Halloween - It's Kinda My Thing by Ashley Pannell

Emily Haddington the Second had been born in the early 1500's. She had been raised in an elite and wealthy family and had spent her days learning how to be a proper lady. Until she died from a bad case of scarlet fever at age 15 on the 30th of October.  

 

Her parents had always told her she would go to heaven when she died and she had believed them. So imagine her surprise when she woke up after her death, transparent, with her very much dead body beneath her.

 

Ever since then, she would wake up on October 31st, every year and would spread madness and mischief all night long.

 

She loved Halloween. She loved scaring people out of their skulls and just the general eerie feeling the holiday brought. She had been waking up for centuries and would always spread havoc wherever she could.

 

This year as no different. Well, it was slightly different.

 

She had woken up on top of her grave, as per usual and looked down to see what she was wearing (her clothes always magically changed to suit the fashion of the century). She saw she was dressed in a dark red hoodie and black leggings, which was unexpected, and she was barefoot, which was expected, as she always barefoot for some odd reason.

 

Grinning manically, Emily jumped up and 'breathed' in the cool night air, already feeling the unnaturalness of the night on her lips.

 

She sighed happily and started her walk out of the graveyard and into the busy streets of the city. She observed the strange changes the year had brought and spotted her first pair of victims - two adorable little zombies out guising.

 

Stomping towards them as loud as she could (because while they may not be able to see her, they could hear her), Emily took great pleasure in the way the two stooped and frantically looked around to try and find the source of the sound. When they couldn't find one, they frightfully huddled together and picked up their pace, but Emily would not be so easily ignored.

 

Running past them as quietly as she could, she planted herself directly in their past and watched with no small amount of glee as she past through her ghostly form and simultaneously shivered and hurried along. 

 

Spinning around on heel, with a smile resembling the Cheshire cat on her face, Emily followed them all the way to a sweet rural neighbourhood lit only by yellow streetlights.

 

The two boys hurried along as fast as they could, all with Emily following closely behind them (even walking through them a couple of times, just to see them jump) before she rushed passed them again and kicked over a bin.

 

Thump! At the sound of the large object hitting the ground, the two boys shrieked into the night, the fear obvious on their little faces. One of them tentatively asked the darkness, "Who's there?"

 

Taking her sweet time, Emily slowly creeped over to them, and, bending her head down a bit (she had always been tall for her age), she breathed her ghostly breathe into their ears and gently whispered,

 

"Boo."

 

They screamed bloody murder before running down the street, all while Emily giggled merrily in the darkness.

 

She stopped laughing when she realised where she was and heaved a heavy sigh.

 

You see, for the past couple of years, she had been investigated by annoying teenage boy who had somehow caught onto her... well, un-aliveness, for lack of a better word.

 

His name was Cole Evans and he had been very relentless in his investigation of her. So much so that he had taking to searching her history (and wow, stalker alert) and joining online supernatural conspiracies to try and prove her existence.

 

Messing with him had been fun for a while. She would sneak up on him in the late hours of Halloween night and mess with things in his bedroom. His bedroom, which just so happened to be in the house she was standing right across from in that very moment.

 

It had been a lot of fun, if she was being honest. The way he jumped and screamed had given her an almost school-girl giddiness. But it got boring after a while, because he started hoping for the appearances in a bid to prove she was real.

 

She knew the front door was going to swing open before it did and she knew he was going to step out before it happened. Emily looked up and saw that Cole Evans at 17 years old hadn't changed much. Same dark hair, same fair skin, same geeky glasses, and same annoying face.

 

"Are you there?" He called into the night. "Emily Haddington?"

 

She turned on heel then and rushed into the woods near the little neighbourhood, knowing he would follow her but hoping he wouldn't.

 

After 20 minutes of walking, she stopped her brisk pace when she noticed she was surrounded by trees and whirled around to face Cole, making herself visible.

 

He stopped just short of running into her and fell backwards in his surprise.

 

"Why can't you just leave me alone?" she hissed at him, her eyes dangerously close to slits.

 

The boy, annoyingly but not unexpectedly, floundered at her mere presence in this world, mouth babbling out incoherent strings of unfinished sentences. "Oh my - you're real - I mean I thought - but I didn't really think - uh, that is to say, I didn't believe -  but - I mean - how are you- well you're here, so you must be- but I still don't-"

 

She cut him off. "If you don't start making sense in the next minute, I'm going to curse you and all the generations of your family to come."

 

Cole gaped even more. "Can you do that?" he asked in a squeaky voice, both filled with awe and terror.

 

She couldn't, actually but he didn't have to know that. Instead of voicing this, she remained silent, glowering down at him.

 

He seemed to take the hint. "Um, right, okay, it's just..." he trailed off. "Are you real?"

 

Emily rolled her eyes. "What a stupid question. Of course I'm real, or else, I wouldn't be here, now would I?"

 

Cole cleared his throat. "Well, yes, I mean... yes."

 

Silence descended on them with Emily looking a him expectedly, and Cole looking at her like she was the most interesting and frightening thing that had ever happened to him. Which she probably was, come to think of it (that guy needed to get out more).

 

"Well?" She snapped.

 

Cole glanced around them without moving his head. "Well, what?"

 

She rolled her eyes yet again, her patience dwindling rapidly. "Answer my question."

 

Cole looked even more confused, if that were even possible. "What question?"

 

She lunged at him, her body pinning his down to the forest floor and her forearm at his throat, cutting off his oxygen just ever so slightly.

 

Emily leaned in close, whispering harshly in the dead of night, "Why won't you leave me alone?"

 

He floundered again, but something changed now. Maybe it was the way her hair shined from the light of the moon, or her dark menacing eyes so close to his, or maybe the fact that she was currently strangling him but he believed she was real. And once he believed, it was so much easier to deal with the craziness of the situation.

 

"Because you should be impossible, and yet here you are. You shouldn't be here."

 

She narrowed her eyes at him. "Why shouldn't I be here? My body died, my soul lived on, and every year, on Halloween night, my soul re-joins the living. What is so difficult to understand?"

 

He gazed at her with wide eyes. "Literally everything you just said."

 

Emily rolled eyes again (honestly, if she spent anymore time with this infuriating mortal, she feared her eyes would stay that way).

 

"And?" She pressed.

 

"And...?" She knew that you couldn't actually slap idiocy out of someone, but that didn't stop her from wanting to try. instead, she fixed him with another piercing stare and he, predictably, cracked.

 

"Why do you always scare people?"

 

She coked her head the right, grinning ever so slightly. "It's Halloween, Cole. It's kinda my thing."

 

She then grabbed a small, fallen tree branch from the ground and hot him over the hit with it.

 

Whack!

 

Cole Evans was out like a light.

 

Emily smirked in victory at getting the annoying boy off her back. Carefully picking him up (she was mischievous and mean, but not heartless), she carried him back to his bedroom (being dead made carrying him much easier than it would be normally), taking care to make sure there was no mud or dirt or blood form the Brach on him and just left him there.

 

He would wake up with a splitting headache, convincing himself it was all a dream  and that he needed to let go the myth of Emily Haddington the Third.

 

Emily felt her grin falter as she realised the night was almost over and she not yet spread enough of her havoc.

 

Oh well, she thought, there was always next year.

 

Making herself visible, she felt herself start to slip away from the world of living again, giving a good fright to the guisers that she had just past.

 

After all, Halloween was her thing.