Where do all the monsters go when Halloween's over? What do they do.....?
| “Hey, Monster, is that you?”
Monster turned to see who was speaking to him. “Yeah. Troll, is that you?”
Troll stepped out of the shadows. “None other! What’s up, Monster?” Troll spread his lips into a ghoulish smile to greet his old friend.
Monster returned the greeting by patting Troll on the back with his free hand. His other two hands were carrying body parts: an arm and a leg, each still gushing blood, but each taken from different people. The arm had probably belonged to a weight-lifter, given the bulge of muscles still apparent; the leg had belonged to a black woman as evidenced both by the skin tone and the high-heel stiletto that adorned the end of it.
“I’m good, man,” he responded. It came out as RRRRRIIIIIIMMMEEEEGGGHHOOOOOD MMMAAWWNNN, and would’ve been incomprehensible to human ears, but Troll understood him just fine. “What’re you up to?”
“Headed over to Banshee’s. You?”
“Wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
They walked together, catching up on old times, occasionally stopping to scare a late-night trick-or-treater….or worse.
“You’d think they’d have been in bed by now,” Troll grumbled, chomping on children’s bones.
“You know what they say about kid fingers, don’t you, Monster?” Troll asked, smacking lips.
“What?” It came out as GGGRRRAAWWTTT.
“They taste like chicken,” he deadpanned, and then burst out laughing. Monster joined him, and the sounds that they emitted drove birds from their nests and caused several dogs to bark in fear.
As they approached the cemetery, they could see a crowd already at the gates. Many of their friends and peers had congregated: there was Vampire, his black cloak rippling behind him in the chill night breeze, surrounded by a bevy of blood-drained beauties; off to the side of him and his entourage stood Mummy, who was forever tending to his unraveling bandages. Closer to the gates, Witch chanted a spell above a simmering cauldron, her sisters on either side of her dropping eye of Newt and human hair (probably from a Virgin) into the black pot. Wolfman and his pack of brothers paced the length of the cemetery walls, stopping occasionally to howl at the moon that peeked out from behind the clouds.
“Looks like a good turnout this year,” Troll commented. Like the barbeque sauce that remained after eating a delicious rib, his lips were smeared with blood. Before he could say anything else, he felt a dark presence creep up behind. He whirled quickly, ready to pounce, until he saw who it was.
“Shadow! You son-of-a-gun! You almost got your head handed to you!”
“Oh, stop it, Troll. I’ve been trailing you for a while now. I could’ve taken you out at any minute if I’d wanted too!” he laughed, his black billowy figure mirroring Troll’s movements.
With a short, stubby arm, Troll took a swing at Shadow, but Shadow was quick and returned the shot, not even missing a beat. They boxed like that, Shadow versus Troll, until finally Monster told them to knock it off.
“Hey, look fellows, there she is!” With his third hand, Monster pointed to Succubus, and both Troll and Shadow gave a long, low whistle that caused even Wolfman to cover his ears with his paws at the noise.
Succubus floated above the crowd, her hair blowing wildly in the wind. Her hourglass figure was accentuated by the bikini-like outfit she wore, and Monster, Troll, and Shadow (although with Shadow, it was kind of hard to see) all began to salivate with desire. Troll rubbed a wart-infested arm over his blood-stained lips, and muttered, “Man, I’d like to get a hold of that.”
Monster hit him over the head with the leg he still carried. “She’d eat you alive, Troll.”
“Not if I ate her first.”
The three creatures looked at each other and then cackled hysterically, as if Troll had just said the funniest thing in the world. Except that he wasn’t kidding. He really would have eaten her if he had the chance. He liked the taste of women; they tended to be both soft and chewy on his tongue, and he loved soft and chewy.
While Troll was fantasizing about what he would do to Succubus, Zombie and his crew ambled by, moaning and groaning about brains. One of Zombie’s cohorts—a teenager—meandered by, dragging one dead foot so heavily against the ground that it eventually fell off. When he was sure that the kid was not going to come back for it, Monster scrambled it up and popped it into his upper mouth.
Troll was going to comment about how disgusting that was when suddenly there arose a cacophony of sound: howls and cackles, wails and shrieks. Chatter broke out among the gathered, and the mood of the crowd seemed to ratchet upward.
“What is it?” Monster asked.
“Whoa, man! Look who’s here!” Troll extended his arm to point at the newcomer who had just arrived: Mr. Grim Reaper himself.
“Oh, shit!” The night air still shimmered where Grim Reaper had rippled through. At almost seven feet, he easily towered over the demons and creatures assembled at the gate, and they all bowed both in fear and respect at his notoriety.
“I’d heard he was coming, but I really thought it was bullshit,” Monster muttered in awe.
“I know, right? I’d heard that---hey, what’s he holding? Is that what I think it is?” Troll scrunched his ugly features together, straining to see in the darkness.
Shadow spoke, excited. “Yea, man, I think it is! He’s got three souls there!”
Troll jumped up and down on his short, stubby legs. “Fucking badass!”
With the souls in one hand and his scythe in the other, Grim Reaper pointed to the gates and Gargoyle and his brothers—demon bouncers—opened them.
“Shit, man! He isn’t even waiting for Banshee! She’s gonna be pissed!” Troll said.
“I doubt it. I saw Goblin earlier and he told me that Reaper and Banshee have a thing going on, man. And like, she’s head over heels.”
Troll turned to look at him, surprised. “Get out! Are you kidding me?”
“No, I’m serious. Why do you think she wails and screams like that? Every time he leaves her, she gets upset.” Monster absently swung the leg back and forth. “Maybe that’s what the souls are for. Probably bringing her a gift.”
