The news studio echoed with chatter as everyone got into position for the broadcast. The male and female anchors were seated at the desk idly fiddling with their papers as various camera operators dashed from place to place.
Once everyone was in position, the studio lights dimmed and one of the camera operators pointed towards the desk as a red light illuminated on every camera.
“Good evening Canandaigua!” Smiled the man.
“Welcome to Channel 7 News at eight o’clock. With Micheal Mcnamara and me, Sandy Phillips.” Added the woman.
“Our top stories for tonight! Mayor denies funding forgery. Local eateries entangled in health inspector bribery scandal and the latest on the high school renovations.” Greeted the man as he read off the teleprompter.
“And of course, we have your weekend weather and all of the sports results!” Added Sandy as she shuffled her papers.
“But of course, it is the most horrific time of the year.” Explained Micheal, his tone becoming more casual. “So we have a special Halloween report tonight. Canandaigua police will be here to explain how to keep your kids safe while they’re out trick or treating.”
“And we’ve sent our intrepid reporter, Viki Law on a special mission.” Smiled Sandy. “In fact, I think we can go live to her now! Hi Viki!”
The second Sandy finished her sentence the scene switched to a woman stood outside an old house. She was wearing a thick winter coat and holding a microphone in her hand.
“Hi, Sandy! Hi Micheal!” Grinned Viki as she put the microphone up to her lips. “I’m here at the most haunted building in the county, Cherrypond Manor! I’m going to be talking with some local residents who have had weird experiences here and even do a bit of exploring myself!”
“That sounds exciting!” Laughed Sandy. “Don’t get too cold out there!”
“I won’t!” Nodded Viki.
“Or too spooked!” Laughed Micheal. His tone made it clear that he really didn’t care about the segment and was just going through the motions.
“I’m made of stern stuff, and I’ve got the crew with me! I’m sure I’ll be safe!” Replied Viki.
“Okay, we’ll come back to you later, but first the headlines,” Interjected Micheal as the scene returned to the studio.
A woman behind the camera raised her hand and Viki let out a sigh. “We’re off?” Asked Viki.
“Yeah!” Nodded Linda as she fiddled with the camera.
“Thank heavens, I can hear the spite in his voice. He shows me no respect,” grumbled Viki as she put the microphone down. “I should be at the desk! They said I just needed to do a few months as a reporter to get people used to me and then they would promote me to anchor. But no, Mr. boring has to return from Utica and demand his old job back.”
“It was weird,” nodded Linda half-heartedly, too busy fiddling with cables to really pay attention. “But hey, it is like that sometimes.”
“How are you always so upbeat?” Sighed Viki.
“I’m a tech, I just move cables around and replace fuses. It doesn’t matter which one of you the camera is pointed at.” Answered Linda. “Leads to a lot less vanity and a lot fewer arguments.”
“Fair enough,” replied Viki as she blew into her cold hands. “But a puff piece like this? Really?”
“People enjoy it,” shrugged Linda as she looked around the grounds. “Where do you want to do the next shot?”
“I don’t know, lobby?” Replied Viki with a shrug. “I guess it will be a good place to talk about some tourist who got drunk and thought they saw something.”
“If you say so. But it isn’t just drunk tourists, I’ve heard stories about this place ever since I was a kid.” Mumbled Linda as she started to put things into boxes.
“Yeah, loads of stories over the years. Katherine has some friends who saw some stuff when they visited.”
“Oh? Did Katherine see it?” Asked Viki as she looked towards the production van.
“She didn’t want to go in, she was scared. It took us a lot of convincing to even get her to come film here tonight. Always said this is the one place in the entire city she wouldn’t work at.” Replied Linda.
“Ah, that is why she isn’t coming out of the van,” sighed Viki. “Well, I’m not sure why her friends came up here. But I guess a city this small has nothing better to do. I’m going to go find a good place to shoot.” Continued Viki as Linda rolled her eyes.
“Sure,” replied Linda, utterly done with Viki’s moaning. As Viki walked up the steps and into the large house, Linda focused on packing down her stuff so she could move it.
Viki continued to mumble to herself as she pushed the door open. The hallway was a massive Victorian structure that was seemingly stuck in the past. It didn’t look like it had seen any major changes or renovations for at least a hundred years if not more.
A thin layer of dust covered everything. Every step or movement caused clouds of it to rise up into the air and dance around in the faint light. Viki had to admit, if it wasn’t for the filming lights outside, this place would be very spooky.
