Sunday, October 2, 2011


Have I mentioned how much I love Halloween? Because I do. I love pretty much everything about it. Especially Halloween parties. I never went to a Halloween party quite this interesting, but maybe I ought to be glad for that. 

Aaron Matthew Smith- October 2nd, 2011

“How did I let you talk me into this?” I said.
“Will you calm down? It’ll be fine. How are my wings?” Dave turned to show me his bare back.
“They’re crooked. Here.” I tilted the plastic bat wings until they were straight, smearing some of the red paint on his bare back in the process. “I don’t know why you didn’t wear a shirt. You look like a total jackass.”
“Because it’s the only way this costume would work!” He snapped as we approached the house.
“’The Devil’ isn’t really a complicated costume, Dave.”
Dave adjusted his plastic horns for the hundredth time. “Shut up. It’s part of my plan. Angie’s coming dressed as an angel.” He dug into the pocket of his black Dickies and pulled out a crumpled flier. It read, ‘Sigma Gam Halloween Bash!’ and in smaller letters at the bottom, ‘Private Party!’
“How did you get that?” I asked.
“Found it,” Dave said. It was then that I noticed the shoe print on the flier.
“And you’re going to just walk in, find Angie…”
“And then use the old devilish charm!” He waggled his eyebrows at me.
“Uh huh. And it seemed like a good idea to bring a guy as your date?”
“….well, yeah! Mark, you’re my wing man! Plus, think of all the hot girls in skimpy Halloween costumes that’ll be at this party; I’m doing you a favor.” He glanced at my costume. “And by the looks of it, you can use all the help you can get.”
I straightened my bolo tie and tugged at the fake beard. “This was as good as I could do on short notice, ok? And how often do you find a white suit that fits at Goodwill?”
“It’s just… Colonel Sanders wasn’t known for his ability to pick up chicks.”
“Dude, pick up chicks was all he did!” We both snickered.
“Okay, okay. Game time,” Dave said. He bypassed the sidewalk and cut across the yard, heading up the driveway to the little back yard.
“We’re not going inside?” I asked.
“The party’s always out back.”
He was right- and he was also going to have a hard time finding Angie. The backyard was shoulder to shoulder people in costume, and I counted among the crowd at least four angels. Little flickering tiki torches gave the crowded scene a warm orange glow.
When I turned around, Dave was no where to be seen.
Great. We’re at this party less than a minute and Dave vanishes. You’re my wing man, Mark! Yeah right. I glanced around, trying to see if I could find a red guy chatting up any of the angels, but the crowd was too thick. Somebody near me was smoking something foul-smelling, and I briefly wondered if I could be an unwitting accessory to something just by being here.
Well, we rode together, so I guess I’m stuck, I thought. Might as well try to have a good time. I nudged through the crowd to a long table at the edge of the patio topped with a punch bowl the size of a small swimming pool.
“Hi!” Someone squeaked, and I dropped the wax paper cup into the red liquid. I turned to see a short girl wearing a blouse cut off jut below her breasts and parachute pants, her silky blonde hair pulled back in a ponytail. She giggled as I attempted to fish the cup out of the punch bowl with a spoon.
“Hi,” I ventured, dropping the soggy cup onto the concrete.
“I don’t think we’ve met,” she said, a broad smile crossing her round face. “I’m Jeanie.”
“Jeanie?... oh, genie. Ha.”
Jeanie cocked her head at me.
“Uh, I’m Mark.”
“Hi Mark. You here with someone?” The bracelets on her wrists jangled as she reached for a paper cup.
“Just a friend,” I said vaguely. I filled both our cups.
“That’s cool,” Jeanie said. She sipped her drink. “So hey, I like your costume. Yosemite Sam? Cool.”
I was going to correct her, but stopped myself. “Thanks.” I took a sip of my drink- and nearly spit it into Jeanie’s face. The red, foamy punch seared my throat going down, followed by a hot wind that roared through my sinuses and brought immediate tears to my eyes. I hacked and coughed into my beard.
Jeanie grinned that huge grin. “You like the punch? It’s Sister Special Brew, only Sigma Gams know the secret recipe.”
I suddenly suspected that the woman who invented toilet bowl cleaner was a Sigma Gam. I forced my first mouthful to stay down with an effort of will and choked, “It certainly is unique.”
“You’re a blast, Mark. Come on!” Jeanie said, grabbing my hand. “I want to introduce you to my sisters!” She dragged me away from the table and into the crowd, giving me an opportunity to drop my cup onto some guy’s shoes. I doubted he noticed.
We stopped in front of a girl dressed in a green gown the approximate size of a dinner napkin. Her hair was dyed a slightly darker shade of green, and I might or might not have noticed copious amounts of body glitter on her chest and shoulders.
