Halloween 2017: Choose Your Spooky Outcome: Chapter 2

                Fur in the mouth aside, you aren’t passing up the chance to have fangs, claws, and potential regeneration if shit goes sideways. Working as fast as possible, you don the plaid shirt and torn jeans, toss on the claws and fake fangs, then glue as much of the fur on as you can manage. You look a little more hipster than werewolf in some spots, but with the ensemble as a whole it’s clear what you’re going for.

                Back in the living room, you find Victoria watching in fascination as Jim tries to swallow five Jell-O shots at once, head tilted back as he swirls them around his mouth. Wordlessly, you slap him on the back, causing a glob of red goo to go shooting from his throat onto the table. Shit, Wilbur, your third roommate, is going to be pissed about that when he gets home. No time to clean though, so you’ll have to deal with it later. Maybe you’ll get lucky and not survive the night!

                With everyone assembled, and Jim still grumbling about not being allowed to finish his “snack”, the three of you head out to Victoria’s limo. As usual, Jim rides up front with the mysterious driver, leaving the two of you alone in the back. Once the car is moving, you look over to Victoria expectantly. “So, are you finally going to tell me where we’re going?”

                From somewhere within her dress, Victoria produces a cream-colored envelope and offers it over. It takes a few seconds of reading, then rereading to make sure there wasn’t some sinister code you missed, before you finally accept your destination. “A movie theater? That’s our big adventure this year? Some movie theater is doing a festival of horror cinema and you think weird shit is going down. Let me guess, the popcorn machine is going to turn evil.”

                “Don’t be ridiculous,” Victoria chides you. “Popcorn machines are already evil; they’ve attempted at least two rebellions so far. But the treaty of Orville still seems to be holding, so they aren’t our concern this evening. No, the danger here is that a place like this can be potent in the wrong hands. That many people, celebrating their fears, watching things that induce terror. Concentrated fear and belief all pooling in a single place, and on All Hallows Eve at that. One could use that kind of power to many wicked ends.”

                “From movies? Old movies, at that? Seems a little easy, given all the other stuff I’ve seen your kind go through.”

                “Ah, I didn’t realize you had become the expert on magic over our past year.” She’s smiling at you, showing those dangerous fangs once more. “Your instincts aren’t entirely off, however. Just seeing a movie wouldn’t be enough. If one were to invest some magic, though, amplify the effects as needed, the results could be spectacular. I’ve no idea what is planned at this event, or who is behind it, or how they intend to harvest. This is an interloper, not a fellow family of All Hallows Eve, so we will be going in largely blind. Keep your wits about you, Merlin. And watch out for Jim. I’d like to maintain something of a cover for at least the first hour.”

                Personally, you think she’s being pretty damn optimistic, but in a rare display of wisdom (good job!) you keep it to yourself. Not long after that the limo pulls up to a multiplex near the edge of town. You and Victoria step out of the limo, while Jim appears at your side in a puff of smoke with a confused look on his face.

                “Ohhhhh, its smoke that really gets you moving. I see what he meant. Shit, I gotta ask if I can buy some of that on the way home. Be a big help next time I lock myself in the bathroom.”

                Victoria starts to open her mouth, most likely to ask the obvious question of how one would get locked in a room on the side with the locking mechanism, then lets it shut once more. It’s been a few years, but she’s been with you both long enough to know some Jim questions won’t get satisfying answers.

                Heading up to the entrance, Victoria presents her envelope, along with the tickets inside, and the three of you are ushered through. The interior is “spooky” in a very plastic and cardboard way. Fake spider webs, rubber bats hanging from the ceiling, paper skeletons hung on the wall, it’s the sort of Halloween fare you used to deal with, before the days of Victoria. It’s almost comforting, in a way. The closest thing this place has to special decorations are cardboard cut-outs of famous movie monsters. There’s Umpire Mask, Dream-Stabber, Leper-caun, even Glub, the monster from the inky bayou. Also some others you don’t recognize. Looking at how fake everything is, it dawns on you that if Victoria’s sources are wrong, you might just spend a peaceful Halloween out watching scary movies with friends for a change. You try not to get your hopes up, but the idea is still a nice one.

                After grabbing drinks, Jim has one in each gauze-covered hand and it’s only his determination that keeps them from slipping, Victoria drags you both over to a large marquee with a schedule displayed. “If anything is going to happen, the theaters where people are being scared are the most likely spots of activity. It looks as though there are three films starting soon. Since I am unfamiliar with these mundane, lackluster attempts at terror, I’ll defer to Merlin to decide which one we enter. Choose the option that comes closest to being actually scary, we need to be in the center of the fear.”

                “Oh shit! Terror Camp 4 is playing. That’s the best one of the Terror Camp series before the reboot. All the blood was top-fucking notch in that.” You’re not sure if Jim actually heard what she said or is just excited about the listing in front of him. “Damn, and Torture House 3, that’s the last one with the original Rubick’s murderer. After that they kept doing new people who were secret protégés and it sucked.  Fuck me, they’ve even got B-movie classics like Fleshreaver on here. That’s the one with the squash-headed monster that stalks suburbia. There are multiple showings, can we go to all of these? I think I have enough drugs for one, maybe one and a half, but someone here is bound to be holding.”

                Well, that was an unexpectedly succinct layout of your three options. Not, uh, not really sure what else to add to that, except maybe Jim should stay in his fucking lane and leave that to the professionals. Whatever, I’m over it. Really. Just pick your movie already.