“If I might have to fight monsters, then for once I’d like to be on even ground with them.” You reached forward and pick up the demon costume, noting that it all stays inside the open garment bag as you lift it off the couch.
“You’ve grown more bold, Merlin.” Victoria zip up the other two and sets them aside. She plucks the final bag, the one with the red hanger poking out, from the couch and tosses it over her shoulder.
“Hey, I’m a demon now. Shouldn’t you be calling me Lucifer or something else appropriate?”
Victoria smiles, a rare and stunning sight that makes your heart beat so loudly you can feel it in your ears. “No, the costumes are fleeting, but memories remain. You’ll always be Merlin to me. Now go to the restroom and change. I’ll use your bedroom.”
You could protest the unfairness of getting evicted from your own more spacious room, but in truth you likely would have made the same arrangements if she’d let you decide who went where. It might have been nice to have had the chance, at least. Wordlessly you take your garment bag into the restroom, nearly knocking over the Cup of Infinite Beer that Jim had abandoned. Shutting the door behind you, the changing begins.
Victoria did you right on the costume front. As you fasten and buckle things into place, you realize that what you’re wearing is as elaborate as last year’s magically augmented wizard outfit. The outfit is done in sweeping reds and black, stylized nicely and hanging off your body like it was tailor-made for you, which it very well might have been. Edges of the rear robe trail for a few inches behind when you walk, and a tall collar rises high behind your neck. The horns stick to your forehead with minimal effort, whatever substance they are coated with proving far more effective than standard spirit gum. Your final costume piece, the pitchfork, feels cold yet comfortable in your hand.
When everything is on and you catch sight of yourself in the mirror, you nearly jump at your own reflection. Gone is the everyday person you’re accustomed to seeing. In his place is a demon.
Opening the door and heading into the hall, you can hear Jim trying to talk Victoria into pregaming. It makes sense they’d both finish first, Jim had a head start and Victoria is…well…Victoria. Rounding the corner, you catch sight of your roommate as he clutches a bottle of knock-off Jaeger and some shot glasses.
Jim is adorned in the outfit of a roman gladiator, complete with sleeveless vest, sandals, and a net resting on his belt. You can see why the costume is largely drink proof, the whole thing seems like it’s made of leather, and might actually function as armor. Suddenly you think back to the chainmail in the knight costume and wonder if perhaps you didn’t think enough about defense when you selected your outfit. Then you catch sight of Victoria, and for a moment all rational thought flees you’re mind.
Honestly, you aren’t sure whether you’re more afraid or turned on as your eyes fall upon her. Victoria has dressed herself like a fairy, but not one of the Tinkerbell persuasion. Her dress is done in dark colors and bold patterns, her nails extended out in precise points, even her teeth seem a touch sharper as she smiles. The wings on her back look like gossamer wings spun of silken razor wire, and her already pale skin has lost a few shades in the moments since you last saw her. Victoria is dressed as the fairy, but she is dressed as the kind that reminds you that once upon a time fairies were not the sweet vessels of magic or bundles of light modern cinema turn them into. Once, fairies were revered as some of the scariest monsters one might meet.
“Ah, there’s our demon,” she calls, spotting you leaving from the bathroom. “Nice to see everything fits.”
“Yeah.” Your mouth is dumb, still low on your brains priorities as it debates between ogling and cowering. At last you managed to get a grip on yourself and continue speaking. “Yeah, it’s perfect. Like it was made for me.”
“My escorts must be properly attired.” She flashes a grin, exposing those white, just a tough too sharp, teeth. Somewhere inside you know it’s impossible for her to have put in this many accessories, to say nothing of the make-up in the short amount of time that’s passed. That’s Victoria, though.
“Speaking of, can you tell us now where we’re escorting you too?” Jim butts in. “I’m trying to figure out how I can smuggle stuff in, but if it’s a place with a metal detector then flasks are out, and if it’s a full pat-down place then I’ve got to go deep with any of my additional party favors.”
“I suppose there’s no harm in it now,” Victoria agrees. This is a pretty big shock to you, since she’s steadfastly refused to cough up the goods so far. “We will be visiting this town’s newest Halloween attraction: Tortured Terror Town.”
“Ohhh shit, that’s the place that’s supposed to like ten whole blocks of attractions,” Jim says. “They play advertisements for it every night during the three o’clock Knife-o-rama cooking shows.”
“They’ve also been advertising in lots of other, far more normal, place,” Victoria adds.
“I’ve seen them. Haunted houses, spooky cemeteries, loads of staff; it’s supposed to be this fully-immersive experience,” you say.
“I have no doubt it will be a spectacle to behold, especially since the ones putting it on are another of the high families of All Hallows Eve.” Though Victoria isn’t generally what you call a warm person, these next words are so icy that you can actually feel a chill run through your spine.
“Fuck me; are we in the middle of some Godfather turf war shit?” Jim asks. He’s pulled a few plastic baggies from out of a pocket on the couch and seems to be deciding how to tuck them into his costume.
“Nonsense. As a representative of the Willowbrook family, I am going to wish them well in their newest endeavor… that they decided to launch in the town where we’ve been operating for centuries.” Victoria has forced a smile on her face, but the murder in her eyes leaves you with doubt of her actual feelings.
“You two are coming along as my escorts, which actually brings us to one thing we must decide before leaving. There are certain roles escorts are expected to fill in these situations. One of you must be an attendant, while the other shall be a guardian. My attendant will be expected to cater to my minor needs as required, while the guardian shall defend the family’s honor if required. These are simply ceremonial titles as I require neither of you to do any such thing, but all the same, they must be defined should another ask. I leave it to you to determine who will take which title.”
Jim shrugs and begins trying to squeeze a bagging under one of the leather bracers on his wrist. “Your call. I’m good with whatever.”
Looks like you’ll be the one choosing the roles: