'll just decide later."
"Hey, I'm going tonight, too. I think we can meet some of our friends too."
"Yup, that sounds like fun!"
The boys were so engrossed in their conversation they had all but forgotten about Kairi. The little girl just sat there, observing the glee radiating from Sora's ever-cheerful face, and smiled. However, the smile wasn't a usual one; there was this peculiar mix of envy and sadness in there.
This Halloween festival sounded really fun. Kairi wanted so much to be a part of it and have fun with her friends, but she didn't have any costume to dress up in. No matter how hard she tried, there was no way she could talk her parents into buying her one in such a short notice. Nope, she just didn't have a chance, that she believed.
It wasn't long until the bus made its stop in front of Kairi's house. Emulating a gentleman, Sora yielded and allowed Kairi to pass, gaining him a nod of gratitude from her. Just as usual, she exchanged good-byes with the two boys, wished them a good remainder of the day, and parted, all while making sure that they wouldn't notice a thing about the current state of her heart.
"I wish I had a costume…" she whispered sadly as she made her way down the aisle.
Once out of the bus, Kairi thanked the driver, a kind gesture which was reciprocated. As the bus went past, she saw Sora peering through the window by his seat; she waved at him, but strangely, he didn't wave back. Instead, he just looked at her with this inscrutable expression on his face, one that she didn't know the meaning of.
Finally, after the bus was out of sight, she seemed to regain the power to move. "Oh well… I'd better go in now," she said, making her way toward the front door.
Unbeknownst to her, Sora had heard her remark.
"Sora! Over here!" a group of three children, all boys, shouted collectively.
Said boy expected nothing less from his friends. They seemed to always be able to beat him to a punch in anything where gathering was involved. He was always the last person to show up, and why that was so, he simply had no idea. Not that it mattered, though, because at least he had never been late.
"There they are, mom!" he said to his mother gleefully. "Can I go together with them? I promise we won't make any trouble."
Seeing the other children, Sora's mother gave a kind smile. "Of course, honey. Now here's what you need to buy your stuff," she said as she handed some amount of money to her son, which he received with gratitude. "Spend wisely, alright? And don't forget the change."
After that, Sora immediately darted toward his friends, and they immediately headed toward the clothing section of the store. The mother could only shake her head in amusement before joining the other parents who had gathered nearby and exchanging greetings; it was already decided that the band of parents would spend some time together while watching over their children.
"This one looks cool on me," someone in Sora's group exclaimed, admiring himself in front of a full-length mirror.
"That makes you look fat," another retorted, obviously jealous of his friend's claim. "I'm cooler than you in this one. Look!"
"No, you're not."
Riku was made wide-eyed by this exchange. Being the oldest in the group could be taxing sometimes, and right now he wasn't really in the mood to dissuade his friends from continuing with their petty argument. Sometimes, they could get even more childish than even Sora himself, and according to him, it was no mean feat since the brunet was one of the most childish people he had ever met in his life, if not the most.
Speaking of Sora… since their arrival at the clothing section, Riku hadn't seen him. "Great, now I gotta look for a missing kid, too," he sighed, but still set off in his search anyway. "Sora? Where are you, Sora?"
A few minutes of searching yielded nothing, and truth be told, Riku was starting to get worried—not that he would admit it, though. He slowly lost his cool, and soon enough, he found himself frantically looking for his best friend before any of the adults could notice. He was well aware that if they did, this little outing that was supposed to be fun would turn into a major disaster.
Fortunately, it didn't need to happen.
Just before he let out a frustrated shout of his friend's name, Riku spotted him. Sora was carefully treading toward the check-out counter, a bundle of black cloth he held tightly in his hand. He was acting strangely; judging from the way he checked his surroundings with each step he took, it was evident that he was trying to avoid being seen by people.
Alas, Riku decided that he wouldn't allow Sora that privilege for having worried him to death. With sneaky steps he caught up with him, placed his hand on his nape, and greeted him with a friendly "boo".
"Aaaahh! W-who…?" Sora jumped away, letting out a scream loud enough to attract the attention of those nearby. Upon seeing that it was only Riku, he let out a truly exasperated sigh while clutching his chest with both hands. "Don't scare me like that! It's not funny, you know!"
"Heh, and you said Selphie got scared easily," Riku snorted. Noticing the bundle on the floor that had been in Sora's hand, he took it and began to unfold it. "What's this, anyway?"
It took Sora a few seconds to register that he had dropped his item, and when he finally did, he reached out to Riku in an attempt to stop him. "Ah! No, don't—"
But he was too late.
The cloth had been unfurled, and its form was revealed. It was a witch's robe that was evidently a size or two smaller than Sora's own size, and to make everything more interesting, the costume was meant for girls.
"Oh, no…" Sora gulped nervously. For all he knew, his plan might have been foiled, and it was up to him to convince Riku to stay quiet about it.
"This is your costume?" Riku questioned while flipping the costume back and forth, still not believing what he saw before him. "Are you seriously gonna wear this to the festival?"
Under pressure, Sora found it hard to even string words into a sentence. "I, uh, I thought I could pass it to my mom without anyone seeing…"
"But that's not an answer. I'm asking if you're gonna dress up as a witch. Like a girl."
"N-no, it's not—I'm not wearing this, of course!" replied Sora indignantly. A blush made its way to his cheeks without him knowing.
"You know that, but you're still gonna buy this one? I don't believe it. Explain to me, Sora."
"Sorry, Riku… I can't say anything yet. Just let me… let me pay for this, okay? And don't tell anyone about it."
Silence followed. Sora couldn't find anything else to say as his defence, and neither could Riku to force his case. He knew that once the brunet had said something, not even the end of the world would make him go back against his own words; yes, he was that stubborn. That simply meant that forcing Sora to talk now would be a waste of time, and Riku might as well save his energy for something more important than this.
With that in mind, Riku decided to stop here and let Sora have his way, at least for now. "Fine, go ahead. But you still owe me an explanation, and you'd better promise me you'll tell me everything," he demanded.
Feeling pressured, the younger boy had no choice but to play along and make a promise. Riku was partly satisfied with this, so he tossed the robe back to Sora and watched in a mix of irritation and amusement as he made his hasty dash toward the check-out counter. Shaking his head, Riku returned to the men's sub-section of the clothing section to reunite with his other friends, hoping that they had stopped bickering by now.
Still, he couldn't help pondering Sora's unorthodox choice of costume. "Dressing up as a witch? I don't understand why Sora would do that…" he thought endlessly.
Finally, the most anticipated day of the season came about.
Members of the event committee had been busy preparing the town square since the morning. Thanks to their all-day-long hard work, everything had been set up three hours ahead of the commencement of the festival, giving the stall and stand operators ample time for their own set up and decoration. In just a few hours, the previously bland square had been transformed into a lively, cheerful bazaar of fiesta to commemorate the local tradition.
By now, virtually all children living in the Islands had gotten their hands on a costume. They were ready for the excitement and enjoyment the festival had to offer. When the clock struck six in the evening, all of them would flock to the town square to show off their wonderful costumes and pose in it.
All, but Kairi.
The little girl was lost in her mind, facing this giant of a quandary of her own. She was happy that her parents were interested to take part in the activities. However, at the same time, she was afraid for not being taken seriously by her friends due to not dressing up as one of those superheroes, villains, or other fictional characters or beings.
As a result, she only put on the best dress that she could find in her wardrobe, and truth be told, she looked nothing short of stunningly beautiful in it. The subtle contrast between her red hair and the purple fabric of the dress was very pleasant to look at, and thanks to it, she sported this elegant, regal air around her. She genuinely looked like a princess that had been pulled out of a fairy tale.
"Kairi? Are you done?"
The voice of her mother yanked Kairi back to reality. "I'm done, mom," she responded.
The door opened inward, and Kairi's mother entered. She was pleased to see her daughter in such a wonderful state of dress. The last time she had seen her in that dress was when celebrating her seventh birthday nearly one year ago, and how she was glad that the it still fit her just fine.
"You look gorgeous darling, but hold on. Let me fix some stuff for you," said the lady. She tightened some loose ribbons at the back that Kairi couldn't have done by herself. "There you go, all set. I'm sure that good friend of you, the boy with brown hair… Sora, was it? He'll be amazed when he sees you."
"Amazed? What do you mean?" asked Kairi. The tone of her voice indicated that her confusion was genuine.
The mother replied with a slight giggle. "You know, the two of you look very cute together."
A blush crept to Kairi’s face. It was true that she felt truly comfortable with Sora, but why did she feel like this when teased about it? "Mom, stop it…!"
“Oh, is someone blushing, now? Does it—”
The posh sound of the doorbell interrupted Kairi’s mother in the middle of her sentence, causing the little girl to cheer exuberantly in her head. Feigning exasperation, the mother grumbled about being stopped from getting to the juicy part of the story; she then got up, kissed Kairi on the forehead, and went to welcome the guest.
Kairi took a look at herself again in the mirror, and finally decided that dressing up normally like this wasn’t at all bad. But still, it probably would have been great if she could dress up rather differently, considering how much fun it had to be judging from Sora and Riku’s stories. With that, she made a mental note to save her plan for next year, and in the meantime, she might be able to save to buy a really good one.
Now feeling slightly more confident, Kairi stepped out to the living room… but that sight that had awaited her, she wasn’t expecting it.
The little girl knew that she shouldn’t have. but she just couldn’t help getting embarrassed. She didn’t want to be seen in her dress by any of his friends, let alone Sora… at least not yet. But alas, truth was cruel, and here they were, standing face to face, the boy completely transfixed by the beauty standing across him.
“Um, hi there… Kairi,” was all he said.
To the parents, the sight of the shy children was nothing short of adorable. It was made even more so now that both of them were looking at the ground—they seemed to be trying to hide the obvious blushes on their face—as they fiddle with their fingers. Unbeknownst to Sora and Kairi, they had actually elicited a collective “aww” from their mothers.
Unfortunately, if this kept up, they wouldn’t get anywhere until nightfall and would only miss the festival, so Kairi’s mother took the initiative. “Well, Kairi. Sora has something to give you. Would you like to show it to Kairi?”
As though the lady’s voice had the power to snap people out of their trance, Sora stumbled over toward his mother who gave him a neat-looking brown paper shopping bag. He had done this for the millionth time today, but again, he peered into the bag to make sure that it still had its contents, and was relieved to see that it did.
Slowly and nervously, Sora handed the bag to Kairi, which she accepted. “This is for you, Kairi. You can open it… if you want to.”
And so she did. She took out a bundle of black cloth from the bag and unfolded it… and gasped in surprise upon learning what it was. She was at a complete loss of words; this was the most unexpected present that she had ever received in her life, and certainly, it was unexpected in a very positive way.
In her hands, Kairi was holding a witch robe.
“Isn’t that sweet, Kairi? Sora gave up buying a new costume so he could get this for you,” the red-haired lady cooed. “He’s such a kind boy. Thank you, dear, for keeping Kairi in mind.”
