Her name was Sarah. She was the new kid in class with the girl next door looks. Tom could not believe his luck when she agreed to hang with him and his mates from the school’s chess club for Halloween. Tom’s mum was working late that night as she did most nights, a single parent trying to keep a roof over her head and two teenage boys fed. Tom was parent-free, home with his two mates and brother almost through the boss battle of Mario Brothers when the doorbell rang. A little too eager for his mates, Tom ran for the door.
“That’ll be Sarah,” he announced as he disappeared.
“Whatever,” replied Gery and Tom’s younger brother Brad together.
“Jinx!” Brad shot with a grin, a moment before Gery tried to say the same.
The boys pelted each other with potato chips. When Gery cried “Stop damn it!” the other two whacked him on the arm.
“Jinx remember,” smirked Brad smugly.
Tom ignored all this, his focus solely on the front door.
“Hi,” Sarah said with a coy smile as Tom welcomed her in.
“Wow…” Tom sighed. “Um… I mean come in,” he added hurriedly.
Sarah wore the Little Red Riding Hood costume from Crazy Dave’s, the cheap shop on the town’s Main Street. Tom tried to tell Sarah that she looked amazing, but for some reason what he was thinking didn’t want to come out.
“You’ve dyed your hair?” Tom said in disbelief.
“Nice of you to notice, Tom,” purred Sarah. “Back home they called me Queen of Halloween. Anything and everything for the character… Ya know?”
“Nice!” Tom replied with a touch too much enthusiasm.
“So what are the plans for tonight?” Sarah asked as she headed deeper into the house. “Scariest night of the year…” She added, leaving Tom by the open door.
“We’ve almost reached the bonus levels…” Tom explained, hurrying after Sarah.
“Hi boys,” Sarah smiled, walking in, not waiting for Tom.
“Hey,” said Brad.
Joe and Gery both waved enthusiastically.
“What’s their problems?” Sarah laughed, musically.
Tom shrugged, as he caught up and stood beside her.
“I’ve jinxed Gery,” explained Brad, shrugging as if it should have been obvious. “And I guess Joe can’t talk to girls…”
“Guys this is seriously lame,” said Sarah. “I’ll give you all ten minutes to costume up… We’re checking out the abandoned mansion down on Elmer Avenue.”
“Sweet!!” Brad squealed. Joe and Gery both gave an eager thumbs up.
“Noooooooooo way!!!” Tom blurted out. “Remember Brad, we promised mum we’d never open the door tonight and we’d not leave the house…”
Brad pointed to Sarah. “So who let in Goldilocks?”
“Um… Goldilocks?” Sarah questioned in mock disdain. “Firstly my hair is black, not blonde… Secondly the red hood… Thirdly the basket has got to give it all away…”
“Goldilocks? Blonde hair? Man… I can’t believe I did not get that before now!” Brad murmured in disbelief, slapping himself on the forehead with a harsh smack!!!
“Dibs on the Luigi costume!” Gery stated, bolting for Tom and Brad’s shared room.
As he passed by all the boys he got a thump on the arm.
‘This is lame…’ Tom thought to himself, thirty minutes later as Little Red Riding Hood, Luigi, Mario and Gery and Tom dressed as ghosts stood outside the gates of the big, old house on the hill.
The gates ‘squeaked’ loudly as the rusty hinges protested against their use.
“Come on!” Sarah whispered with excitement, eagerly skipping up the gravel driveway. She was at the great front doors before any of the boys moved.
“The last one to go in there has to kiss her,” stated Brad, looking at the other boys before bolting up the drive.
Joe gave Tom an elbow to the ribs before rushing off too.
“See you in there… Lover Boy…” Gery cackled, going as fast as his pudgy legs would let him.
Tom watched them all disappear into the old house.
“This is stupid… We should all be home beating the big boss… Not here at this stupid house on this stupid night…”
“Hey guys!! Wait up for me!!” Tom yelled as half a minute later he strolled up the drive at his own pace.
The door swung open soundlessly, a complete contrast to the gates. The parlor was gloomy, even darker than the night. As Tom stepped in carefully, he meekly cried out, uncertainty evident.
“Brad? Guys? Sarah?”
There was no reply. Three noisy steps across polished wooden floorboards and Sarah’s voice was suddenly in Tom’s right ear.
“You never asked what the basket was for…” The young girl whispered.
The lights flicked on and Tom gaped at his friends hanging by their necks from the rafters.
“Queen of Halloween, the newspapers called me back home… Fifteen dead and counting…” Sarah’s voice in Tom’s ear continued to breathe.
“Huh?” Tom cried in disbelief. “I don’t understand..?”
As he turned around a great hunting knife in Sarah’s hands tore through the sheet he wore and bit into his neck.
“Tom you sweet boy… The basket is where I catch my trophies… The basket is for your head…”
Timothy Law is a writer of fantasy, horror, detective fiction, general fiction and everything else that pops into his head. He heralds from a little town in Southern Australia called Murray Bridge. A happily married father of three, family is very important to him. Currently working at the Murray Bridge Library in the role of Library Manager he has dreamed since his early high school years of becoming a full-time author. Working for a library, surrounded by so many wonderful stories it is difficult not to be inspired to write. Many of his short stories and general musings can be found on The World of Myth magazine website, his blog - There Are Some Who Call Me... Tim! or on the Parenting Express website. Tim is also the author of the fantasy novel The Eleventh Tome, book one of The Prophecies of Andrapaal. He has a multitude of other novel ideas floating around in his mind. All he now needs is what every author wishes for, time, a little peace and quiet and of course a willing and understanding publisher. While seeking what seems to be the impossible he somehow finds time for scotch and board games with his brother-in-law, family movie nights and weekends away with his wonderful wife.