Everything just seemed so dead. It was as if she was in a place she shouldn’t be. Almost as if this place shouldn’t exist at all. All of the paintings seem to stare at her, it was like she was being judged from afar by things she didn’t understand.
“Ugh,” sighed Viki. “Can’t get myself worked up,” she added as she started to walk through the hall, looking for a good shot. While the corridor was a little creepy, it wouldn’t come through on camera.
As she moved down the corridor Viki peeked into each room she went past. They had been told they could go wherever they wanted, as the current owners didn’t live in the mansion nor did they know what to do with it.
Every room was full of dust and dated furnishings all of which gave Viki the creeps. At the end of the corridor, she spotted a small living room, complete with a ratty couch and an empty fireplace.
“This could be nice,” mumbled Viki as she looked around the room, trying to work out how to frame the shot. “I could start on the couch or start at the fire and then have the guest on the couch.”
As she continued to explore the room, Viki grew in confidence. “I can make this work,” she smiled. “I’m going to steal Micheal’s thunder!” She added as she giggled to herself.
The door to the room creaked as it slowly swung shut. However, Viki didn’t turn around, presuming that it was just Linda moving her gear.
“Awesome!” Said Viki as she looked at the fireplace. “Set up your camera in the middle, I want to start in front of the fireplace and then go from there, do you think we can light this fire? You have a lighter right?”
“Well I don’t have a lighter, but I can make this whole night brighter!” Came a voice from behind Viki. It took Viki a few seconds to realize that it didn’t belong to either of the two women she had arrived with.
Viki quickly spun around on her heel, only to see that a strange woman was leaning against the closed door. She was clad in a gothic dress and was wearing stockings that seemed to be made out of spider webs. A small black top hat was balanced on her head, looking like it could fall off at any moment.
“Oh, getting into the spirit I see!” Smiled Viki, presuming that this must be one of her guests. “You gave me a fright! I didn’t hear you walk in!”
“It is the thing I do that’s very grating! I always appear when you’re concentrating!” Smirked the girl.
“You’re a poet and you don’t know it!” Smiled Viki. “Excuse me, I need to go get Linda so we can set up! Feel free to make yourself at home!”
Viki walked over to the door, hoping to catch Linda’s attention. The quicker they got the camera set up the more time they had to rehearse the segment.
She wrapped her hand around the doorknob and tried to turn it. However, the knob refused to turn no matter how hard she twisted it.
“Crap,” mumbled Viki as she started to yank at the handle. “Crap crap crap!” She shouted as she yanked with all her might. However, the knob refused to move an inch.
“I think the door is broken,” groaned Viki as she slammed her fist into the wood. “Any ideas? Or should I just phone Linda?”
“Well you must feel like a schmuck, now we’re totally and utterly stuck!” Chuckled the girl.
“Glad you can see the funny side,” replied Viki as she tried to remain polite. She pulled her phone out of her pocket and went to call Linda. However, she couldn’t seem to get a signal.
She quickly moved around the room, waving her phone around in an attempt to find some corner that had enough signal to send Linda a text.
After a few minutes, Viki sighed and shook her head. “No signal!” She groaned. “Do you have anything? If you have a hairpin we can try and jimmy the lock?” Asked Viki as she looked up at the girl.
The girl was sitting on the couch, eating a candy that she had produced from some unknown place. “I hate to make you bawl,” smiled the girl. “But I’ve got no way to make a call!”
“Right,” replied Viki as she squeezed her arm, trying to keep her emotions under control. “I’m glad you can keep your joyful mood despite us being stuck in this dusty hellhole.”
“I don’t see the need for such gloom. Better this than my tomb!” Smiled the girl as she stretched her legs.
“We have to get set up before we’re needed!” Shouted Viki as she started to lose her temper. She ran towards the door and started to yank on the handle again.
It felt as if someone was holding the door closed from the other side. But whoever it was would have to be amazingly strong to keep the door this still.
“Help! Help!” Screamed Viki as she hammered the door, hoping that Linda would hear her and come help. She smashed her fists into the door until they started to throb, but there was no sound from outside.
“All that work and yet no cracks? Maybe you should just relax!” Chuckled the girl.
“I can’t relax, I have a reputation to uphold!” Screamed Viki as she started to pant. “Linda! Linda! Help me!”
The girl just shrugged and lay back on the couch, happily smirking to herself as she blew on a dangling cobweb. The combination of confinement and this girl’s oblivious cheerfulness made Viki attack the door with as much might and rage as she could.
