(10 min story)
The Morning of Halloween
The morning of Halloween started off like any other morning. The cool fall air had settled into the small town of Grayville. Fog rose off the ponds and blanketed the meadows. And, for the mischievous twin sisters Sarah and Andrea this was an especially exciting day because not only was it Halloween, on a Friday, but it was their 11th birthday.
Their alarm clock went of promptly at 6:45am, not too early but not too late. The girls, each immediately remembering the multiple occasions for the day quickly sprang from their beds and went about their morning routine of getting ready for school in a flurry. Coincidentally enough, as it happens with identical twin sisters, they chose almost exactly the same outfits without realizing.
At the moment they realized they had nearly the same outfits each sister in turn turned to face the other and almost as if looking into a mirror understood and agreed not to make it a confrontation. With that and after being kissed on the forehead by their mother who had also supplied them with a small bagged lunch they were off into the school day.
The Teacher’s Halloween Costume
The halls of the school were lightly decorated with Halloween ribbons and streamers and nearer and leading into the science lab there was a giant spider’s web which became thicker as it approach the room. The front half body of a huge black tarantula was attached to the wall just above the door, poised as if to spring on the kids as they entered the classroom.
Science was the first class of the day for both Sarah and Andrea. They were surprised to see a few of the kids in the class dressed up in costumes. As they had discussed in the weeks prior to Halloween, they were saving their perfect twin zombie cheerleader costumes for the evening. They planned on being the talk of their neighborhood and had been building their costumes for weeks. Did they somehow miss the memo of being able to wear costumes to school that day?
Each looked the other’s way and knowing together they could have potentially made more of a splash here during school they simultaneously let out a small, frustrated “eek.” None of the students nearby seemed to hear, as faint as the noise was, but the fake and pointy ears of the science teacher seemed to twitch and perk up.
Mr. Longmire, dressed in a large, brown and furry werewolf costume stood behind the main lab table in the front of the class. His costume appeared almost lifelike as he fumbled with the beakers and lab kit in strewn over the table. The girls hadn’t noticed, but as they went to take their seats Mr. Longmire’s costume nostrils flared and contracted just every so slightly, catching their scent. Keeping with his character, once the students were seated and he was ready he growled, “shall we begin?”
The bus ride home after what seemed like an exceptionally long day of school also seemed exceptionally long. Each of the kids were loud and proudly talked about their Halloween costumes as if theirs were to be the best. Some of the boys who were known to be fans of superheroes, began quoting their favorite character’s lines; ready to play the characters themselves as soon as they got home and dawned their hero outfits.
Sarah and Andrea were busy in their seats planning their planning their trick-or-treating route as the bus pulled up to their stop. Along with a couple of other students, the twins departed the bus and walked to meet their mom at the entrance of their house. They could help but notice a giant sign planted in the middle of the front yard’s Halloween decoration reading, “Happy Birthday!” They ran up to their mom “woohoo-ing” as they reveled in their day!
Inside their house their mother had already sat out two large bowls filled with delicious looking Halloween candy. One of the bowls they knew was for outside trick-or-treaters. That bowl made growling sounds as your hand passed over the top and reached for candy. The other, a smaller orange bowl for inside the house for friends who would be coming over that evening, was filled to the brim with the twin’s favorite candies, Twix!
As the girls ran by the bowl to head upstairs, they passed by a banner on their dining room wall reading ‘Happy Birthday Sarah and Andrea’. Sarah, who was just ahead of Andrea, swiped a Twix as they ran by. Andrea had thought of just that same thing but knowing they always shared she resisted. The girls proceeded up to their room to get ready for their birthday party and trick-or-treating.
When they got to their room Sarah threw down her backpack and looked at the Twix packet. It seemed somehow not enough to have just one of them, even with more candy coming that night. She felt as if she wanted the entire thing to herself and honestly, she was tired of sharing. She tore open the package and, in that moment, looking across the room at Andrea who had started to get on one of their matching costumes she shoved the entire Twix in her mouth.
Andrea looked up and saw what Sarah had done and stopped, almost in horror. Andrea didn’t say anything. She didn’t need to. Sarah stared back at Andrea, seeing the look of horror on her face, and it felt good. She was glad to have done it.
The girls had been trick-or-treating for nearly an hour and had already completed a large loop in their neighborhood where their mom and dad dropped out to let them go one more time around a smaller block before coming back home to celebrate their birthday. The Twins’ grandparents and some neighborhood friends had already started to gather when they went off on their final loop.
Most of their neighborhood was new homes and Sarah and Andrea had moved into one of the newest sections of their neighborhood. The small loop they were going to go house to house in was almost complete but for a small stretch of land that wasn’t even cleared of trees yet. After hitting the first couple of houses and scoring loads of candy the girls approached that stretch of the neighborhood.
The rest of the neighborhood had seemed full of life with kids and parents outside and enjoying Halloween but for some reason as they walked passed the to-be lots in this section of the neighborhood it was quiet and eerie. One of the streetlights adjacent to the wooded section was out and another flickered. Up ahead the girls could see the home start up again but they would have to pass through this darker section to get there.
Sarah, still being in a mood of selfishness started to walk faster and began to leave Andrea behind. Andrea was busy rummaging through her bag of candy and didn’t notice the space between them widen. As Sarah continued forward towards the brighter part of the neighborhood and next houses they would be trick-or-treating in she glanced back to see Andrea finish looking through her candy and look up to see how she’s fallen behind. Slow poke, is all Sarah thought, turning back to where she was going.
Andrea had just seen Sarah turn her back to her and she had in mind to pick up her pace when all of a sudden, someone out of the wooded section of the neighborhood, a large brown creature appeared and in an instant, giving her only enough time to let out a small “eek” everything around her went dark.
The faint noise startled Sarah and caused her to jump. The hairs on the back of her neck were standing up as she turned around to face Andrea saying, “very funny.” But, Andrea wasn’t anywhere to be seen. Sarah screamed! Dropping her candy she sprinted all of the way home, skipping by houses and moving in a panic passed confused trick-or-treaters. Sarah neared her steps and leapt to the top spilling the bucket of candy over.
She burst into the door and was met by a room of the laughing and smiling faces of her family and their friends, full in their conversations with one another. She ran up to her mother with tears bursting out of her eyes and collapsed into her mom’s arms crying, “Andrea’s gone. Something got her!”
“Baby, it’s ok.” Her mom said. “Nothing is going to get you.”
“Not me, Mom!” Sarah replied. “Something got Andrea!” she contnued..
“Sweetie,” her mom started, “Is that one of your new friends?” she asked? “Who’s Andrea?”
Sarah pulled back from her mom. At this point, the room at quieted down with most of her friends and family staring at her. The room itself seemed to swallow her whole as she backed away from them towards the door. What did her mom mean, Who’s Andrea?
Sarah was afraid and confused. She looked to the entry way mirror and saw herself in it, her face, simply a reflection but filled with a look of horror. A low whimper escaped her mouth. She looked around at the eyes of people staring at her and that’s when she noticed it. Sitting on the dining room table, a small orange bowl of Twix, and just over the dining room table along the wall, a banner reading, “Happy Birthday, Sarah.”