Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Blood of the Trick - Goodkind Halloween Special

It’s Halloween and three friends have stopped to rest a moment after some successful trick or treating. Edd is a fat boy, he is dressed as a vampire, Sharon is dressed as a princess, and Paul is dressed as a zombie.

Edd: Let's go to that house at the end of Midland’s Road.

Sharon: The haunted mansion? I dunno, my parents told me to stay clear of Rand's Hall.

Paul: You chicken, or what?

At the word chicken to group of children feel that the air has gotten colder around them.

Sharon: They tell scary stories about that place.

Edd: They tell scary stories about Ligotti House, King's Palace, and Joe's Hill too, and the people there were nice and gave us candies.

After some discussing the three friends decide to try their luck with the allegedly haunted Rand's Mansion. On their way they pass in front of Jeff and Scott Thomas Rare Books, where they manage to collect some more candies to fill their bags. They spy other groups of children; some escorted by an adult others, like themselves roaming alone in the cool autumn night. When they pass beside the Tropics, an old fashioned bar with a mural painting inside portraying a tropical beach, they meet Mister Ford, who smiles at them the sad smile of those who miss their childhood nights of Halloween.

Paul: Sharon, your parents, what did they tell you about the house?

Sharon: My mom told me that it belonged to a sour old lady, who lived there for many years, always angry with the world. When the lady died the place was abandoned but now it seems that someone must live there because they hear noises.

Paul: Cool!

Edd: Yeah, cool!

Paul: Maybe it’s the old lady’s spirit that has never left the place.

Sharon: Oh, please.

When the three kids arrive to Midland’s Road the festive spirit, somehow restored by the reassuring sights of their little town dissipates as the ancient Mansion emerges in front of them, surrounded by a chilly fog.

Edd: Now I'm not sure we should go.

Paul: Chicken.

Paul strides fearlessly into to yard and his two friends reluctantly follow him. The house is dark and they can feel the cold that the place exudes but Paul is a brave boy and he has come here to have some candies but even more than this, he has come here to be scared. Adolescence is near and he feels that soon all the magic of nights like this one will be lost to the cynical bravado of youth. He knocks at the door feeling adrenaline surging by his veins, his heart hammering against his chest. Paul knows that Edd and Sharon have followed him and this makes him happy.

Then the door opens and a tall man dressed in black emerges from the complete darkness of the house. He stares at them raptor like, his eyes filled with cold fury.

Richard: Who are you and what do you want?

Paul: We are...

Edd: Trick or...

Sharon: Treat.

Paul raises his bag filled with candy but the man seems unimpressed.

Richard: I don't do weirdo cultural diversity.

Paul: weirdo what?

Richard: And your begging sickens me.

Sharon: We are not begging, we are just asking for candy, it's Halloween.

Richard: Asking for candy at people's doors is begging. If you want candy work for your candy, fight for it, earn it.

Edd: But we are not asking for candy because we don't have money. Look I have money; I mow lawns in the neighbourhood.

Richard: You beg for candy because it's the way your parents have to brainwash you, to make you become Altruistic, to make you ready to expect other peoples help, to choose death and not life. You are dressed as Death, had you chosen life you would be dressed as Noble Goats, Mud People, or maybe friendly Gars, not as Zombies and Vampires as you are. You live in a system that has raised you to be mere parts of a giant organism that wants to destroy your individuality.

Richard goes on and on for a long time and the kids seems unable to escape. Being polite children they have been taught not to allow people to finish what they are saying. Time passes and the night seems to be darker now, they know that they are being late and that their parents are going to be very worried but the man keeps talking and talking about moral vegetables and things equally strange. Finally he stops to catch his breath.

Paul: So you are not going to give us candies.

Richard: No!

Sharon it's really angry. She has waited for more than an hour for this man to stop talking and now he is not even going to toss a few mint sugar free candies in their bags. She does the first thing that comes to her mind, she sticks her tongue.

The man looks at her with hatred; it's as if some thing had suddenly grown in him. Then he kicks at her face.

It's Edd who saves Sharon. He grabs the back of her coat and pulls her back. The man's boot passes a few inches from her nose as they fall down to the muddy ground. Then the man turns to Jason who is still standing paralyzed. The man reaches behind him and a long and ugly looking machete appears in his hand, the word Truth engraved on its rusty blade.

Richard: Blade be true this day.

Paul can see that the man has two words tattooed in his knuckles; Life in his right hand, Death in his left. His eyes are looking at him, mesmerized by the moonlight reflecting on the rusty blade.

Sharon: Run Paul!
Sharon and Edd have managed to arrive to the gate. Then Paul turns and runs, he runs and the man follows him brandishing his machete, cutting the air closer and closer to his back.

Richard: Bringer of Deathhhh!!!

And now Paul is in the street and the three kids run screaming and do not stop for more than ten minutes, even if they know that the man has stopped pursuing them long ago.

They do not talk, they just stare at each and do not care that they have dropped their bags filled with candies in the dark front yard of the evil Rand’s Mansion. The last harvest of their childhood is lost to the dark secrets of the mad world of some adults. They part their ways when they arrive to their street, Paul is the last one, his house being the last one in the street. He covers the last meters to the comforting lights of home with his heart beating fast in the most abject terror, expecting the man with the rusty blade emerge from every shadow, remembering with horror the last sight of Rand’s Mansion, when he was running he looked back to see if the man was still following. It was then when he saw the woman, dressed in white, looking down at him from one of the windows of the ancient mansion. She was smiling evilly at him.

- Agulla


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