Kairi struggled to form a coherent sentence. It took everything in her to refrain from shedding tears, even though they were tears of joy. “But… but why? You didn’t have to do this.”
“Yesterday I heard you in the bus… you said you wanted to have a costume,” replied Sora. He was rubbing the back of his head in a sheepish manner, a telltale gesture displayed whenever he felt nervous or awkward. “So, uh, you know. I kind of found a good one at the store yesterday, and, uh, I—”
The boy never had a chance to finish his sentence. Before he knew it, Kairi had hugged him, almost cutting his airflow in the process. “Thank you, Sora,” she said weakly. “You’re the greatest friend I’ve ever had. Thank you…”
Not knowing what to do, Sora did the most natural thing that crossed his mind and reciprocated the hug. This exchange lingered for a few moments until one of the mothers, who was Sora’s, interrupted them by intentionally clearing her throat. At the sound, Kairi, still smiling shyly, released her hold and muttered one final thank-you to Sora.
“Alright, little princess, so now you’ve got a choice,” said Kairi’s mother. “You can choose which
one to wear, the dress or the robe. It’s your call.”
Did that question really need to be asked? For Kairi, it was a rhetorical question, but if she had to come up with an answer, that would be a solid “no”. From the time she felt the robe with her own hands, she already knew which outfit she should—and would—wear to the festival. Her conviction was indubitable.
Not that she didn’t like the dress, but the fact that it was thanks to Sora that she had it in the first place, the robe felt infinitely more special to her.
“I’ll take the robe.”
“Where’s Sora?” one of the friends inquired to Riku.
“He usually comes the latest,” replied the silver-haired boy. However, it was already five minutes past the commencement, and still Sora had yet to show up. “But he’s never actually late. I hope he’s alright…”
Not even five seconds later, another friend pointed at someone in the distance. With that brown hair that stuck up in all directions, it was doubtless, unmistakably Sora. “Look! Isn’t that him?”
A female friend nodded in agreement. “Hey, you’re right. And I think he’s with Kairi.”
Feeling a sudden, sharp sensation in his chest, Riku asked them to move away. From their position, he squinted to see the faraway figures, and true enough, in his vision, Sora and Kairi were resolved into focus. However, to his surprise, there was something that had caught his attention more than the mere fact that the two of them were together: their costumes.
Sora was wearing the costume he had worn last year. Riku could tell, because they had bought their costumes together that day. And as for why he didn’t wear a new one, one glance at Kairi was all it took for Riku to put two and two together. It had been really obvious that yesterday, at the store, Sora had been looking for a costume to be given to Kairi, which was that witch robe he had actually managed to snatch from him. How could he have failed to realise it sooner?
“Oh, I see now, Sora…” he said while walking away from his friends toward the attraction grounds. He seemed to be grinning, but who knew what was behind that smile of his. “That’s what the robe is all about, huh? That’s clever.”
One of the male friends have never seen this side of Riku, and he was visibly unnerved. “Um. what’s wrong with Riku, Selphie?”
“Aah, I know what’s wrong…” replied the female friend, Selphie, in a singsong way of speaking. There was this malicious glint in her eye; she seemed to understand very well the affliction that had befallen Riku. “But don’t you think it’s more exciting to ask the person himself?”
And so, the Halloween festival went on. People proceeded to mix and mingle with one another; they sang, ate, and played to their hearts’ content, turning the already lively atmosphere into an even more exuberant one. At the end of the day, it was safe to say that the event was a huge success, and that everybody had enjoyed themselves thoroughly…
Everybody, except perhaps poor Riku.
It was a dark clear night in Halloween Town, as it always was, with the bright full moon providing the only source of light. The perpetual state of night the town was in had always been a little off putting to Roxas, despite his home, The World That Never Was, being in a similar state. Halloween Town was always just so much creepier, but he pressed on, slowly and cautiously pressing forward down the stone walled alleyway with his mission always at the front of his mind.
It wasn’t the usual heart collecting mission this time. No, heart collecting was more of a bonus this time around as far as he was concerned. Xion had gone missing two days ago, her last mission being heart collection in Halloween Town. This wasn’t like the last time his friend had disappeared; something wasn’t quite right about it.
‘I hope she’s doing okay,’ he thought to himself, remembering the last time he saw her. Saix had given everybody their missions for the day; Demyx was being his usual lazy-butt self sprawled out on the couch complaining about “X-Face,” while Xion was in high spirits. She actually seemed pretty excited about the mission, even betting ice cream on who would collect the most hearts from their missions. Axel had joked that she was probably working overtime to win the bet when she hadn’t shown up later that evening, but after being gone for two days Roxas wasn’t going to sit around any longer waiting to find out.
As Roxas came to the end of the alley he pressed up against the wall, hearing the sound of tiny footsteps around the corner. He readied his hand so to call his Keyblade at any moment, and looked around the corner. It was a regular Shadow Heartless, aimlessly wandering around in the street. Roxas had seen hundreds if not thousands of these heartless on his missions, but Halloween Town had a way of making even the most benign-looking heartless seem creepier, seemingly more like a demented ragdoll then the regular version.
While it would have been easy to just defeat the lone heartless, Roxas decided to sneak past it, not wanting to waste time on a pure blood heartless he wouldn’t even get a heart out of. But before Roxas could make his way around the sound of a second set of footsteps could be heard. He looked around the corner once again to see yet another heartless, this time it was a White Knight heartless. There was something off about this one too, and not the usual added creepiness of this world. The white bandages that covered it where hanging losses all over it, cut and ragged, as though they had been ripped and clawed off of it. But even more eye-catching was that it was missing its left arm.
