In the twenty-year-old photo attached, her sister Marcie in a princess costume and brother Jared in a Superman suit grinned excitedly at the camera. Eva, sandwiched between them with cat whiskers painted on her face, scowled ferociously. She remembered when this was taken. She’d been reading Harry Potter for the first time and just gotten to the wizard’s chess scene when her mother had dragged her away to go trick-or-treating.
She didn’t look cute. She looked angry. Because she had been.
“I’m guessing you were the grumpy cat.”
Eva immediately flipped her phone over to hide the screen and glared at her seatmate. “Mind your own business.”
The woman’s eyes twinkled. She was decked out in glittery makeup, shimmery wings, and a sparkly rainbow-coloured dress. What was a grown-ass woman doing dressed up like the tooth fairy, even if it was Halloween? Her get up made her hard to ignore, though Eva hadn't noticed her getting on the bus.
Eva’s rudeness didn’t faze her. “I love Halloween, don’t you? It’s a chance to relive our childhoods. Forget the rules and routines of being an adult.”
She’d never really looked at it that way. She’d thought it was just a candy-grab. And Eva didn’t like candy. Weird, she knew, but there it was. Sweets weren’t her thing. And don’t get her started on pumpkin spice. What was it that made people go crazy for nutmeg and cinnamon?
“What was your favourite costume when you were a child?” the fairy asked.
Eva had no intention of getting dragged into a conversation but found herself responding anyway. “I didn’t have one.”
“Sure you did. Everyone does.”
A memory from another Halloween floated into her consciousness. “I was a ghost, once.” And not just a sheet-over-the-head ghost. Her mother had looped glowsticks around Eva’s neck and arms and waist and then wrapped her in layers of tulle from her head to her toes. Eva had felt truly invisible, as if no one could see the real her. It had been magical.
The fairy beamed, as if she knew exactly what Eva was feeling. “See? I knew you’d think of something. Halloween is the one day we can pretend to be someone or something else and no one blinks an eye.”
Maybe it wasn’t the worst holiday ever. Now she'd thought of one good memory, others followed. Getting to stay up late on a school night. Watching neighbourhood fireworks. Eva looked out the window. Her stop was next. She turned to the fairy to ask her to move so she could get off.
She wasn’t there. Eva craned her neck, searching the bus. Her skin rippled with goosebumps.
The fairy was gone.
What did you think of my spooky story? I'd love to hear from you in the comments. Then hop over to PG Forte to see what she came up with this week.