Halloween is a popular holiday. Enjoyed by adults and children alike. It’s a night filled with the joyous coos of giddy children roaming the streets of their secluded neighborhoods with a sense of naivety, as they rap on the majority of doors they pass by. A night where pillars of local community open their doors, ready to entertain the eerie festivities of the evening.
At least, that’s how Halloween is celebrated in most areas. In most cities. In most rural and suburban towns. But, Eventide is no ordinary town. It’s a town plagued by an unknown entity, a Grim Reaper type figure, who only emerges from the shadows in his true form, cloaked in his cape every Halloween night. An angel of death.
Every year, he claims at least one new victim. He comes to their doors and knocks gently during the concealing darkness of Halloween night. And every year, there’s at least one home surrounded by crime scene tape and an abundance of Police cars the next morning. His presence has haunted our town on the same very night every year for as long as any resident who dares to speak of him can remember. Nobody knows who he is, but we know he’s always there. Everyone can feel the chill in the air on Halloween night, and indeed the uncanny atmosphere veiling over the town for the entire year round, as he is deciding on his next victim to purge from Eventide.
The Grim Reaper is an elephant in the room within streams of local gossip. Nobody mentions him, but they all feel him. They all feel his thirsty desire for bloodshed. This is why Eventide is different from other towns. Instead of children care freely rambling their street or housing estate on the lookout for the most festively decorated houses on Halloween night, they are put under strict curfew and are safely back in their homes before dusk even sets in.
As for their parents and other adults living in the town, they make it their business to return home at the same time as their children. By five o’clock, the entire town is still and quiet. All doors are locked and lights switched off. Curtains are drawn and windows are boarded up. The only source of light in most households is the blazing fire, around which couples, parents and their children huddle closely together, embracing each other tightly. Hoping that they’ll make it through the night. Hoping they haven’t been chosen by the Grim Reaper. Hoping that they’ll survive the terror he induces into the town’s population for another year and will return to the routine of their daily lives the next morning.
Last year, I escaped the Grim Reaper. But, I certainly didn’t return to the routine of my everyday life. The Grim Reaper took someone from me. He chose my best friend, Alex, as one of his string of last year’s victims. And whatever sense of fear I may have endured in previous years of this murderer has transcended into a burning desire to avenge Alex’s death. A desire to take him down.
Halloween is four days away and I’m preparing my plan to catch the Grim Reaper this year. I want to tear him to shreds. I want to make him suffer, like he did with Alex. Like he has with this town for long enough. It’s time Eventide sees the end to the grasp of terror he has over its people. It’s time he’s stopped in his tracks.