‘What happened to him,’ wondered the spiky-haired blond. ‘Was it in a fight with Xion? No. Even our toughest fights with Heartless never left them looking like that. They’d long be destroyed and their heats collected before looking like…that!’
As he continued to look on the White Knight slowly lurched its way to the Shadow, who hadn’t noticed its arrival, continuing to aimlessly wander the street. With an amount of speed surprising for how it looked the White Knight quickly grabbed the Shadow, tightly clasping its remaining claw around the neck and began squeezing tightly. Roxas’ eyes widened at this sight, watching as the Shadow’s tiny legs kicked wildly in the air. The Knight raised its prey closer to its face, holding it still for a moment as its maw suddenly opened and bit down on one of the Shadows antenna. Back and forth the Knight’s head shook, yanking and pulling on the antenna, not stopping until finally it ripped off of the Shadow’s head, and slurped down its throat. Roxas turned away, unable to watch as the action was repeated with the last antenna. While he had never gotten close enough in his life to see if a Shadow actually had a mouth, he could have sworn he heard a most horrible muffled cry escape from it as it was devoured.
Quickly he turned around and darted back down the alley the way he came. Whatever crazy thing was going on with the Heartless he didn’t want to find out. Saix had warned that Halloween Town sometimes had “odd effects” on the Heartless population there, but this was far beyond what he would have imagined. ‘What would lead them to so mercilessly attack and devour other heartless like that?’
Roxas hurried down an adjacent alley, wanting to find Xion even faster, thoughts racing about what horrible things could have happened to her. Her lifeless body lying on a cold stone street, heartless descending down upon her… he tried to block these thoughts, keeping hope that she was okay and hiding, waiting for help.
At the next turn Roxas stopped cold. They path ahead of him was pitch-black, his eyes unable to see even three feet in front of him. ‘Can’t stop now,” he thought. ‘Have to find Xion.’ As he took his first step forward a pair of beady yellow eyes lit the darkness and stared at him. Knowing instinctually what was to come; Roxas summoned the Keyblade to his hand in a flash of light, as the rest of the darkness lit up with yellow eyes. “You’re not going to get in my way,” he yelled, stabbing his blade forward at the darkness; but the eyes jumped forward, as a swarm of Search Ghosts attacked. The force of the swarm pushed Roxas back easily, and he was tossed out into the open street.
Getting back onto his feet Roxas readied himself for another attack. As the swarm reasserted itself, the Search Ghosts circling around Roxas, he swung the Keyblade wildly, swiping at anything that got close, but couldn’t land a hit. ‘Darn it, this isn’t going to work!’ Knowing the situation could become more dire the longer he took, Roxas broke free of the ghosts and made a mad dash as fast as he could down the street, wanting to find Xion and R.C. as soon as he found her.
Ahead he could see the main plaza, as he sped up a wall of the Search Ghosts suddenly appeared and blocked his only path. Having finally had enough of their interference, Roxas ran faster at the wall of enemies leaping forward swinging his weapon fast. “You can’t stop me,” he shouted. But again his attempt was in vain as a sea of hands jutted out from the ghosts, pushing him back with enough force that he slammed against a stone statue he hadn’t noticed before. “Ugh. Damn them!”
Using his keyblade for support he got back up, trying to figure out a new strategy to break through. However it wasn’t a normal statue Roxas had hit against. A shudder and cracking was heard, as Roxas turned around to see the Gargoyle Heartless begin to shift and shake off its stone disguise. ‘Forgot about him!’ Still stunned from the previous attack Roxas barely raised his blade in time to defend himself, as the Gargoyle moved in for the quick strike. As fast as he could Roxas slashed the heartless across the chest leaving a large gash. The Gargoyle lay in the middle of the street, sputtering as black blood oozed from his wound.
Seeing much easier prey the search ghosts turned their attention to the beaten down Gargoyle, quickly swarming over it, grabbing hold of any flailing body part as they started to bite into it. Two grabbing hold of its wings and ripping them out of its back, making the creature lash out one last time, gouging the eye of the nearest Search Ghost before finally succumbing to the attackers. However some of the swarm broke off from the attack, instead focusing on their gouged friend, as a tiny trickle of black blood oozed from its eye, causing a frenzy of ghosts attacking ghosts nonstop, biting, clawing and consuming anything they could get their ghostly hands on.
There was a hard pounding in Roxas’ chest now, watching in horror at the sight unfolding in front of him, legs too shaky to move. ‘Gotta move… gotta run… gotta get Xion and get out of here!’ Mustering up what strength he could, Roxas once again tried to run for the plaza.
With no demented heartless to get in his way he finally made it to his destination. Stopping to catch his breath Roxas looked around from the center of the Town Square. ‘No Xion by the guillotine, that’s good, but still no sign of her anywhere else.’ Knowing that he still had a lot of Halloween Town left to search, and more heartless hiding around every corner he decided to take one chance and see if his idea worked.
“XION,” he shouted as loud as he could. “Xion are you here? Xion!” He waited for a moment, hoping to hear his friend call back to him, letting him know she was okay. Hearing nothing Roxas started in the direction of Moonlight Hill, knowing his shouting would have alerted the heartless.
He stopped, looking back around the plaza, thinking he had heard something. “Hello,” he called out. “Xion are you there?” Again he heard nothing. Thinking he was imagining things he started in the direction of the hill again.
This time he was sure he heard a voice. “Xion is that you? Where are you?” He wandered back into the middle of the plaza, looking around everywhere. From behind him the plaza’s fountain bubbled with green water, the sound of the water sloshing and getting louder. Roxas approached cautiously. “Xion…?”
