Rodney and Jessica were in a costume shop, browsing the racks of witches’ masks and zombie suits.
"Hey, here’s a good one!" Jessica called, holding a grotesque mask in front of her face to show Rodney.
"Ew, gross, it looks like my grandma, but with more hair," Rodney said, making a face.
Jessica sighed and put the mask back.
"You just can’t be happy, can you?" she asked.
"Hey, it’s your mask. Go as whatever you want, don’t let me decide," he responded. He was walking away from her now, looking left and right at the full-body costumes hanging from the shelves.
"Whatever," Jessica said, and walked the other way, towards the scary props section to check out some bloody plastic sickles.
Rodney walked down the hall slowly, looking like a ten-year-old faced with a candy buffet. He walked past the cloaks, robes, hoods, lions, other various animals, famous movie characters, and assorted random people, such as ninjas and pirates. A particularly gruesome thing caught his eye in the corner, an ugly green troll. Upon closer inspection, however, he found that the suit was very low-quality. He wouldn’t be scaring anybody wearing that thing. He poked the troll’s big ugly nose, and the whole thing fell over. It had been sitting on a box, he saw, and something was poking out of it. Curious, he opened the box and pulled out the contents.
It was some kind of death suit, as far as he could tell. The main body was a black cloak, and a black hood was pulled up over a hideous skull. The skull was deformed and misshapen, but that somehow added to the frightening effect. He reached his hand out to touch it, and found it rubbery and cold. Tentatively, he put it on, hiding his face behind the mask and under the hood, slipping his arms into skeleton-gloves that looked real. He picked up a metallic scythe, also in the box, and held it in what he thought was a menacing position. He peered into a mirror at the end of the aisle and jumped a little at his reflection. He honestly looked like the messenger of death, eyes black pieces of burnt coal, nose just two slits in his skinless face. He took the costume off and searched for his sister. He found her back in the masks section, looking again at witches.
"Hey. Ready to go?" he asked, startling her a little. She almost dropped the hag’s mask she had been about to put on.
"Just a sec," she said, and slipped on the mask. Rodney looked at her carefully, studying. It was a pretty good mask; fairly realistic, creepily scary, and it would go great with the small crooked sickle she had also picked out.
"Looks great, now let’s go," he said.
"Really?" she asked, taking the mask off. "Great. Thanks."
They carried their items to the checkout line, where they waited behind a stout old man who was buying candy, supposedly for trick-or-treaters but most likely for himself. When the large man had finished, Jessica placed her scythe and mask on the counter. The clerk ran her scanner over the bar codes of each, and the total came up to almost twenty dollars.
"A bit expensive, isn’t it?" Jessica asked, handing the clerk the money.
"The best," the clerk replied. "Worth every penny."
"Would you still say that if you didn’t work here?" Jessica asked, smiling as she took her small bag of stuff.
The clerk smiled back a little, and gestured to Rodney.
Rodney placed the costume and scythe on the counter and watched as the clerk searched them for price tags. Unable to find any, he called on the intercom:
"Price check for…" He looked at the face and scythe. "Grim Reaper costume and scythe accessory, please."
A few seconds later, a reply came. "Grim Reaper plus scythe? .95."
"Okay, thank you," the clerk said, and rang up the total. Rodney paid, but couldn’t help feeling that he was being charged for the wrong item. He had seen a Grim Reaper costume earlier, and it had looked a lot cheesier and probably cost a lot less. The scythe, too. You could barely tell this one was plastic.
"Thank you," Rodney said, and he and Jessica walked out into the parking lot.
"Are you ready yet?" Jessica called up the stairs impatiently.
"Just a minute!" Rodney called back, his voice slightly muffled by the death mask he wore. He studied himself in the mirror. He looked scary, all right. Very scary.
He walked downstairs, showing Jessica his costume for the first time. She made a face, much like the one he had given her when she had shown him the witch’s mask that looked like his grandma.
"Ew, it’s disgusting," she said, looking sick. Then she laughed. "It’s great! It looks real, too. I bet you’ll win the costume contest, if there is one."
