Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Strangest Thing Happened on Halloween

According to my fifth grade journal, my three favorite books that year were Just As Long As We're Together, The Search for Grissi, and Sister of the Quints. You see, I was into realistic fiction. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed a good yarn about dolls reenacting murders or a ghost who turned roses to mush while helping to uncover some hidden savings bonds as much as the next gal, but horror? Suspense? Mystery? I wouldn't say they were "my thing." So when we had a class assignment to write a Halloween story, I tried to come up with something I could actually imagine taking place. The result: The Strangest Thing Happened on Halloween.

Maybe I should have defined strange, because if we're being honest, stranger things have definitely happened on Halloween. Stranger things might even be happening to you, like, right this very second. Cleaning out my refrigerator? Possibly stranger that what happens in this story.

Okay. Now that your expectations have been sufficiently lowered, proceed.

The Strangest Thing Happened on HALLOWEEN...

This book is dedicated to Katie, who thought up the name, "rat zoid"

Okay, let me start my story. My name is Carol. All of this started when I had my Halloween sleepover...

(First, let me tell you I invited: My best friend, Tina, plus: Janey, Melissa, Ginger, and Tracy.)

It's worth noting that each girl's name is penciled in a different handwriting. Melissa cops the obligatory Stacy McGill, but it's Tracy who takes it to the next level. Her T looks like it was crafted out of cotton candy, and the Y is so curlicued that it resembles a snail shell more than a letter.

They all came.

The first thing we did was eat. We ate: pepperoni and sausage pizzas from "Little Caesars," 1 liter of Minute Maid orange pop, 1 liter of Coke, and ice cream for dessert.

Apparently none of them know how to
make their own dip. Amateurs.

Then we changed into our pajamas (which was mostly shirts). We set up the sleeping bags. I popped "Beetlejuice" into the VCR.

Let me clarify this "mostly shirts" thing. Because there will be no pillow fights leading to preteen make-out sessions here. In 1989, it was perfectly acceptable to wear just a shirt to a sleepover. That's because the shirt would be approximately 25 sizes too large for you and come down past your knees. My best (read: hugest) one was purchased at Cedar Point, after my sister and I had been soaked to the frigging bone on the Log Ride and desperately needed a wardrobe change. So, technically, grossly oversized shirts were not just for sleepovers. They could, in a pinch, be worn around amusement parks.

Halfway through, my big brother, Rob (he's in high school) came down and insisted that after we watched the second movie (Psycho III) to come up to his room.

After Beetlejuice, we couldn't stop exclaiming over what we liked best. The special effects were so neat!


I excused myself to make some popcorn. I came back soon, carrying a huge bowl of buttered, salted popcorn.

Where were they? The girls had disappeared!

"I VANT TO SUCK YOUR BLOOD!" cried Ginger, cackling. The other girls followed her lead.

I turned around quickly. They had come out of thin air. NO KIDDING!

I screamed. I didn't mean to, I just did. It was like some demon... "I'm posessed!" I shrieked.

By that time Tracy had had it. She fell on the floor. She was crying. WAIT A SECOND! She was laughing so hard she was crying!

"Oh, come on, Carol, can't you take a joke!" exclaimed Tina. She trying to ignore hysterical Tracy.

"Oh, get off it, Tracy!" snapped Melissa. "Grow up!" Tracy immediately stopped.

"Boy." I heard her mutter.

Well, I don't care if they dot their i's with hearts or not, Tina and Melissa seem like a-holes.

Obviously, Janey had to
[I believe she'd "had it too"] because she said, or she cleared her throat and said, "Let's watch Psycho III." She rolled her eyes at the same time.

So we did.

Melissa pouted because she couldn't eat the popcorn (braces). Janey refused to go to the bathroom without someone guarding the door. The bathroom scene had really freaked her out.

During the bathroom scene, someone is beheaded while, ahem, using the facilities. A screening of Psycho III pretty much guaranteed that at least one sleepover attendee would be afraid to pee for the rest of the night.

While Tracy guarded, the rest of us went into my room. Janey didn't know the vent in there led to the vent in the bathroom.

Really? The vent in the bathroom leads to her bedroom? That sounds awfully unfortunate for Carol. In my house, there was a vent in the living room that led to the basement, and this architectural boon figured prominently in many of our haunted houses.
In my mind, vents were an obvious vessel for auditory terror.