A black hand splashed out of the water, grabbing the edge of the fountain. Roxas held his Keyblade tighter, preparing himself for what might come. “Xion…is that you,” he asked cautiously. With one large pull the rest of the body came out of the fountain and fell to the ground; looking over it Roxas instantly noticed the person was wearing the signature black coat of the Organization, the hood covering her face. “Xion,” he called out with renewed hope, running to her and letting the keyblade disappear.
Noticing that she wasn’t moving, Roxas grabbed Xion’s shoulders and started shaking her. “Xion, Xion c’mon get up. We have to R.C. out of here NOW. The heartless in this world are demented, and they’re not acting the way they should.” As if on que the heartless he had worked so hard to escape from started to appear in the plaza, White Knights slinking through the gates, Search Ghosts appearing and disappearing all around them.
As a Knight leapt toward the pair Roxas slashed back with his resummoned weapon, and hitting it far enough back to distract the others with much more easy prey to swarm around and consume. “That’s it; I’m just going to have to carry her myself.”
“You’re going to die…”
Roxas’ ears perked up at this, looking back at Xion’s motionless body. “Xion… did you say something?” He slowly inched back toward his friend, his free hand reaching out to her. “Xion…?” His hand reached down, gripping her hood and pulled it back.
His eyes widened in shock, quickly staggering back away from her Roxas dropped the Keyblade making it disappear in a flash of light. “Xion…w-what did they…” Tripping, he fell backwards onto the ground. Propping himself up on his arms Roxas looked in horror at his friend. Xion’s face was white as a ghost, one eye missing from the right socket, the left one having a broken black button sewn onto the eyelid, while her mouth was sewn shut.
“Roxas…is that you?” The words barely escaped from her sewn mouth.
Roxas could hardly look at his friend. “Xion…what did they do to you?”
Xion flipped over onto your stomach, not breaking eye contact she slowly crawled closer to Roxas. “Roxas…Roxas you wouldn’t believe it…” As she spoke the string tying her mouth together slowly began to snap in places, making her bleed from the puncture wounds on her lips. Crawling next to him she propped herself up, sitting on her knees and continued to look intently at him.
“There were so many heartless here Roxas….I kept fighting them Roxas… all of them… over and over again they just kept showing up Roxas… one after another I kept on fighting them, hitting and swinging and freezing and… and setting them on fire… Roxas they just kept coming, there was no end, so kept going and going as much as I could, Roxas…. I couldn’t R.C. because they just kept coming… but kept fighting more and more of them… I kept fighting because I wanted to see the look on your face, Roxas… the look when I won the bet and you had to buy me ice cream… So I kept fighting without rest…until I got so tired… I was so tired Roxas, that… that…”
“Xion?” Roxas was unable to look away, his breathing becoming more shallow, not
noticing the heartless were starting to surround them again.
“…that I fell asleep…and then I woke up with you here, Roxas.”
The rest of the world was nothing to Roxas, just an empty blackness that surrounded them. “Xion…Xion w-we should go back now…Xemnas, he can help you, he can get you back to normal, and then we can go back to the clock tower, you, me and Axel, and we can eat that ice cream I owe you.”
Xion slightly perked up at this. “Hey Roxas, do you think Xemnas will be happy?”
“Be happy about what?”
“About all the hearts, silly! There were so many of them…so many from the heartless I killed… do you think Xemnas will be happy with all the hearts I got?” She started to lean in closer, he speaking tone getting faster. “And do you think Saix will finally be proud of me? And Axel…do you think he’ll like having a heart? I worked so hard to get them all for Kingdom Hearts… I hope everybody is happy…”
Roxas finally noticed the heartless, so close to them, just standing and surrounding them, with their beady yellow eyes fixated on the pair. “Xion, Xion please, we have to go now! Just take my hand, take it and we can leave this crazy place with its demented heartless!” He held his shaking hand out, too afraid to move it more, lest he set off the heartless.
Xion tilted her head in confusion. “What heartless, Roxas?”
His eyes darted all around, looking at the monsters he so desperately wanted to escape from. “Xion…the heartless are all around us.”
At this she looked all around and back at her scared friend. “But Roxas… there aren’t any heartless here. It’s just me, and you, and all of the new friends I made here.” Roxas couldn’t even respond to this. “Ya know, they said we could live here with them if we wanted, Roxas. Then we wouldn’t have to go on missions every day, and we could eat ice cream all we wanted, and Axel could come here and we could all be best friends. Doesn’t that sound good, Roxas?”
Roxas’ hand fell down, no longer able to even keep it raised. “Xion…”
Xion wrapped her arms around his shoulders, and gave him a large hug. “It’s okay Roxas, everything will be okay now.” And then…there was darkness.
Xion looked down at Roxas’ unconscious body, and looked around at all the heartless. “Okay, I’m pretty sure I got him good,” she shouted out.
At this Jack Skellington walked out from the shadows and next to the pair. “And that was a marvelous performance, Xion,” he said with a bit of glee. “I must say this is most likely the best Halloween I’ve planned in ages! And it’s all thanks to you.”
Xion got up and wiped some of the makeup off of her face. “Thanks Jack, I’m glad I could help, and I got to scare Roxas to boot.”
“Indeed, and I must say you were the perfect addition to this year’s festivities. When I first saw you I knew that you would make the perfect demented doll.” Jack pointed to one of his empty eye sockets. “I’ve got an eye about these things.”