“Hey Abby! This is Mark.”
“Hey Jeanie! Hey Mark, awesome costume. Pecos Bill? Sweet.”
“Abby’s a fairy,” Jeanie explained.
“Whose godmother are you?” I said. Abby threw her head back and laughed for about twenty solid seconds.
“Where’d you get him, Jeanie? He’s great!”
Over the course of the nest half hour I was introduced to a sexy witch, a sexy ghost, a sexy vampire and two sexy kittens. I had just decided to change my major to ‘female Halloween costume designer’ when someone grabbed my unoccupied hand.
“Mark!” Dave’s frantic voice caught my attention. I turned to look and jumped back; half the red paint had been smeared off of his chest, and what was left was streaking down him.
“What happened to you?” I asked.
“Got punch thrown on me,” he said.
“Uh huh.”
“Look Mark, we’ve got to go. Now.”
“Now!? But I’m having a good time,” I argued, and I was. Jeanie must have noticed that I stopped being so draggable, because she turned back to us.
“Oh hey. Are you a friend of Mark’s?” She asked Dave.
“Yeah,” Dave smiled, but the mask of seriousness fell back into place when he looked back at me. “Something is seriously wrong here.”
“Oh what, just because your angel shot you down?”
“Which angel?” Jeanie asked, but she needn’t have. Just then a woman wearing a white bedsheet wrapped around her body shoved through the crowd, stopping when she found the three of us.
“There you are!” Angie pointed at Dave, and Dave withered under her gaze. “I thought I told you to get out of here!” Angie put both hands on her hips, and for the first time I noticed the huge costume wings folded against her back.
“No no, we’re going! Really!” Mark whimpered. The crowd had begun to part around us. I suddenly felt very, very conspicuous.
“Is this the friend you came with?” Jeanie whispered to me.
“He’s not a great friend. Not even a good friend. Hardly a friend at all, really. More of an acquaintance.”
“These two weren’t invited, Jeanie.” Angie’s words were as cold and sharp as an icicle knife, and her wings moved.
No, they didn’t move exactly. The unfolded a little bit, shimmering white feathers catching the flickering tiki torch light.
Wow, that’s an impressive costume, I thought, an instant before hard, stupefying reality hit me like a sledgehammer.
“You don’t just crash a Sigma Gam party, Dave,” Angie continued. “We’re the oldest TSS on campus! It’s an invitation only event!”
“TSS?” I whispered to Jeanie.
She looked at me as if I’d just asked her what color the sky was. “Traditional Supernatural Sorority. Duh.”
Angie sighed, ignoring mine and Jeanie’s conversation altogether, her eyes locked onto the quivering shirtless jackass covered in smeared red paint. “I guess I’ll have to be the bouncer tonight.” I looked around and noticed that the crowd had suddenly retreated to a safe distance; Angie’s wings opened to their full length, radiant white light emanating from her outstretched feathers like heat from a radiator. “Prepare to get bounced, boys.”
The world was suddenly upside down, and I watched as the party began to fly farther and farther away. Dave’s screaming voice sounded hollow and tinny as sky and ground flashed alternately in front of my vision. For a brief instant the world stopped spinning, and I was treated to a breathtaking view of the clear, starry night sky.
And then I looked down, and saw campus two hundred feet below me.
The dorm quad was streaking up at me faster than I could scream. Terror yanked the breath from my lungs. I wanted to close my eyes but I couldn’t look away as the unforgiving ground rushed to meet me.
I expected everything to go black all of a sudden, followed by either pearly gates or a pit of fire (I figure I’ve got about a fifty-fifty shot either way). Instead the lawn in front of my dorm gave way like I’d landed on a huge trampoline, flinging me unceremoniously back into the air. I bounced twice more before landing flat on my back on the grass, and what air I’d managed to suck back into my lungs was knocked right back out.
I laid there for a few moments when I heard a groan next to me. Dave rolled over onto his back, grass clippings and a stray cigarette stuck to the paint on his chest.
I wanted to get up and kick his ass, but I had aches and pains in places I didn’t even know could ache or pain. Instead I said,
“…Traditional Supernatural Sorority?”
“I swear man, I had no idea.”
“You jerk,” I gasped, finally struggling to my feet. “I was having a good time, too. I wish I’d gotten Jeanie’s number.” I stuck my hand into the pocket of my suit to get my dorm key, but my fingers found a little folded square of paper there.
I unfolded it. It read:
576-783-3398 You have two wishes left. ;) ~Jeanie.

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