THE FESTIVAL OF SAMHAIN
CHAPTER 12- TRICKS AND TREATS
As night fell in Haddonfield, the streets came alive with the sights and sounds of the annual trick-or-treat, which had continued uninterrupted for many years despite the council's best efforts to ban it on several occasions. It was thanks to Coraline and Sonny Piati (and many others) that the tradition endured, and the children again had a reason to enjoy the holiday and not live in fear of it.
The council did succeed with one of their initiatives, however. They banned all Michael Myers-related costumes, including pale white masks, coveralls and all forms of knives, both plastic and real. It seemed like a trivial thing to do, but it ensured no accidents would happen, and police could rest a little easier knowing their streets and alley ways were safe. Still, despite that, there were always one or two teenagers every year who, not understanding the gravity of the situation, purposely dressed up like Michael Myers to see what they could get away with. One of them got shot by accident a few years ago, but other than that, most were either arrested or forced to turn over their costumes for disposal, depending on the temperament of the officer who caught them.
Giggles were heard from the children up and down the well-lit streets as various goblins, ghouls, and spirits roamed the sidewalks with their parents. Collecting their bounties of candy, the children accepted the gifts in exchange for "protection" from the evil spirits that supposedly wandered free this one night of the year. Children of all ages were out and about, including some young-at-heart teenagers. However, it was those same teens who took solace in the fact that their time for fun would come later in the evening, courtesy of the first-ever rave at Billow's Woods. They knew if they endured a few menial things like taking their younger brother or sister door to door for a couple hours, then the rest of the night was theirs.
On Lampkin Lane, Sherry Robinson and her boyfriend Brandon Farson were more than eager to participate in the tradition. Both were dressed like characters from Sherry's favorite movie 'The Nightmare Before Christmas'. Brandon was clad in black with his face painted white, portraying Jack Skellington; Sherry was Jack's love interest, the rag doll Sally, her face also a ghostly pale shade as well. As they sat on the doorstep passing out candy, many children commented how nice they looked, even if they had no idea who they were supposed to be. It didn't matter to Sherry, though. For one night out of the year, guising as her favorite characters allowed her to escape all her problems and transport herself to the fictional world of Halloweentown, which she tried to replicate in her front yard through her decorations. She had various window clings inspired by the film, as well as a makeshift cemetery created out of her flower bed in front of the house. Her pumpkins were even carved like characters from the film, including Oogie Boogie, the Mayor, and Jack's ghost dog, Zero. Brandon didn't quite understand why Sherry went to all the trouble, but it made her happy, and that's all that mattered. They had even managed to give candy out to a fellow Skellington or two, and even a trio dressed like henchmen Lock, Shock and Barrel.
"Happy Halloween!" Sherry exclaimed, passing out a handful of tootsie rolls into a bag. Behind her, she heard another chorus of "Trick or Treat!" as Brandon tossed a fun size Nestle Crunch bar into the bag of a little girl dressed like a red and black lady bug. "Thank you!" her father said, taking her by the hand and leading her away from Sherry's house and on to the next, where a skull-covered porch light welcomed them.
"This never gets old, you know that?" Sherry commented, as the duo caught a break in the action for a moment.
"Yeah, and just think, the town tried to ban all this," Brandon added. "Every time a tragedy happens, it's always the kids who suffer in the end."
"Ain't that the truth," Sherry confirmed, putting her arm around him and giving him a hug as they watched the groups of Haddonfield's youth going door-to-door down the street. Then, as they turned back around, they were startled by a little kid standing directly in front of them dressed in an orange costume with a burlap sack over his head. Brandon took a step back, but Sherry immediately recognized it.
"Hey Sam!" she called out, happy to see her favorite character from the movie 'Trick 'R Treat' homaged in this way. Neither one knew who was under the costume, but they knew he or she was doing a great job, because like Sam in the movie, this one just stood there and stared at them, holding up a jack-o-lantern lollipop (with one bite taken out of it) and a small knapsack.
"Here you go, little guy," Sherry exclaimed with a smile, dropping some candy into his bag. "Love the costume!"
'Sam' didn't say anything. He just turned and walked away, dragging his knapsack behind him.
"Creepy," Brandon commented. "The little ingrate could have at least said thanks."