Xions stared at the empty holes for a moment. “Uuuuhhhhhhhhhh, yeah, I could tell.” She looked back down at her unconscious friend. “I think I should probably get Roxas back home now. I’ll probably be buying him ice cream for a month or two to make up for this, but it was worth it.”
“Then I’ll leave you to that, my dear, while I go plan for next year’s Halloween.” Jack walked off, heartless in tow, to prepare for next year’s festivities.
Xion looked away, rubbing her head in thought. “He’s kinda heavy though, so it’ll be a pain to get him home.”
Roxas opened his eyes and tilted his head toward her, a scowl starting to form across his face. “Just so you know, Xion, I’m getting you back next year.”
A blood moon shone overhead in the night sky as groups of students made there way through the dark, carrying flashlights and bags of candy in their hands, chattering amongst themselves to keep the fright of monsters and ghouls away. Jack-o-lanterns lit the dirt path ways leading up the familiar old campsite frequented every year by Inaba students.
Morooka stood atop of some haystacks, arms fooled across his chest with a sneer on his face as he addressed the students gathering around in their Halloween costumes,
"Alright children, lets get this show on the road! You're all here for the test of courage, going into the forest where a bunch of trails await you, and if you have the balls to make it all the way through, without turning around like a bunch of babies, there's a prize at the end for the lucky winner."
"Try not to get lost. I don't want to go in there after ya, you hear? Good."
"Way to motivate us, King Moron." Somebody said within the crowd, the moment Morooka back was turned and out of sight.
"Couldn't you guys have gone as something more...sexier?" Yosuke complained, checking out Chie's marital arts uniform and Yukiko's bunny costume.
"What's wrong with it?!" Chie asked, gesturing down at her outfit, twisting this way and that.
"Yeah, Yosuke. Don't you like my costume?" Yukiko asked, mimicking a bunny by crouching down and hopping around.
"The both of you could of shown off some skin and gotten away with it." Yosuke exclaimed.
"On a cold night like this? I don't think so." Yukiko replied, digging around for a piece of candy in her bag.
"I've been waiting for just the right occasion to wear my martial arts uniform, that took hours into customizing it!' Chie protested, stomping her feet on the ground.
"Not to wear some boring ol witch and maid costumes."
"Hey guys, I think they're about to begin," Kanji said, jerking his thumb over at the starting line, "So, have you guys decided on who, we're pairing up with?"
"Not now, Kanji." Yukiko shushed, glaring at Yosuke.
"They should wear something cuter, right Yu?" Yosuke said.
Yu winced, feeling the tension and expectations of the group piling up on him. Kanji looked on with a look of pity and impatience.
Three options appeared in midair, only visible for Yu to see.
Option 1.) Agree with Yosuke, and get a slap to the face.
Option 2.) Agree with Chie and Yukiko, because you should never ever argue with a women. They'll hold that over you, and remind you of it every chance they get.
Option 3.) Divert their attention to something else.
Yu let out an exasperated sigh, finding all of the options rather unhelpful and picked option- the whistle blew, saving him from having to answer.
"This isn't over!" Chie declared, grabbing Yukiko's hand and pulling her along.
"Hey wait, where are you two going?" Yosuke called after them.
"Gonna win this contest without you jerks!"
"What did I do?" Kanji asked, looking at Yu then Yosuke and back at Yu.
~Trial One~All they could hear was each others footsteps, followed by the occasional tree branch snapping beneath one of their feet as they huddled together, keeping an eye out for anything suspicious.
"Shouldn't something have popped out by now?" Yu asked, finding it odd that they've made it this far inside of the forest.
"H-How do you think the girls are doing?" Kanji stuttered, wrapping his arms tightly around himself.
"They're probably scared out of their minds, hoping we'll come save them," Yosuke smiled sinisterly, "serves them right for, taking off without us."
"What was that?" Kanji asked, seeing something black move out of the corner of his eye.
Yosuke chuckled. "Nothing is there, Kanji."
"You're just seeing things, and you're dressed up as a mummy for crying out loud."
"The scariest thing we've seen all night!" He added in, rather loudly.
"You shouldn't say stuff like that, Senpai." Kanji said anxiously, clinging onto Yosuke arm and quivering in fright.
"Get off me!"
Yu paused, flashing the flashlight around as Yosuke tried to reassure Kanji's mind was playing tricks on him and caught something white, stuck to the tree. Drawing closer, Yu read the words inscribed on it, "Can you see it?".
"Oh my @&!$ god! I told you! I told you not to make fun of the monsters creeping around here!" Kanji screamed in terror, pointing at the faceless man in a black suit approaching them.
Four options appeared in midair again, with the sound of a clock ticking hypnotically in the background.
Option 1.) Scream like a little girl, and turn back.
Option 2.) Slap Kanji silly, and tell him to man up.
Option 3.) Grab them both by the wrist and run for it, man!
Option 4.) Kanji, where did you get that baseball bat?
Yu looked at option 4 in bewilderment, then picked option 3.
"This isn't so bad," Yosuke said, "We could of totally taken him on! There's three of us and one of him."
"Speak for yourself, Senpai!" Kanji said, sprinting for his life.
The trees began to fall away as they climbed up a steep hill, passing a suspicious looking jeep along they way, and found themselves in an open grass field with a red shed sitting in plan sight; making them falter with each step they took forward.
Yu being the leader of their group and holding the flashlight, flashed it upon the red shed, noticing there was deadbolt on the handle and another note stuck to it.
Yosuke being the closest, squinted at the writing and read: "Enter or Turn back."
