As per being famous, Leonard, Sara, Theo and Henna had all been invited to several Halloween parties, courtesy of seniors whose parents were out of town for some reason or another. They all denied the invitations, saying that they already had plans for their night.
Nikolas, too, had been invited to some parties, as he had become rather infamous around Norman Irving Ballington High School in his four years of being at that school. He, too, had denied all invitations under the excuse that his little sisters needed chaperoning because his parents didn’t trust them by themselves and he was getting paid to follow them around for four hours.
Leonard, Sara, Theo, and Henna were, in fact, going trick-or-treating, also known as the “Let’s go bother Nikki and drag him out to go trick-or-treating and then go eat Chinese food” plan.
Nikolas was, in fact, going to stay home with Marissa, who didn’t care for knocking on strangers’ doors for candy, and hand out candy while Jessie went trick-or-treating with friends.
As night fell, the monsters and disguised children came out to play, parents following them with some chagrin as they thoroughly enjoyed going trick-or-treating as if they were a child again, though it was a rather vicarious affair.
Children after children came around to Nikolas’ door, asking for candy. Nikolas would smile, flash his fangs (which caused more than one child to scream in delight and fear) and give them each a couple of Jolly Ranchers, then spend a few minutes reading Edgar Allan Poe short stories, trying to get into the Halloween spirit.
At about ten o’clock, he was getting sleepy, and the bowl was getting dangerously low on Jolly Ranchers. The doorbell rang. He opened the door to see his friends, decked in what he considered were very interesting costumes.
“Trick or treat!”
Henna was dressed in a short blue dress that appeared to be close to see-through, had it not been bedecked in false flowers. Her hair was half braided and threaded through with more fake flowers and she had a thin circlet around her head and gold gladiator sandals. It was clear, though she lacked the wings, that she was a fairy.
Adelaide was wearing a midriff-baring leather outfit, complete with fringed, knee-high boots, unattached sleeves and a yellow traveler’s cape.
“What, no Eric?” Nikolas questioned, amusedly.
“No,” Adelaide answered forlornly. “He had an Asian party to go to.”
Garrick was wearing jeans and a rather ugly sweater with a large “P” emblazoned on the front. With his glasses, red hair and freckles, he looked just like Percy Weasley.
Sara and Theo were in matching outfits. Sara was costumed as an eyebrow-raising, sexy policewoman while Theo was her prisoner with handcuffs on one hand and striped jumpsuit. Sara had a long trench coat on over her costume and carried the billy club in her hand.
Leonard wore a full-on cowboy outfit, complete with red bandana, stubble and spurred boots. Nikolas raised an eyebrow. “I don’t really know what to say,” he admitted.
“Well,” Leonard said with a wink, “You can start by saying how sexy I look with this stubble.”
“Mm…No,” Nikolas decided. “You look like a hobo.”
Marissa appeared behind Nikolas. “Nikki, are you just going to—whoa, nice costumes,” she remarked appreciatively.
“Whoa! So the expressionless twelve-year-old actually shows emotion!” Leonard jibed.
“Yeah. Whatever. Look, Nikki, if you’re going to leave with your friends, just go. I’ll be fine at home. Mom is here, after all.” She gave Nikolas a push.
“Oh yeah! That reminds me, Nikki, we’re kidnapping you for the night. Say bye!” Leonard grabbed Nikolas by the arm and tugged him out.
“Bye!” Marissa waved, shutting the door as Nikolas was dragged off by his friends.
“Wait! Where are we going?” Nikolas yelped in alarm.
“We’re going to go trick-or-treating with you, Nikki!” Sara said happily.
“Too bad,” Henna chirped cheerfully, skipping ahead with Adelaide with an unusual amount of un-Zen-like behavior.
In the hour they spent knocking on people’s doors to get candy, Leonard couldn’t help but get distracted multiple times by Nikolas’ costume. Studs ran up and down the sides of his black pants, which had several straps and chains on the legs as well. His black dress shirt fit close to his body, making him seem leaner than he usually did. The sleeves were rolled back, the collar undone and the shirt wasn’t tucked in. He’d tied his hair back into a small ponytail, revealing long, dangling cross earrings instead of his usually small hoops or studs, and he was wearing a black choker necklace with a large pendant in resting in the hollow of his throat. When he smiled, his false eyeteeth caught the light, gleaming in the dark. He’d darkened his eyes with eyeliner, making his eyes seem much bigger than normal.
“I love being able to recycle old costume parts,” Nikolas said delightedly, stretching his arms above his head and revealing a pale strip of abdomen and the glint of his piercing as they walked back to Burnett’s van. Burnett had taken Henna’s car to his mystery location.
Adelaide whistled appreciatively. “You actually look like a vampire, did you know that?” she asked, climbing into the car. “But you should have painted your nails black.”
“It’s because I’m pale,” Nikolas said wisely. “And no, I’m not painting my nails black. Even that’s too much for me.”
When Leonard looked over at Nikolas again while he was driving, Nikolas caught him and smiled at him, eyeteeth glimmering with the reflected light of the street lamps.
When they arrived at the Chinese restaurant, Nikolas’ costume sent the owners into a near panic attack. It took Adelaide a good fifteen minutes to convince them that it was not in fact, a demon, but a young man in a very good vampire costume. By the end of the fifteen minutes, Nikolas had removed his fake teeth and gotten rid of the heavy eye make-up so that he looked more like a normal person.
But in the end, the owners calmed down and they got their midnight Chinese food, which tasted excellent.