It's Halloween Appreciation week over at the National Short Story of Romance in honor of Fyrefly's birthday. This is an old story, but I thought it fit the occasion.
Happy Halloween Everyone.
Tricking the Treaters
©2008 Suzanne Lazear
Halloween was one holiday I just didn’t get. Kids dressed up in costumes and went door-to-door expecting candy. Adults dressed up and got drunk. I could deal with the parties. But the whole candy thing confused me.
What goddess was this holiday supposed to appease anyway?
Of course there were a lot of things I didn’t get. Like Girls Scouts, Spandex, and Reality TV.
“Are you sure you’ll be okay, Rory?” my housemate Ray asked. Again. On his way to a party, he was dressed as a pirate, complete with a three-cornered hat and a black eye-patch.
Looking up from my trashy romance novel, holding my place with a blood-red, manicured finger, I shot him a look as I lounged on the battered couch in our living room. “I promise to not turn the sprinklers on the kids and to actually give them candy, not cans of vegetables.”
I glared at the bowl of chocolates.
He tracked my gaze. “Some people like candy.”
Why did I volunteer for candy duty again?
Oh yeah, because I had to get up at the butt-crack of dawn for work tomorrow. At least I wasn’t on duty tonight. Like everyone in the house, I was an FBI agent. Ray and I dealt with those who walked on the wild side. We were the real “x-files.” If only people knew what really went bump in the night...
“Alright,” he sighed. “But if the house gets egged, you clean it up.”
I rolled my eyes. “I did last year, didn’t I?”
The little devils paid for it, too. You didn’t want to mess with me; I had a katana and knew how to use it.
Said katana sat in the center of the old wooden coffee table, with the bowl of candy, a can of beer, and a box of ding-dongs.
My spell gun was hidden from Ray’s view, tucked under my bent knees, loaded with pellets filled with sleeping potion, just in case the little devils came back for a rematch.
Punk teens were nothing compared to my usual workload.
He eyed me skeptically. “You’re not dressed up.”
“Am too.” A battered Red Sox hat was over my messy auburn bob, I had on jeans and a Red Sox shirt. “I’ll put my katana on when I answer the door.”
Ray shook his head. “Try not to burn the house down.” He left. My other three housemates were already gone.
Alone at last.
Unfortunately, not for long.
The doorbell rang. I dutifully doled out brightly wrapped candies to little kids dressed as stuff. I liked kids well enough, I’d sooner die than see them hurt, but I just wasn’t very good with them.
But then again I’d never really gotten to be a kid.
The night dragged on. Every time I got into a scene in my book, the doorbell rang. By 9 pm, it was quiet again. I’d gone through a couple of cans of beer and half the box of ding-dongs.
The guys wouldn’t be back until late. I could join them for a little while. But it was a work party. At someone else’s house. That meant certain a co-worker would be there.
So didn’t want to deal.
And if I didn’t dress up…
Somebody didn’t count a katana and a Red Sox hat as a “real costume.”
Also didn’t want to deal.
The doorbell rang. This time it wasn’t little kids, but a group of frat boys in drag. I gave them handfuls of candy, beer, and at their request, cans of Spaghetti O’s. I didn’t get it.
But I’d never actually been a college student, either.
Just as I was about to sit down, the doorbell rang again. The teen hoodlums got the rest of the candy. I turned on the sprinklers, and turned off the porch light. Then I left a bowl of canned vegetables on the porch for stragglers. It was a school night. Certainly, if you were out this late in our quiet DC neighborhood you weren’t expecting anything good.
About an hour later my sensitive ears picked up whispering in the front yard.
“Dude, she turned the sprinklers on.”
“This is a bad idea, she has a katana remember.”
“You’re such a chicken.”
The little devils were back for more.
I was ready.
Slinging my katana across my back, I grabbed my spell gun, and padded up the stairs. From my bedroom widow, I climbed up onto the roof and took my position.
Despite the sprinklers, they were toilet papering the yard. That would make a mess. Couldn’t they think of something more creative?
Even I was beyond that. I’d left an old couch on the lawn of a co-worker who pissed me off. Pink flamingos also worked well. In a pinch, so did plastic forks.
From my perch on the roof, I aimed my spell gun at the teens and fired three times in rapid succession. The tiny balls loaded with potent sleeping potion hit each one, felling them as soon as the liquid touched their skin.
I grinned. Those little devils never had a chance.
Sleeping potion was a wonderful thing, even if it was expensive and I couldn’t figure out how to put it on my expense reports. Just because I believed in the paranormal didn’t mean accounting did.
Now the real fun began.
Like they were sacks of potatoes instead of punks, I threw the three of them in the back of my housemate’s pickup along with some lawn chairs, rope, lawn gnomes, and a plastic palm tree. I took some of their toilet paper for good measure.
Covering everything with a tarp, I stowed my katana in the gun rack I’d installed for that very purpose.
Then I drove to the White House. Government tags were marvelous things.
I was about to engage in the prank of a lifetime when I heard a familiar voice.
“What are you doing, Rory?”
Of course he’d be lurking in the shadows on Halloween. For a vampire, Joel wasn’t that bad. “Tricking the treaters.”
Arching a dark eyebrow, he shot me a look.
“What? They were trying to TP my house. I’m leaving them on the White House lawn.”
The vampire smirked. “You’re not that good.”
I grinned. “Watch.”
I was faster and stronger than a vampire. Leaping fences and avoiding cameras, dogs, and patrols came naturally. Even with punks and prank stuff in tow. I knew where all the security weak points were. This was something I could do with a katana strapped to my back and never losing my Red Sox hat.
They should hire me to break in and tell them how to fix it.
On second thought, that would be a bad idea. That would mean admitting that I had exceptional breaking and entering skills. Ones that were unusual even for an agent who dealt with the paranormal.
In a matter of minutes, all three pranksters were settled in lawn chairs on the White House lawn, the plastic palm tree and gnomes around them. They were tied to the chairs, and toilet papered.
I hadn’t even been seen.
Soundlessly landing on the other side of the fence, I gave my hat a tweak and winked at Joel.
Would the little devils be found before or after the sleeping potion wore off? How would they explain it? Now that would be pure comedy.
“Remind me to never piss you off.” Joel looked impressed.
I shrugged. “Serves them right for trying to TP my yard.”
Like I’d arrived, I quietly slipped away, truck and all, returning to the house.
After I cleaned up the toilet paper, I settled on the couch with my book, even though I should go to sleep. Another can of beer, a ding-dong, and katana were on the table, spell gun tucked under my knees, just in case. I wondered if it would make the paper in the morning.
Ah, peace and quiet at last.
I was still there when Ray came home.
“Hi, Rory. Anything exciting happen?”
I barely looked up from my book. I was at a really juicy part. “Nope, all quiet on the home front.”