Violet had everything packed into her car, all the food for the party, decorations and such, plus her own costume which she’d slip into moments before everyone showed up for the Halloween party. Everything was on schedule, all was ready and there was not a glitch in sight.
So why was she scared to death? Okay, maybe not scared to death but still a bundle of nerves. She knew the reason was waiting for her at Victor’s house…Victor himself!
She hadn’t seen him since he stormed out of her house a week and a half ago. Not a phone call or anything. He had really cut ties with her and was presumably still ticked. In truth, she wasn’t certain he would want her to show her face at his house for his party.
“It’s not just his party, and you know it,” Heidi said. “You planned it together. It’s actually for the kids. You said it yourself to your brother. You won’t ruin things for them just because of a petty quarrel.”
“It wasn’t exactly a petty quarrel,” Violet mumbled to herself as she locked the house and slipped into the driver’s seat.
“Of course it was,” Heidi replied confidently. “You care too much for each other for things to dissolve completely between the two of you.”
Violet didn’t believe that for a minute. They had had quarrels before, she and Victor, but somehow this was different, very different. A feeling of dread filled her and the only thing keeping her from staying home, crawling into a corner and licking her wounds was the angel kids who would expect her to be at the party. She took a deep breath, put the car into reverse and hoped for the best.
She gasped upon turning the corner onto Rocky Woods Road and viewing from a distance something which somewhat resembled Victor’s house—if Victor’s house magically had fallen into a Halloween graveyard fantasy land. She gaped at the extensive decorations. Wispy ghosts floated from the nearly-bare maple tree, fantastical spider webs with moving, frightening, hairy spiders crawling around stretched between two tulip poplars, an automaton skeleton rattled his bones near the Rose-of-Sharon hedge, a witch draped in gauzy black robes stirred a cauldron with realistic fire burning beneath it, ghostly voices emanated from bushes, grave markers in all shapes and sizes dotted the lawn for such notables as Lizzy Borden, Jack The Ripper, Ickabod Crane and Albus Dumbledore, plus a tall, menacing, black-cloaked figure-- Violet couldn’t decide if he was the Grim Reaper, a dementor or a Deatheater-- lifted a bony finger every time something crossed his path and hissed a warning.
For five solid minutes Violet sat in her car staring, her mouth hanging open, before realizing she ought to get out of the middle of the road and park at the side of the house, so she wouldn’t block this amazing spectacle for anyone else.
She cautiously exited the car and leaving everything behind, and went for a better look. It was truly impressive! After stopping to view each amazing part of this elaborate scene, she went to the front door but found that there now was a tiny bridge to cross before she could make it to the porch. She wondered about it until she reached the center and it started shaking simulating an earthquake and then a hand grabbed at her ankle. She let out a blood-curdling scream and bound for the door.
Hand over her rapidly beating heart, it was only when she turned back that she saw the realistic hand—Thing from the Addams Family came to mind-- slither back under the bridge. She nearly screamed again when a black cat--its back hunched, hair sticking up and eyes aglow-- hissed at her from behind a large cauldron of bubbling multicolored ooze.
“Omigosh!” she whimpered, wondering what she would find inside the house and thinking that her lame streamers in orange and black just were not going to do for this Halloween extravaganza. Just as she was about to knock, she found a note tied with a red ribbon to the front door and it was addressed to her.
She took it and read: “Violet, I’ll be a bit late. I won’t be able to help you set up. Do what you can. See you soon, Victor.”
She stared at this note re-reading it a few times, the fake cat constantly hissing at her until the hairs at the back of her neck stuck up. She moved away from the front door all the while wondering what this note meant.
It was so impersonal and cold, somehow lacking. Her heart sank a little, but now was not the time for pondering the nuances of a few hastily written lines. She sighed and dropped the note into a pocket before she braved the troll bridge again and sprinted across it hoping to avoid the Thing. She decided to take everything she brought through the back door where there wouldn’t be anything to hiss, frighten, point menacingly or grab at her.
Much to her surprise, there was little done on the inside of the house. In the corner of the large living room stood another automatron—this time a zombie moaning and lifting his decaying arms and in the kitchen there was a vampire who opened his cape and bared his fangs. Violet gave both of those guys plenty of space. In the parlor there was just a simple branch-- which had been painted black and stuck into a pot of sand to keep it steady— hung with cute, little, obviously handmade ornaments of ghosts, Jack-o-lanterns, spiders, witches and skulls.
She could imagine Victor making those silly decorations with Julian, Peter and Georgiana, all of them having a wonderful time. It struck her forcefully that they seemed to be a family already, the four of them, and she the outsider. She shook her head of such gloomy thoughts and shrugged. There was nothing to be done about it anyway.
