This Summer was one of the hottest on record and it was only just beginning to cool off as Halloween rolled around. The entire town was in a festive mood and the haunted houses seemed extra spooky in the cool evening air. Parties were springing up all over town for at least two weeks before October 31! Tonight, however, was the big night and this party was going to be the best ever.
I had invited all the right people and my naked skin felt cool and comfortable beneath my skimpy maid costume. The party would be held out in the backyard lit by a giant bonfire. Hell, even the Pagans were planning on attending!
As I was walking out and admiring the beautiful large full moon I felt a frisson of fear skitter down my back. I shuddered and crossed my arms over my chest. I tried to shake off the feeling of dread and went back to admiring my decorations. They were really spooky and I was sure that this explained my earlier experience.
But I still headed back inside, feeling better once I crossed the threshold into my home. Just as I did I heard the doorbell ring and made my way to answer. Picking up the black and white lace mask that I was wearing with my costume. What was a little Halloween party with out some mystery?
As the guests slowly trickled in, I took notice of all the masks they where wearing. Some where finely crafted masks made to look like ghouls and ghosts expected, while others simply opted for something simple with their normal costumes. Though I was keeping my eyes peeled for the devil himself, well that was my boyfriend who told me that his costume was going to be such. He had sent me a text telling me to keep an eye out for a man in a red mask with horns. I was excited to see how he would look tonight and of course what he would think of my costume.
I stepped outside after letting another group in, the last of the people I knew to be attending other than my boyfriend. Ready to just play hostess and make sure everyone was taken care of. The same chill came over me, running along my spine and making me feel almost as if someone was watching me. Shaking it off I grabbed a drink and started to mingle.
The bonfire was already tall and steady, having been started by a friend who also worked for the fire department, and it made the backyard as warm and inviting as the house had been. People where sitting around it on large thick logs, drinking and telling stories to one another. I settled in just as a gentleman in a mask that made him look almost like a Raven started to speak, by his voice I barely recognized him to be one of the local Pagans that had come. I settled for a moment to listen to him
“Many people don’t really remember why we wear costumes and light bonfires on Halloween, but it started with the Celtic festival known as Samhain. They would do it to ward off the meaner spirits of the dead, who could pass from beyond on those nights as the veil between life and death was thin. To keep the Slugah of the fae away as well, from playing their tricks and of course looking for treats that normally where little children who had been bad. It was on this night that they said even the devil himself could walk the streets of a town without being noticed. To me I think even though we forget these things, that on a night like tonight anything is possible if we really belive in it.”
Moving on to see how other guests where doing, I couldn’t help but think back about how he spoke about the devil. Making me wonder when mine was going to arrive, my eyes kept flickering from here and there but he still hadn’t shown up. So I decided, not to worry for now and just enjoy myself. My friends had come and I needed to not let myself get overwhelmed that he was getting later and later. I poured myself a little more punch and got into the swing of things. As I took my first sip I heard someone call my name, motioning me over to the apple bobbing that I had set up.
“Come on! It’s no fun if the hostess doesn’t play too!”
I laughed and moved over to them, having my friend hold my drink. Taking a good stance I set myself on the task of grabbing an apple with just my mouth. The water felt cool as my face just hit the edges of it, trying to maneuver the wet red fruit with my tounge to stay still. I glanced up for a moment and I swore that I saw a hint of red move just behind the bonfire. The hint of a smirk watching me as my struggle with the apple got my neck and cleavage wet. Could that be him? I worked harder to get the apple, making more of a mess but finally I wrapped my lips around one and sunk my teeth in. Standing back up in triumph I took a bite with a grin to my friends. Everyone else cheered and then went to going to see who’s turn it was next. I however took my apple and went to find the devil in red.
It was like he had disappeared again, and I wondered what was going through his head. Normally he would just find me and not play games. But soon I caught another glimpse of him as he went into the woods just behind my backyard. I didn’t want to leave my party, but I wanted to know what he was up to at the same time. He should have known better than to pull me away, what if someone needed something? As I followed the sounds of the party became harder to hear, except for the bonfire which I could still hear the crackle and roar of. Just when I thought I couldn’t hear another person, I felt someone grab my wrists and pull them too me. Letting out a yelp, I spun to see the red devils mask in the light of the full moon. He had even gone so far as to paint the lower half of his face to match it that in the shadow it almost looked real. Handsome, but real.
“You nearly scared me to death!” I said, batting at him with my other hand.
He laughed and shook his head, leaning closer to me as his free arm wrapped around my waist. Pulling me in closer, his body as hot as the bonfire when I had been standing near it. He leaned his head down and caught his lips with mine, kissing me. I wasn’t sure if it was because of the moon, the fire or the fact that we where alone, but his kiss sent the same shiver through my body as before. The fear almost intoxicating as I felt myself kiss him back, the apple falling from my hand as I wrapped my arm around his waist. My mind already rushing to what might come next as he pulled away slowly.
“Apple…always my favorite..” He said, somehow making it sound sultry and humorous all at the same time. I went to reply until a voice calling my name snapped my attention away, it was my boyfriends voice. I went to go look at the person I had just been kissing…and they where gone. I hadn’t even felt them let go of my body, it was like they had never been there and I was kissing the wind.
My boyfriend got closer, his own red mask nowhere near the detail that the other had been.
“Why are you out here?” He asked wrapping his arms around me. “You’re freezing, let’s get you back to the bonfire…”
“I…thought I saw some kids messing around in the woods.” I reply, realizing that I suddenly did feel cold as I leaned into him. The heat that I had felt drifting away from me. Letting him lead me back to the party I looked behind me, only to find the apple I had dropped on the ground, now with a second bite to it.
In that moment all I could think about was the story I heard by the bonfire…