“Viki?” Shouted a voice from the other side of the door.
“Linda? Linda!” Screamed Viki. “We’re stuck, the door won’t budge! Get a crowbar or something!”
“What? You want me to pry it open?” Replied Linda, a hint of confusion in her voice. “We can’t go damaging the house!”
“Try the door! If you don’t we’re stuck here all night!” Continued Viki as she felt the door shake a few times. The handle let out of a soft clicking noise but remained frozen in place.
“Well, you’re right,” sighed Linda. “This is jammed. What did you do?”
“I didn’t do anything!” Screamed Viki. “I just walked in here and it closed behind me.”
“Well, at least you didn’t take Ms. Swinton in there with you.” Shouted Linda as she repeatedly yanked on the door.
“Ms. Swinton?” Blinked Viki as she pushed against the door.
“Your guest? The one who saw the ghost?” Grunted Linda.
“She is with me!” Groaned Viki as she pushed her shoulder into the wooden frame.
“No? She just arrived. That is why I came to find you.”
“Then who is with me?” Asked Viki as she turned around to look at the girl. However, the girl wasn’t there anymore.
Viki quickly moved away from the door and started to look around the room, trying to work out where the girl had vanished to. Was there another door that Viki didn’t know about?
“Hello?” Shouted Viki. “Hello?”
Viki was confused. She had no idea where the girl could have gone. There were no other doors and no places to hide. She had to have gone somewhere, it wasn’t like she could just melt into the air.
“Okay, not funny,” mumbled Viki as she rubbed her arm. “Where did you go?” She added, her voice getting quieter as a shudder ran down her spine.
She shook her head and dashed back to the door, deciding to focus on getting it open. Girl or not, she couldn’t be stuck here all night. “Linda?” Shouted Viki as she shook the handle.
However, no one replied. It was like Linda had just given up and wandered off. Viki grunted as she attempted to yank the door off of its hinges.
The door creaked and squeaked as Viki’s pulling grew more crazed and erratic. After several minutes of futile effort, Viki felt someone tap her on the shoulder.
Viki jumped and let out a scream as she quickly spun around. To Viki’s surprise, the girl was stood right next to her. “Your problem I can distill.” She said with a sing-song tone. “You’re trying to push a boulder up a hill”.
“You nearly gave me a heart attack!” Shouted Viki. “Where did you go?” She added as she glared at the girl.
“I went for a wander,” smiled the woman as Viki felt something tap her other shoulder. She quickly turned around, only to see another girl stood on the other side of her.
This girl was clad in a black velvet suit and had an equally small top hat balanced on her head. However, outfit aside, she was the spitting image of the other girl.
“To tell me of a chance we can’t squander!” Smiled the second girl.
“Okay, this was clever at first, but now it is getting silly!” Shouted Viki as she stamped her foot. “This isn’t funny! I’m a serious journalist Micheal, you can’t send me on assignments to just play dumb pranks on me! I’ll be reporting this to the network! I’m going to take everyone involved in this to court! Mark my words!” Screamed Viki as she stormed over to the couch.
Viki dropped back into the old fabric, sending a cloud of dust up into the air as she did. “I’m done. Fill your own airtime!” She yelled as she threw her hands into the air.
The two girls looked at each other before shrugging, their eyes full of confusion. They both skipped over to the couch before leaning over it and grinning at Viki.
“I think there has been some mistake!” Smiled the first girl.
“But you really deserve a cupcake!” Grinned the second as she opened her hand to reveal a tiny, sprinkle-covered cake.
“What?” Blinked Viki as she looked at the cake. “Oh right.” Sighed Viki as she shook her head. “Yeah, don’t worry about it, it isn’t your fault, I get it, the network offered you cash and you took it.”
“We don’t do anything for mere money!” Scoffed the one girl.
“That isn’t really funny,” nodded the other as they offered out the cupcake again.
“Thanks,” smiled Viki as she took the cake, realizing that the girl was not going to stop offering it until she accepted. “Well if you’re not doing this for money, why are you doing this?”
“Well, truth be told!”
“We’ve got a reputation to uphold!”
“Across many nations!”
“And so many Halloween celebrations!”
“Because we’re the twins who can’t be beat!” Cheered the girls in unison.
“I’m Trick!” Smiled the second girl.
“And I’m Treat!” Grinned the first as both of them posed in front of Viki.
