THE FESTIVAL OF SAMHAIN
CHAPTER 7- BILLOW'S WOODS
Later that afternoon, outside the town of Haddonfield near Billow's Woods, a police cruiser slowed to a stop in the middle of an abandoned corn field. Situated in the middle of nowhere, bales of hay lined the horizon twenty feet high on three sides, and the entire circumference of the plot featured old stamped down corn stalks as a base. To the left sat two pickup trucks, with various electronic equipment laid out in the bed of each. To the right was a large, taped-off open area, where the school designated for parking, as well as two refreshment stands and the DJ stage.
Amid the overcast, depressing gray sky, Officers Lauder and Templeton emerged from their vehicle and started to survey the scene. At first glance, everything appeared to be in order. The mock dance floor was squared off and covered with a bed of hay on top of the existing corn stalks. There were strobe lights and multi-colored lights strung up across the tops of the bales on the left side, and the DJ stage appeared ready to go next to the refreshment stands, with a large "DJ Drake" sign hung in front of it in white and orange letters. Behind it all sat a series of porta-johns in the distance, neat and uniform across the horizon.
"YO! Anybody here?" Templeton called out into the stale, dry autumn air. "Haddonfield PD."
There was no response. Aside from the usual creatures and insects chirping in the woods, all was silent.
"What did dispatch say the kids' names were?" Templeton asked his partner, who was already investigating the area.
"Um, White. Seth White made the call," he replied. "He was here with Blaine Babcock and Julie Marks working for the DJ."
Despite the fact it was still relatively light outside, an eerie fog enveloped the area, limiting the field of vision for both men.
"YO! Seth!" Templeton shouted, this time so irritated his voice cracked. "Haddonfield PD! Come on out and identify yourself!"
"Relax, Douggie," Lauder assured him. "If they're here, we'll find them."
"I just want to get this over with. I don't like being called out to the middle of nowhere, especially on a day like today."
"What do you mean? This place is adjacent to the old Tower Farm. It's right on the other side of those trees."
"Yeah, the Tower Farm that was totally decimated ten years ago. I don't blame the Baker estate for selling it off to the gas company. I'd want to dump that place too."
"It's not the place...it's what happened there."
"Exactly. All the more reason to get rid of it."
As they approached the two pickup trucks, they noticed that all the cords and connectors for the electronic equipment were badly frayed, ripped, or mangled. In fact, it looked like the equipment was supposed to go all the way across the field to the DJ stage, but never quite made it there.
"Seth? Blaine? It's Officer Lauder, you called for us?" the officer called out as he walked behind the wall of hay. "Julie?"
There was no response.
On the opposite side, Officer Templeton examined the DJ stage and the structure of the refreshment stands. As he looked around, a slight chill began to crawl its way down his spine.
"Lauder, I think we should call Sheriff Barn--"
But as he turned around, Templeton never finished his thought, as he noticed Lauder was no longer there.
"YO! Lauder! Did you hear me?"
Still, no reply.
"Konrad, quit fucking around!" Templeton scolded as he walked behind the stacked bales of hay. "We gotta call this in, come on."
Templeton drew his service weapon and pointed it in the direction of his partner, who was approaching from the opposite end of the hay bales. Templeton immediately shut up when he saw Lauder holding his index finger over his lips and pointing directly above him.
Suddenly frightened, Templeton slowly looked up, and it was there his questions were answered. There, hanging upside down, were three bodies with their eyes bulging out of their sockets and cords wrapped around their necks.
"AHHH!!!" Templeton yelled in disbelief. Lauder, equally stunned, reached up to touch one of the bodies and was scared out of his wits when the body giggled and smiled at him, chanting "hee hee hee hee hee!" as it rolled its fake eyes in a clockwise pattern.
"What the fuck?!" Lauder cried out, backing into his partner. "It's fake. It's fucking fake!"
At the same time, directly behind them, three dark figures emerged-- one wearing an orange pumpkin mask; one sporting a white skull mask; and a third donning a green witch mask.
The ghouls approached the two naive officers, and skull mask stood right next to Templeton and whispered in his ear, "BOO!"
Templeton immediately yelped and staggered onto his back, dropping his nine-mill in the process. Lauder, seizing the moment, tackled the skull-masked ghoul to the ground, knocking his mask off in the process. When he turned him back over, he saw it was Seth White.
"Don't shoot! It was a joke! It was only a joke!" Seth pleaded half-heartedly.
At that point, the pumpkin (Blaine Babcock) and the witch (Julie Marks) also de-masked, and revealed the gag to both officers.
"Man, you guys are such chumps," Blaine stated. "Wait till I tell the others about this!"
"Idiots! You could have been killed! Do you have any idea what you've done?!" Lauder shouted, attempting to catch his breath.
"Yeah, we improvised," Julie answered, pointing to the fake bodies hanging from the bales of hay. "Someone nearly wrecked our set up here, so we decided to dress up our decorations a bit. I think it turned out fantastic."
"I think you fucking kids better learn some god-damned respect!" Templeton yelled, getting back to his feet. "I ought to put your asses in jail for this!"
"For what? Showing off our new costumes?" Seth responded. "Check them out. We decided to go retro this year. Feels like the eighties all over again."
"You weren't even alive in the eighties, you stupid little shit," Templeton piped back.
"Relax, Doug," Lauder intervened, patting Templeton on the shoulder to defuse the situation. "It was just a prank. An ill-timed and poorly executed prank, but a prank nonetheless. Now that they've 'improvised', they no longer require our services. Come on, I'll buy you a coffee."
Breathing heavily, Templeton groaned and retrieved his pistol. "Fine," was all he could manage to say.
"Hey guys, you think you can give us a ride back to town? Our truck won't start and we have to meet up with the DJ and replace those cables," Seth asked with a smirk.
Neither officer replied. They just glared at him and continued on their way back to the cruiser.
"Fuck you, too," Julie mumbled under her breath, clearly annoyed.
"What did you say?!" Templeton called out from the car.
"Um, nothing officer," Julie smiled. "HAPPY HALLOWEEN!"
Templeton said something to Lauder, but the triad couldn't make out what it was. The three students then watched with fake smiles and waved as the police car entered the highway and disappeared onto the horizon.
They couldn't see it, but lurking off in the distance a hundred yards behind them, was the notorious Shape, Michael Myers, standing behind a set of large oak trees.
He was watching their every move.
Proceed To Chapter 8
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