Halloween 2018: Choose Your Spooky Outcome: Chapter 12
Flashes of memories run through your mind. A broken mirror, a withered body, a hooded figure with a silver scythe. Not every single detail comes through perfectly, however the main thrust stays with you. Breaking the mirror is bad. Hey, wait, why do your feet hurt?
Oh shit, you’re running! From the ghosts! As you blink your eyes and reality slips into focus once more, you see an expectant face staring back at you. Thad’s expectant face, waiting on you to tell him what to do. If you had more time, you’d hug the bastard, instead you’ll have to settle for saving his life.
“We lower the mirror,” you declare. “Put it flush on the ground, keep all light cut off.” As you’re speaking, the words of advice are clicking into place. “It’s not a mirror if its not reflecting. That must have been why it didn’t act weird until tonight. It was probably covered up for storage, then someone let it out.”
“Makes as much sense as any of this to me.” Thad stays at your side as you weave through the fake foliage, taking a different route than last time, since you need to come out near the ropes. Remembering another detail, you lean back and scream. “Jim! I know you’re in here! You and Battle Kitty need to buy us some breathing room.”
“Battle Kitty, to war!” Jim’s distant yell is joined by a loud yowl, then the sound of rushing movement as the bobcat gives chase to the ghosts who were after you. It’s impossible to say if ghost animals can hurt ghosts, or some fears are just deeply ingrained, but the pursuing crowd suddenly gives way more of a shit about the angry, toilet-paper covered bobcat than you.
You and Thad burst out of the pseudo-brush, just catching sight of some creature slinking out the main door. Whatever it is, or was, you are really glad that you didn’t have to face that thing head on. As things stand, it should encounter Victoria coming from that direction, so the situation would be resolved soon.
With the ghosts occupied and the monster out of the way, Thad jumps right in and unknots the first rope keeping the mirror aloft. You do the same on the other side, both you working in tandem, taking hold of your ropes as you lower the mirror in unison. Carefully, all too aware of the consequences for failure, you take hold of the frame and set it down on the carpeted floor, pressing firmly yet gently.
No sooner has the mirror been covered than the spirits start to fade. It’s quite similar to last time, when the mirror broke, except less frantic. One moment a person will be there, then they’re fading, and after that they’re gone. Winked back to the side of life and death that they belong on.
From your left, five ghosts stumble into view, the FratCo flip-cup team. Wolfman steps to the front of the pack to address you both. “Hey guys, looks like our time is running out. Wanted to say thanks for a hell of a Halloween, and for keeping the FratCo soul alive and well. Seeing this place run by people who get it put us all at ease. When you cross over, we’ll have a kickass party waiting.”
Then, they’re gone too. Moment later, Jim wanders over holding a pile of loose toilet paper. “Alas, Battle Kitty, we hardly knew ye.”
“You got to ride around on a bobcat and chase ghosts, I think that was the best dynamic you two were ever going to have.” Even though you know better, the question still bubbles to your lips. “Why did you wrap the wild animal in toilet paper?”
Jim rolls his eyes. “Dude, it’s Halloween. You know Victoria’s all up her ass about costumes. I made him a mummy.”
“Then why were you wearing toilet paper as well?” Thad asks.
“I had to match. Didn’t want Battle Kitty to look stupid.”
Yep, you definitely knew better than to expect a good answer out of that. Luckily, the topic dies as Victoria strolls through the entrance, knocking flecks of something off her nails. “I think I slapped down a creature not seen since the medieval era.” She pauses, looking over the three of you. “Seems you lot did alright as well. Got the ghost problem handled, I see.”
“We might need a blanket or sheet, anything to keep the mirror covered. I definitely don’t want this to start back up.”
“Good thinking,” Victoria agrees. “Jim and I will hunt down such an item. You two, keep it pinned. And whatever you do, don’t break it. If you think the negative luck for shattering a normal mirror is bad, you do not want to see what happens with a magical one.
Although you don’t say anything, the warning was unneeded. This mirror is staying safe and snug until they get back. Definitely not taking chances. You got lucky before. Actually, no, you didn’t. This wasn’t luck, it was a favor. A kindness done to you by Death himself. Which you are very grateful for, but still leaves you with a lot of questions. First and foremost being, what did he mean by “trapped”?
“Your group has interesting Halloweens.” Thad’s voice pulls you from your reverie. Any other time, you’d be annoyed. Right now, you’re just glad to hear him speaking. “I mean, here I thought FratCo crushed it, but you’re fucking around with actual ghosts and magic and shit. Based on how well you rolled with all this, no way its new for you. So I’m assuming that means most of your Halloweens are as much fun.”
Crap, sometimes, with all the athletic and partying stuff, you forget Thad also has a brain in his head. “It’s been a streak of unique ones,” you admit. “Some more fun than others.”
“Seems like a nice tradition.” He looks away from you, down at the mirror’s frame. Is he… nervous? “You know, if you ever wanted more company, or help, on these ‘unique’ adventures, I’ve always got your back. I’ve done plenty of FratCo Halloween parties. Might be down for varying it up, every now and then.”
Looks like we finally found something Thad sucks at: subtlety. That was about as overt of an ask as you can imagine. Although to be fair, he was pretty helpful tonight, he even saved your life once. Then again, he also got killed. Victoria has magic, Jim is in greater danger from himself than any evil force out there, and you keep coming back from the dead. Thad does have his own thing going, true, but now you know it won’t be enough to always keep him safe.
Whatever you ultimately want, he’s staring at you, so you need to find an answer soon.
Hey folks, Drew here, speaking outside the story. I’m breaking in because today, for the second time in all these years, you have reached a Story Structure Continuity Choice. What you decide here will impact the future of Halloween Choose Your Spooky Outcome tales. Below is the new voting block for these types of choices.