For this installment of Popaween, Erica shares an original, chilling tale to set the mood. If you have a problem with Michael Myers... well, you've been warned.
Hadley Jones looked in the mirror as she put the final touches on her costume. She had chosen to dress as Black Widow from the Avengers for her boyfriend’s costume party. Alan, her boyfriend, was going as Ultron. Their plan was to play up the skit Saturday Night Live had done when Age of Ultron came out. Hadley was pleased with her curly hair and her skin tight black jumpsuit so she grabbed her phone and headed to her boyfriend’s office.
Hadley was used to going to Alan’s office because he was a lawyer and many of their dinner dates were over his research. When she walked into the building, the security guard greeted her, “Hey college girl!”
Hadley smiled in return, “Hey Jerry. Am I cleared to go up?” He nodded as she made her way to the elevator, heading up to the 30th floor.
After Hadley got off the elevator, she walked into the office lobby and saw people dressed up as public officials which meant her and Alan’s costume wouldn’t fit in. She already knew they judged him for dating her. She didn’t spot Alan anywhere so she headed in the direction of his office.
She found his door closed so she knocked, “Come in,” she heard his voice from the other side and opened it to reveal he wasn’t in his costume yet.
“What’s going on?” she asked, confused. Alan smiled and walked over to her, kissing her forehead, “I was about to change. Do you wish to step out or stay and watch?” he asked with a twinkle in his eye.
Hadley scrunched her nose as she smiled, “I’ll wait outside, perv,” she said with a wink, stepping back out and closing the door.
As she stood in the hallway waiting she saw someone walking her way. Well, she saw a shadow. The figure came into view from one of the senior partners offices heading out to the party. Hadley couldn’t see the face but she knew the person was dressed in all black. ‘Maybe one of the partners still needed to change too,’ she thought to herself as she heard Alan’s door open.
“Did I forget to mention how breathtaking you look?” he said as she turned to see him in his costume except for the mask.
Hadley grinned, “You certainly did but I will forgive you this time. Are you ready to join the party?”
Alan sighed, pulling her close, “I suppose, though I’d rather stay in my office, alone with you,” he admitted. Hadley slapped his arm, “C’mon! This isn’t my workplace. We could’ve gone to a party on campus but you wanted me to come to you.”
“Ah, yes a college party,” he repeated as he offered his arm and they walked to the party, “How nice that would’ve been. You and all your twenty year old friends and me,” he said, always ready to point out the age difference.
Hadley elbowed him in the ribs as she walked to the bartender to get a drink. “What will you have, miss?” the man asked.
“I will take a beer, thanks,” she answered. She could almost hear Alan holding back a gag at her order. “Why are you so feisty tonight, dear? Speaking of college parties and not ordering wine,” he mused as he ordered a scotch.
Hadley smiled, “Maybe it’s the costume. I think Black Widow is a beer drinking type of gal,” she said, taking a sip.
Alan shook his head, “I hope no one tries to mess with you tonight,” he said simply as he slipped his arm around her waist.
The DJ had on a Halloween playlist which included everything you’d expect: ‘The Monster Mash,’ ‘Ghostbusters’ and ‘The Witch Doctor.’ Hadley listened to all the lawyers drone on, nodding politely at their comments until ‘Thriller’ came on.
“Alan, would you like to dance?” Hadley whispered, trying not to interrupt an older lawyer who was discussing his views on the election.
Alan was not a fan of dancing but he was also sick of hearing the man talk, “It’s been so nice chatting, Harry but my girl would like to dance,” he said excusing them and heading to the small dance space.
“Do you know the ‘Thriller’ dance?” Hadley asked, her tone hopeful. “It was a hit in your time more than mine,’ she added, in a teasing tone.
Alan simply rolled his eyes as he surprised her with the moves. Hadley squealed as she joined him. As they danced, laughing and having a great time, the music stopped and the lights went out.
Everyone in the room pulled out their phones to see. Hadley reached out and grabbed Alan’s hand to make sure he was close. “Come back to my office. We can light a candle until the power comes back,” he said as he used the flashlight on his phone to guide them.
“What do you think happened?” Hadley asked as they walked into the hallway that led to his office. Before Alan could answer, he turned his head at the sound of a scream. “What’s going on?” she asked, “Let’s go check it out.”
“That’s not what you’re supposed to do in a scary movie,” Alan stated but Hadley rolled her eyes and dragged him back to the lobby.
Alan stepped in front of her as they entered the party area. The room was empty except for a woman sitting on the sofa in the waiting area. “Where did everybody go?” Alan asked outloud, stepping closer to the woman.
As he got closer, he could see that she’d been stabbed in the neck, blood dripping down onto the sofa. “Is she ok?” Hadley asked as she got closer. Alan turned and pulled her into his arms, shielding her eyes, “Don’t look,” he said gently.
“Why?” Hadley whispered. “She’s been murdered,” he answered, backing them away. “We should make sure no one else is wandering around,” she suggested, worried about everyone who had been there.
Alan nodded as the walked quietly through the office for anyone who had stayed behind. “Call 911 with your phone,” Hadley said as they looked. “If I do that we won’t have the flashlight during the call. I’ll do it in a moment,” he replied.
