I looked down at my best friend as she lay lifeless and pale on the floor of my bedroom. My arm was pouring blood and my head was throbbing. My powder blue carpet had dark red bloodstains on, I couldn't believe what had happened.
'Lilly, one of your friends is on the phone.' Said mum after breakfast this morning. I waited until she had left the room before saying
'Hi' to who ever was calling me.
'Hey Lilly, it's Rosie. Are you doing anything today?' Damn I was. Most Saturdays, Rosie and I would go shopping or ice skating or some other wonderfully anti-homework thing.
'Oh, sorry Rosie, but my obnoxious cousin James is coming over while mum and Auntie May discuss curtains or something.'
I hadn't seen James since my last birthday party when he had poured cola over my new CD player, fell over a chair, through the window then ended the party two hours early because he had to go to casualty!
'Bummer.' Sighed Rosie.
'I know.' Rosie and I are both fifteen. We met in the first year at primary school and have been best friends ever since. Everyone always thinks we are sisters because we both have green eyes, blonde hair, though hers is much longer than mine and we are both named after flowers.
'What did you have planned?' I asked getting up and pouring myself a glass of water.
'Well, you know it is Halloween tonight.' I choked on my water, spraying it across the room.
'No!' I cried. Halloween? How could it be Halloween already?
'Well it is stupid, 31st October duh! I looked at my watch and sure enough it said 31. 'Well I was thinking we could go out and buy trick or treating costumes, then invite everyone round for a spooky sleepover at your house!' she ended excitedly.
'Would you mind if James came with us?' I asked. I didn't really want him there, but I didn't want to miss Halloween because of him.
'Sure whatever, I'll be round in an hour and we can catch the bus into town. See ya!'
Most sleepovers and all Halloween sleepovers were at my house. One because mum didn't really mind how many parties I had as long as I did my homework and got good grades, and two because I live in an old manor house that is three hundred years old and perfect for scary stories with all the old house creaks. I ran up to my room and started getting dressed. It was a fairly cold day so I went for a simple jeans, T-shirt and lilac sweater,
'Lilly!' mum called, 'James is here! Come down and say hello to your Auntie May then you can show James your room!' I cringed. Show James my room? I grabbed various bras and pants that I had scattered all over the floor and put them in a draw. Then I hid my fluffy cat, Mimi, under my pillow with my diary.
I ran downstairs to greet my family.
'Lilly!' cried Auntie May, shoving my head to her bosom and smothering me in kisses.
'Hello Auntie May, how are you?' I asked.
'Fine thank you darling!' she cooed. 'James! Come and greet your cousin!'
From behind his massive mother, came a cowering James. I glared qt him to let him know that I hadn't forgiven him yet.
'Alright Lilly?' he said quietly. He was a lot spottier since I last saw him, and his glasses looked a bit lopsided.
'Lilly, take James upstairs. Me and May are going to discuss curtains!' said mum, beaming at her sister.
I walked upstairs, saying nothing to James, just expecting him to follow. He did, also in silence and followed me into my room. I sat on my bed, and he stood awkwardly by my desk, his cheeks flushing as he saw a polka dot bra hanging from my lamp that I had misses. I grabbed it and shoved it into the draw.
'Sorry.' He muttered, stepping back into my easel that was leaning against my wall. It fell over and hit the china dog on my shelf. It flipped into the air and landed on the photo of my and Rosie in London on my bedside table. The frame and dog both smashed and fell to the carpet.
'Sorry.' Said James again.
For the next half-hour, we sat, or stood in his case in silence. It was broken by mum calling up the stairs,
'Lilly! Rosie is on her way up!' I heard thudding up the stairs, then my door burst open, slamming into James' face.
'Hi guys!' said Rosie, smiling widely.
The door swung too behind her, revealing a very shocked expression on his face, and his glasses looked even more wonky.
'Hi! I'm Rosie!' she said, grabbing his hand with hers and shaking it, appearing not to have noticed that she had just attacked him with the door.