“I’m sorry, I don’t follow,” blinked Viki. “Are you actors? Kids show hosts?”
“I think you’ve got us totally wrong!” Grinned Treat.
“But we won’t let you be wrong for long!” Added Trick.
“We’re going to remove all your cares!”
“And help you dish out some delicious scares!” Shouted Trick as she bounced on the couch. Viki let out a yelp as the force of Trick’s bounce sent her crashing to the ground.
“What do you mean? You still haven’t told me why you’re here.” Replied Viki, getting increasingly confused by the situation.
“Well well well, quite the sleuth!” Laughed Trick.
“But you really wouldn’t like the truth.” Smirked Treat.
“I’ve likely heard worse,” smiled Viki as she leaned towards Treat with a conspiratorial glint in her eye. “Drugs? Something worse? I’ve covered a lot of stuff!”
“Well, we’re not ones to boast!” Giggled Treat as she nudged Trick.
“We’re really not that kind of ghost.”
“But when your situation is daunting”
“We’ll help you with the perfect haunting!”
“As demons, we cast the perfect spell!”
“We’re really loved by our clientele!” Shouted Trick as she did a backflip onto the coffee table.
“So why not join our haunted crew?”
“And let us show just what we can do!” Added Trick as she leaned forward and offered Viki her hand.
“Demons? You expect me to believe that?” Scoffed Viki. “But you are interesting,” she added as she started to ponder.
“Now that’s what I call a breakthrough!” Winked Treat.
“What about a little preview?” Added Trick as she snapped her fingers.
Suddenly, screams started to echo through the corridor. Viki gasped as she ran to the door. “What is going on out there?” She shouted, hoping to communicate with Linda. However, the screaming drowned her out.
“If you promise to sneak,” giggled Treat.
“We’ll give you a little peek!” Nodded Trick.
“Let me out! What is going on out there?” Shouted Viki as she continued to wrestle with the door. Suddenly the door swung open, knocking Viki to the ground as it did.
In the corridor, Linda and Ms. Swinton were being chased around the room by flying candlesticks. Viki’s mind froze in shock, she couldn’t make sense of what was going on.
The candlesticks swooped and flew through the air with amazing grace. Viki tried to spot the strings that were holding the candlesticks up, but she couldn’t see any. Even if there were strings the candlesticks were flying so close to each other that they would get tangled.
Ms. Swinton tried to run towards the front door. However, a few seconds before she got there, the door slammed shut, causing the woman to run face-first into it.
Linda turned around to see what the noise was. But as she turned a candlestick flew over her head and stopped right in front of her face.
Linda gasped and raised her hands, expecting the candlestick to strike her. However, it simply started to sway in front of her eyes.
“Like a fish you’ve taken the bait!” Giggled Treat as she strutted towards Linda.
“Now you’ve met with a terrible fate!” Added Trick as she followed Treat.
“Between Evening and Morning, you are betwixt.”
“And on our flame, you are transfixed,” cooed Trick as Treat wrapped her arm around Linda’s shoulder.
“Because it might seem very bleak.”
“But your mind is very weak,” continued the girls as Treat rubbed Linda’s shoulders. Linda’s eyes glazed over as the candle rocked back and forth in front of her. Her mouth fell open as she let out a soft little moan.
Ms. Swinton pulled herself up off the floor, shaking her head as she spotted what was going on behind her. “Hey!” She shouted, stumbling forward. However, before she could get anywhere near Linda, another candlestick flew in from a different room and floated in front of her.
“Now now, we’re far from done,” giggled Trick.
“But now it is two for the price of one!” Smirked Treat.
“As the power of the flame.”
“Is to take the mind and make it tame.”
“And with every swish of its glow.”
“Your thoughts will start to slow.”
“Until you go to sleep.”
“To go so deep.”
“Until today is a dream.”
“So don’t whine and don’t scream.”
“Watch the pretty dancing flame.”
“And your mind we will claim,” Smiled Trick as the two girls continue to watch the swaying flame. Both women slumped over at the waist as they watched the candle, the flame reflected in their glassy eyes.
A thin trail of drool ran down Linda’s chin as she continued to stare forward. Viki could only watch from afar, totally in awe of what was going on.
“So it is time to close your eyes!” Cheered Treat.
“And for us to claim our prize!” Nodded Trick as she snapped her fingers. Instantly the two candles snuffed out as both girls crumpled to the floor in a heap.
Trick and Treat turned towards Viki and bowed. They had wide smiles on their faces and were obviously proud of their work.