“Wow, no kidding,” Troll responded, shaking his head. “I’ve got to get out more.”
They followed Grim Reaper and the others into the cemetery. As they bustled through, making their way to Banshee’s crypt, they greeted more friends and acquaintances and shared war stories, both old and new. Some swapped treats from the evening’s earlier escapades: a pair of children’s eyes here, or an adult ear there. Ghoul and Goblin crept by, each carrying a shrieking, struggling woman over their shoulder: snacks for later in the evening and souvenirs of the night.
Just as they entered the crypt, Troll turned to Monster. “What time is it?”
Monster looked up, studying the moon in the sky. “A little before twelve, I’d say.”
“You got to give it to her. She’s never late with this thing.”
“No, she’s not.”
Inside the crypt, Monster, Troll and Shadow found a spot along the crowed back wall. To make room, Ghost and Phantom merged themselves together as their transparent forms would allow. It helped.
The creatures were still chatting, still settling in. All around them there was entertainment and activity. Hag, her green face pinched and warted, stirred her own black cauldron (it was twice the size of Witch’s cauldron, much to her chagrin) of eyeballs and Skeleton and her child, Baby Skeleton, were busy bobbing for them, trying to secure eyes for their own empty sockets. Scarecrow worked the bar, mixing drinks; he himself was known for his own special brew, what he liked to call Black Crow’s tongue. In the far corner of the crypt, next to coffins that were over a hundred years old, Vampire pointed and pouted: Edward and Bella had arrived, stealing his spotlight. Troll elbowed Monster.
“What’s up with Vampire? Looks like he’s losing all color.”
If he’d had a discernible eyebrow, Monster would have raised it. “How can you tell?” he asked, but he didn’t want for Troll to answer. “He’s jealous. He can’t stand Edward.”
“He needs to get over it.”
Abruptly a loud, harsh scream pierced the air. Long and high, it lasted for at least a minute, stopping all noise and conversation within the tomb. Once everyone had quieted down, the severe cry ceased, and Banshee, with Reaper by her side, addressed the crowd.
“Esteemed guests,” she began. She was resplendent in her silk green gown. It skimmed her gentle curves and barely covered her shapely breasts. “Thank you all for coming this evening. I know that many of you traveled from some great distances to be here tonight, and I can’t tell you how much Grim and I appreciate it.”
At this, there were growls and howls, and Hellhound and his pack began to bark. Banshee beamed at Grim for a moment, who held up one hand to both say thanks and silence the crowd.
“As you all well-know, in another minute or two, Halloween will be over, and we’ll have to return to our respective homes. Some of you will travel back to faraway lands with devil names, and others of you will disappear to the far reaches of imagination, not to return again until next year. All of you will be missed.”
Solemn nods and bows, and a few moans to lament.
“But just because our night is over doesn’t mean our fun has to end.”
The mood changed instantly at her words with cries and catcalls and spontaneous applause.
She continued. “I heard a lot of good things going on tonight, and we’re gonna celebrate. Witch—you all know Witch—cast a spell that made twenty men---and yes, I said twenty---go insane and kill their wives! Can you imagine?”
Several creatures in the crowd turned to smile—such as it was--appreciatively at Witch.
“Zombie and his people where able to crash some unsupervised kids party and cash in on some brains. College-quality brains at that!”
“I….think……I……see…..Har…vard….” one of Zombie’s guys moaned. Witch and Hag guffawed at his attempt at humor (although those crazy old bats would laugh at anything), but the rest of the group remained silent—awkwardly so.
After a moment, Banshee cleared her throat. “Um…okay. Maybe they need to look for Yale or Stanford quality brains.” Success—this brought genuine smiles and chuckles from the monster crew.
Banshee continued. “Wolfman I heard also managed to infect not one, not two, but three people tonight, so a shout-out to him and his crew! Their pack is growing…...”
The werewolves howled in unison.
“….and Horseman found a head!”
“Yea, but it didn’t fit!” He called out from the back. “I’ll have to try again!”
Banshee smiled at his interruption. “My point is, this was another great Halloween for us, and even though it only comes once a year, I think it’s safe to say that we can coast these achievements for quite a while, don’t you?”
Growls masquerading as cheers filled the tomb.
She looked lovingly at Reaper who in turn regarded her with only the red of his eyes. “And so with that, let me say that although November first brings an end to our night and tradition states our hauntings must end, and our reign of terror must cease, it doesn’t have to bring an end to our fun.” She paused and closed her eyes, slowly waving her hands in front of her, as if searching for something. Then she stopped.
“The time now is twelve-oh-two. November first is officially here, and to the human world outside this gate, our existence is no more. We’re no longer real. But this time next year, in August, there’ll be hints and suggestions; we’ll become bits of dreams and the basis of nightmares... in September, they’ll start looking over their shoulders. At night, they’ll walk home a little faster and they’ll seek the light a little more. And then October will come and we’ll be---“ she paused to great effect, “—we’ll be back, and there’ll be hell to pay.” She threw her head back released a screech that could be heard well-beyond the tomb walls. The others gathered hooted and howled to their own accord, and in houses near and far, people rushed to close their windows and lock their doors, wails of terror ringing faintly in their ears.
She stopped her screeching song and made one final address to the crowd. “We have all night to party, my monster brethren, and so, without any further ado, let me welcome you to our 200th annual Monster’s Ball! Party on! ”
And with a final thunderous cheer and snarl, they did the do and partied all night. The next morning, when the guests were gone, the mess was cleaned, and Troll, Shadow and Monster were passed out on the floor, Banshee began planning next year’s ball.
original, expanded version. WC approx 2200