'Uh. Hi.' Said James quietly.
'Everybody ready to go?' asked Rosie, then without waiting for a response, 'Good! The bus will be here in about two minutes so we had better run!'
I, who was used to Rosie's hyperactive way, picked up my bag and stood up. But James looked even more shocked, though previously I would not have believed it possible!
Rosie noticed his lack of movement, so she grabbed his arm and dragged him out the room making him yelp with shock. I followed, laughing.
We got to the bus stop at the same time as the bus. There was a handsome young man driving, so Rosie took our fares and paid while James and I found seats. We went to the back seat to get away from the two old ladies at the front who smelled strongly of cabbage and were moaning about something. Rosie bounded up and positioned herself in the middle so she was in full view of the driver, who's name she informed us was Michael.
When we got to town, Rosie stared talking about costumes.
'I was considering a playboy bunny motif.' She said striking a pose. James' mouth fell open and his eyes began to pop. 'You know, high heels, fish net tights. That sort of thing.' She said as we carried on walking. James had a glazed look, I didn't want to see what he was thinking!
'I was thinking of something more scary.' I said, elbowing James, bringing him back to reality, he had narrowly missed a lamp post.
'How about you James?' asked Rosie.
'A ghost?' I suggested. After all, that was what he had been for the past fifteen years!
'Ooh ooh ooh!' cried Rosie, jumping up and down. 'Have you guys read the Travelling Vampire Show?'
'Yes.' I said.
'No,' said James.
'Well you know Valeria?' she said, turning to me. I nodded, Valeria was the sexy vampire impersonator. 'I'm gonna dress up like her!' I sighed, Rosie would do that, which would make whatever I wore look silly and babyish.
We came to a shop which Rosie promised would have a brilliant Valeria costume. It was called 'Punc' and Rosie and I had never been in there. But sure enough, there was a rusty colored mini skirt with matching bra top and knee high boots, Just like Valeria. She tried them on and looked pretty amazing. James' mouth dropped.
'You look great!' he mumbled, then went bright red and shut up.
'How much?' Rosie asked the girl on the counter who had short, spiky green hair and far too many piercings than could be healthy!
'Hundred quid together.' She said deeply. I began to doubt whether my previous analysis was right, maybe it wasn't a girl! Rosie handed over her dad's credit card then went to get changed. Rosie's dad was very soft and spoiled his daughter all the time.
Rosie and I normally trawled the high street stores like New Look, Tammy and Topshop. But Halloween called for the dreary backstreets. My dad had given me &80 to buy some new clothes, saying mine were too revealing for a girl my age! So I intended to buy a brilliant outfit with the money. We went into a shop that was really old and dusty. None of your white sheets with 'BOO!' on.
'May I help you?' droned an old man from behind the dark counter. We all jumped.
'Hi, um, we need Halloween costumes.' I said timidly.
'Try the high street.' And he turned away again.
'No, like proper ones.' I said 'Not cheap, tacky stuff.'
'Very well.' He said.
He led us over to a clothes rail and pulled and old suit with stains on, which looked suspiciously like blood down. It was one of the top hat and tails jobs, with neck ruff and everything! Then he took an old, patched up top hat off a shelf and shoved it roughly onto James' head, making him choke as dust flew around.
'For you boy.' He said in his deep, droning voice. 'Changing room is that way.' He pointed an extraordinarily long and bony finger towards a black door in the wall. 'Light switch is on the left.' James walked quietly to the door looking pale and totally freaked out. He went inside and shut the door.
Then the old man took a cream-colored flamenco dress with rusty spots and lots of lace off the rail. I had lots of tears in and smelled funny. Rosie wrinkled her nose in disgust, then when he pressed it to her she said very quickly;
'I already have an outfit, you can keep this!' She held up the punc bag and pointed to it.
