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“Hee Hee Hee Hee!” cackled the witch as she lowered the rope that suspended us from the ceiling, over a caldron (which was bubbling over with a purple liquid.) I know I’m not supposed to be here… but I can explain! Here, I’ll show you…
“Sarah, go get your costume,” Mom shouted. I’m NOT looking forward to dressing in a big pink bunny outfit for Halloween this year. Mom barrowed it from my Aunt Janice, and it smells strongly of attic and is riddled with holes.
“Maybe I will stop by that new Costume shop on the way,” I muse out loud as I slip the bunny ears over my brown, curly hair. My Mom makes sure I am wearing the stupid bunny costume as I walk out the door, splitting a small group of tricker-treaters. I hit all the houses between my house and Costume Shop; why would anyone want to pass up on free candy? A half- hour later, I’ve stopped at 6 houses and have finally made it to the Costume Shop. I open the door to find a big room full of shelves. It’s dark and foul smelling, like old person. I start browsing the seemingly endless shelves of masks and wigs until my eyes land on the perfect costume. Before I could pick it up, an old man shows up next to me, startlingly quiet. Man, old person ninja.
He eyes the gory costume. “That will be $25.00. And don’t forget you candy,” He reminds me. He hands me a couple pieces of small candy from a presumably nonchalant brown glass bowl and sticks my cash into the cash register. I look over the candy. On the wrapping is a generic cartoon of a witch, but the label is in some foreign language, or ancient runes. For all I know, that old man ninja could have been buddies with the medieval alchemists. He sure looks old enough.
Ignoring the runes, I unwrap the candy and pop it into my mouth. Candy is Candy, right? The candy an ugly brown color, like old taffy, and it makes my tongue go numb. “Wha ib dis sthuff?” I manage to make out, spitting out the half dissolved candy and holding up the candy wrapper. I swear, the cartoon witch cackles at me and flies off the wrapper on her broom stick. A wave of nausea washes over me, forcing me to the ground. My stomach feels as if its on a distant planet and not where it should me. I close my eyes and focus on not vomiting.
As suddenly it had started, the nausea disappears. I open my eyes. I am crouched on the platform of an old train station. The track is overgrown and reddish with rust and the wood is rotting. I have no idea where the old man ninja got this foreign candy, but man he should throw it out. Besides, where am I? My town doesn’t have a train station. I spot a sign that reads, “Never Springs.” CLOMP…CLOMP…CLOMP.
I spin around only to come face to face with a vampire. Yes, a vampire. She screams, I scream, she screams, I scream. Except… something is different. She isn’t burning up in the sunlight, or wearing white make up, although her fangs are clearly visible.
“I am Casey. You need to come with me,” She says. We walk off the platform and onto the street. We pass rotting storefronts (apothecaries, Caldrons and Wand Shops) and the decaying shapes of houses. We continue walking until we see what looks like a house-shaped pile of weeds and ivy. An ordinary door is the only thing not covered with the foliage. “Mrs. Molly,” Casey calls through the door, “Are you here? My friend needs to get home. Mrs. Molly?” She opens the door with a shriek.
An old lady walks out of the shadows. She is wearing a black robe, a black, pointy hat, and is holding a cane. The witch from the foreign candy! She throws back her head and cackles. And she also binds us up with rope. And suspends us from the ceiling, and that is how we got here. “I hear human soup is a very good main course to serve with roasted vampire!” she screeches. Ok, now the Question isn’t how we got here, it is ‘how are we going to escape.’
“Grab my hand and the rope!” Casey whispers as soon as the witch goes into the kitchen to gather some spices and weird potion ingredients. I whisper back my ‘ok’ and follow her instructions. She grabs my hand, unties the ropes with the vampire magic, and she flips out and onto the beam. Then she pulls me up onto the lath with her. I am scared. I know I am not the heroine that you were expecting. But, wouldn’t you be scared too? I mean, I am on a beam, 12 feet off the floor, with a vampire, running away from a witch. This day is not going well. But then again, it is Halloween…
We walk across the beam, and slide down a pole until we hit the ground. We sneak out if the house and sprint down the cracked road to the station. It was quite a long run. We collapse on a bench, exhausted.
“Go!” Shouts Casey, “I can’t go with you!” I pull the other two pieces of candy and eat one of them. The familiar awful wave of nausea flashes over us. It lasts an instant, sending me sprawling on the pavement outside of the costume shop. I stand up, brushing the dirt off of my denim jeans.
“So, you met my wife,” says a voice from behind me. I turn to see the old man ninja.
“Yeah,” I say, grinding the remaining piece of candy underneath my sneaker, “She’s crazy.”
“Can you see how I ended up here?” Says the old man, his hands resting on the emerald top of the cane he carries.
“Yeah. This vampire helped me escape.” I admit, sticking my hands in my pockets.
“A vampire?” He laughs, “What a vivid imagination you have, Miss.” He turns to step inside the sketchy shop once more, but he flashes a grin and winked as he closes the door.
And through the old glass, I swear I see fangs, glinting at me...