“Time to get this party started,” she mumbled and she proceeded to decorate the rest of the house.
Violet had just set out the last of the food when she heard peals of laughter and excited chatter, squeals of delight and outright screams. The angel kids had arrived. Violet went to the door and flung it open. The kids—all in costume—were scattered on the lawn checking out the wonderful decorations, much as Violet had done before. Everything looked even better now that night had fully fallen. Everything was more eerie, more frighteningly real looking.
Violet spotted Flora dressed as a hippy flower child in bell-bottoms, tye-dyed t-shirt, a stringy, straw colored wig with a beaded headband wrapped across her forehead, flowers woven into a braid and a large hemp peace-sign pendant hung at her neck. She looked great in a horrible sort of way. Reverend Louis was similarly hideous in a beatnik kind of costume consisting of torn and faded jeans, a long-sleeved black and white striped shirt and a black felt beret. He even had an unlit mahogany pipe hanging from his lips.
None of them seemed outright scared except for poor little Carmencita who clung to her big sister. Violet dashed across the troll bridge—really, she was getting good at dodging the Thing, and boy was she happy about that!—and lifted her arms to the little girl “angel”--who was already flinging herself out of Lucia’s arms upon seeing Violet running toward her.
“Mama!” she cried and gripped Violet so tightly around the neck that Violet wondered if she’d ever let go which was fine with both.
“Oh, honey, it’s okay,” Violet cooed soothingly. “Nothing will hurt you.”
“Miss Violet, you’re not dressed!” Lucia said. “Don’t let Darth Joaquin see you without a costume. He’ll send the storm troopers to get you.”
Violet’s eyes widened. Storm troopers sounded worse than Darth Vadar! “I’ll go get my costume on now,” she said turning back to the house.
“Is better off staying with me. This is too scary for the both of us!” Violet said, once again sprinting across the troll bridge missing the quaking and the hand.
“There, so how do I look?” Violet said turning to Carmencita who gave her a bemused look. as her luminous, large black eyes swept her up and down.
“Curly pelo nice. Dress bery bonito,” she said.
Violet giggled as she always did when Carmencita mixed her English and Spanish. “You mean my hair?” she said flipping a bouncing curl out of her eyes. “And you like my dress too?”
“Si, you look like nina in da little Princess movie,” Carmencita said.
“Yes! that’s exactly what I’m supposed to be,” she said, thrilled to know she succeeded in becoming Shirley Temple and all she needed was this frilly pink dress, Mary Jane shoes and the strawberry-blonde, curly-top wig. “I think we’re ready to go.”
“Okay, but not afueda!” Carmencita said.
“No, we’ll stay inside and you can stay right near me,” Violet said, emerging into the hall. Julian at that moment came out of the bathroom in his penguin outfit.
“Oh, I see it fits you nicely,” Violet said.
He lifted a mitted hand/flipper and said, “Smile and wave, boys. I need a progress report ASAP,” then went down the steps ahead of them. Violet could only laugh.
The party seemed in full gear now, with the kids coming in and out of the spooky “graveyard”. The princess girls liked crossing the troll bridge especially, letting it rock and shake them. Then they waited for the hand to come out so they could shriek in mock horror.
She went to check on the food and found Timmy the pirate with a handful of chips.
“Ahoy, ye landlubber!” he shouted. “Mighty fine vittles you got here.”
“Um…thank you, but I want you to eat something other than just chips. Even pirates need their veggies so they don’t get scurvy,” Violet replied.
“Aye, you be right...that wouldn’t be good!” he said, grabbing a few carrot sticks and grinning at her.
Peter, the Dalmatian, suddenly ran in and shouted, “Elvis is in the building!”
“Who’s Elvis?” Jeff, the Jedi Knight asked.
“I dunno, but Victor toll me to say it when he got he and he’s here!” Peter said, running off to see this amazing sight.
Violet followed and gasped at the sight of Victor in a snug-fitting sparkling white-jewel-studded jumpsuit complete with swirling cape. Her mouth hung open. He even had his hair in a pompadour—a real pompadour!—and somehow he got the Elvis lip curl down pat.
"Thank you! Thank you very much!" he said, holding his hand up as everyone "worshipped" him.
"He even sounds like Elvis!" Flora, the hippy flower child said, stunned.
“Holy-fricken-moly,” Violet mumbled.
“I knew it!” shouted the beatnik Louis. “Elvis is alive! Course who woulda guessed he lives in Catalpa Valley?”
Not Violet, that’s for darn sure!
Photo Credit: http://www.littleblackdressgroup.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/elvis-jumpsuit.jpeg
©2013 Glory Lennon All Rights Reserved