Alexandra’s Halloween

“Alexandra, wait. Where’s your hat?” Jean caught her arm as she tried to barrel out the door.

The hat was big and floppy and it made her feel foolish, but her grandmother was so proud of it. Grudgingly she reached behind the sofa where it had “accidentally” fallen behind and plopped the thing on her head.

Jean clasped her hands together with a great jingling of her jewelry. “You look perfect! Do you have your candy bag?”

“Grandma, it’s a senior dance. I think we’re a bit old for trick or treating.”

“Oh, yes, well, be safe then my young witch.” Grandma Jean stood back to admire her handiwork on the costume. She thought it was the grandest joke in the world for a Firestarter to be a witch on Halloween. Not too long ago most humans would have considered them witches, and if they had been especially unfortunate they would have met the hot end of a bonfire.

“I’m always safe.” Alex gathered her long black skirt around her and shuffled to the door before Jean could give her any further warnings. But she wasn’t quick enough.

“Not always.”

“I haven’t lost control since my mother’s death. I dare say that those were unusual circumstances.”

“Yes, well… Some would say dances were unusual circumstances too. Haven’t you seen the movie Carrie?”

Alex couldn’t help but laugh despite Jean’s serious face. “Okay, well I promise I won’t burn down the gym.” She crossed her finger over her chest.

“Okay. Call me if you need me.”

“Yup.” Alex patted one of the pockets that had been sewed into the deep folds of her witch’s costume.

“I love you, Alex.”

“Yup.” She bolted out the door and nearly collided with an inspector gadget carrying a pumpkin head bucket for candy.

“Trick or treat?” The kid recovered quickly.

“Ah, a tasty morsel.” Alexandra bent low and rubbed her green hands together.

The kid flashed her a ‘get real’ look and looked past her to her grandmother dressed in her usual pink and heavily iced with jewelry.

Alex shrugged. “Can’t win them all.” When she reached the school she became reluctant to join her classmates as she watched hobbits, Jedi, nurses, and soldiers file into the school.

“I wasn’t aware a dance was a spectator sport.”

Alex’s expectant company was a tall skinny boy with dark brown hair and darkish eyes that were hidden behind thick wire framed glasses. He wore a black ninja outfit with crossed swords at his back.

“And what did you think dances were, if not a spectator sport?”

“Hmmm… a graceful form of exercise?” His retort was nearly lost in a scream issued from a frightened Queen Amidala as a sparking Edward bared his teeth.

“Have you seen our classmates?”

He laughed and leaned against the light pole she had been hovering under. “True point.”

“True point?! Now you are just making up phrases.”

“Perhaps.” He flashed an engaging smile the instantly made him far more attractive. “Should we go inside and get the full show?”

“Why not? I’m Alex by the way.”

“I’m Bernard.”

“Bernard?” He looked down at the cement as she laughed. “Sorry, sorry. How do you feel about Ben?”

“Uh, sure.”

“Hey, I’m sorry Bernard.” She took his elbow to grab his attention and in that moment her senses were flooded with… something. She had never felt anything like it before.

She yanked her hand free. “What the hell are you?”

“Uh…. I’m a ninja?”

“No, what are you?! You’re not human. You feel like something old and wrong.”

“Wow, you know how to make a guy feel special. First you make fun of his name, then call him old and wrong. Have you heard of the book How to Win Friends and Influence People? Because you might think about renting it from the library.”

“Don’t play me. What are you? I’ve never even seen you here before. You’re not a student are you?” She caught the eye of one of the football quarterbacks dressed as a zombie and thought about calling for help, but despite the otherworldly nature of Bernard, she didn’t sense any ill will.

“I’ll tell you mine, if you tell me yours.” Bernard’s eyes crinkled playfully.

She stared at him for a minute. “Tell you my what?”

“What are you?” He scented the air like a dog. “You smell human, but there’s something different about you. You knew I wasn’t human when you touched me.”

Grandma Jean’s warnings about creatures that were the living embodiment of myths and legends returned to her. “You’re an Architect of Lore.”

