Yet Another AR Halloween Party

by: TabulaRasa | Complete Story | Last updated Oct 30, 2008

For some reason I can only write Halloween stories in April. (Seriously. Check the archives.) But I really wanted to participate for once, so I came up with, erm, a parody, or something.

Chapter 1
Yet Another AR Halloween Party

"No. No, no, absolutely not, out of the question. This happens every year, and I’m sick of it."

"But, I picked out..."

"Seriously, I said no. Every year you decide that for Halloween we have to do something ’special,’ but you always just mean magically turning into kids."

"But, it’ll be..."

"Look, I get it, really I do. It’s nice to remember what it’s like to be a kid. Hold on to our youthful spirit and all that. Now get this through your thick skull, I GET IT! It was fun last year, when we went trick or treating as little kids. It was fun the previous Christmas, where we turned into little kids and played in the snow. But enough is enough. Sometimes it’s ALSO nice to NOT be a little kid, okay? So THIS year, I’d like to just be a grown-up, and go to a party with my friends, and get drunk, and maybe pick up a girl or something, okay? And some other day, if you really can’t get it out of your system, I’ll turn into a little kid with you and we’ll go do something fun, okay?"

Joe looked abashed. "Fine," he muttered. "You didn’t have to yell at me."

Derek took a deep breath. "I’m sorry for yelling at you. But sometimes you get an idea in your head, and the only way to shake it out of you is to scream at you."

"So what am I going to do?"

"Well, you could come to Lisa’s party with me." Joe looked disappointed, and Derek sighed. "Or, you could turn into a little kid. You could find a group to go trick or treating with."

"But I don’t know anyone and I wouldn’t have any friends there if you didn’t come," Joe muttered, just a bit sulkily.

"Or you could pretend to be my cousin or something and come to the party with me." Derek tried to make the best of it. "Could be a good way to pick up chicks, if we play it right."

Joe thought about the matter. "Yeah, I guess I could just go to the party." Only after Derek turned around did Joe let a devilish grin cross his face.


Lisa opened the door, wearing a rabbit costume. "Hey, Lis’. This is my cousin, Joey." Joey tugged Derek’s leg. "He’s seven."

"Hey Derek." She sighed and leaned down, "Hello, Joey." She patted the boy on the head, then rolled her eyes. "I guess your roommate, Joe," she pronounced the name with exaggerated care, "couldn’t make it. But it’s nice to meet your," she sighed again, "cousin. Frankly, I’m surprised the two of you...I mean, you and your little cousin...could actually make it on Halloween night. You always seem to have plans on Halloween, but I guess tonight it’s only Joey who can’t come. I mean, only Joe. Your roommate. Who of course is a completely different person from your coincidentally named cousin Joey."

Derek rolled his eyes with Lisa while Joey squirmed. "Yes, thanks Lisa. I’m glad I could actually make it this year." He entered the party with Joey bouncing behind. Derek had gone for a simple costume, wearing a trench coat over shorts and proclaiming himself a flasher. Joey had picked out an old standby, his beloved Pikachu costume.

Most of the people at the party were old friends and acquaintances. Joey wandered around enjoying the attention he got, spinning an ever more elaborate story about how his parents had to dump him with his older cousin for Halloween. A few people besides Lisa knew them well enough to recognize Joe, but most of them went along too.

Joey’s last roommate, Todd, showed up a bit late, wearing a Superman costume. (Well, a cape and a t-shirt with the superman "S" on it.) He zeroed in on Joey immediately. "Hey, who brought the little kid?"

Joey grinned for a moment before getting back in character. "I’m not a little kid!"

"Oh, give me a break. Pikachu? Seriously, only babies wear Pikachu."

By now the whole party was looking at them, and a woman in a Little Red Riding Hood costume who’d been doting on Joey came over and put a comforting hand on his shoulder. "Seriously, what’s wrong with you? His parents left him here and he’s making the best of it. How dare you barge in here and be rude to him?"

Joey clung to her leg. "He was MEEEEEAN to me."

Todd walked over and Joey shrunk away. The woman stood in Todd’s way.

Todd suddenly broke into a grin. "Hey, little dude." He knelt down and held his arms open.