"Oooweee!" moaned Melissa.

"Auuuiiiauuuuiii!" groaned Ginger.

"Ab Eb Eeb! Ab Eb Eeb!" cried Tina.

"Eeeeek! Eeek!" I shrieked.

I'm sorry, but Ab Eb Eeb? AB EB EEB? What is THAT?!

Janey freaked. She flushed the toilet, fumbled with the lock, and freed herself.

We confessed.

Janey cried.

After she was comforted we went to Rob's room. Where was Rob? Everybody was disappearing! The door creaked open...

And a squeaking bat flew into Melissa's face! She screamed. It flew into the hallway and out an open window.

Meanwhile, we all crept inside.

We'd only gone a few steps when my foot fell in something wet. I put my bare foot back into the hall; into the light.

I screamed. BLOOD! There was blood on my foot!

The first thing I thought was Rob. A bat. A puddle of blood on the floor. It all fit. The bat must've bitten Rob!

Then I remembered.

It was Halloween. I was having a sleepover. We had just watched a scary movie. I had a rat zoid for a big brother.

"A haunted house!" Ginger squealed with delight. "I can't wait!"

So we went back in.

My sister and I were WAY into haunted houses... as long as we were staging them ourselves. Did we like being scared? Mehhhh. But we loved to scare the crap out of others! Or, uh, try.

A Few Essential Items for Your Haunted House:

1) A well-placed vent (as discussed earlier).

2) Creepy sound effects. Our tape of
Disney's Thrilling, Chilling Sounds of the Haunted House (surprisingly awesome and now available on iTunes!) was a favorite, although we did make our own tape at one point. Feel free to get creative.

3) Rubber bats. We usually had a few on hand.

4) Toys covered in blood. We liked to decapitate Barbies—plus remove all of their limbs—and then depict their wounds using red nail polish. (Warning: It turns out that nail polish is kinda difficult to remove, so your Barbies may forever after have a bit of a "bloody" look.)

We all shrieked while walking through the blood. Then things started happening. Things I can't explain.

Janey tripped over a dead body.

She freaked again. She fell on the floor, crying over and over, "I swear to god I stepped on a real hand!" But we had to go on. Rob would brag at school.

They were scared, but they had to keep going ON PRINCIPLE, guys. Also, "I swear to god I stepped on a real hand!" seems like an unwieldy phrase to repeat. I swear to god I stepped on a real hand! I swear to god I stepped on a real hand! I swear to god I stepped on a real hand!

A monster grabbed Tina. She shouted, "Get off, you idiot!"

While at the same time a huge something flew into Ginger and Tracy became entangled with a real live snake.

We freed ourselves and left, shouting unkind, unladylike things at Rob's room and at Rob, wherever he was.

"I swear to god I stepped on a real hand!"
"Ab Eb Eeb!"

Well, we tried to forget the haunted house.

We ate, gossiped, played Truth or Dare, told ghost stories
[yeah, that'll help you forget the haunted house all right], raided the refridgerator, told secrets, said nasty things about Rob, and etc. until 5.

But we still wonder what had happened.

Where had Rob been?

Were there spirits at my sleepover?

Were there demons running the haunted house?

Was it blood that stained Janey's P.J.'s?

Was the scratch on Tina from a real monster?


Um, do we really need to call Robert Stack in on this one?

Because my questions are more along the lines of:

Where were Rob and Carol's parents?

Do Rob and his friends really have nothing better to do than scare a bunch of 10-year-old girls by playing dead and throwing borrowed snakes around?

Is there such thing as remote-controlled bats?


*Well, I don't have any final word on Rob and his reptile-renting habits, but I'm thrilled to report that the answer to the remote-controlled bat question is a resounding YES!

Carol, have you ever thought that maybe Rob just loves technology?

So I guess... kudos to Rob? I mean, that elaborate haunted house definitely put my vent wailing and quartered Barbies to shame. I just hope it was worth it, Rob. You do realize Janey had to buy a new enormous nightshirt, right? I hope you're proud of yourself.

My teacher's verdict? "Sada, this is WONDERFULLY written." And I got a check PLUS. Booyah!