"You think?" he asked, voice still muffled a little. She would never tell him this, but she felt better when he spoke. She felt better knowing that under the horrible costume, it was still her brother.
"Definitely," she responded confidently. "Now let’s go or we’ll be late," she said, and they got into the car and drove away.
There was no costume contest at the party, but they still had a great time. Bowls of candy corn were laid out on a table, and Rodney was thoroughly enjoying the terrified looks people gave him when they first saw him. After the real fear, though, there was just an apprehensive curiosity about the person behind the mask. When they found out that it was just Rodney, they often laughed and smiled.
At one point in the party, Rodney went over to get some candy corn. He got there just in time to see the last of it taken by a rather skinny, nerdy-looking guy. He walked up to the skinny guy.
"Hey, do you know if there’s anymore of that candy corn anywhere?" he asked, hopeful.
The skinny guy jumped when he saw Rodney, and replied carefully, thoughtfully chewing his candy corn.
"I don’t think so, man. Sorry," he said, through a mouth of orange, white, and yellow.
Rodney opened his mouth to say that it was okay, but instead he uttered a low grunt and punched the skinny guy in the stomach. Hard.
The skinny guy bent over in pain, candy corn spilling from his mouth, groaning a little as he fell to the floor, clutching his stomach.
Rodney backed away, horrified. He hadn’t meant to hit him; he never would have. Why had his gloved arm suddenly plunged itself deep into the skinny guy’s stomach?
People were turning to look now, eyes wide and mouths open, and Jessica broke free from the crowd.
"Rodney! What’s the matter with you?" she asked, anger flashing in his eyes. "Why would you do that?"
"I don’t know," Rodney said, fearfully and truthfully. "I…don’t feel good, can we go?"
She groaned. "I don’t know why you chose to goof this up, Rodney." She turned towards the gathering crowd. "Everyone!" she shouted. "Sorry about my brother! He’s feeling a little sick. We’re going to go now; sorry for the inconvenience." She leaned in towards the skinny guy, still holding his stomach on the floor. "I’m especially sorry for you," she said, meaning it.
Rodney and Jessica walked out of the party, seriously doubting that they would be invited back next year.
"Why did you do that?" Jessica asked again.
"I don’t know," Rodney replied again.
"There has to be a reason. Why did you do that?"
"Fine, you want the truth? I’ll give you the truth. The costume did it, okay? That horrible death costume. Happy now?" he said loudly.
"Come on, don’t be stupid. It’s just a costume, you can’t blame your stupid actions on it."
"You asked why, I answered. If you don’t believe me, that’s your problem, not mine. You remember how there were no price tags on it? I don’t think this thing was manufactured for Store-O-Horror, Jess."
"You’re just being stupid and irresponsible."
Wow, Rodney thought. Three stupids in a row. New record.
"Believe what you want, I’m not wearing that thing again. I’m probably not going trick-or-treating tomorrow either."
"You have to go! It’s a tradition!"
"Yeah, well, too bad," Rodney said, feeling sorry for his sister but not wanting to put on that costume again. "I’ll catch up with you, if I’m up to it," he said, but didn’t expect to feel up to it.
"Okay," she said, looking depressed.
That night Rodney dreamt about the costume. He dreamt it was coming for him, floating out of the darkness, coming towards him with the large scythe in its hands. Rodney tried to run, but had nowhere to go. He stood there, immobile, as the horrid thing swung its scythe towards his neck. He woke up on the verge of screaming, but somehow held it back, then had to struggle with it again as he looked towards his closet and saw the costume staring back at him with its charcoal eyes and gaping mouth.
"Okay, I’m going now. Last chance to come," Jessica said, standing at the door with an empty bag in one hand and her sickle in the other, her hag’s mask on her face.
"Thanks, but I’ll probably just stay home. Like I said, I’ll catch up with you if I feel like it," he said, trying to smile at her reassuringly.
"Okay," she said, looking put out as she walked out the door and closed it behind her.
Rodney sat on the couch, watching TV, a scary movie marathon.
What was that? Was that a noise from upstairs?
No, he reasoned, just the scary movies playing tricks with my senses, he thought.
