School’s out, plan is a go. It’s officially Halloween. My parents think I’m sleeping over Jimmy’s, his think he’s at Paul’s, Paul told his parents that he’s, “at mine,” and Craig is bringing the flashlights from his orphanage.
Craig is late to our meeting out behind the playground. “What you don’t have a watch either, Craig?” Jimmy says. We laugh and realize that this is the best time of our lives. We cherish it.
Paul shows us the ectoplasmic gun he built out of decals and his dad’s Mangum .45. I hope it works as well on ghosts as it did on Craig’s foot.
It starts to get dark, and children wearing all sorts of colored costumes take to the street. When the gang war finally stops we begin trick-or-treating. My pillowcase is filled to the brim with chocolate and everyone loved the army man costume. Nobody really understood Craig’s, Dracula with a gunshot in his foot costume, but that was okay because he didn’t have a pillowcase anyway.
A fog of mystery is in the air as we approach Old Man Vanderhoot’s abandoned mansion, and also a fog of water vapor. Out in the distance, or is it 10 feet away, a wolf howls clichély, startling us. We always were terrified of the French.
“Do you really think we’ll see the ghosts of the Vanderhoot’s,” Paul nervously queries as we pass by ghostly rows of geraniums lining the driveway, and two ghoulish abandoned cars which were in spookily pristine conditions. Climbing through the open window, we notice a light on upstairs. In fact, we can even make out the sound of the television running. The ghosts are definitely here, and even in this abandoned house they have managed to wield electricity. Ghost Electricity.
All of a sudden, ghost footsteps come pounding down the staircase. Paul shoots two waves of plasmic energy at the phantom and it evaporates into a heap on the floor, releasing weird, red, ghost blood. Two more ghosts rush down after the first, screaming and wailing their otherworldly chants in modern English… Ghost English.
Paul sends the other two ghosts back to the spirit world from whence they came with two more perfect shots. Looks like all that time spent playing violent video games wasn’t as bad for him as everyone said that time that he got diagnosed with severe epilepsy.
We leave the abandoned house as heroes and accomplished ghost hunters and Craig, who couldn’t make it through the window. A pizza delivery man even gives us a large pie on our way out the door and complements our house. How could he possibly know what our houses look like? Still, it was a nice gesture— word must’ve travelled fast that we saved the town from those ghosts.
The next day our parents tell us we can’t play outside anymore because a murderer is loose in the neighborhood, up at the top of the hill near Vanderhoot Mansion. Spooky, spooky stuff.