Monique DuPont looked at her register.
”Things don’t seem to be going as well as I thought…” she thought.
Cornelius the Elf had confirmed his attendance to the Annual Fest, so she ticked the little box beside his name on the list. He was bringing someone called Silas along. Monique didn’t approve of uninvited guests turning up at these events, and even though this Silas is a guest of an attendee, in her eyes he was still uninvited.
The next name on the list was Reg the Vampire. Monique hadn’t heard anything off Reg for a while, ever since he had kittens. She thought that was what the strange garbled message had said anyway.
”I’ll have to call him when I get chance…” she thought, just as her old-fashioned telephone rang. She lifted the receiver, and before she could speak, a voice appeared at the other end of the line.
”Hello,” said the voice (it was Reg). “It’s Reg! Just calling to confirm my attendance on the thirty first. I’ll be there early, for nibbles!” Before Monique could speak, Reg had faded away. She ticked the box beside his name on the register.
Below Reg was Aha the Wizard. Aha was always unpredictable. Very…scatter-brained… was a term Monique liked to use when she referred to Aha. He is never on time, either too early or too late, but nice with it. She smiled as she thought of the first time she met him, and he sneezed and they both ended up in orbit around Jupiter. Luckily, when he coughed they were brought back again, but back sometime in the middle ages. Aha was always dimension hopping, and has almost got it perfect. But only almost. Monique moved on to the next name, as she hadn’t heard off Aha yet.
Lady Emeralda Smart had responded with a very nice card which went into great detail to explain why she couldn’t attend the Fest. It was her birthday, and she had planned something very special. Monique marked a cross in the box next to her name.
An icy finger prodded Monique in her right cheek.
“Whoever’s there… stop it!” She said firmly. Isaac Cole tutted and appeared in the form of a mist, directly in front of Monique’s face, causing her to instantly jump out of her skin. “Isaac!” She shouted, but he had gone. She looked at his name on the register and he had drawn a large tick into the box beside his name, and a huge smiley face beside that. Monique smiled, and thought, “I’d better cast a protection spell for that one!”
The Master of Skeletons appeared at the door, his bony fingers clacking on the door frame as he tapped them ominously. A chill went through Monique as he spoke.
”Are you the Seamstress?” He asked, his voice rasping and reverberating around the little room that Monique used as her study.
”No,” Monique replied, “I’m the Gatherer. The Overseer to the Fest and I haven’t received your RSVP yet. Are you coming?”
”Aye” Rasped the skeleton, “I’ll be there. Put a cross by my name.”
Monique knew he meant a tick. He may be the Master of Skeletons, but he always got things slightly wrong. “Remember this,” Monique sternly said, “Halloween is the 31st October. The last day of this month. Don’t think it is in May, like you did last year…”
”I will…” responded the skeleton as he clicked away down the corridor.
Monique looked further down her list. “So many names yet to reply,” she thought, “This Halloween is taking a lot more planning than it usually does. I’ll have to do things to get more interested…”
She reached for her broomstick beside her desk, and flew out of the office, followed by a stream of multi-coloured dust particles. Cackling as she took to the skies, she trilled “Halloween’s a coming, and the pumpkins are getting fat. Please put a penny in the old witches hat…”
Her voice trailed off as she flew away into the distance.
Several seconds later there was movement from under the desk where Monique had been sitting. Olga and Ralga the Troll twins emerged. They both looked at the register and saw that their names weren’t included in the list.
”Oh,” sighed Ralga. “What do we do now?” He was more action oriented rather than logical thinking.
Olga sighed too. “We wait here,” she said. “Maybe our Fest invitations have been lost, as they were last year, and the year before that…”
Looking at the calendar on the desk, they knew they had a few weeks to wait yet, but didn’t want to miss this gathering.