He sniffed the air again but seemed slightly distracted when he answered her. “Ha! Right on the money. You’ve been educated about my kind, but not turned… so you must be a Guardian. Or a human servant… but I don’t see your Master, so I think I will choose Guardian, for a thousand, Alex. Do you smell that?”

“What?” Alex lifted her nose to the gentle breeze.

“No of course you don’t, you’re a Guardian, not a Wolf. Well, it looks like I’ve found what I was looking for; you’re more than welcome to join me on the hunt.” His eyes seemed to penetrate the dark as he tracked something that only he could see.

“Hunt?”

“Yeah, there are little kiddies in danger. Want to blow this popsicle stand and help me keep them safe, or not?”

“There’s cats in danger?”

“Kiddies, children, youngins. Outclan loves to hunt on Halloween when their movements can be disguised and dismissed as strange antics of kids and teenagers.”

“What?”

“Oh just come with me, already. Or we’ll be too late!”

She only hesitated for a moment before she chased after his agile black form. They tore down several bustling streets startling eager children and necking teenagers alike. Alex nearly slammed into Ben’s slight form when he came to a sudden stop. He breathed the air in heavily and turned slowly toward a dark alley.

Of course it’s a dark alley, what else would it be? Alex reached for her phone to turn on the flashlight. Ben grabbed her hand and shook his head. He drew his swords as he darted across the street.

What the hell?  She knew he had said that this was a hunt, and that they were going to stop children from being hurt, but just what was he planning to do with those swords?

“Put the kid down.” She heard Ben tell someone in the dark.

“Put your sword down!” the unseen woman demanded.

“You know I can’t do that.”

“Then it would seem that we are in a standoff.”

“Not really, have you met my friend?” Ben asked when Alex finally found her way to his side.

As Alex’s eyes adjust, she saw a woman dressed as a vampire holding a young boy to her chest with a knife at his throat. A dark trickle was already sliding down the slender column of flesh.

“What are you doing?” Alex’s shock made her voice loud in the echoing alley.

“Who are you?”

“As you can see, Alex, Jackie here thinks she has the upper hand hiding behind this poor child.”

“Does she now?” Alex smiled and the woman’s confidence melted into suspicion at their bravado.

“Back off or I’ll slit his throat!”

Alex huffed an irritated breath. “Are you going to stop her? Or am I?”

“By all means, go head.” Ben bowed and stood aside to let Alex move forward.

Alex let her mind settle as she decided her course of action. “Hey kid, what’s your name?” She needed his attention focused on her.

“Josh.”

“Hi Josh.” She held out her empty hands to try to ease Jackie’s mind, but also to prepare her next move.

Okay, Josh. I need you to sit when I tell you to. Nod to my next question if you understand. Telepathy wasn’t her strongest suit, and she had never attempted to communicate with humans before, but there was always a first time for everything.

“Are you okay, Josh?”

She could see the enormous rims of white around his eyes as he nodded. The blade began to bite deeper into Josh’s neck, so Jackie lessened the pressure as Alex had been hoping.

Sit! She told Josh telepathically, as she lashed out with a wave of telekinetic pressure. Jackie and the blade went flying as Josh sat on the ground looking stunned and awed. Ben rushed forward to apprehend Jackie while Josh stared up at Alex.

“Are you okay?” she asked again as she offered him a hand up. His hand shook as he levered himself up.

“I thought I heard you in my head.”

“In your head?” She smiled at him as if he were telling the funniest joke ever.

Ben handed her a rag as he led Jackie out of the alley. She looked at it for a moment before realising it was for Josh’s bleeding neck.

“Here.” She pressed the cloth into the wound that was still rapidly seeping. She took a deep breath and conjured humours thoughts and feeling to mind before gently pushing them down her arm and into the confused boy.

“Can you believe that craziness?” Alex laughed, carefully keeping their connection flowing and her feeling buoyed. “Some people just get so into Halloween!”

A tentative smile grew until finally he was laughing with her. “I know, right? Some people!”

“Good thing those cops were there to stop that crazy woman!”

“Yeah… those cops…” She felt his confusion but filled him with more amusement.

“Yeah who knew cops went undercover and dressed up for Halloween too! Good thing that one snuck up behind you to pull that crazy lady off!”

