By the time they showed up, she had her kitchen set up like a crafty little workshop. She had placed old newspaper down on the table in four different spots and on top of each work space sat a perfectly round, orange pumpkin. To complete the look, she had bought a few extra carving sets, complete with books containing pictures and outlines of designs one might want to carve into their gourd, and in the center sat several tea light candles.
She had also been busily working on several batches of cookies in the kitchen, so as usual, it was a bakers mess with flour thrown here and there, sugar sacks sitting in various places, a bowl of melted butter near the sink, and a few food colorings scattered about. The next set would be of the chocolate chip kind, and the batter was just about ready. One last stir of the beaters and there was a knock at the door, followed by the fake doorbell she had bought at Halloween central. It let out a squeaky, eerie noise followed by a deep, scratchy voice that said, ‘Welcome to the temple of terror, please enter!’ Jenn couldn’t help but laugh, she loved the thing, and before she could turn around it went off again. She paused and let out another little giggle, but then it went off again, and again, and again, until finally she heard one of the boys say, ‘Paul knock it the hell off!’ She guessed it was Marko and hurried to the door.
With one hand on her hip she opened it and lifted an eyebrow as the boys shuffled around behind David, while Paul still tried to reach the doorbell. “Trick or Treat?” She asked with a sly smile.
David put his hands together and smirked as he entered the house, watching her all the way in. “I see you’ve made use of yourself tonight, Jen.” He glanced around at all her décor. “Not bad.”
“Why wouldn’t I?” She asked, before Marko pulled her to him and gave her a quick kiss on the cheek. “It’s one of my favorite days of the year, so I go all out.” Paul came in behind Marko and tried to get a free smooch as well, but Jen put a hand up over his mouth and pushed him playfully away before Marko had the chance to sucker punch him in the ribs. So instead he made his way further into the kitchen to examine all the goodies.
“What have you got for me tonight, lil’ sis?” He asked, poking at the plastic wrapped cookies.
“No, no, no,” She said, skipping over to smack his hands. “Those are for the party. You can have one of the ones in the oven.”
Dwayne had already quietly taken a seat at the far corner of the table. He gave Jen a dark nod and smoothed a hand over his pumpkin of choice. After careful consideration, he decided there was no need to copy something out of a book. The design would come straight from his head. He picked up his knife and began to cut around the top and stem.
Marko also stood before his, giving it a once over and a sly smile directed towards Jen before picking up one of the books to skim through. Jen of course gave him a flirtatious smile back before reaching for her oven mitt to pull her cookies from the oven. Paul had nestled in behind her with his chin close to her neck. “Mmm, mmm, mmm, smells good,” he cooed.
Jen sighed. “I hope you’re referring to those.” She said, pointing to the chocolaty mounds.
“Ah, chill out girl,” He said, goosing her in the sides. “I’m all about the cookies tonight.”
Jen just nodded and sat the tray up on the stove. “They have to cool down first.” She added before making her way over to Marko. “So you guys really take Halloween off?”
Marko showed her his options for pictures to copy. “What do you mean?”
“I just heard that demons, ghouls and such…take Halloween night off. It’s sort of a Holiday of sorts for them. A time to chill…you know, that sort of thing.”
Paul shoved a cookie in his mouth and danced around for a moment while his vampiric taste buds adjusted to the heat. “Oh, you mean are we gona still…” He made two little claw like shapes with his fingers indicating the sucking of blood and tried to show his teeth, but they were covered in chocolate.
“Yes, yes…that,” Jen answered, nonchalantly, trying to decide for a brief moment where to place her hands in an awkward moment. Marko grabbed one and placed it on his pumpkin. She looked at him oddly. “What are you doing?”
“Hold it for me, while I push through the flesh?”
A small sound came from Dwayne as he flashed a smile and even David chuckled a little, but Paul was still too busy hustling cookies. Jen finally smiled and moved in closer to use both hands, while Marko wrapped his arms around her so he could cut better with her standing there. “Smooth, real smooth,” She whispered.
“I try.” He answered, pushing her into the table so that they were flat against each other.
