Halloween is a night that the occult is commonplace and one who wishes to become something else has the chance for one night to take off their disgruntled personas and exchange it for something more appealing, just for one night they can have what they most desire.
For me, this isn’t what Halloween stood for any more. When you grow up you are expected to be a candy handler or a party goer, in extreme cases, one becomes a type of scrooge miserly chasing away children from your lawn because you want no part of the accursed holiday. I am never allowed to take any of those positions. I am so often elected to become a keeper to those who force me to accompany them. I become a soldier battling away unwanted attention or a medic contenting myself with holding the hair back of some poor individual who thought surpassing their normal limits for the chance of losing themselves to this night of excesses or the hearse driver delivering all the dead bodies safely to their own homes. At least in my eyes this is the fate that has been so gracefully bestowed upon me.
I babysat a particular friend, Rhonda Tavora, that I knew from my past escapades of helping people who end up in trouble for going to extremes. This time it was unusual though she came to me out of the blue explaining that I had so often taken care of her in bad events so she wanted to pay me back by taking me to this most extravagant and elite party. While I was unsure of her true intentions of approaching me to attend this, I received constant badgering from my other friends that this was an opportunity that I should cherish. I was wary of the whole event with Rhonda as I had often helped her out of some terrible situations, but because of her reactions to how I handled her situations with her choices of men I had always assumed that she disliked me as a clam jam. It wasn’t unheard of her calling me a stick in the mud or a prude or some extremely nasty terms, all the while I was holding her hair and getting water for her as she worshipped the porcelain god.
“Asmodeus’s Serenity or Serenity of the Asmodeus is one of the most elite parties to be invited to,” Rhonda said as she presented me with a costume. She had come dressed in a low revealing gown from the Victorian era with a corset and hoop skirt that took up the doorway and most of the space in my small studio apartment. The colors were that of dark purples, but the lace that decorated every inch of the trim was black with gold entwined. Her gloves went all the way up to her elbows and how she was able to perform any daily duties in those were lost to me. “One can not attend this event in a dreary … um, I don’t mean this cruelly, but I brought this as there are strict dress code for attendance.”
The Dicken victorian gown did not look comfortable. The dark maroon color looked like it would clash with my skin and the hat that came with did not look like it would allow me to walk easily around. It was like she wanted to make sure that I stood still and would not be able to walk through any room easily. Each piece that was presented only reaffirmed that she had plotted to make me this unmoveable statue for others to look at. While her outfit was designed to accentuate her curves, like an ode to the female form, mine appeared to simply tighten and chastise my figure. The look in her eyes as she assisted me in buttoning up the dress felt like someone who was punishing themselves with a burden. After struggling with the combination of the underclothing and the gown, she forcefully sat me on a chair as if I had been some petulant child screaming at her. Once deciding that she was comfortable with the height I was sitting at, she worked on the finishing touches. She swept my hair up into a type of french twist, bun style and applied a modest amount of makeup, only truly making my lips stand out with the deep red lipstick she applied carefully.
Once we had finished the time consuming ritual of getting ready, she led me out of my apartment and we made our way to this house of splendor that she so desperately talked up. The thing was that her explanations of the party didn’t seem possible as we were walking in my neighborhood to the party house. The neighborhood was pleasant, but there weren’t exactly that many historically beautiful homes in this area as this was more of a budget homing area. The words of wonder that Rhonda had been spinning fell short of expectations. I had not realized that I had any hope of something wonderful, but I felt my face change as she stood before the party home.
Disappointment must have been written on my face as Rhonda chuckled softly and explained, “Surely, you aren’t judging the delights that will be coming from this party by the house’s lack of outside decor?”
I would have assumed that when having a party such as one on Halloween, you would decorate and make it known that an extravagant event would be occurring. I stared at the house with a wariness. My stomach did flips as something about the house made my hairs stand on end. There was a large rock, maybe a boulder, as I was unsure how deep the other side went into the ground, but there was enough space to fit the name of the house name and the numbers below it, “Asmodeus’s Serenity, 1031” bold, delicate cursive lettering decorated the boulder. This was the only thing decorative about the house. The wrap around porch bare of any adornments for the festivities promised inside. The door lacked any decoration to allow a visitor to know they had made it to their destination. Even with the lacking of silly ghosts or scary grim reapers, the house was not without character though this is more of a atmosphere of the house and less about it being purposefully done this way. While the neighborhood even on All Hallow’s Eve was brightly lit and were colored in a way to allow all to feel welcome, this house was dark even with the lighting from the inside shown out. The darkly painted exterior seemed to create dark shadows and deep crevices that lead one to fear something would grab them if they wandered far too close.The gargoyles looked as if they were beaconing one to come and stay instead of warding the evil intentions away, their claws in a gesture of tempting you to follow them to wherever they were going, and the columns looked almost as if they had been carved with the scenes from Dante’s Inferno that depicted the tortures and torments of the sins leading down a dark wrap around porch. The door painted the deepest shade of red that was at the moment adorn with what to appear as blood spatter and handprints indicating that someone had attempted to escape from what had appeared at the door. I struggled with dragging my eyes away from the chapel shaped window that stood alone at the top of the peak tower of the house. There in the window behind the curtains was a shadow of a figure that appeared to be watching who was approaching the house. A shiver ran down my spine because the shadow no matter how long I watched it seemed to shift forms and sizes, but never seemed to move from its spot.