"No, it's okay," Sherry informed him. "Sam doesn't talk, remember? He or she was just staying in character."
At the same time, two familiar faces rounded the corner, running toward them.
It was Sienna, dressed as Little Red Riding Hood, and Connor, not far behind disguised as the Big Bad Wolf.
"Oh, grandma, what big eyes you have!" Sienna shouted, reaching their doorstep.
"All the better to see you with!" Connor joked, hid behind his large werewolf mask. How prophetic it proved to be, because just as Connor reached the step, he tripped and fell flat on his face.
"Ow, fuck!" Connor groaned, clearly embarrassed.
"Hey, watch your language!" Sienna complained. "There are kids here!"
"Oh, sorry," Connor replied, getting back to his feet, which were about the size of a clown's shoes at that point. They were lifelike and shaped like wolfs' feet, covered in fake hair. The rest of his costume was fairly simple. He had large, furry fake hands, and a yellow and blue sun dress that looked like it belonged to his grandmother. His large wolf mask featured a wide snout and a pink sleeping cap on top, which probably also came from his grandmother. To top it off, he had fake reading glasses over top of the eyes to complete the illusion of the Big Bad Wolf.
"Skellington again?" Sienna complained, taking one look at her best friend and rolling her eyes. "No one even remembers that shit anymore. That was so, what, 1995?"
"1993, actually," Sherry corrected her. "And I told you, it's a tradition. My dad got me hooked, so I keep it going. It almost feels like he's here with me now. I wish he could see how our version of 'Halloweentown' has grown over the years."
"What do ya think?" Sienna joyously quipped, spinning in a circle to model her costume. "It was only 20 bucks at the Discount Mart."
"Fabulous," was Sherry's sarcastic response.
Sienna, who clearly could care less about all the effort that went into properly celebrating Halloween, simply threw on her checkered red, white and black short skirt and top and paraded around in her black heels. Completing her look, she wrapped a red vinyl cape and hood around her back, tying it off around her neck.
"I think I like Connor's better," Brandon interjected, clearly annoyed at Sienna's selfishness.
"Hey, thanks!" he exclaimed, his voice muffled behind his mask. "Seriously though, when can I take this thing off? It's hot as balls under here."
"I told you to buy the makeup kit instead!" Sienna insisted. "Now you're stuck like that the rest of the night."
"Oh, great!" was Connor's cynical reply.
"You guys want some candy?" Brandon asked, holding out his bowl. "We have a bunch of different stuff in here, just find what you like."
Connor wasted little time digging his paws into the bowl, coming out with two Butterfingers and a Three Musketeers bar. Sienna, meanwhile, was more conservative, only taking some Sweet Tarts and a roll of chocolate candy wafers.
"So how much longer you gonna be here? We wanna get down to the festival as soon as possible," Sienna asked.
"Once the candy runs out, we run out," Sherry assured her.
"You better," Connor growled. "I don't wanna have to come back here and HUFF...and PUFF...and BLOWWWWWWWWWWWWW your house down!"
"Wrong story, lame brain," Sienna sighed. "That was the Three Little Pigs."
"Whatever...you get the idea," Connor piped back, concluding with a loud howl at the full moon above: "AWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"
"I can't take him in public, I swear," Sienna joked. "Anywho, we're gonna go see what we can scrounge up before we head to town."
"Besides," Connor whispered. "If anyone's gonna do any blowing, it's her."
"You wish," Sienna fired back, clearly shooting down her boyfriend's hopes. "See you later. Come on, Wolfie!"
"Bye!" Sherry smirked as they disappeared from view. "How are those two even together?"
"I was going to ask you the same thing," Brandon commented, dishing out more candy.
But Sherry wasn't paying attention to her boyfriend just then. Her eyes (and mind) had wandered down the street, where an eerie figure just rounded the corner and was heading straight toward her.
"Sherry?" Brandon asked, joining in her concern at the approaching phantom.
With the white pale-faced William Shatner mask and dark grey coveralls, it was like deja-vu all over again for Sherry, who screamed at the top of her lungs and dropped her bowl of candy.
Standing before her was the devil incarnate, Michael Myers.
Proceed To Chapter 13
Back To The Lair Of Horror