"No way in hell, Senpai, am I going back. I don't want to die." Kanji protested, reaching into his backpack and pulling out his wooden bat.
"Stop being such a baby. It's Halloween, and all of this is obviously fake." Yosuke snorted.
Yu reached out, touching the shed door with the palm of his hand and felt it give way with a soft creak. "For something fake, they sure did a good job making it."
Yosuke being impatient, started to slide the deadbolt open when, a piercing scream filled the night air, making him jerk away from the door in a hurry.
"What the hell was that?!" He asked, face draining of color.
"Sound affects?" Yu suggested, unconvincingly.
The pounding sound of footsteps, made them look twice at the shed door, mentally bracing themselves when, something rammed into it with a sickening crack, and animalistic sounds could be heard coming out of it.
Kanji had a smug look on his face. "You were saying, Yosuke Senpai?"
Two more options appeared, the growls behind the door growing eerily louder by the minute.
Option 1.) Open it and attack!
Option 2.) Find another route.
Yu frowned, neither option was really appealing and went with option one.
"Get ready." Yu said, sliding the deadbolt open and quickly backing up, hands clenched into fists and ready for a fight.
The shed door swung open slowly, making their skin crawl, but nothing came out. All that could be seen was a single swaying lightbulb lit up inside of it, and stairs that descended downward into murky darkness.
"As your friend, i'm telling you not to go in there. Don't, do it." Yosuke said, hopping foot to foot and gazing about.
"And I think I need to use the restroom."
Yu pushed his glasses up. "We have to keep going, our manliness is on the line. You don't want the girls to start laughing at us, do you?"
"It's to early in the game to stop. We have like one more test left to go."
Kanji blew his nose into a loose strand of his mummy costume. "That was...sniff...beautiful Senpai!"
Yu descended down the stairs, feeling a little uncomfortable as he walked through the tunnels with Kanji and Yosuke at his back. There was little to no room for escape, that it became unsettling when the sound of growling and moaning resumed.
"You don't suppose...there are zombies in here, do you, Yu?" Yosuke asked, flinching at the sight of his own shadow.
"You're worrying about that now?" Kanji asked, gripping his baseball tightly in two hands, making his knuckles turn white.
"Just making conversation." Yosuke said, laughing nervously.
A few handmade looking black spiders fell from the rafters above their heads as they came to a stop at a three way tunnel. Thankfully Kanji swung at them like a pro and whistle in pleasure at the sight of their destroyed forms.
"Oh yeah! Who's the man!" Kanji shouted in glee.
Yosuke looked suspious around. "I don't know about you, but I think the spiders were just a distraction and looked kind of pathetic compared to the real deal."
The sound of moaning greeted them, making Yu cringed at the sight of zombies with gaping mouths come flying out of the tunnel on there right.
"Yosuke," Yu began, choosing which tunnel to go through.
"Yeah, Yu?" Yosuke questioned.
The zombies latched themselves onto Yu, snapping at him with their mouths, trying to tear off his flesh with their bear hands. Kanji pried a few of them away with his bat, while Yu hit them them with his flashlight. Yosuke, being defenseless, ran down the tunnel on the left and came to a locked door.
"Guys, take the middle tunnel down! The one on the left is a dead end!" Yosuke shouted after them.
Yu quickly dispatched the last zombies away, wiping the disgusting slobber off of his arms before hurrying down the middle tunnel, only to come to a sudden halt at the sight of a scarecrow sitting on a pile of hay, not moving whatsoever.
Kanji bumped into him from behind, making the flashlight fall out of Yu's hand, rolling away from them and pointing directly at the scarecrow lying there.
"What are you two just standing around here for?" Yosuke asked, looking at the both of them with an easy going smile before, taking note of the scarecrow sprawled out on the hay and threw his arms up in defensively.
"Dude, that is just messed up!" He said in alarm, backing away a little.
Yu and Kanji held him fast by the arms, pushing Yosuke in his wizard costume in front of them to deal with the scarecrow, and blocked his escape.
"Oh no, Yosuke, you're gonna search that scarecrow for the key." Yu said, pointing at the suspious looking scarecrow.
"Don't I get a say in this?!" Yosuke complained.
Yu averted his gaze, refusing to speak and give in to the pleading look on their friends face.
"Just say 'No', Senpai," Kanji said, "C'mon, say it with me, Nooooooooooooo!"
Option 1.) Make Yosuke do it, because you're the leader, and what you say goes.
Option 2.) Make Yosuke do it, because he cheats off of your tests all of time. Thus making him owe you one.
Option 4.) Did you notice, I purposely skipped option three to see if, you were paying attention? Not staring off to the side like a space cadet, like you do half the time?
Yu face palmed, shoving Yosuke forward after picking option one.
Yosuke whimpered, quickly picking up the flashlight and placing it between his teeth. "I hate you both." Did he finally move closer with shaky hands, reaching out to touch the scarecrow, and started checking its pockets for a key to the locked tunnel door.
After digging around with haste, did Yosuke feel something cool to the touch, resembling that of a key and smiled in triumph.
"I got it!" Yosuke shouted, withdrew his hand away, clutching the key between his fingers.
"Good job, Yosuke Senpai." Kanji applauded mockingly.
All three of them glanced warily at the scarecrow before retreating back the way they came. As they made their way back, the tension in the air grew stronger, their quicken breath could be heard echoing off the tunnel walls, making them pick up the pace.
Yosuke lost his nerve. He whirled around and began screaming hysterically at the sight of the scarecrow standing right over him, scythe in hand and eyes glowing red. The scythe flashed forward, making Yosuke freeze in fear. But Kanji quickly intercepted it with his baseball bat.