“Is this a pumpkin party or a pumpkin porno?” David asked, finally deciding to pick up one of his tools. He held it straight up in the air and slammed it down hard into the top of his gourd, and continued to do this with every cut he made until he had a jagged outline and the top was ready to be pulled off.
Jenn raised up and pressed her head back against Marko’s chest as he worked the knife in and out of his pumpkin. “It’s neither, we‘re just having fun” she sighed. “And you still haven’t answered my question.” She rolled her head over onto his shoulder and looked carelessly at David.
“Why the hell would we want to follow any tradition that wasn’t our own? Could you go a day without eating? Do you really think we need these to keep the superstitions away?” He sat his knife down, got up and made for the door. “It’s a ridiculous legend. People think they‘re safe from us just because they dress up like us. You better believe I‘ll be feeding tomorrow night, sweetheart.” As soon as he was out the door, the others laughed quietly.
“What nasty bug crawled up his fungus?” Jen asked.
“Aww, he’s just mad cuz he ain’t getting any,” Paul joked. “Speaking of which, bet you haven’t told your mom that you’re fucking a vampire yet.”
“Paul!” Marko slammed him a good one in the arm. “Asshole!”
Jen shook her head. “Shit, like I’d tell her if I was doing anyone, mortal or not…anyways, can we talk about me not dying tonight please. I mean if he’s not laughing now, will he be later?”
Later on that night, a witch at the door to Jen’s house cackled as David walked by, her plastic eyes glowed a light green as she spat the words, ‘I’m going to get you my little sweetie,’ while the fake cauldron she stirred made a strange bubbling sound. He paid her no mind and reacquainted himself with the stool Jen had given him to sit on. Of course, it sat higher than the chairs the other boys sat in, making him feel all the more superior upon his temporary throne. He looked down at the mess on the table in front of him and decided he needed another cigarette, the only thing was, Jen didn’t allow smoking in the house. He cursed at the thought of having to walk all the way back outside at the moment and looked towards the door, tempted to send the stupid, squeaky, Halloween decoration that was the witch, flying across the room.
“I know what you’re thinking,” Marko said without looking up. “Jenn happens to like that witch…a lot.” He turned his pumpkin slightly to the left and examined his work before slashing a perfect anarchy symbol into the flesh just below the carving called, ‘Slim Pickens.’ Two bony skeletons side by side waving their hands in the air.
David huffed and pulled a smoke from his pocket, only to let it dangle uselessly from his lips. He had only managed to get the top off of his and now it sat on the table with half it‘s guts and a few wet seeds dangling out. “This was a bad idea.”
“Hell no it wasn’t!” Paul retorted, as he tried again to poke his plastic knife through a part of his pumpkin. He had finally decided to make an effort towards carving it, which had taken him the better part of the night to make his design look like the playboy bunny, or perhaps a playgirl, but regardless, the form looked a little distorted. “Dam it all to hell!” He threw the knife down and looked over into the kitchen, forgetting for a moment his disappointment as he took in the smell of chocolate chip cookies. “ ‘Sides, it’s free food, and I’ve got big time munchies. Where did Jen disappear to anyway?”
Dwayne sat in the corner of the room, guarding his work so that none of them could see it before he was finished. He had sat quietly for some time working away, a carving tool in one hand and a knife in the other. “You just ate the first dozen she made, ass clown! Save some for the rest of us why don’t you?”
Paul sat against the table with his knees up so that his pumpkin sat in-between them and tapped it with both hands like a drum. “Pfff, it’s not my fault you’re too slow. Marko and I are almost done already.” He picked up a few of the slimy seeds from the wet newspaper and flicked them at Dwayne.
Dwayne raised his head with a scowl. “You ate them before we even got started, fucker!” He picked up a glob of orange guts and tossed them at him. They landed with a goopy thwack right in the middle of the white t-shirt he had decided to wear for the night. “Who the hell wears white to carve pumpkins in anyway?”
“Oh you son of a whore!” Paul spat, scooping off the sludge with one hand and throwing it with a splat back down to the newspaper. He picked up a hand full of his own goo and threw it back at Dwayne who managed to duck and instead the orange spaghetti hit the wall behind him.