“Did you just.” Started Viki, totally dumbfounded by what she had seen. “Did you just kill them?” She asked softly.
“Kill? That is what the balcony is for!” Giggled Trick only for Treat to nudge her.
“What we did is merely mesmerism, no need for gore!”
“Just a push inside their mind,” nodded Trick.
“Wrapping their thoughts in a bind!”
“Really?” Gasped Viki as she ran over to the girls and poked them, curious to see if they would react. Neither woman moved when poked, their long, deep breaths remaining perfectly regular, no matter how hard Viki shook them.
“But we can do more than make them sleep!” Interrupted Trick.
“We can make them dance and leap!” Shouted Treat as she waved her hands. Instantly several spider webs descended from the ceiling and wrapped around Linda’s limbs.
Viki watched as the webs lifted Linda into the air. It was an amazing sight, despite being thin webs they were easily able to support Linda’s weight.
Treat started to wave her hands and as she did the webs moved, making Linda dance around the big lobby. It was an amazingly fluid dance, almost as if it had been ripped out of a cartoon. Viki looked around, trying to see if anything was controlling the webs, but there seemed to be nothing there. They just hung in the air, supported by an invisible force.
“This is amazing!” Giggled Viki as she watched Ms. Swinton rise and join Linda in her dance. “What even are you two?”
“We’re twins of the best type!”
“We’re just as good as all our hype!” Chuckled Treat as she nodded towards Trick.
“But we know you have something you want to avenge.”
“And we love nothing more than revenge!” Laughed Treat as she closed her hand. Instantly Ms. Swinton and Linda crashed to the floor, their bodies totally limp.
“Revenge?” Blinked Viki as she stood up. “Revenge against,” she started only to stop as her brain realized what the two girls were suggesting.
“Your lovely host,” grinned Trick.
“Needs a little moment with a ghost.”
“Twins is our only clue!” Chuckled Treat as she extended her hand.
Viki took a few wobbly steps forward. This felt wrong on several levels. But she couldn’t help but dream of the possibilities. Micheal deserved this and what is the worst these two could do?
“Oh,” mumbled Viki as reality hit her. These two could do so much. They had already proven they had powers beyond her wildest dreams and Treat hadn’t broken a sweat making Linda dance. So what could they do if they went all out?
“Quick, don’t be slow!” Smirked Trick.
“Don’t let your only chance go!” Nodded Treat.
“My only chance?” Replied Viki as she looked over the two girls.
“We only offer this for one night!”
“The deadline is very tight!”
“So if you want to be the station’s queen.”
“You must do it this Halloween!” Said Treat as she held her hand out again, her smile growing inhumanly wide as she looked towards Viki.
Viki felt something inside her mind-twisting and growing. Months of desire and resentment bubbling to the surface, washing over her mind and drowning all of her logical or worried thoughts.
“I’ll do it!” Shouted Viki as she grabbed Treat’s hand and shook it. Electricity ran through Viki’s body. She felt like she was floating, it was like someone had removed all of her mind’s limits.
Images flashed in her mind’s eye, years of history appeared and vanished from her brain within seconds. Viki felt off-kilter it was like time itself was bending around her.
“Now now we can have our fun.” Giggled Treat as she pulled Viki towards her, wrapping her arms around the girl.
“And get our plan done!” Nodded Trick as she skipped over to the crumpled women. Viki rested her head against Treat’s torso. Her dress was amazingly soft, it was better than any pillow that Viki had ever owned. The softness helped Viki’s brain stabilize and calm down, letting her regain control of her thoughts.
While this happened Trick looked over the fallen girls. She whispered a few words and both girls slowly rose from the floor, their movements oddly stiff.
“What is she doing? Asked Viki.
“Setting up our little game.” Replied Treat.
“We need them to exclaim!” Added Trick from the other side of the room.
Viki and Ms. Swinton slowly wandered to the front door of the building with a dull, fake smile plastered on their lips. They exited the building and walked out into the cold Autumn night with obvious purpose.
Linda started to move her camera equipment, lifting several boxes with surprising ease. Ms. Swinton ran over to the broadcast truck and knocked on the side.
As the door slid open, Katherine poked her head out. Viki had forgotten Katherine was in there. It wasn’t like they ever really talked and Katherine usually worked on other shows.
Ms. Swinton waved at Katherine, her mouth moving quickly. Katherine’s eyes went wide as she quickly came out of the truck and ran up to the house.