“Yeah, good thing,” Josh laughed at his apparent good fortune.

“This will make one good story to tell, won’t it?” Alex released her hold on his neck and hoped the emotional push would sustain itself long enough for him to believe her story.

“Yeah! I can’t wait to tell the guys about this! That crazy woman came up to me, and I just thought she wanted…” he blushed deeply as he cut off his story. “Yeah, well. Nice to meet you, lady.” Josh called as he took off.

Exhaustion saturated her bones as she leaned against the filthy alley. Footsteps drew her attention to Ben as he appeared at the mouth of the alley alone.

“Where’s Jackie?”

“She’s been taken care of. Now you, on the other hand, I think we just might have a lot to discuss.”

“Oh?”

“Wolf Clan would love you to join us when you come of age.”

“Join you? Why do you need me?”

He fished out a business card from the folds of his ninja outfit.

“Okay, Bernard… what can you offer me?”

“Call me Ben, I kind of like it. Well, I know you have an interest in art, we can pay your tuition to your college of choice when you graduate.”

“In exchange for?”

“Your services as a Guardian, of course. Don’t tell me you’ve never been told?”

“Told what?”

“Guardians protect Architects. We’ve had a symbiotic relationship for centuries… Well ever since the witch trials anyway… You protect us, and keep your ears to the ground in the human world, and we protect you and make your lives comfortable. You’re free to leave at any time and join another Clan.”

“If that’s the case…” She almost asked why her father and mother ran and put themselves into hiding.

“Yes?”

“Nothing. I’ll have to think about it.”

“Of course. Just let me know if you change your mind. And if you get offers from any other Clan, let me know, I’m sure we can outbid them. It was lovely to meet you, Alexandra.”

“Hey, Ben,” she called after him. “Why the ninja costume?”

He laughed and struck a pose, complete with kung fu noises. “Why not? Life’s too short to be too serious.

“It was nice to meet you too, Ben.” She smiled as he walked away.

Well, that made for an interesting night. How often can you say you met a wolf in ninja’s clothing?

 

 

“Alexandra, wait. Where’s your hat?” Jean caught her arm as she tried to barrel out the door.

The hat was big and floppy and it made her feel foolish, but her grandmother was so proud of it. Grudgingly she reached behind the sofa where it had “accidentally” fallen behind and plopped the thing on her head.

Jean clasped her hands together with a great jingling of her jewelry. “You look perfect! Do you have your candy bag?”

“Grandma, it’s a senior dance. I think we’re a bit old for trick or treating.”

“Oh, yes, well, be safe then my young witch.” Grandma Jean stood back to admire her handiwork on the costume. She thought it was the grandest joke in the world for a Firestarter to be a witch on Halloween. Not too long ago most humans would have considered them witches, and if they had been especially unfortunate they would have met the hot end of a bonfire.

“I’m always safe.” Alex gathered her long black skirt around her and shuffled to the door before Jean could give her any further warnings. But she wasn’t quick enough.

“Not always.”

“I haven’t lost control since my mother’s death. I dare say that those were unusual circumstances.”

“Yes, well… Some would say dances were unusual circumstances too. Haven’t you seen the movie Carrie?”

Alex couldn’t help but laugh despite Jean’s serious face. “Okay, well I promise I won’t burn down the gym.” She crossed her finger over her chest.

“Okay. Call me if you need me.”

“Yup.” Alex patted one of the pockets that had been sewed into the deep folds of her witch’s costume.

“I love you, Alex.”

“Yup.” She bolted out the door and nearly collided with an inspector gadget carrying a pumpkin head bucket for candy.

“Trick or treat?” The kid recovered quickly.

“Ah, a tasty morsel.” Alexandra bent low and rubbed her green hands together.

The kid flashed her a ‘get real’ look and looked past her to her grandmother dressed in her usual pink and heavily iced with jewelry.

Alex shrugged. “Can’t win them all.” When she reached the school she became reluctant to join her classmates as she watched hobbits, Jedi, nurses, and soldiers file into the school.

“I wasn’t aware a dance was a spectator sport.”