But there it is again…
"Trick-or-treat!" they yelled, holding out their empty bags. Mrs. Kramer came to the door, a bowl of chocolates tucked under one arm.
"Well now, let’s see what we’ve got here. Hm…An alien, a pirate, a ghost, and two witches. In other words, Billy, Andy, Larry, Jessica and Beth," she said, pointing to each one as she spoke. "You’re getting older," she said, as though suggesting that they were too old to trick-or-treat. "Where’s your brother tonight, Jessica?" she asked, handing out pieces of candy to the trick-or-treaters.
"He’s home sick, Mrs. Kramer," she replied.
"Oh, well that’s a shame. Tell him to get better for me!" she called as they walked away.
"Will do, Mrs. Kramer!" Jessica called back, waving.
At the next house, it was more or less the same thing, only with Mr. Rockwell instead of Mrs. Kramer at the door.
"Let’s see…We’ve got a pirate, a witch, a ghost, another witch, a bug, and good old Death himself," he said, pointing to each individually. With a start, Jessica whirled around and saw her brother standing there in his costume.
"Hey, Rodney. Feeling better?" she asked.
He said nothing.
"Not very talkative tonight, are you, Rodney?" Mr. Rockwell asked, handing out candy to each of them. He stopped when he got to Rodney, who apparently had no trick-or-treat bag. "Hey, where are you keeping your candy, boy? In your pants?" he asked good-naturedly.
Rodney said nothing.
"Oh well, I guess you’re not feeling much better after all. Maybe you’d be better off inside, getting lots of rest," he said, and shut the door.
They walked down the road, a strange procession of a pirate, an alien/bug, a ghost, two witches, and Death.
"What’s up, Rodney?" the ghost, Larry, asked. "You’re not in the mood for candy tonight?"
Rodney raised his scythe back over his head threateningly.
Larry laughed nervously. "Haha, well, try not to hurt yourself."
His expression changed from concern to worry to fear to out right terror in the space of a few seconds as Rodney swung his scythe with all his might. The blade connected with Larry’s throat, cutting through his vocal cords and spinal cord, spilling blood across the pavement and scythe blade. Jessica and Beth screamed, Billy and Andy looking on in open-mouthed silent horror as Larry’s head hit the cement with a wet smack.
"Rodney!" Billy screamed, backing away. Rodney turned from Larry’s decapitated body to Billy. He advanced, holding the scythe high above his head.
"Hey, come on, man, this isn’t funny!" he shouted, his last words as the scythe came slashing through his body, cutting it vertically in half. Well, almost. The blade got stuck about halfway through the cut, and Rodney had to place a foot on Billy’s waist to yank the scythe out. Billy was making funny gurgling sounds as his blood spewed out onto the sidewalk and grass. Beth grabbed Jessica’s hand and ran away, but Andy was paralyzed with fear. Rodney walked towards him, slowly, casually.
"What’s wrong with you?" Andy asked, and Rodney slashed through him horizontally, sending his torso crashing to the ground on top of his legs.
"You’re not you," Andy’s upper half croaked, his last words before he slipped into the sweet relief of death.
Jessica and Beth burst into the house. They were greeted with a grisly scene: pieces of Rodney were strewn about the living room, blood coating the walls, the furniture, the floor, even the ceiling. A meaty chunk of flesh slid sickly down the wall.
"But…" Jessica breathed. "We just saw Rodney…Didn’t we?"
The living room door flew open, letting in a gust of wind and good old Death himself, bloody scythe in his hands.
Jessica cast a glance to the ground, and realized with no real surprise that there were no feet there. The costume was floating.
Beth turned towards Jessica as the thing slowly advanced, stepping through the puddles of Rodney’s blood.
"You or me," she said softly, and pushed Jessica towards the thing while running in the opposite direction, towards the back door. She heard a sickening squelching noise and opened the door in a hurry, escaping out into the cool black night.
Death, like a shadow, was never far behind, and caught up with her eventually.
It now lies dormant, waiting for one so foolish as to awaken it. You should look for it at your local costume shop.
soz its so long
for you that are wunderin
this was a mixed thing i made parts of it up and some bits i took from other stories you can find on the internet and your local library