'But it will not protect.' He growled deeply. Rosie took a step back in alarm just as James came back in wearing the outfit.
'Excellent.' Said the man.
'Very authentic!' I said grinning. He did look quite creepy, a lot better than the ghostly sheet.
'Thanks.' He mumbled blushing.
'£10.' Said the man. James looked quite shocked at how low the price was, but went back inside for a second then returned with the money.
'Now for the young miss.' He said turning to me, as James scurried off to get changed. I gulped. He pulled what looked like a moth eaten wedding dress off the rail.
'It was the bride of Dracula's.' He said seriously, I thought he was lying at first, but later I wasn't sure. It would have been very beautiful in its day, covered in lace and what could have been pearls, but I wasn't sure.
James emerged from the changing room clutching the outfit and I went inside. The room had a dusty mirror on clawed feet at one end, which James had obviously wiped with his hand. The room was lined with shelves, which had scary masks of all different types on.
I took off my clothes and pulled the wedding dress over my head. I imagined myself with red lips and a chalk white face, it would look quite stunning. I went out to show off my dress to find the old man trying to make Rosie buy the dress.
'What do you think?' I asked loudly
They went quiet and turned to me.
'Very cool.' Said Rosie.
'Marvelous, £30.' I went in and got changed. Then when I came out with the money, I saw Rosie looking very disgruntled and hanging over £15. I handed over my money too and he pocketed it. He put our outfits into brown bags and gave them to us.
As we were about to leave, the old man said;
'My name is Solomon Morriarty, tell me your names.'
'No way!' cried Rosie, shocked.
'For your own safety, please just tell me your first names.' He sounded quite desperate but we remained silent.
'We aren't allowed to tell strangers our names.' I said. We began to back towards the door, planing to make our escape.
'Very well, but promise me you won't stay out after sun down.' I began to fear that he was mad and I felt like I might faint if I didn't get out of there soon.
Rosie suddenly grabbed our arms and ran. We hurtled down the cobbled path, our feet thumping loudly, but not loudly enough to cover up the sound of Mr Morriarty calling;
'Remember, not after sunset!'
We rounded the corner and came out in the high street panting hard.
We walked to the bus stop in silence, paid in silence and sat in separate seats in silence. Thoughts were pouring through my head about what the crazy old man had said to me. What did he mean when he said that Rosie's outfit would not protect? Why did he want to know our names? Why did he say it isn't safe after sun down? At the stop, we got off the bus and went into the house.
'Hello darlings!' cried Auntie May, embracing us all in t breath taking hug. She looked down at our pale faces, 'What's up with you? You look like you've seen a ghost!' We laughed politely then ran up to my room and collapsed onto my bed. I reached under my pillow and pulled Mimi close me and buried my face in her soft fur.
'You okay guys?' I asked after a second.
'Yeah.' Said Rosie.
'No.' said James.
'Which outfit are you going to wear?' I asked Rosie, pointing to her Punc bag and the brown one containing her flamenco dress. She chucked the brown one into the bin and held up the Punc bag.
'Valeria, definitely.' She laughed.
'Let's try them on then show mum and Auntie May.' I suggested. 'James, you can go into the spare room round by this room. There is a lock on it, okay?' H nodded then picked up his outfit and went out, shutting the door behind him.
Rosie stripped off then wiggled into the leather. I pulled my dress over my head and as she zipped up her boots I put on my strappy white sandals. When we were both dressed, we knocked on James' door, and a second later he came out looking very superior in his top hat and tails.
'Do you have any face paint?' asked Rosie, 'And really red lipstick?' I went into my room and grabbed my makeup bag and face paints that auntie May had given me when I was about ten. We went into my bathroom to make ourselves up. I did my face really white and gave myself dark red lips.
Rosie had given herself heavy gold eye shadow, red lips and had put red paint down her chin so it looked like she had just fed. It was very effective!
