Chapter 9: Scare Factory
As it turned out, Amarea and Joey were placed next to each other in the “scare” section of the haunted house. Their instructions were to wait behind the stretchy fabric and reach out to touch those who walked by. It was a lot of fun. Amarea loved hearing people scream. It was even better when they passed by Joey and screamed again.
A large group of middle school kids came through. Amarea laughed as they screamed and shrieked. She found it odd that they didn’t scream when they passed by Joey’s spot. Maybe he had taken a break. A couple cautiously felt their way through the maze. Amarea grabbed the girl’s arm; she jumped and screamed. She waited; the girl didn’t scream until she was well beyond Joey’s spot. Amarea peaked around the corner. She found Joey sitting on the grass kissing Maddie.
I thought she didn’t like haunted houses, Amarea said, disgusted.
Joey jumped, sending Maddie flying off of his lap. “Are you ok?” He said as he helped her to a sitting position.
“Yah, I’m fine,” she replied. “What happened?”
“I just got spooked,” he said. “I thought I saw a ghost, a bald ghost.”
Amarea huffed in disgust, Sorry to ruin your make-out session.
“I better get back to work,” Joey stood up. “You can help out if you want.”
“No,” Maddie said, “I think I’ll head home.” Joey helped her up and kissed her again. “I’ll call you later.”
“I’ll be home around 11,” he said, as he continued to kiss her.
“Ahem,” Amarea ducked back around the corner. Crap, she thought.
“Oh,” Maddie said, “that bald ghost.” She pulled away from Joey. “Goodbye, Amarea,” she called as she walked away.
The next day Amarea had no desire to be near Joey. She tried to play the “I’m sick” card, but her parents wouldn’t budge. Bald ghost! Hah! She had several choice words she wanted to say to Joey, but decided to avoid him instead. Her plan worked well until after 3rd period. Joey snuck up behind her and grabbed her. She jumped, screamed, and dropped her books.
You ass, Amarea spat.
That’s me, your average run of the mill donkey. He-haw, he-haw, Joey laughed.
You could be a donkey tonight and not even need a costume, Amarea replied.
Nice. He bent down and picked up her scattered books. So are you going tonight?
I think I’ll stay home and wash my hair, Amarea said sweetly.
Joey laughed. Amarea punched him in the arm.
Come on, it’s Halloween Night. It’s the best night at the haunted house, Joey pleaded as he rubbed his arm.
I think not, Amarea replied. I don’t think I could stand to see you making out with Maddie again.
That won’t happen, Joey promised
Why? You two break up? Amarea wished.
You wish, Joey laughed.
Amarea looked at him. Chills ran down Joey’s spine. He stared back at her. The warning bell rang, but he couldn’t pull away from those eyes.
Joey cleared his throat and blushed, “So, what time should I pick you up?”
“I guess six,” she replied, slapping him gently on the cheek, “Silly boy.”
Mr. Moore pulled into the driveway at 5:45. Amarea had to scramble to get ready. She was annoyed, until Joey smiled at her. He even sat in the back seat with her. He was so happy to see her, it was impossible to stay mad at him.
When they arrived at Aunt Judy’s house, they were immediately separated. Joey was stationed in the scare section, while Amarea spent most of the night making cookies and handing them out to the patrons. Joey popped in every couple of minutes to get a cookie, fresh from the oven.
“We work well together,” Joey said with a mouth full of cookies. Amarea smiled. “Why don’t you come along tomorrow?” he asked.
“Where?” Amarea asked.
“To the center,” Joey replied.
“Not for all the money in the world,” Amarea replied.
“Why not? The kids will all be in costumes.” Joey said. “They are going to trick-or-treat through the hospital.”
“That’s morbid.” Amarea said.
Whatever. Come on, you know you want to go, Joey teased.
Never, Amarea stated flatly.
Never? Joey asked.
Never ever, Amarea said.
Never ever ever? Joey asked, smiling.
No. Never, Amarea said firmly.
His smile disappeared. He grabbed a couple of cookies and went back to his station.