"Hi Todd!" Joey burst away from the woman and ran into Todd’s embrace. Todd gave him a hug, then lifted him up and spun him around.

The woman looked very, very confused. "Joey and I used to be room...erm, we’re old friends. We were just joking around. But I’m sure he appreciates you defending him."

Todd put Joey back down, and the boy ran back to the woman. "Uh-huh. You’re nice. I like you."

She still looked confused. "Um, thanks..."

Derek watched the whole thing with amusement. "Yeah, he’s a goofy kid," he explained to Michelle, a friend of Lisa’s he’d just met.

"It’s nice of you to take care of him." Admittedly, Derek had first noticed Michelle because she was wearing a rather skimpy cat costume which consisted mostly of a leotard and a headband with ears on it. But now that they’d been talking for a few minutes, he thought he might like her a little. "Oh, my drink is out. Want to get me another?" She winked at him.

Okay, he might like her a lot.

He picked up a rum and coke for himself and a (rather strong) margarita for Michelle. The two kept talking in the corner for a while, and time seemed to fly by. Finally, Derek saw his opportunity, and just as he leaned in to kiss her, Michelle stumbled into him, spilling the remainder of her drink on his coat.

"Oh my, I’m so sorry, Derek. Someone just..." they both turned to look behind her, where Joey, who had just bumped into her, was looking up innocently.

"I’m sooooory."

"It’s all right, I’m sure."

Derek scowled, since he had no doubt Joey had done it on purpose, probably because he was jealous that Derek wasn’t paying any attention to him. But treating Joey the way he deserved would just ruin his chances with Michelle. "Yeah, it’s fine, squirt. But be more careful. You shouldn’t be running around inside. Michelle, I’m going to go try to wash this off quickly." He winked at her, and took a chance. "Don’t leave. I’ll be back as soon as I take off my trench coat."

She smiled back. "I was hoping I’d get to see what was under it."

"His cloooothes are under it!" Joey announced unhelpfully.

Derek went to the bathroom, took off the trench coat, and ran water on it, hoping to prevent any stains. He was still scrubbing when he heard someone yell, loudly enough for him to hear in the bathroom, "I’m not a baby!"

It took Derek a moment to realize that the voice wasn’t Joey’s. Dropping the trench coat, he ran out into he living room.

The room was completely transformed. Now it was decorated in cheesy Halloween paraphernalia, with paper spiders and pumpkins stretching from wall to wall. The alcoholic drinks had been replaced, naturally, with soda, except for one bottle of rum on a high shelf, along with a mocking sign: "For Derek only."

Because of course, everyone else in the room had been turned into children. The girl insisting that she wasn’t a baby was only four or five, and dressed as Little Red Riding Hood, meaning she was almost certainly the same one who’d been defending Joey earlier.

Ironically, it was Joey who was taunting her, and it was Todd, now looking about nine, who was defending her. "Don’t you tell my friend she’s a baby." Todd had a proper Superman costume now; if he didn’t know Joey had just magicked it up on the spot, he would have assumed it was a rather expensive store-bought one.

Todd shoved Joey, who just grinned and shoved her back. It only took a minute for the two of them to devolve into a wrestling mach on the floor, with the little girl cheering on her defender from the sidelines.

The rest of the party was similarly reduced. Lisa, now wearing a much fancier rabbit costume, looked like she was about six, and ran over to him. "Hi Derek!"

"Hi Lisa. Joey made you a kid?"

"Uh-huh. He said I could be a little kid and not have any ’sponsibilities or have to clean up or anything if I let him make us all kids."

"Yeah, that sounds like Joey. So, you having fun?"

"Uh-huh. We have soda and chips and toys and everything!"

Lisa ran off to play with some of the other kids, while Derek looked around at the damage. In fact, the whole thing seemed well thought out, better than Joey was generally capable of when he was a kid, so he must have planned this in advance.

After admiring Joey’s handiwork for a few minutes, he noticed Michelle lurking, rather shyly, behind him. "Hi, Michelle."

"Hi, Derek." Her cat outfit was much, well, furrier now, and included a mask and furry leggings. Not that something as revealing would have been appropriate. She looked to be about ten, making her one of the older kids present.

