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The New Spirit of Halloween

Ghosts keep a watchful eye, just in time for Halloween. (Falcon News photo)

My face lit up with an orange hue. It was finally lit, my jack-o-lantern. I’ve been waiting for this week all year now, for this week, my favorite week out of the whole year. The week of Halloween. I smiled at my poor design of a wolf on my pumpkin and looked at the candle that glowed behind the snarl.

I gently placed my pumpkin outside on my porch and moved my head around looking at all the decorations I had put up along with the decorations that my neighbors were putting up. My phone dinged and I looked down after pulling it out of my pocket; my mother had texted me. She lived in Boston, while I lived in a small town near Portland, Maine. I texted her back and looked at the date, the 29th. Just two days before Halloween. I smiled and felt excitement fill my chest as I knew the day was just around the corner.

A breeze blew through the air as I shivered, heading inside my house to make some brownies for the party I planned to go to, but when I checked my cupboard, I couldn’t find a mix. I sighed and grabbed my car keys, listening to a small witch laugh come from my electronic keychain. It was a witch my mom had sent me a few days ago. Occasionally it made a laugh (that was the stereotypical witch laugh).

The spirit of Halloween? (Falcon News photo)

I left my house and walked to my car, sliding into the driver’s seat and firing up the engine. I started backing out of my driveway and once I was on the main street, I started to accelerate, getting up to speed. I came to an intersection, where my light was green, a bright green, which meant the other lights were red, right? I drove into the intersection and that’s when I heard a horrendous bang. The loudest sound I’d ever heard. and then complete silence as everything slowed around me. I looked at the car that had hit me. I squinted to see what I thought was a person in clothing torn to shreds. Then I blinked and it was a kid, a teenager, with a lifeless look.

When the sound returned to my ears, I was on the ground in front of my car. Had I been thrown out the windshield? No, I was in my seat belt. Why was I here? I started to see people rushing around and boots running past me. Once fully realizing what had happened, I looked up and saw a rush of paramedics, but they weren’t running to me, they were running to my car. I sat up slowly and realized I had no pain, no injuries, no blood, no anything. I was fine. I looked at the paramedics; they were pulling someone from where I had been out of the car. They were pulling me out of the car. An eruption exploded within. I gasped, looked away, and it was gone.

My breath pulsed inside of my contracting lungs for a second before I heard it: “Time of death,” one of the paramedics called out. Blaring silence filled my ears. I had died. I was dead.

Where my heart once was started to race, each and everyone increasing in sounds and movement, until it stopped. Everything stopped, the people, the cameras, the car, the birds, the clouds. The world around me froze in time, stopping every little movement.

“Stand up.” A powerful and heavy voice presented as a skeletal hand grabbed my shoulder, pulling me up. “There’s a reason you’re here, and I don’t want to waste time.” I turned to look behind me. My gut sunk. Before me stood a man, his skin tight against his skeleton, pale and rotting. His clothing was damp and covered in soil. His eyes sunken into the sockets where they once gleamed life. I stared and he stared back. He let go of me and smiled a warming, rotten smile.

“W-Who are you?” I mumbled, quivering and sneakily trying to put space between me and the creature in front of me. The rotten but warming smile responded, “I was the spirit of Halloween. You have relieved me of my duties, though.” My body weakened and I felt as if I was about to collapse to the ground.

“What are you talking about?”

“I am retiring. It’s been centuries since I got the job. Now I’m putting it on you. You were the closest person who shared a sliver of the spirit, like me. So I, uh, let’s just say hired you and now here you are.” He placed a jack-o-lantern into my arms and I felt my body start to defrost. He tipped his hat and smirked. “Enjoy the shackles that now hold you rather than me. There’s a scroll somewhere that’ll tell you everything you need to know. Just follow the headless one. Farewell.” Before I could grasp it all, the man turned to dust.

I was left standing there, all alone, and dead. That’s when it happened, I felt my skin grow tight as if It was being vacuumed to my bones. I grew pale and parts of me dissolved to dust. My clothes decayed quickly, looking like the old man’s. There was a feeling, not pain, but a spirit forming within. It craved fear, adrenaline, the need to haunt and mess with others, and reward those who deserved my praising. This had to have been the spirit of Halloween.

My confused expression turned into a malevolent smirk and time unfroze. I was the spirit of Halloween now. It was truly my day.

A Halloween scene. (Photo by Kaleesha Baldree / Falcon News)