The second she was out of sight, Ms. Swinton’s face twisted into a sinister smile as her eyes glazed over once again, the faint spider webs reappearing around her arms and legs.
“You okay?” Shouted Katherine as she got within earshot. “Do you need compression? Shall I get an ambulance?”
“I,” started Viki. However, before she could finish her sentence she realized that Trick and Treat had vanished.
“Do you know who I am?” Asked Katherine. “Can you raise your left arm for me?”
“You’re Katherine,” laughed Viki as she raised her arm.
“Okay, you’re functional, but I’ll need to file a report.” Nodded Katherine. “What even happened in there?”
“Huh?” Blinked Viki.
“Ms. Swinton said a lamp fell on you. Hit you on the head?” Replied Katherine firmly. “Do you not remember?”
“Oh! That right!” Lied Viki. “Yeah, I’m fine.”
“Ugh, I hate to do this Viki, but I’m going to have to call a doctor, you’re acting odd and it could be a concussion.” She said as she pulled her phone out of her pocket.
Viki had no idea what to do. She wracked her brain for a way to convince Katherine that she was fine. But, before Katherine could press the dial button, Trick and Treat appeared behind her.
In one flowing movement Trick leaned forward and dangled a foil-wrapped candy in front of Katherine’s eyes. “Wait, what,” started Katherine as Trick started to sway the candy.
“Why don’t you have a tasty snack?” Started Trick.
“Before we make you go totally slack!”
“This candy is shiny and very sweet!”
“The best thing you could hope to meet!” Continued Treat as she whispered into the girl’s ear. Katherine stared at the shimmering candy as it moved in front of her eyes.
Despite the situation, she looked oddly calm and placid, almost like this wasn’t unusual for her. Her eyes slowly crossed as they focused on the candy, her arms falling limp by her sides as she stared blankly.
“Now it is time to be a puppet and obey!”
“Not like you can say nay!” Nodded Treat as she unwrapped the candy and popped it into Katherine’s mouth. She then started to move Katherine’s jaw, forcing her to chew the confection.
Katherine let out a little groan as she chewed. Her body started to shake as her eyes rolled into her head. Viki couldn’t help but laugh, something about this sight made her feel powerful, it gave her a rush.
“Now let’s set up for the show!”
“Work hard until you glow!” Cheered Treat as she lifted Katherine’s arms up in front of her before pushing her. Katherine started to zombie walk out of the building, quickly starting to help Linda with her tasks.
“So what are we doing?” Asked Viki.
“We’ll let you know soon enough,” smiled Trick.
“But don’t worry we’ll make you hot stuff!” Added Treat as she guided Viki into the lounge.
“Thank you, Beth! It looks like it is going to be a good night for the kids as they go trick or treating!” Said Sandy as she looked into the camera.
“Talking of Halloween, let’s check back in with Viki Law, I’m told she had quite a scary story for us!” Smiled Micheal as the camera feed cut back to Viki.
She was stood in the lounge, leaning against a couch with a wide smile on her face. “Thank you, Sandy!” Chuckled Viki. “I’m still here at Cherrypond Manor and it has been a very eventful night!”
“Oh! See a ghost?” Asked Sandy.
“I did actually!” Giggled Viki evilly. “I saw a couple!”
“Get any footage?” Asked Micheal quizzically. “I’m sure our viewers would love to see!”
“Well, I have them right here!” Smiled Viki as two very fake bedsheet covered ghosts rose up from behind the couch. “Aren’t they terrifying!”
Sandy and Micheal tried their best to fake a laugh. Neither was sure what had come over Viki, this wasn’t the segment they had planned for and it wasn’t like Viki to go off-topic.
“Well, do they give interviews?” Said Micheal, trying to pull the segment back onto the rails.
“Oh, they do!” Nodded Viki as the two ghosts lifted their sheets, revealing Trick and Treat.
“You have friends,” chuckled Sandy awkwardly, looking at everyone else in the studio in the vein hope they had some idea of what was going on.
Trick and Treat started to rotate their hands, causing a shimmering trail to form in the air, almost as if they were shaping the dust into large glittery patterns.
“Halloween is our little town!” Giggled Treat as the shimmering filled the room with light.
“But you have no need to frown!” Added Trick as her pattern joined with Treat’s, making the whole room shimmer and ripple. Viki found her eyes drawn to it, something about it was utterly mesmerizing, it made it feel as if the whole room was spinning around her.