Alex’s expectant company was a tall skinny boy with dark brown hair and darkish eyes that were hidden behind thick wire framed glasses. He wore a black ninja outfit with crossed swords at his back.

“And what did you think dances were, if not a spectator sport?”

“Hmmm… a graceful form of exercise?” His retort was nearly lost in a scream issued from a frightened Queen Amidala as a sparking Edward bared his teeth.

“Have you seen our classmates?”

He laughed and leaned against the light pole she had been hovering under. “True point.”

“True point?! Now you are just making up phrases.”

“Perhaps.” He flashed an engaging smile the instantly made him far more attractive. “Should we go inside and get the full show?”

“Why not? I’m Alex by the way.”

“I’m Bernard.”

“Bernard?” He looked down at the cement as she laughed. “Sorry, sorry. How do you feel about Ben?”

“Uh, sure.”

“Hey, I’m sorry Bernard.” She took his elbow to grab his attention and in that moment her senses were flooded with… something. She had never felt anything like it before.

She yanked her hand free. “What the hell are you?”

“Uh…. I’m a ninja?”

“No, what are you?! You’re not human. You feel like something old and wrong.”

“Wow, you know how to make a guy feel special. First you make fun of his name, then call him old and wrong. Have you heard of the book How to Win Friends and Influence People? Because you might think about renting it from the library.”

“Don’t play me. What are you? I’ve never even seen you here before. You’re not a student are you?” She caught the eye of one of the football quarterbacks dressed as a zombie and thought about calling for help, but despite the otherworldly nature of Bernard, she didn’t sense any ill will.

“I’ll tell you mine, if you tell me yours.” Bernard’s eyes crinkled playfully.

She stared at him for a minute. “Tell you my what?”

“What are you?” He scented the air like a dog. “You smell human, but there’s something different about you. You knew I wasn’t human when you touched me.”

Grandma Jean’s warnings about creatures that were the living embodiment of myths and legends returned to her. “You’re an Architect of Lore.”

He sniffed the air again but seemed slightly distracted when he answered her. “Ha! Right on the money. You’ve been educated about my kind, but not turned… so you must be a Guardian. Or a human servant… but I don’t see your Master, so I think I will choose Guardian, for a thousand, Alex. Do you smell that?”

“What?” Alex lifted her nose to the gentle breeze.

“No of course you don’t, you’re a Guardian, not a Wolf. Well, it looks like I’ve found what I was looking for; you’re more than welcome to join me on the hunt.” His eyes seemed to penetrate the dark as he tracked something that only he could see.

“Hunt?”

“Yeah, there are little kiddies in danger. Want to blow this popsicle stand and help me keep them safe, or not?”

“There’s cats in danger?”

“Kiddies, children, youngins. Outclan loves to hunt on Halloween when their movements can be disguised and dismissed as strange antics of kids and teenagers.”

“What?”

“Oh just come with me, already. Or we’ll be too late!”

She only hesitated for a moment before she chased after his agile black form. They tore down several bustling streets startling eager children and necking teenagers alike. Alex nearly slammed into Ben’s slight form when he came to a sudden stop. He breathed the air in heavily and turned slowly toward a dark alley.

Of course it’s a dark alley, what else would it be? Alex reached for her phone to turn on the flashlight. Ben grabbed her hand and shook his head. He drew his swords as he darted across the street.

What the hell?  She knew he had said that this was a hunt, and that they were going to stop children from being hurt, but just what was he planning to do with those swords?

“Put the kid down.” She heard Ben tell someone in the dark.

“Put your sword down!” the unseen woman demanded.

“You know I can’t do that.”

“Then it would seem that we are in a standoff.”

“Not really, have you met my friend?” Ben asked when Alex finally found her way to his side.

As Alex’s eyes adjust, she saw a woman dressed as a vampire holding a young boy to her chest with a knife at his throat. A dark trickle was already sliding down the slender column of flesh.

“What are you doing?” Alex’s shock made her voice loud in the echoing alley.

“Who are you?”

“As you can see, Alex, Jackie here thinks she has the upper hand hiding behind this poor child.”

“Does she now?” Alex smiled and the woman’s confidence melted into suspicion at their bravado.