"Screw the test! Let's get outta here!" Kanji exclaimed, charging through the remaining trials at break neck speed. Yu carrying a unconscious Yosuke on his back the rest of the way.
At the sight of the camp site lit up, did all three guys fall to their knees in relief knowing it was finally over. Chie and Yukiko stood up from the where they sat on the park benches in alarm and hurried over.
"Why aren't you two traumatized from the trail of courage, huh? Did you even take the test?!" Yosuke accused, looking up at them with a scowl on his face.
Chie smacked him in the back of the head "Of course we did!"
Yukikio handed each boy a blanket, followed by a medal for being the second group to make it back in one piece.
"Ow! What the- what was that for?!" Yosuke held his head in pain and grimaced.
"We just ran through the whole thing," Chie smirked, "Unlike you three, who took your sweet time and made us wait."
"I think...I scared a few years off of my life." Kanji said, dejectedly.
Yukiko hopped over to him, patting him comforting on the shoulder. "There, there, Kanji. You made it all the way to the end, and can call yourself a man now."
"Yukiko... Hold me!" Kanji cried, throwing himself at her from where he sat.
Yukiko giggled. "I spoke to soon." Yukiko side stepped out of the way, making Kanji embrace nothing but air, and tumble forward into the bushes.
"At least you got a medal for it," Chie said cheerfully, "And a trip to the hot springs again."
The sound of a car coming up a gravel road, followed by red and blue flashing lights made them all turn around. A police car came rolling into view, with Naoto stepping out of the passenger seat and racing over to them.
"Are you here as the rescue party, Naoto?" Chie smiled, finding the black cat ears on her quite adorable.
"Yeah, we're here in case any of the students didn't make it out of the trial of courage, " Naoto nodded, glancing at her then back at Yu.
"Had you taken any longer, Senpai, and I would of gone in there after you."
Yu smiled. "Luckily it didn't have to come to that-"
"S-Something touched me!" Naoto cried out, swinging a fist around with all her might, only to hit nothing, and hurtle herself into Yu's arms.
"I don't see anything." Yu said reassuringly, holding her in his arms and looking around her trembling form. Only to spot a fake skeleton lying sideways on the ground by her feet, probably knocked over by the wind and shook his head at it.
Maybe Halloween wasn't so bad after all?
Yu felt his mouth twitch into a smile before giving Kanji and Yosuke a thumbs up.
"Don't you think Naoto looks cute in her cat costume, Kanji?" Yosuke said, elbowing him in the gut playfully.
Kanji rubbed the back of his head uneasily."Y-Yeah."
The sound of a distressed Yosuke was like music to Yu's and Kanj's ears, both guys pretending not to notice the girls teaching Yosuke a lesson, and finding the blood red moon the most fascinating thing ever, since sliced pizza.
"A little help here, would be appreciated guys...guys?! "
"Happy Halloween." Yu said quietly.
Halloween is not my favourite holiday. Everyone pretends to be something they're not. Act like something they're not. People dish out candy to the kids who have the best costumes, cutest, scariest. And the older kids are out for the younger ones, frightening them into dropping or depositing their candy.
Me? Every year I go as a crayola crayon. Do you still wonder why i don't like Halloween?
My sister loves it. Every year she'll find a scarier, more grotesque costume then the last. She started of as a zombie when she was 3. 12 years later, you'd think she'd run out of costumes.
Nope. Not by a long shot.
I swear, she has some kind of secret stash hidden somewhere that she can always count on. And I can count on that same stash to give her the energy to take my candy when I get home.
My sister leaves early. A plastic bag contains her outfit. She goes to her boyfriend's neighborhood to start, and works her way home. I don't. I like staying in our own place.
"Weenie," My sister would call me. "Why don't you come with us this year? Or would you prefer to remain a loser?
So this year I decided to go.
I ditched my crayon suit. My sister lent me an old costume of hers, from when she was 10. A bloody werewolf. It's still too big on me, but I don't complain. Even giving me something to wear was a piece of kindness on her part.
We walk there. "Why can't we stop at these places first?" I ask her. But she never answers me.
My sister's boyfriend lives in the old part of town. The place where old houses glare at you from their resting spots. It always creeps me out.
Especially on Halloween.
But here are the houses that have the best treats. And the best decorations. And the most candy-stealers. But I know that as long as I stay with my sister, no one will bother me.
Yeah. That's my sister's reputation.
"He lives here." She stops at the house on the corner. The lawn is a dry, tangled mess. The windows are broken. The steps creak as we climb up them.
"Are you sure?" I've never seen her boyfriend's house. Come to think of it, I've never seen the boyfriend himself to begin with.
"Don't worry, you'll like him. And he can give you a costume that fits."
She rings the doorbell. I hold by breath.
A young woman opens the door. "Ah, Sophi it's you. Is this your sister?" She peers at me.
"Yes ma'am." That's the first time I've heard my sister say ma'am to anyone.
She waves us inside. "He's upstairs."
My sister smiles at me. "Come on."
I'm nervous. I don't like this. But I follow her up the old wooden stairs. Some of them are broken. We stop in front of the first door.
My sister pushes me forward. "You first."
I knock on the door. It opens, but I see nobody inside.
"H-hello?" I say. My sister walks in, pulling me with her.
The door slams. I turn around.
I still see nothing. No one. But the a voice slither into me ear.
"Let's make your costume fit you, shall we?"
And as the invisible man changes my sister into what ever she has in her bag, I turn into the werewolf.
Let the hunt for blood begin.