James, who wasn't really into makeup had given himself a twirly black moustache with eyeliner. We looked at ourselves in the full-length mirror, we looked fabulous. I elbowed James in the ribs when I saw that his eyes had fixed on Rosie's very low cut top. We went downstairs and paraded ourselves into the kitchen.
'My, my!' cried mum. 'I love your dress Lilly! And your is…striking.' She said to Rosie, 'and you look very revered!' she said to James.
'Oh my little boy all grown up!' cooed auntie May, smothering her son in kisses.
'I ordered pizza for lunch guys, so get changed so you don't ruin your clothes.' Said mum, smiling at me and James, but looking worriedly at Rosie.
'Which company?' asked Rosie.
'Pizza Palace Deliveries' said mum.
'You guys can get changed, I'll stay in this.' Said Rosie, blushing slightly. I eyed her suspiciously, then headed upstairs.
We wiped all the gunk off our faces, and James had to scrub quit hard to get rid of the eyeliner leaving himself with a new red moustache in it's place. Rosie however wiped off her make up then reapplied it less heavily. What was she up to?
We went downstairs and flopped in front of the television and watched Tom and Jerry whilst munching Doritos. Ten minutes later, someone knocked on the door then called 'Pizza!'
Rosie nearly fell over herself as she leapt off the sofa and charged at the door. She took a second to straighten her hair then pouted her lips and pulled open the door.
'Hi.' Said the fat girl with frizzy brown hair and a rather large tummy holding three pizza boxes.
'Aaah!' cried Rosie, stumbling backwards. 'Where's Dave?'
'I dunno, he hasn't shown up for the past couple of days, so I got promoted.' Mum came in and gave Frizzy money while Rosie brought us the pizza.
'Who's Dave?' I asked.
'The amazingly cute pizza delivery boy on Saturday s.' grumbled Rosie, tucking into a sweetcorn pizza.
'Ah!' I said smiling.
Tom ad Jerry changed to The Powerpuff Girls as we finished our pizza. It was three thirty, not time to go yet, but Rosie still had plans.
'First we have to make a plan of houses to visit.' Said Rosie, 'Got any paper, Lilly?' I got her some fiber tip pens and paper.
'Right, we go to the bottom of Heyman's Road, this road, and work up, avoiding the Letterman's house, Suzy told me they are in Greece this week.' She was acting like it was a military operation! 'Then we go left, down Watership Avenue instead of carrying straight on because it is all the old people who will give us apples that way. Once the bottom of Watership Avenue, we cut through the Wood Park and come out in Moathouse Drive. We miss the Boddingtons, Jo and Lucy told me that their Gran died yesterday. Then once half way down Jolt Lane missing the old Wellington house as it is now empty. Then we go right at the end and come out opposite this house!' She finished, smiling ad looking very pleased with herself.
I looked down at the little map she had drawn. It had three little arrows with a name at the front. James was blue, I was pink and she was green. At the bit in the park, the blue arrow had gone off the path then joined the other two arrows again.
'Why has James gone off there?' I asked Rosie.
'Oh, that is where he needs to take a pee.' She said seriously.
'Of course.' I said trying to stifle my laughter, and succeeding far more than James who was laughing hysterically. 'And can we do all this before sunset?' James stopped laughing and looked scared.
'No, we should get back back about ten, and we can phone everyone now and tell them to get here at about ten thirty!' she looked at James, 'are you staying for the sleepover?'
'Well, I…' he started then went red and lowered his eyes.
'He's staying in the spare room probably.' I said getting up. 'Mum! I'm having a sleepover tonight!' I called, 'Auntie May, is James staying over?'
Auntie May came in.
'James honey, do you want to stay?' she asked.
'Yes! I mean, if Rosie and Lilly want me to.'
'Of course we do.' Said Rosie, so he stayed.
