The light blow of a frigid wind had begun to settle in Valleywood, bringing the fall season in with it. What were originally plain green leaves were now replaced by the invigorating colors of red, orange, yellow, and brown. Every so often a leaf would glide down, landing gracefully with the wind as its only guide. It was October, and the Valley was filled with the warm, welcoming faces of Jack-O-Lanterns, and folks who were enjoying the nice weather. The Valley, although it was mostly a small place to live in, was always bustling during October and the Halloween season. Many kids would come down to the Valley, old and young, as a place to hang out due to the lack of people. I was eighteen at this time, and my job was going to be handing out candy from our “Spooky Manor." My parents would often get some frightening material, some real and others corny. Our house was often the most decorated, and I remember as a kid I had always loved to go out and play pretend during the Halloween season, just because our house would look like a ghost house, or a cemetery, or something of that sort. I was excited this year, just because it would be one of my first years giving out candy, and I would be able to scare the snot out of some little kids.
All was going according to plan, except when my mother told me that I had to go out Trick or Treating with Rachel, my little sister, this year.
“B-But mom! I was going-"
“Sweetie, you can’t be arguing with me about some kid’s holiday. Just go out with Rachel for the night and when you get back you can do your little scare fest. Besides, you know how much she hates horror movies. She will probably get too scared and want to go home.”
Although my mother’s words were true, I still took them as a dart to my heart. Mostly because I was excited to scare the snot out of these kids, but I digressed and thought about how there was always next year.
About a week before Halloween night, Rachel and I went out to go buy her a costume, and one for me to use to scare the kids. I chuckled when I went up to Rachel with my large bat head mask, and tapped her shoulder saying, “Hey Rach, Boo.”
Of course she jumped and then realized it was me, pouting and yelling about how it wasn’t funny. To me it was hysterical. I went off to the “Scare” section to see what I could find. There were a lot of the oldies, Grim Reaper, Frankenstein, hanging man, all that junk. Nothing really popped out at me, so I decided to just grab a zombie make-up kit and leave it at that. Walking toward Rachel I was happy to see she had picked out a Tinker Bell costume and was wearing its tiara.
I walked over and smiled, “Well well, Tinker Bell is going with a zombie to get candy this year huh?”
At first she was a bit shocked and jumped thinking something scary was behind her, but then she saw my face and immediately began grinning. “Big Brother!! I want you to meet somebody! He helped me pick between Cinderella and Tinker Bell!” she exclaimed, face full of excitement.
Rachel pointed me to a boy, about her size and age, who was hunkered over looking at many different princess and fairy costumes. I was trying to hold in all my laughter, seeing the boy rummaging through the fairy wands and tiaras, that was until I actually got to see what he looked like.
“Hey! I want you to meet my brother!” Rachel said, tugging on the boy’s black, white, and grey striped jacket.
The boy turned around to first stare at Rachel, but then moved on to me. All the laughter that I had held in, was now replaced by curiosity on the boy’s mask. He was wearing a dome-shaped mask, that covered all of his face, besides his thick brown hair. He had a hood on, which concealed most of his hair, and I remember his jeans being very dark, but the most eerie feature about him was the mask. It was a mirror, and not like the Chrome masks you see at Party City, but an actual mirror material. There was no expression to it, no lines except a few scratches that would cover the mask, and the only thing I could see was my shocked face staring back at itself. I realized how rude I was actually being, and I put my hand out smiling.
“Hi there. I like your mask, is that a real mirror?”
The boy just seemed to look at my hand with his mirror mask, and slowly nodded, not uttering a word. His silence seemed quite odd, I suspected him to be a mute, but then again he just might have been shy about meeting me.
“Oooookay, Cmon Rach we got to get going. Mom is making spaghetti for dinner.”
“Awww... okay.. Bye!! I hope I see you on Halloween!”
The boy nodded at Rachel, continuing to stare at me though, my face reflected in his mask. As we were leaving, I glanced back at him to see him rummaging through the princess costumes again, not bothering a soul.
The week went by rather quickly, Rachel often complaining about having to go to school on Halloween, and myself complaining about having to watch Rach for the night. My mother told me that the Zombie Make-Up would give Rachel nightmares, and so I had to go dressed up as nothing. This made me furious, but I decided it was too early to scare kids anyways, and that when Rachel went to bed I could get ready. She came down in her Tinker Bell costume giddy to go outside.
My mother kissed her on the cheek then looked at me sternly, “Be good. Don’t scare Rachel. Understand?”
I nodded, Rachel holding onto my hand in an attempt to drag me out the door.
We walked down a few blocks, Rachel’s bag growing bigger and bigger, until I noticed a group of teenage boys riding their bikes our way. Of course, I could only assume they were boys, being that each of them were masked in a creepy costume, such as Freddy Kruger, or Chucky. One kid had a mask that just plain disturbed me, a mask of a man who’s face was completely disfigured by barbed wire, and whose eyes were gouged out. Rachel began to squeak nervously when they were approaching us, but I told her they would not bother us if I was there.
I must have forgotten how rude teens could be, because they came straight up to us, the two in the back snickering as the ring leader made Rachel scream with a loud boo.
“Look fellas! The baby is crying.” The boy laughed followed by his goons. I was really irritated by this, and looked at them sternly.
“Knock it off.”