“Oooh,” Dwayne taunted. “Jen’s gona stake you good for that one.” He picked up a few more sticky seeds and tossed them back at Paul, but this time it was his turn to duck and instead the seeds landed in Marko’s hair. He looked up at the two with a low growl and grabbed two handfuls of glop and sent them flying in either direction.
David laughed at the site but was content to stay clear of the flying pumpkin guts. Instead he pushed his stool back against the wall and proceeded to watch the happenings. By the time Jen came back into the room, her kitchen was covered from ceiling to floor with pumpkin innards. She took one look at Dwayne and scowled. “You son of a bitch,” she hissed, looking around the room at the mess. “My kitchen…“ And before any of them could say a word, she pulled a large wooden stake out from the back of her jeans and stabbed Dwayne with it right through the heart with both hands.
The other three jumped up and roared out in surprise as Dwayne staggered to get up, while his life’s blood bubbled and oozed out of the wound. He fell to the ground, screaming in rage, clutching the stake with both hands.
Both Marko and Paul grabbed a hold of Jen and threw her roughly against the wall, both completely vamped out now as David stood behind them. “What the fuck!” Paul exclaimed.
Marko had a perplexed yet saddened look in his eyes, despite the change. He pushed her a little more roughly so that her back hit the wall with a thump, and Jen squealed with laughter. “Fooled you bloodsuckers good didn’t I?” She asked.
“Unfortunately,” David said, taking his gloves off and setting them down over the top of one of the pumpkins. “Course, now with pleasure, we’ll all get to try some of that blood Marko’s been raving about for days.”
Jen let out an evil laugh and somehow managed to wiggle one hand free from Marko’s grip. “You’re so weak Marko, letting a girl control your mind like that.” She winked at him and pulled another stake, this time letting Paul have it. He flailed around wildly, banging his head back and fourth as he fell back against the stove. Blood sprayed and splattered everywhere, including all over the top of the neatly wrapped cookies.
Marko hissed and backed away for a second as David looked between Dwayne and Paul. “Marko,” he demanded. “Don’t just stand there, bring her to me!”
Marko nodded and flew at Jen. She caught him by the arms as he caught her and they twirled together in the air just inches from the tile floor. She leaned in and whispered, ‘I love you,’ just as she nailed him with yet another stake. Marko screamed and dropped her. He fell back against the table knocking off the pumpkins and covering their remains with blood.
David roared in anger. He leapt to Jen’s side and dragged her up by her hair with just a little bit too much force, causing her to whimper as the thought of being scalped raced through her mind. He pinned her against the wall, nails digging into her sides, and took her with one hand by the throat. She tried to look over at the other boys, hoping they would see her signal for help, but David was out for blood. He pushed her head to the side and moved in for the kill.
Thankfully, before he could get a good taste of her, Paul came up from behind and smashed a water balloon full of red wine down over his head. “Trick or Treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat!” He whaled, rocking back in laughter. This caught David by surprise and he immediately pulled away from Jen, letting her fall to the floor.
Dwayne rose up and laughed, followed by Marko who rushed to get Jen up, afraid for a moment that she may have been really hurt. “I’m fine,” She whispered, looking up to see David covered in what looked like blood.
“Trick or Treat!” The three of them chimed before exploding into laughter. David spun around in confusion.
“It’s fake, see,” Marko added, pulling at the stake. “Look, the blood isn’t even legit.”
Jen shrugged. “Sorry. We just thought you needed a little ghoulish fun.” She laughed. “The pumpkins were just a disguise to our real plans.”
Paul hopped over and uncovered the blood tray of cookies and popped one in his mouth. “Yeah, maybe now you won’t be such a sour puss.” He sniffed the air. “Even though you smell like a sweet tart right about now.” He chuckled.
David pointed a hard finger at Jen. “What?” She asked. “Hey, no hard feelings huh?”
The rage that was bubbling up in him scared her a little until he looked down at himself and a small, fragile smile erupted from his face. “You were all in on this?”
Marko nodded and moved around him towards the kitchen to find him a clean towel. “Pretty dam good don’t you think?” Jen asked, bravely swiping a few fingers across his chest to taste the wine.
“Little girl, you have no idea,” David grinned.