“Back off or I’ll slit his throat!”

Alex huffed an irritated breath. “Are you going to stop her? Or am I?”

“By all means, go head.” Ben bowed and stood aside to let Alex move forward.

Alex let her mind settle as she decided her course of action. “Hey kid, what’s your name?” She needed his attention focused on her.

“Josh.”

“Hi Josh.” She held out her empty hands to try to ease Jackie’s mind, but also to prepare her next move.

Okay, Josh. I need you to sit when I tell you to. Nod to my next question if you understand. Telepathy wasn’t her strongest suit, and she had never attempted to communicate with humans before, but there was always a first time for everything.

“Are you okay, Josh?”

She could see the enormous rims of white around his eyes as he nodded. The blade began to bite deeper into Josh’s neck, so Jackie lessened the pressure as Alex had been hoping.

Sit! She told Josh telepathically, as she lashed out with a wave of telekinetic pressure. Jackie and the blade went flying as Josh sat on the ground looking stunned and awed. Ben rushed forward to apprehend Jackie while Josh stared up at Alex.

“Are you okay?” she asked again as she offered him a hand up. His hand shook as he levered himself up.

“I thought I heard you in my head.”

“In your head?” She smiled at him as if he were telling the funniest joke ever.

Ben handed her a rag as he led Jackie out of the alley. She looked at it for a moment before realising it was for Josh’s bleeding neck.

“Here.” She pressed the cloth into the wound that was still rapidly seeping. She took a deep breath and conjured humours thoughts and feeling to mind before gently pushing them down her arm and into the confused boy.

“Can you believe that craziness?” Alex laughed, carefully keeping their connection flowing and her feeling buoyed. “Some people just get so into Halloween!”

A tentative smile grew until finally he was laughing with her. “I know, right? Some people!”

“Good thing those cops were there to stop that crazy woman!”

“Yeah… those cops…” She felt his confusion but filled him with more amusement.

“Yeah who knew cops went undercover and dressed up for Halloween too! Good thing that one snuck up behind you to pull that crazy lady off!”

“Yeah, good thing,” Josh laughed at his apparent good fortune.

“This will make one good story to tell, won’t it?” Alex released her hold on his neck and hoped the emotional push would sustain itself long enough for him to believe her story.

“Yeah! I can’t wait to tell the guys about this! That crazy woman came up to me, and I just thought she wanted…” he blushed deeply as he cut off his story. “Yeah, well. Nice to meet you, lady.” Josh called as he took off.

Exhaustion saturated her bones as she leaned against the filthy alley. Footsteps drew her attention to Ben as he appeared at the mouth of the alley alone.

“Where’s Jackie?”

“She’s been taken care of. Now you, on the other hand, I think we just might have a lot to discuss.”

“Oh?”

“Wolf Clan would love you to join us when you come of age.”

“Join you? Why do you need me?”

He fished out a business card from the folds of his ninja outfit.

“Okay, Bernard… what can you offer me?”

“Call me Ben, I kind of like it. Well, I know you have an interest in art, we can pay your tuition to your college of choice when you graduate.”

“In exchange for?”

“Your services as a Guardian, of course. Don’t tell me you’ve never been told?”

“Told what?”

“Guardians protect Architects. We’ve had a symbiotic relationship for centuries… Well ever since the witch trials anyway… You protect us, and keep your ears to the ground in the human world, and we protect you and make your lives comfortable. You’re free to leave at any time and join another Clan.”

“If that’s the case…” She almost asked why her father and mother ran and put themselves into hiding.

“Yes?”

“Nothing. I’ll have to think about it.”

“Of course. Just let me know if you change your mind. And if you get offers from any other Clan, let me know, I’m sure we can outbid them. It was lovely to meet you, Alexandra.”

“Hey, Ben,” she called after him. “Why the ninja costume?”

He laughed and struck a pose, complete with kung fu noises. “Why not? Life’s too short to be too serious.

“It was nice to meet you too, Ben.” She smiled as he walked away.

Well, that made for an interesting night. How often can you say you met a wolf in ninja’s clothing?

 

 

1 Comment

Leave a Reply to Emily Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.