Derek smiled, hefting his bag of candy over his back. Teetering for a moment from the sheer weight of his haul, he grinned to himself. So far the trick-or-treating in Lincoln’s Grove had been a great idea! He and his friends had come here, dropped off by Cloud’s parents with a stern warning to always stick together. Flipping open his phone, Derek’s grin grew even wider.
It was still an hour and a half before they were going to be picked up near the town fountain.
Looking over at Sandra, in her pirate outfit complete with eye patch and bandanna, Derek rolled his eyes. She was staring at Cloud as he talked with a couple other kids, a faint blush creeping to her face. Walking over to where she sat on the edge of the fountain, Derek waved his hand in front of her face to get her attention.
“What?” Snapped the fourteen-year-old, giving Derek a cross look for interrupting her… thoughts. Derek had come out of the closet earlier this year, and had to agree with Sandra: Cloud was an attractive bit of eye candy. But he knew that Cloud was also as dense as could be when it came to girls, his entire focus being on his karate lessons and video games.
“You’ve got it bad girl,” Derek said, sitting down next to her, sliding his heavy satchel next to hers.
Instead of denying it, she leaned her head on Derek’s shoulder. “I know! But what should I do? I don’t want to just throw myself at him like the rest of the girls at school do, but I can’t seem to get him to notice me!”
“I don’t know Sandy, but you better think of something, Blondie over there is definitely putting the moves on him.” Derek warned, eyeing the interaction between Cloud, in his red kimono which showed off his chest and abs perfectly, and a girl dressed as a rather slutty witch tittered away at something he said.
Getting up, Sandra stomped over, smiling as she got within a few feet. “Cloud, Derek and I are ready to move on to the next street!”
“Already?” Cloud asked, raising an eyebrow. “But just a few minutes ago you said your feet were killing you.”
“And they’re fine now!” Sandra growled, grabbing ahold of Cloud’s right arm, pulling him closer to her. Smiling at the witch, who was now scowling, Sandra just chuckled. “You’ll just have to say goodbye to your friend here so we can move on.”
“Actually, I was telling Cloud about a real haunted graveyard close by,” the witch said, her voice high and snooty. She wrinkled her nose as she looked Sandra up and down. “I don’t think you’d be interested, seeing as you’re trick-or-treating still.”
“I’m totally interested!” Sandra exclaimed, glaring daggers at the other girl. Cloud raised an eyebrow at this while Derek folded his hands over his face. “Let’s go check this out Cloud; your parents don’t pick us up for a while yet.”
“Are you sure Sandra?” Cloud asked, a little worried. “You kind of get scared easy…”
“I do not!” She shrilly cried.
“You couldn’t even finish that new Exorcism movie, saying it was too much,” Cloud reminded her, closing his eyes and shaking his head. “Let’s just stick to what you’re comfortable with, I can check out the graveyard with Stephanie some other night.”
Stephanie, apparently the slutty witch, looked crestfallen at the idea, but Sandra pushed onward. “No, I insist! Let’s go see this graveyard. If I get scared, I’ll have you there to hold onto, right?”
Cloud’s face flushed at this comment, and he could only stammer yes as he nodded. Derek laughed and hopped down from the rim of the fountain, slinging his sack of candy over his shoulder. Sandra and Cloud walked over to grab their sacks of candy, while Stephanie stood by watching with amusement. As soon as the three were ready, she turned and began walking away.
“This way Cloud,” she called out, her voice practically a purr, “make sure your friends can keep up.”
Sandra muttered underneath her breath a few choice words that only Derek could hear as Cloud led them in Stephanie’s trail, following her far too short shorts and her fishnet stockings ending in stiletto heels. While obviously not fourteen like Cloud and the others, she was clearly close in age due to the angelic face she possessed, as well as her smooth unblemished skin.
A flurry of orange leaves blew past the quartet as they approached a long stretch of road, lit only by a few dim street lamps. Stephanie turned and smiled at Cloud. “It’s about half a mile this way, Cloud darling.”
Sandra growled low in her throat, though she was wise enough to keep her anger to herself.
The walk down the lonely stretch of road was uneventful, save of course for the number of run down houses, red for sale signs dotting their overgrown lawns marking their way like warning flags, and scraps of torn newspaper fluttering past on the autumn breeze like tumbleweeds in an old John Wayne movie.
“Nobody lives on this street?” Sandra asked, looking at Stephanie, who merely shrugged.
“I live next to the cemetery myself,” she replied, throwing her long blonde locks over her shoulder, “that’s how I know it’s haunted.”
“So you’ve seen ghosts there?” Derek asked, huffing a little from his heavy bag.
“Plenty. They come out all the time around Halloween, the whole place just feels… alive with energy.”
“What does that mean?” Sandra asked, looking to Cloud, who merely shrugged.
“You’ll see… ah, there’s the gate right now!” Stephanie said, pointing far ahead.
A single light sat above the iron gates sealing off the cemetery from the rest of the world, several bars were bent out of shape or rusted through. The iron wrought wall surrounding the plot was in equal disrepair, green with rust and covered in ivy, pale white flowers blooming from the hanging vines.
As they approached the gate, Derek asked if they could stop for a moment.
“Certainly,” Stephanie replied, cocking her hips to the side as she studied Derek with a glimmering eye, “I’d say just leave the bags out here so you can walk around the cemetery, that way you can move freely. Don’t worry, nobody else will come by and take them if you hide them in those bushes by the gate.”
“Good idea Stephanie, that’ll make things easier.” Cloud said, moving to stash his candy behind the prickly bush. Derek and Sandra followed suit, Sandra slipping her eye patch off so that she would be able to look around easier. Derek, in his detective outfit, pulled his trench coat tighter around him as a wicked wind whipped past them.
“Dammit!” Sandra cursed, reaching into her pocket for a less pirate-like hair band to tie her hair back with. “Stupid wind…”
“If the wind is going to bother you that much, then I can’t wait to see how you react to the graveyard,” Stephanie drawled, running a red nail up the front of her blouse, to her cleavage. “The whole place has a different vibe on Hallows Eve, when the moon is high, and the stars are out.”