No Ordinary Halloween Tale
This is no ordinary Halloween tale of gnashing teeth and spiteful things. Those sorts of stories reek of make-believe, of faeries gone bad, the bad gone worse. No, the best sort of stories for Halloween fear are the ones that happen outside your head. The ones like this. Let me begin…
A neon sky brought out the blue in her eyes, innocent, they were, for a few hours more. Not a cloud trespassed across heaven, not a leaf blew on the trees, all was still this All Hallows’ Eve, stalled. Day slipped into evening in shades of ever-decreasing blue: neon begat azure, azure begat teal, teal begat ultramarine, ultramarine begat black. The latter came with haste and a distinct unwillingness to wait. If any evening deserved the certainty of an obsidian shawl, it was this.
Sienna, the girl at the centre of our tale, said goodbye to her friends who were all decked out in Halloween finery. She was not. Her parents demanded her home, safe, or so they hoped. Sienna left with a twinkle of blue and a skipped farewell. The other girls said goodbye for the last time, although, of course, they didn’t know it.
Through the streets, Sienna skipped, at first, anyway. The closer to home she came, the slower her strides. By the time she reached the top of her avenue, others already out with their pumpkins and goody bags, Sienna had changed.
It started with her eyes like the clouds covering the sun on a winter’s day; cold they were, freezing. Her fingers curled like eagle’s claws, steel talons flashing with killer intent. Last to go was her mind. Troubled, they’d called her from a very young age. Troubled, but beautiful. Beauty cannot hide an evil heart for long, though, despite what parents might wish.
Sienna entered her house; the doors were never locked, removed her jacket and rolled up her sleeves. She even removed her retainer to the relief of her teeth. One might have seen her incisors lengthen then just like in a horror film or a comic or a bad dream. She licked her lips then tasted the air, a Hannibal Lecter slurping of distinct bad taste. Sienna was hungry, ravenous, and knew just what to eat.
Her parents didn’t hear her enter the room, see her tiny fingernails slash, her mouth grab for a throat. Her father, a full grown and formidable fellow, fell first. Not so formidable after all. Sienna’s mother saw it all. Saw things she shouldn’t have seen; another casualty of war. When her little girl swivelled to her, eyes crimson and lips the same, she screamed. She thought she screamed, anyway, but the sounds never made it out of her voice box; that was gone. Removed.
Life ebbed away in slurps and stabbing teeth replaced by memories returned at the last. That night. That night he’d come. The man with the pallid visage, doll-like he’d stood there, cloak flapping, eyes wide and tongue lolling. His hands had wrung together like a miser counting the cost of a good investment; she was a good investment, a fine investment. She remembered it all, the invasion of self, the perversion of future life. Everything.
He wasn’t hard to remember, in truth, as her hand raised and fell one last time. After all, he stood right behind his daughter applauding.
I claimed this no ordinary Halloween tale and I stand by my words. You see, it is not a human hand that pens it, but he, him, the one, me. I was he and he was me, and you need not read this text as I’m here to read it for you.