NEXT TIME: Plan A: I really wanted to reminisce about my Halloween costumes of yore, but all of the Halloween pictures have gone MISSING from my parents' photo albums! So unless Robert Stack steps in to investigate this, I'll probably have to move on to Plan B: a continuation of The Sig Saga, including one of my (thankfully, unsent) letters to my elementary school crush. The shock! The horror! And—most of all—the embarrassment.


Heliotrope said...

I must find a way to work "Ab eb eeb" in to my day today!

If I'm feeling particularly ambitious, "I swear to God I stepped on a real hand" will also make an appearance.

The only prank my friends ever played on me at a slumber party is when I went to the bathroom, they all got in their sleeping bags and pretended to be asleep. I thought they had all fallen asleep so when I got back from the bathroom, I went to sleep too. Turns out everybody fell asleep waiting for me to try and wake them up so we could continue the party. We were kinda lame.

Sada said...

That might be the the most boring backfired slumber party prank of all time. I love it!

Kathryn said...

"I swear to god I stepped on a real hand!"


Cory said...

My question is also "where are Rob and Carol's parents?" A few notes about this story: first of all, why does Carol scream, "I'm possessed!" when she's frightened by her friends? Second, why did you choose "Psycho III?" More importantly, why were you watching it at such a young age (I guess I can't really talk, though...I saw the Exorcist at around this time, so...yeah. Nevermind). Did you ever actually stay up till 5 at a slumber party (I'm embarrassed to admit that, even though I'm in my 20s, I've never stayed up past 3). Also, I really want to know what's going on here. Is this all just an elaborate prank Rob has played on the girls? Or, has Rob been claimed by something that is now stalking the preteen non-slumberers? We'll never know.

Finally, we also have a vent leading from a bedroom to the bathroom, though we never used it to scare people (at least not that I remember). And my sister, cousins, and I also tried to make a haunted house in my basement one time, though it basically involved us acting dead, our parents and older siblings wandering around in pitch blackness, and a lot of swearing.

Cory said...

Also, I'm really, really glad you clarified the "mostly shirts" comment. Really glad.

Anonymous said...

Haha this entry was awesome, your story was about as scary as my "scary" story for my class was . . . mine was about a haunted house on Spooky Street. Original, I know. Everyone disappears, books dance around the room, and it's never explained.

"Ab eb eeb" was classic.

Love your blog, I totally copied from Baby-sitters Club too

zanne said...

Your stories are the best. I love reading them. This one was even better, because it was about a sleepover! I like how you mentioned what they ate. Because that is the most important part of a sleepover!

I remember wearing huge tshirts when I was younger!

Sada said...

@Cory: Carol feels possessed because she screamed without meaning too. I know, WEAK! Why would a demon scream? It would obviously suck your soul or wreak havoc of some sort. Duh.

At my 12th birthday party (blog entry forthcoming!) we stayed up all night long (all night), so yeah, we probably stayed up until 5:00 a.m. in 5th grade. Maybe you need to hang out with more preteen girls? Er... that doesn't sound right.

@Anonymous: Dancing books! SPOOKY!

@Zanne: Food was our top sleepover priority. Starting in middle school, we actually referred to our sleepovers as Pig-Outs. Oh yeah we did.

Sadako said...

LURV the Lydia Deitz photo.

Anonymous said...

My best (read: hugest) one was purchased at Cedar Point, after my sister and I had been soaked to the frigging bone on the Log Ride and desperately needed a wardrobe change. So, technically, grossly oversized shirts were not just for sleepovers. They could, in a pinch, be worn around amusement parks.

My sisters and I did the same at Sea World. Those were the days.

Jessica Brown said...

This was very cute. I have a similar blog and a similar entry:

I like your blog and added it to my blog roll on:

Jessica Brown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jessica Brown said...

Cedar Point was one of my favorite places in the 1980's.

Sharon McPherson: AUTHOR / ARTIST said...

That's the best Halloween story I've ever read ... ever!

Wish my school journal was that exciting ...

Had totally forgotten 'Beetle Juice, Beetle Juice, Beetle Ju ... Nooooo!!!

Looking forward to reading much much more. :)

Steam Me Up, Kid said...

I'm here via That Kind of Girl, and reading through this entry, I wanted to barf from the regret of not having found you sooner. Yes, barf with regret.

I started posting excerpts from my old diaries yesterday on my blog. Come see, you'll like them I bet.

I need to maybe eat breakfast and come back for more, because I think my low blood sugar is making me a little too emotional over how much I love this blog.