“I just don’t get it.”
Wincing, you try once again to explain your costume. “Okay, I’m wearing aviator goggles and a flight jacket, right? And I’m carrying a shovel. Because I’m the ace of spades, see?”
Your friend Adam raises an eyebrow. “Yeah, no, that’s… that’s clever. Definitely. You should go with that.”
“Screw you,” you reply, going back to scarfing orange and black M&M’s and watching Freddy vs. Jason. Whatever, some people have no appreciation for high-concept humor. Changing the subject, you say, “Remind me again what your plan is for tonight?”
“I told you, we’re having a party in the cemetery – Mike’s bringing food, Smitty’s on drink duty, and Tom promised to make a Halloween mix. We’re gonna hang out, tell some ghost stories, make fun of whoever tries to leave first. You should come.” Grinning, he adds, “You know, Jamie asked me earlier if you were going to be there… maybe you two can hold hands to keep from getting scared.”
Privately you think that doesn’t sound like such a bad idea, but instead you sigh. “Yeah, but my mom was hinting that she wants me to take my little brother out trick-or-treating. And Jason and Beth said something about stopping by later to watch some scary movies… I don’t want to leave them hanging.”
“Your loss,” Adam shrugs, snapping the last piece of his Hellboy costume into place. “Well, you know where to find us if you change your mind.” Rising, he walks to the front door and exits just as your mother comes downstairs.
“Oh, there you are, dear. Listen, are you going to be able to take your brother trick-or-treating? I would, but I have that last-minute Halloween party to go to. I know it would mean a lot to him if you’d be willing to take him.”
Before you can answer, the doorbell rings. “Hold on, Mom, I’ll be right back.” Answering it, you find Beth and Jason on your front step, smiling and holding what looks like every horror film Blockbuster had on their shelves. “Let us in, bitch, it’s cold out there,” Beth says by way of greeting, sliding past you into the hallway. Jason shoots you a grin and follows her as you hang up their coats; but before you can catch up, your cell phone buzzes.
What now? you groan, seeing it’s a text message from your friend Erin. Opening it, you read: going 2 smsh punkins & TP houses. u in? meet @ my place in 10. Weighing your options, you walk back into the living room to find your mother looking at you expectantly and Beth waving a DVD in the air. It’s time to make a decision.