The girl was swaying slightly.
“Hey sexy. Vampire. Give the kiddies their candy won’t you please?”
Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzt. Sean could barely hear the doorbell over the music, the ruckus of everyone talking.
Couldn’t they just ignore it?
“There.” She pointed at a candy bowl on the floor next to the door. The skin of her arm where it thrust out of the shiny black of her dress sleeve was painted, silvery white slashed with long drizzles of red — he looked at her again as he grabbed a handful of candy. Her face was painted white, too. But his eyes weren’t on her face. They’d dropped lower, to the black lace gathered in ruffles at her bodice . . .
“Hey sexy yourself,” he said. “What did you say you were supposed to be?”
“I’m Death’s Bridesmaid.” She giggled, swaying.
“I liiiiike.” He grinned at her, a leering sloppy grin. He was drunk, too. They all were. They’d started early.
The door stuck a little but he yanked it open finally. Trio of kids stood on the step looking up at him expectantly. A pirate. A gremliny-looking thing. A Harry Potter. Lit by the porch light against the odd quiet of the dark night behind them.
“Trick or treat.”
Sean dripped a bit of candy into three orange pumpkin-shaped buckets.
Three “thank you’s,” polite, not quite in chorus. But Sean barely heard them — he was thinking about the girl, he slammed the door clumsily while the kids were still standing there, in a hurry to get to her. Before someone else did.
Metallica playing now. Sean mouthed the words as he weaved through the party, looking for her.
‘Cause we hunt you down without mercy
Hunt you down all nightmare long
Dimly, through the music and the laughing and the screeching he thought he heard the doorbell again but this time he did ignore it.
Stupid kids. Babies. Think Halloween is about candy. Ha.
Someone handed him a bottle of Grey Goose as he pushed by a skeleton and another vampire — not as good a costume as his, not by a long shot — he grinned and tipped the bottle to his mouth.
Where was she where was she?
There! With another girl, store-bought French maid costume. Also hot. Yowsa. How to choose how to choose . . . he sidled up to Death’s Bridesmaid, pretended to join their nonesense chitchat, his hunch was right, she was into him. Into him. Booyah. Touching his arm, laughing, sexy sideways looks.
The feeling, he knew that feeling, I’m gonna get me some —
Pause in the music. Album over . . .
Death’s Bridesmaid groaned, lost her balance, fell into Sean. “They’re baaack,” she slurred. “Be a good vampire and go feed the kiddies for me –”
He hesitated. Annoyed. But the music wasn’t back on yet and the doorbell buzzed again.
“Don’t move,” he said to her and wove back through the packed room and yanked the door open.
He started a bit when he saw her. He guessed it was a her. A little girl — had to be, but yowsa that was a good costume, nothing cutesy about that, that black hair was freaky, tangled like that —
“What took you so long?” The little girls eyes were narrowed, fixed on his.
He stared. “Nice, uh, costume.”
He held out a handful of candy.
She didn’t move. “You haven’t been answering the door,” she said.
It was a little girl’s voice. He relaxed a bit. “The music’s kinda loud. Hard to hear.” He moved his hand up and down a bit to remind her to take the candy. Get this over with.
But the little girl didn’t move.
“That’s not the reason.”
Damn it, this wasn’t nice. Not nice at all. “Look. You want your candy or not.”
She just looked at him. Ew. Creepy.
He had better things to do than deal with a six year old’s temper tantrum.
He shut the door, left her there on the step. No candy for you, you little —
Damn. Where was I . . .
Where is that vodka . . . and that girl . . .
He found her, finally, on the floor, behind the bed where they’d all piled their coats. She was half passed out but roused herself when she felt him kissing her, began kissing him back, eager, he stroked her neck then bit it, she moaned, he slid his hand down her neck to the top of her costume —
That was weird. He couldn’t get his hand inside her costume.
“Ow,” she said. “Ow, stop it, you’re hurting me.”
“Sorry.” He pulled at the shoulder of her dress — it wouldn’t —
“OUCH.” She sat up now, her eyes still unfocused, her head lolling slightly. “That HURTS.”
“It’s stuck,” he said. “Your dress is, like — stuck to you.”
She’d begun pulling at it herself.
“OW!” She said. “Ow, it hurts — ow!” She started crying. “OW!”
He stared at her pulling at her dress.
And then he had a horrible thought.
A horrible thought.
And he looked down at his sleeve.
The long satiny sleeve of his shirt, the vampire shirt —
He touched the cuff.
And realized as he touched it that something was very very wrong.
And he cried out, grabbed the edge of the cuff and pulled but it was fused to his skin, it hurt to pull the sharp pain and he cried out again and then heard around him that nobody was laughing any more, they were screaming all screaming, screaming and their screams were joined with his own, the loudest screaming in his ears his own scream