Pairings/Characters: Kristen Bouchard, Lila Bouchard, Kelsey Clark, Laura Bouchard, Lexis Bouchard, Lynn Bouchard, Hayley Clark
Genres: Drama, Holiday, A Touch Of Horror
Spoilers: For October 31 (1x5)
Summary: Halloween, trick-or-treating, and weirdness. ‘Nuff said! J
Date Of Completion: February 20, 2020
Date Of Posting: March 13, 2020
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, Robert King and Michelle King do, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 949
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
When spirits keen,
And trees sigh,
With hopes high.
The Night of Nights,
The veil is thin,
The Night of Frights,
Kristen remembered her childhood holidays. Dressing up in costume and going trick-or-treating with her friends was always a highlight of the year. Candy was a great fringe benefit.
The air was crisp as darkness began to descend. Colorful leaves still were making a grand show on the trees, while those blown down by the wind skittered down the street in a merry dance.
Most houses in the neighborhood were decorated: Witches, ghosts, skeletons and Jack O’Lanterns were in abundance. Kristen especially liked the tiny pumpkin lights that were strung around windows and doors. It was a delightful borrowing of Christmas tradition.
All four of her daughters were dressed up and ready to enjoy the ritual. Two of their friends had joined them. It was a happy group that went up to the first house and rang the doorbell.
The woman answering the door was delighted. “Wow, what have we here? A knight, a clown, a housewife in curlers, a fairy princess? A cowgirl and porcupine!”
The girls laughed and chattered and said, “Thank you!” as the woman dropped candy into their plastic pumpkins and bags. They ran to Kristen and crowed, “I got a Snickers!” “I got a Hersey bar!” “I got a Reese’s peanut butter cup!” “Popcorn ball!”
“A Reese’s, huh?” Kristen snatched Lila’s bag and the girls screamed as they chased their mother.
“You’re so much fun, Mrs. Bouchard,” said Kelsey, pushing her cowboy hat tighter on her head after the chase.
Kristen laughed and returned the bag to Lila. “C’mon, next house.”
The girls went through the same ritual and ran back with a report: “I got a Mars bar!” “I got a Milky Way!” “Starbursts!” “I got a rock.”
“Good one, Charlie Brown.” Kristen patted her daughter Laura’s head.
The girls scampered from house-to-house. Other groups of children were roaming the neighborhood, all escorted by adults. Kristen remembered parental escort when she was a young child, but the older she and her friends got, they went out on their own.
The world really has changed.
She thought of the phone call earlier that evening from David. An exorcism? She deliberately did not think about what would have been her first exorcism with the McCrystal boy. No, this would be the first one she would experience.
She shivered slightly. She had never been a fan of The Exorcist. It would be a harrowing experience, no doubt. The wind blew, as if promising mystery.
Kristen walked behind the gaggle of girls as they made the rounds. She admired the houses’ decorations and listened to the girls’ chatter.
The girls paused as they approached a house behind an iron fence. The gates were open and a light over the front door indicated welcome to trick-or-treaters. The house was an old Victorian with gingerbread curlicues. Leafless trees flanked the house, bony branches reaching fingers toward the sky. On the wrap-around veranda, cornstalks bowed in the wind as Jack O’Lanterns leered with toothy, flickering smiles. Plastic skeletons twirled slowly in the wind as they hung from the veranda roof. The number 669 glittered under the veranda light.
“Ooh, spooky,” said Lila.
“Yeah,” Lexis said, her voice uncertain.
“Let’s go!” Laura said and Kristen laughed. Her youngest was always ready to dive into adventure.
Her oldest daughter Lynn bowed in her knight’s costume. “Come with me, Princess.”
Laura giggled and the girls walked up the flagstone path and veranda to ring the doorbell.
Kristen stood by the iron gates, her hands insider her coat pockets. The owner of the place had done a good job of decorating. The house was definitely creepy.
An elderly woman answered the door. She was dressed in black pants and sweater.
Halloween night was always eerie. Even as a child, Kristen had felt the magic in the air. Now as an adult, she felt maybe the Pagans had it right: the veil between the worlds was at its thinnest. Were spirits roaming this night?
Hoo, boy. The new job is getting to me. Spirits? Ha!
A flicker of movement caught her attention. Was someone moving by that tree close to the veranda? She strained to see. Her jaw dropped.
The incubus of her nightmares was grinning at her from the shadows. Fear swept through her.
Am I dreaming?
Kristen looked around, wondering if she was home in bed. Halloween was always surreal. Were her childhood memories mixing with the present?
She felt paralyzed like in her nightmares. With great effort, she managed to look back at the tree. Nothing was there.
Relieved, Kristen relaxed and looked over at the group gathered at the front door. The old woman’s face was shadowed.
The girls chorused, “Thank you!” and ran off the veranda down the walk.
“What did you get?” Kristen asked.
“You all get the same thing?”
“Yep.” Lila rattled the little box of Milk Duds.
“Okay, let’s go.”
Kristen ushered the girls out to the sidewalk. She looked back at No. 669 and blinked. Was that number now 666?
I need my eyes checked.
Was the third number loose and it had been turned upside-down and now was corrected? The old woman was still at the door and smiling. Behind her in the shadows a Cheshire Cat-like grin gleamed. Kristen blinked and it was gone.
“C’mon, girls, let’s hustle.”
I have an exorcism to attend.
Kristen and her trick-or-treaters hurried down the street as the front door of No. 669 (?) closed with a long, slow creak.
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