“That office is open,” Hadley observed, “Let’s go in.” Alan stepped in front of her again as they pushed the door just a bit to see if anyone was inside. Alan didn’t have time to stop Hadley from getting beside him. There was a man in all black holding Alan’s boss into the wall with a butcher knife.
Hadley inhaled to scream but Alan placed his hand on top of her mouth quickly to stifle the sound. He backed out slowly, pulling Hadley with him. His efforts were for nothing, though, because he had forgotten about the light beaming from his cellphone. They watched as the man pulled back the knife, dropping the boss to the ground, lifeless and turn to reveal himself. They found themselves face to face with MIchael Myers from Halloween.
Michael cocked his head to the side taking in the sight of two more victims. He began walking slowly toward them. Hadley always wondered how she’d act in a situation like this. She yanked the door closed, ripping the door knob off and pulling Alan with her.
“We have to get out of here,” Alan said, his tone urgent.
Hadley nodded, “How? I’m sure the elevator is out since the power is gone,” she pointed out.
Alan sighed, “We can take the stairs. Once we get outside I can call the police,” he suggested.
Hadley stopped and looked at him, “That’s the opposite of what you’re supposed to do in a horror movie. We’ll end up on the roof somehow,” she finished with a hint of sarcasm in her voice.
“Do you have a better suggestion?” Alan asked, as they heard the sound of smashing wood. Hadley shook her head, “No, let’s go,” she said as she grabbed his hand and they went of the stairs.
Hadley suddenly stopped, “Wait, what if we try to trap him?” Alan looked at her with confusion on his face, “How do you propose we do that?”
“I mean, it’s not the real Michael Myers with the whole super strength, immortal thing,” she began, “We can try to trap him on one of the balconies. I’ll lure him out there close to the door and then you can push him out and we can lock him out,” she beamed, feeling proud.
Alan shook his head, “No for two reasons. That’s insane and you’re not playing bait for a psycho. Keep moving,” placing his hand on her lower back to push her forward.
They reached the lobby, almost to the stairs when Michael showed up stopping them in their tracks. “The offices go in a circle,” Hadley stated. “Are you sure you don’t want to try my plan?” she asked as he stood in their way, staring them down.
Before they could make a move, the door to the stairwell opened and Jerry the security guard appeared. “Jerry, get back in there and run!” Hadley yelled.
But Jerry’s instincts took over and he rushed for Michael tackling him from behind. Jerry stood back up and motioned for them to follow him out. Hadley started to move forward but Alan grabbed her arm as Michael got back up and turned to face Jerry. Jerry moved forward to attack him but Michael struck forward with his knife, pummeling it into Jerry’s gut. Hadley watched as Jerry stopped and became motionless, nothing but fear in his wide eyes.
Alan reached out to her to shield her from the third gruesome death of the evening but Hadley had other plans. Jerry was her friend. “Call 911,” she ordered as she looked for anything that could be a weapon.
‘The bar!’ she thought to herself, racing toward it and grabbing a giant bottle of vodka. Michael still had his back to them, his knife in Jerry. Hadley raced forward, praying he wouldn’t turn. She reached him and reared back the bottle and then smashed it on the back of his head, sending glass and alcohol everywhere. Michael stumbled forward, falling on top of Jerry.
Alan watched in shock as his girlfriend took down a killer. “The police are coming,” he announced as she still stood staring down at the bodies. “Let’s get outside,” Alan said, making his way over to her and gently moving her toward the stairs.
Alan opened the door to the staircase ushering her inside. “Jerry has the keys to the stairway. We could lock him in on that floor if we get them off of him,” Hadley said, speaking for the first time.
“Or we could just get out of here,” he said as he gently ushered her down the stairs. As they got to the end of the first flight, the heard the door open from above. Hadley and Alan looked up to see Michael back on his feet looking down at them. “Go,” Alan said as he sped up down the stairs.
They raced down the stairs reaching the ground floor and they found the door locked. “What do we do now?” Alan said, exasperated as Michael was gaining on them.
“Can you break the glass?” Hadley suggested, “I could probably fit my arm through and open it from the other side,” she stated, watching the stairs.
Alan cocked his head to the said and reared his fist back before punching through the glass. Hadley moved in next, sticking her arm through the broken glass and reaching for the handle on the other side, all while trying to do as little damage as possible to her arm. As she fought to get a grasp, Michael was at the last few stairs, his knife ready. Alan moved in front of her.
“Got it!” Hadley shouted as she pulled her arm back, now dripping in blood. She wasn’t quick enough because Michael was inches away from Alan. Hadley shoved him out of the way and thrust her foot into the air, kicking the knife out of his hand. He lunged forward for her throat but she jumped back. Michael was off balance and Hadley used that to push him down the stairs that led to the basement. She watched as he rolled down the stairs, flipping and turning.
“Are you ok?” she asked, turning back to Alan who she’d pushed back against the wall.
Alan was looking at her with a grin on his face, “I was going to protect you,” he stated, “But that costume really has had a different effect on you.” Hadley smiled as she grabbed his hand and walked out into the lobby where the police had just arrived to see them both bleeding.
“We need a medic,” one of the officers shouted, “Where’s the assailant?”
Hadley pointed back to the staircase as they were surrounded by a medical team rushing them out of there.
“How about next year we go to a college party?” Hadley said with a grin once they were being bandaged up.
Alan smiled back, “How about we just stay home,” he said, leaning down placing his lips to hers.