This was countered by some razzing oohs and laughter. The ring leader snickered and looked at me with his grotesque mask.
“Why don’t you just make us then?”
At this I smiled and drove my fist into the kid’s stomach. He fell of the bike coughing a bit then got up angrier.
“Oh you're in for it now you little shit...”
Suddenly, the two boys in the back were on my sides holding me down to the ground. I struggled to break free, but their weight surpassed what I could outdo. Rachel was crying, and the leader of the group began to kick my stomach in multiple times.
“How’s it feel bitch!?” the kid yelled as he kept kicking my stomach and my face. Rachel tried to muster up all of her courage to hit the attacker with her Fairy Wand, but in retaliation he kicked her away. Not satisfied with my little to nothing reactions his attention was focused onto Rachel.
“Awww little princess thinks she can do shit? Ha!”
I watched in terror as he advanced toward the cowering Rachel, picking her up as if to hit her.
“Get away from her!” I screamed, only to be punched by one of his cronies.
Suddenly, the brute dropped Rachel, and began to let out a bellowing screech. I sat wide eyed as the leader screamed louder then anything I had ever heard, holding his face shaking like a dog. The cronies released me to go see what was wrong with him, as I took my chance to dash toward the crying Rachel. Picking up Rachel I glanced back to see the lead tearing off his mask, screaming and begging for whatever force was harming him to stop. My eyes widened in terror, as the boy began to tear out his eyeballs, screaming and begging for forgiveness. The other kids had run at this point, I could see their bikes riding off in the distance. I heard the disgusting sound of his eyes being torn out, blood pouring from the now empty holes. The bullish kid fell to the ground unconscious... and perhaps even dead. I ran. I ran as fast as I could carrying Rachel, who was crying and whimpering the whole way.
I thought that if I kept going, I would lose the image that was still fresh in my head. Then Rachel began to scream. At first is was just loud whimpering, but it advanced to the same octave as the kid from before. She screamed loudly, the only word she could utter was either Mommy or my name. I was scared. I looked at her eyes to see what she was looking at, but it was not needed because she began pointing in the direction we were fleeing from. I turned quickly, expecting to see the eyeless bully following me. What I saw, was the Mirror boy from the costume store. He advanced slowly, almost shuffling toward us. The mirror seemed to be tainted, blotched blood spots around it. He was dragging something, but I couldn’t take my gaze away from his mask yet again.
I saw it then. What was making Rachel scream undoubtedly. Looking into the boy’s mask instead of seeing my face reflecting back at me, I saw the face of Rachel. However, it was not the Rachel I knew. This face was horribly disfigured, parts of her flesh were torn off, others hanging. Her eyes, god her eyes, they were hanging out of her sockets, bleeding thick blotchy blood. Her mouth was agape, tongue waggling out as if it were a baby’s rattle being tossed about. Her hair was matted and fried, some of it was falling out to show off balding areas in her head. I gagged, holding in whatever would come out from seeing such a horrific sight. The disfigured face was advancing toward us with great haste.
I started to scream, unable to move, holding onto what was the real Rachel, who was crying into my shoulder. The boy, no, the thing was advancing toward us, shuffling in his tracks. I ran again, only to trip and fall, holding Rachel tightly in my chest. The boy finally shuffled into my gaze, the mirror glittering against the moonlight. I winced ready for the worst, holding Rachel tightly. Nothing had happened for a long time, and then I opened my eyes again to see what the boy was doing. I blinked to see a black glove holding a pretty tiara toward my face.
The mask was no longer the horrifying image of Rachel, but instead was my teary face staring back. The boy held the tiara toward me, not speaking, not moving, and only tilted his head as if to wonder why I was taking so long. My shaking hand gripped the tiara, as I pulled it out of his grip. He nodded at me, and began to shuffle away from us, dragging something in his hand. At first I was bewildered by what just happened, and I turned to look at Rachel, who had cried herself asleep to escape the nightmares that were alive that night. I turned back to face the boy, and I then noticed what he was dragging with him and almost gagged again. In his hand, was the barbed wired and distorted face of the bully. Its eyes were gouged out, and the only thing that was different from the mask, was how lifelike the dismembered head was.
I took Rachel home that night, ignoring my mom’s welcome homes and questions about why Rachel was sleeping and why I looked so pale. I tucked her in, kissed her forehead, and wished her a goodnight’s sleep. I drug myself to the restroom, to piss away what wasn’t already on my pants. Upon entering though, I screamed louder then I could ever have done before. I saw him, gazing at me expressionless in my mirror. He was holding Rachel’s head, the horribly disfigured one, and with a bloodied glove, he began to write me a message on my mirror. I read carefully and was terrified to read the message: “Sweet Dreams, Princess.” I broke off the towel rack and slammed it into my mirror, breaking it into many different shards. I blacked out, only hearing my mom's worried shrieks before I drifted into sleep.
I can’t look at mirrors anymore... I am always reminded of that horrifying image that keeps coming back in my head. I keep seeing the boy, holding a different head each time, sometimes it’s Rachel, other times my mother, once I saw the face of my girlfriend, a year before I met her. The doctor calls it spectrophobia, the fear of mirrors, but I know that is not what it was. I know because every Halloween night, I receive a package with a hand mirror, and a tiara taped onto it.