'Hi Mrs Fieldhouse.' Said Rosie on the phone in my room. I don't know why she was asking people to my house, but that was how it always worked. 'Are Karen and Elsie there?…Oh good, can I talk to them?..Thanks… Hiya Elsie! Do you want to stay over at Lilly's for a Halloween sleepover?…Great, be here at 10:30 after trick or treating…Yeah…Yeah…okay…Yeah…Se you then…Yeah, bye!' and she hung up.
At the end of her calling spree, she had got Becky Hitchens, Elizabeth Smith, Bridget Jones, Jenny Sullivan, Gemma and Ellen Trainer and Karen and Elsie Fieldhouse.
'No guys?' asked James looking down the list.
'Nope, girly sleepover. Anyway, guys don't do the three Ms thing.' I said, then seeing his look of confusion, 'Make up, MudPack, and Movies. It makes them look gay in front of their macho buddies.' Rosie laughed spraying Doritos all over James.
It was 5:30 and almost time to go so we went upstairs to dress and apply our make up. Rosie put her hair up in a high ponytail, and with her hair tumbling down her shoulders, and her lips pouted she looked about eighteen. James looked in love.
By the time we had finished getting ready, and James had been to the loo about six times, it was time to go. It wasn't quite dark but it was suitable to start.
As we headed downstairs, about six hands banged on our door and there was a lot of screaming and giggling. I opened the door and was almost deafened my about ten five year olds screaming 'Trick or Treeeeeeeat!' at me. I hurried into the kitchen and returned with some strawberry laces for each other them. When they had stuffed the goodies into their bags, a harassed looking woman who I hadn't noticed before ushered them on to the next house after giving me a faint smile of thanks.
'See you later mum!' I called as we went out and shut the door behind us. The first three houses we went to were profitable, providing us with chocolate buttons, chuppa chups and nerds. We missed out my house and went next door to the Matthew's house.
'Trick or treat.' We said as a girl of about seventeen opened the door, balancing a screaming toddler on her hip.
Treeek or Treeet?' asked the girl, 'Sh Cacey.' She sounded foreign, probably the au pair.
'Umm, never mind.' Muttered Rosie.
'Sorry, me speak leetle Inglish.' She said, rocking Cacey in her arms. We nodded and said good bye.
We skipped the old ladies, laughing as three other children were leaving that street and staring in disgust at the apples they were holding.
As we walked down Watership Avenue, we heard an ear splitting scream coming from the park. It was dark in there, I gave an involuntary shiver.
'Just some kids playing tricks.' Said Rosie, sounding more confident than she looked.
We got some more sweets, and some people muttering that we were too old for that kind of thing. But my mind wasn't on that, it was on the walk through the dark ahead of us. I kept looking over my shoulder at the park, almost expecting to see someone creeping around in there clutching a knife. I didn't, but the idea scared me.
We stood at the gates to Wood Park. There were streetlights showing up the winding path with an eerie glow.
'Come one guys, we've been through here a million times!' said Rosie, stepping into the park. James winced, but we followed, very slowly.
I sucked a chuppa chup as we walked in silence through the park. I stared wildly about, every rustle of the leaves made me jump, and I nearly screamed as a cat ran in front of us. It's lamp-like eyes stared at us fixedly as it disappeared into the gloom.
We walked on, then heard another pair of footsteps join ours. We carried on walking, trying to act casual. So what if someone else was in the park? Loads of people probably were!
'Lilly.' Said a deep voice. We stopped, I could feel myself go pale under my white make up. I slowly turned round and saw a dark figure standing a few feet behind us.
'Rosie.' Said the figure. She too turned, leaving James who looked like he might collapse.
'James.' James didn't turn, but he began to sway a bit. 'James.'
Then pop! All the lights went out. James screamed and ran, I followed then Rosie. I could hear the dark figure close behind us. He seemed fitter than us, and could easily run more because we were in costume. I cut off the path into the wood, hoping he wouldn't be able to hear my feet, and if I kept quiet he wouldn't hear anything. I carried on running but stopped when I heard Rosie cry out. I wanted to turn around and run to her, but my instincts told me to keep going. I ran away from Rosie, tears pouring from my eyes. Had he got her? My dress caught on some brambles and it ripped. My feet were sore and my head was pounding. Where was James? Had he got away? And Rosie? What had happened to her?
