Author : Jennifer C. Brown aka Laieanna

Mary passed the town’s graveyard, her eye on the mobile facility parked in an empty lot. The line trailing out from the small trailer door was already thirty deep, but a rush of people was only a few steps behind her.

Linda turned to give Mary a big smile after Aaron had nodded to her approaching. “Mary, you came early!”

“Yeah, I figured I’d get a jump on the line this year.”

“Understandable. I think the older we get the less this holds our interest. Can’t stand on these feeble legs as long as the young ones.” She laughed at her own apparent joke that Mary didn’t get.

Aaron leaned forward and gave Mary a wave, “Hey Mary. Did you decide on something this year or are you going with of the usuals?”

“The usual, I guess. Maybe a vampire or witch.”

Aaron nodded again. “Don and I have a bet going. He’s going to be a werewolf, and I’ll be a hunter. The money is all ready to be wired to the winner in two days. I can’t wait till I take him down and his hard earned cash will be paying for my spot,” he jabbed a thumb towards the graveyard, “which I hope not to use for years to come.”

“You should already have one prepaid,” Linda huffed. “You guys are boring. I’m going for something different, like…”

“You won’t believe what Johnny said to me,” Stacy interrupted, panting as she jogged up to her friends, cutting the line. “Says he read in a book that Halloween used to be for kids.” The group stared incredulously. “Seriously! Said kids would dress up and go from house to house asking for candy. He wanted to go out tonight.”

Linda crossed her arms. “I would never let my child out on Halloween. With all the freaks running around, the last thing you want is a child outside a safe zone.”

Confused, Mary shook her head slightly. “Why would they need to ask strangers for candy? We give them tons of candy on Halloween. It’s traditional.”

“Besides, no one is at home on Halloween. And there’s no way the guards will open a safe zone during the holiday,” said Aaron.

“I know,” Stacy sighed. “I tried to make him understand that Halloween was for adults, that he had to wait till he was eighteen. He cried, saying we were doing it all wrong. I can’t get him to understand that it’s not safe.”

Three kids, just barely legal for the holiday, walked passed the group, chatting about the demons and psycho killers they were going to be that year while rubbing the spot a needle had penetrated in their arm. The change was already showing on their bare skin and one girl squealed in excitement when she looked at it.

“First timers,” Linda snorted.

“They’ll be dead before midnight,” Aaron said.

“So what are you turning in to this year, Linda?” Mary asked, remembering she had been cut off earlier.

“A princess.”

Stacy laughed, “Oh geez, you’ll be mauled by any number of people in town if you’re turning in to that.”

“Not really keeping to tradition,” Mary said.

“That’s where you guys are wrong.” Linda had a sly grin on her face. “I’ll be a crazed princess, having been locked in a tower for years with no real contact. I even have an axe and knife at home, all sharpened and ready to take someone down. I won’t be right in the head tonight. You guys will be safer if you stay away.”

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