That Horrible NightMature


            The old grandfather clock chimed a sixth and final time, bringing about the start of the hour. That meant the arrivals weren't far off. The early ones would drive up in the sports cars and limousines they'd gotten through their parents' trust funds.

            One by one, they'd open their doors and cease to be ordinary. For they came as actors in a play, as fiends in the dark, as deceit in the unexpectations. Garbed with masks and make-up, fangs and false fortunes, many a rich and pretentious guest would make their way to the door.

            Upon their knock, they would not beg for sweets, no. He'd smile and grin, almost always fake, and let them in.

            And when all were accounted for, the door would lock and the party would truly begin. That was why there were ribbons of orange and black, and a fake graveyard upon the lawn. It was that time of year, in late October, that promised them something nearly meaningless to celebrate.

            However, for but one within the house, the night was a very different opportunity. For before him on a desk, was an ancient tome.

            It was bound in metal and leather, clasped shut save for the key around her neck that had opened it. Upon the first page, was a language long forgotten, and a warning to the reader. And upon the second, in that same twisted script, was written what she had deciphered as 'Belongs To', above a blank line where whatever names had once been written were now smudged and erased.

            With a fountain pen, she wrote her name upon that line.

            It was something she might very well regret.

The End

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