I came out at the end of the street near mind. I ran, crying, but trying to focus. Children pointed and stared but I didn't care. I had to get home and phone the police!
Just as I came onto my road, I saw James running down my path.
'James! James wait!' I screamed. He turned around and ran towards me. He grabbed my arm and we ran to the house, up the path, and in. I slammed the door shut and leant against it panting.
'Where's Rosie? Did he get her?' asked James, eyes full of concern and body trembling.
'I…I…I dunno.' I said catching my breath. 'We have to…have to call the police!'
We ran over to the living room phone, there was a note stuck to it in mum's handwriting saying mum had gone out for Chinese food with auntie May.
As I picked up the phone, a knock came at the door. It made me jump and I put the phone down.
'It might be Rosie.' I whispered.
'It might be Him.' James whispered back.
The knock came again, a frantic knock, quick and harsh.
'Lilly? Lilly are you in?' called Rosie's voice. I edged towards the door, something holding me back.
'Open it Lilly.' He said, though his voice wavered and he sounded uncertain. I walked to the door, took the handle and pulled it open.
'Oh Lilly!' cried Rosie, 'Can I come in? I think I lost him!'
'Of course you can!' I said pulling her in, and slamming the door behind her. I bolted it and put the chain across as well.
Rosie looked bad. Her hair was a mess, her make up smudged and her clothes ripped. She had several cuts on her arms, legs and face. None were too bad, but she needed to be cleaned up.
'Rosie I'll take you to the bathroom then get you some clothes.' I said softly. She allowed me to lead her upstairs, leaving James looking twitchy on the sofa.
I let her into my bathroom, and as I shut the door, I noticed that I couldn't see her reflection in the mirror. Wrong angle I told myself. I grabbed a pair of joggers and a T-shirt. I looked at my watch, it was 9:30, we had an hour until people started arriving.
'I've got some clothes for you, Rosie!' I said opening the door and tossing them in. I didn't look in the mirror, but why should I? Of course she had a reflection!
She came out a minute later but she looked bad.
'Are you okay? You look sick.' She looked up at me, her eyes locked to mine, A smile crept over her lips.
'Better than ever.' She said silkily. I backed off, she sounded different. She looked different. Her black eyes followed me. Black eyes?
She opened her mouth and her canines seemed to have lengthened. She sank her teeth into her lip and closed her eyes contentedly as blood trickled into her mouth.
'Rosie?' I said quietly. I moved back some more, then she lunged at me. I leaped away, ornaments flew around.
'You…You're a..'I began. She leaped at me again saying;
'Vampire? Yes. It was Dave you know.' I stared at her in disbelief and hurled myself onto my bed,
'D…Dave? I asked edging backwards then leaping off my bed ad grabbing the stool which my giant teddy usually sits on. Basil flew headfirst across the room. I defended myself, lunging the stool at her with every step she took.
'The pizza boy.' She said lightly. Laughing, she broke off one of the legs of the stool as if it was a matchstick. The examined it quickly then through it over her shoulder. She jumped again and I ducked under her and skidded along the floor. She was standing and I was lying on the ground. I knew who had the advantage.
'James! James!' I screamed. I looked about desperately and saw the broken stool leg. Rosie opened her mouth and her fangs glistened evilly. She flung herself down as I flung the stool leg up. The broken end plunged into her chest, into her heart.
A look of shock came over her face, she stood, suspended in animation for a second then fell back, James clattered into the room and stared in horror at what he saw.
I looked down at my best friend as she lay lifeless and pale on the floor of my bedroom. My arm was pouring blood and my head was pounding. My powder blue carpet had dark red bloodstains on. I couldn't believe what had happened.