“Just enjoy the show!” Continued Treat.
“Who knows how deep you will go!”
“Because we’re messing with your mind!”
“Who knows exactly what we’ll find?”
“So keep your eyes on our spiral’s dance!”
“You really don’t stand a chance!” Smiled Trick as the shimmering grew more intense. Viki couldn’t pull her eyes away from the pattern. But, at the same time, she didn’t want to look away. The spiral was just too beautiful to ignore.
In the studio, all of the crew were equally dumbfounded. They couldn’t take their eyes off of the monitors. The pattern was so complex and beautiful. Their eyes were glued to it, it was infinitely fascinating.
“But don’t question the hand you’ve been dealt!”
“Because we’re going to make your mind melt!” Giggled Trick as she and Treat increased the speed of their movement. The faster they moved the brighter and more wonderful the pattern became.
“It is quite a thing to behold!”
“You are under our control!” Continued the girls as every mouth in the studio dropped open. No one could control their bodies or their muscles. They were too mesmerized by the pattern, all they could do was stare forward blankly.
“You are all puppets on our strings.”
“From this point on we are your kings!” Cheered Trick as she turned to face Viki. Viki has been so focused on the spiral that she hadn’t realized that she was just as mesmerized as the people in the studio.
“Our bargains come at a cost,” smiled Treat as she turned to face Viki, making the spiral float right in front of her eyes. Viki felt her mind dissolving. However, she couldn’t motivate herself to look away for even a second.
“But poor Viki has been double-crossed!” Laughed Trick.
“Katherine, Katherine so pure and bright!”
“Thank you for bringing us this treat tonight!” Smiled the girls as Katherine’s eyes rolled up into her head. Memories of the last Halloween flashed through her mind, memories that she had somehow forgotten.
Viki could see Katherine’s memories in her mind’s eye. She could see Katherine exploring this old house with friends. The friends daring her to go into the attic alone only to find that Trick and Treat were there waiting. Waiting to make a deal.
“Now every fool at home.”
“Listen to us and our honest tone.”
“We want you to dash and grab anything handy.”
“So you can fetch us lots of candy!”
“Take or steal, grab or borrow!”
“Not like you’ll remember this tomorrow!”
“But now listen and don’t make a sound.”
“Because next time this date rolls around.”
“You won’t make a fuss.”
“You’ll want to come and find us.”
“But the day before you will send”
“Some of your closest friends,”
“And make sure they are nice and sweet,”
“As a gift for Trick and Treat,” smiled the girls as they clapped their hands in unison.
Instantly, Ms. Swinton and Linda turned off the cameras they were holding and crumpled to the ground. Viki felt her thoughts twisting in her head as she slowly came to her senses.
“What did I do,” she mumbled softly as she continued to stare at the spinning pattern, her slack jaw making it hard to form words.
“We just gave you a little push,” giggled Treat as she squeezed Viki’s cheeks.
“A little kick on your tush!” Nodded Trick as she reached over and ruffled Viki’s hair. Viki wanted to struggle and move away from this patronizing touching, but her body refused to respond to her.
“All the anger and hate you bottled and sealed.”
“It is a weapon we can wield!”
“A suggestion of power, a false memory or two.”
“And we have the mix for an evil brew!” Giggled Trick as she skipped over to Katherine.
“You’ll do evil for your own ends.”
“And sell out all your friends.” Continued Trick as she rubbed Katherine’s hair.
Katherine shuddered. “I’m sorry,” she shrugged as she looked Trick in the eyes. “So, do I get it? I did what you asked?”
“Oh, how can we forget!” Chuckled Treat as she walked over to Katherine. Viki’s mind raced as the pattern faded. Her heart started to pound in her chest, she knew she had to do something, she had to escape this place and tell the police.
However, the second she took a step forward, Treat snapped her fingers and the spiral appeared right in front of Viki’s face. Her mind was instantly drawn into the pattern and her muscles immediately seized up.
Viki felt helpless. It seemed that Trick and Treat were always a step ahead of her and even if she could think of something, they could make her think or feel whatever they wanted.
“Don’t worry, we always pay a debt!” Giggled Trick as she reached into her jacket and produced a small pumpkin.
“We brought the ones you like the best!” Smiled Treat as Trick held out the pumpkin. Katherine instantly snatched the pumpkin from Trick and pulled the top off.
“Full of sweetness and joy no need to be stressed,” giggled Trick as Katherine pulled a candy out of the pumpkin and stuffed it into her mouth. Her eyes crossed and rolled up into her head as her body started to shake.