Michelle blushed and looked up at him oddly, then ran off. Finally annoyed, Derek stormed over to where Todd and Joey were still wrestling and pulled them apart. "Okay you two, that’s enough."

Todd stuck his tongue out at Joey, then held his head high and strode off to the food, and the young girl followed right behind her protector. Todd and Joey had used this routine before, and always seemed to enjoy it.

Derek grabbed Joey under the arms and pulled him up. "Look, I took you along as my cousin and let you have your fun. But what’s with messing with Michelle? You could see I was hitting on her."

"Big D, I did this all for you. Look at her. She has a HUGE crush on you." Indeed, Michelle was standing not far away, poorly pretending not to be watching him.

"Little J, SHE’S A KID!"

Joey just smiled. "First kiss is always the best."

And then Derek felt the world grow around him. Joey was soon too big to hold, and they both fell to the ground. Derek took stock. He was still a bit bigger than Joey, which almost certainly meant he was just about Michelle’s age. He was wearing a furry body suit for a costume, which, knowing Joey’s sense of humor, was almost certainly a dog.

He intended to go over to Michelle, but suddenly the thought of approaching a girl seemed painfully difficult. Instead he ended up sidling over to Todd, who was drinking soda next to another boy their age. (Seeming age, that is. But as always, as soon as he was in a kid’s form, it was hard to avoid thinking like one.)

The little girl was dancing around and singing to herself, once in a while tugging on Todd’s shirt and asking him for more chips, which he always got for her with an air of gracious superiority, milking his "older brother" status as hard as he could. Within a few minutes, Derek had lost himself almost entirely in being a kid, and the next hour or two past quickly playing with the other boys. Every once in a while, though, he’d notice Michelle, and watch her longingly, trying to work out the courage to go talk to her. And then she’d look up at him, and he’d blush and look away shyly.

The evening went on. Some of the younger kids, including the girl who’d been following Todd, had curled up in corners and drifted off to sleep. Joey approached Derek. "C’mon, Derek. Michelle has a crush on you." Derek just blushed and shuffled shyly. "No, really, you have to."

Derek mumbled something about not wanting to.

"No, seriously. It’s part of the, you’ll see." Joey shoved Derek, with surprising force, in Michelle’s direction. Suddenly the two were face to face. An awkward moment passed, then another, as the two started at each other, frozen, unsure what to do.

Finally, if only to make the moment end, Derek leaned in and kissed her.

They both pulled away after only a second, blushing. No, glowing. Derek felt awkward and embarrassed and ecstatic at the same time. For all the years that should have passed between, in that moment, they were both ten, enjoying the afterglow of their first kiss.

They started at each other, and then noticed that they were both adults again.

Michelle grinned at Derek. "That was...special. You’ll give me a call won’t you?" Not wanting Derek to see the massive smile on her face (it would never do to let him know just how much she liked him this early), she turned and walked right out of the party.

Derek looked around, and saw that everything in the party had returned to normal, even Joey, who’d apparently decided to finish the party as an adult. The place was, as Joey had promised, clean. The evening was late (past everyone’s bed time, one might think), so people drifted off quickly. Only a few remembered what had happened in any detail; most left with vague memories of a good time that suggested they’d had far too much to drink, but no hangover to match.

There was only one clue that anything had happened: the costumes were larger versions of the ones they’d worn as kids. For some that just meant that a thrown together costume was replaced with one that looked far better. But those who, like Derek, had worn something Joey deemed insufficiently in the spirit were all wearing particularly childish ones. Derek was still in the furry dog outfit, but the person who’d shown up in a button down shirt and insisted he was an "IRS agent" must have particularly irked Joey. He was going home in an impressively detailed Power Rangers costume.

Derek and Joe were among the last to leave. Lisa thanked Joe for cleaning the place up, and for making sure the place was clean, and Joe took the opportunity to arm twist her into agreeing to take him to the zoo.

They drove back in silence, Joe half asleep, Derek still thinking about Michelle. It wasn’t until they had changed into their pajamas and were climbing into their bunk bed that Joe finally said something. "You were right. A party was way more fun then trick or treating. Next year, I think we should host one."



End Chapter 1

Yet Another AR Halloween Party

by: TabulaRasa | Complete Story | Last updated Oct 30, 2008


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