“So good!” Shouted Katherine as she shoved another candy into her mouth. “So so good!”
“Our treats are the sweetest!” Nodded Treat.
“And a good way to undo an elitist,” snickered Trick as she looked over at Viki.
“Now I’m not one for flirtation,” added Treat as she slowly moved towards Viki.
“But I think you should join us for the celebration!” Added Trick as she snapped her fingers. Spiderwebs instantly dropped from the ceiling and wrapped themselves around Viki’s wrists and ankles.
Viki wanted to run, but the second the web made contact with a limb, that limb went totally numb, almost like it was frozen in ice. Viki gritted her teeth and tried to fight against what was happening to her, but no matter how hard she tried she just couldn’t do it.
Trick grinned at Viki as she slowly moved her hand. As Trick’s hand moved the strings on Viki’s limbs moved with them.
“Dance puppet dance!” laughed Treat as Viki’s body started to walk towards the front door.
Katherine was sat on the floor, ramming fistfuls of candy into her mouth, her face twisted into a contorted euphoric smile. Part of Viki wanted to shout at her, to ask why she had set her up like this, but it was obvious from her face that she was too far gone. It didn’t matter what Viki said, nothing would distract Katherine from the candy.
“Come on! Come on! See the sights!” sung Trick as Viki stepped outside.
“This town is our theatre, the house is just the footlights!” Smiled Treat as she giggled.
Viki could just make out what was going on in the city below. People were roaming the streets like zombies, grabbing any candy they could find. Shop owners were dragging whole crates of candy behind them as they left their stores and started to walk towards the house.
Viki’s friends and family were walking behind them, their faces blank and their arms overflowing with candies of various kinds. Viki shuddered at the sight, she couldn’t believe what she had done.
“Oh don’t fear,” chuckled Trick, almost like she was reading Viki’s mind.
“This is going to fill you with utter cheer!” Added Treat.
“No, it isn’t!” Shouted Viki as she continued to stare in horror. “It won’t make me,” she continued, only for Treat to snap her fingers.
Viki started to giggle. She couldn’t help it, no matter how hard she tried to hold it back the giggles kept coming, getting louder and louder with every passing second.
She didn’t feel happy, but she couldn’t stop giggling. After a few minutes, her throat started to hurt as her giggles turned into horrific cackling. Her body screamed out for her to stop but she could do it, she just had to keep giggling.
Eventually, the world started to grow dark as Viki gasped for breath. She was laughing so hard she couldn’t breathe, every giggle was forcing the air out of her lungs.
The world started to spin as the world faded into darkness. Viki could feel herself falling towards the floor, however, her consciousness faded into nothingness before she had the chance to land.
Viki groaned as she pulled herself up off the cold metal floor. She looked around the room and tried to work out what was going on. Her head was throbbing and her mouth was so dry.
“Ugh,” she grumbled as she blinked her eyes into focus. Quickly, she realized she was laying in the production van. And she was laying on top of Katherine, Linda, and Ms. Swinton.
“What happened?” Groaned Katherine as she stretched. “My tummy hurts.”
“Our headlines this morning,” echoed one of the monitors. “Town in shock after Halloween vandals take mischief night to a disgusting new low and cause overnight chaos.”
“What?” Shouted Katherine as her brain caught up to her body. “We slept in the van! I had to produce the morning show!” She shouted as she jumped up off of the floor.
“Sorry, but no way we could drive after last night, we were all way too tired,” mumbled Linda as she quickly clambered to her feet.
“Yeah,” noded Katherine, “it was a late-night, but I should have set an alarm.”
“Same,” nodded Viki. “Shame we got no good footage of this place. I was expecting to see a ghost, but nope, just dust bunnies.”
“I told you,” laughed Linda as she tried to fix her hair. “This place isn’t haunted, people just spook themselves.”
“Right,” nodded Viki. “We should get back to the studio.”
“Breakfast on the way,” interjected Linda. “I’ll drive.” She added as she grabbed the keys and quickly went to the driver’s seat.
“And in other news, Channel 7 would like to issue a formal apology on behalf of our evening news anchor Micheal Mcnamara. His conduct and indecent exposure are neither supported or endorsed by Channel 7 and we will be launching a full review into his conduct,” continued the anchor.
“Ha! I knew it would come undone for him sooner or later!” Grinned Viki as she flipped the monitor off and quickly prepared to leave.