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Gina Graves opened her eyes. Her blinds were closed, and curtains were drawn. Total darkness surrounded her, except for the numerals of the alarm clock on the stand next to her bed. It was 5 pm and the door bell was ringing. She knew that was what had awoken her from her nap, and taken her from a dream where she was somewhere far away and did not want to have to deal with what she knew was inevitable.
Blinking, to break up the sleep in her eyes, she sat up. She could hear the knocking on the door down the stairs, and knew that if she did not answer it, it would continue. She hated being woke up in such a manner, and was already grouchy. Standing up, she slipped on her pink robe, and opened her bedroom door, walking out into the sunlit hallway.
“Oh!” She groaned, putting her hand to her eyes. “I don’t need this shit today!”
The doorbell was being ringed, simultaneously to the knocking, and Gina could feel a headache starting to pound. Cheyenne, her poodle, was combining her barks and growls at the door, all the while scratching at it. “Chey!” She bellowed! “Knock it off!”
Walking to the door, the dog scampered away, as she opened it letting in the full force of the sun. She grimaced and looked down to see a child no more then three standing there with his trick or treat bag opened.
She stood there and glared at the child with chilly eyes. He was dressed in a costume, of black clothing under a black cape. His head was that of a jack-o-lantern, the sack that he held open was an old worn out pillowcase, with faded trains on it. It looked as if he had drug it down the wet, dewy sidewalks.
“Where’s your mother, little boy?” she asked.
The child said nothing but reinforced his determination to get candy from the lady at the door. He held the bag higher, and she felt the Goosebumps rise on her arms. The gold and brown leaves swirled around him, as he stood there looking up at her. She shivered, violently.
She frowned as she grabbed the first thing that set on the table by the door in the foyer, and tossed it into his bag. She was not sure what she had tossed, but she felt his eyes boring into her, as she closed the door.
She laughed when she realized what she had thrown into the child’s bag. One of Cheyenne’s dog biscuits! She peeked out the side window and watched as the child stood there and took the doggie treat from his bag. A little giggle escaped her.
He turned the dog biscuit over and over in his hand, and then threw it back into his bag. He shook his head, and touched the door as if he would knock again, but thought better of it. As he touched the door a gust of wind blew it open, and he stood there motionless, as she slammed the door back.
The phone started ringing and she jumped, the creepy feeling that the child left her with was starting to fade, she felt something wasn‘t right. The phone rang and rang, and she slowly crept up to it.
“Hello?” She asked timidly.
There was no noise coming from the other end, but a grotesque chewing sound. Someone was playing games and Gina felt like she was going to hurl. Her stomach was doing flip-flops, and she started screaming into the receiver. “Who the HELL are you?! Leave me alone!”
She started to slam down the phone when she heard a familiar voice on the other end. “Hey, hey it’s me!”
Gina brought the phone back to her ear, and asked breathlessly, “Lisa? What the Hell were you thinking?”
“I was eating. God, you’re pretty uptight!” Came the voice from the other end.
Gina rolled her eyes and said, “You know Lisa, for a 29 year old, you’re pretty childish!”
“Childish? Gina for someone who’s 29 years old, you act like you have a stick up you’re ass!” Lisa retorted!
“For God’s sake!” Gina cried out! “My mom just died! She’s lying in a funeral home, in her coffin! How am I supposed to be?! All chipper?” She found herself getting angry in spite herself. Having a scare, then her best friend telling her off in the same day was not going to make her day any better.
“I’m sorry, that was insensitive of me.” Lisa finally said. “Actually, that’s why I was calling. I wanted to find out what time the calling was.”
“It’s ok Lisa. I’m just a bit jumpy this morning.” Gina sighed. “The calling is from seven to nine this evening.”
There was a long pause, and then Lisa asked, “Do you want me to go with you?”
Gina was thankful that she had at least one good friend that she could count on. “Lisa, do you mind? I really don’t want to be alone in there.”
“Sure, its 5:30, I’ll be over in an hour.” She said as she hung up.
Gina hung up the phone, and looked outside. The streets were silent, with no sign of the kid that crept her out. She watched as the leaves and paper rolled around her house, from the gusting wind. Closing the curtain, she went up the stairs, going into the bathroom to take her shower.
The warm water felt good, as she lathered up the soap, and cleaned herself. Her mother, Janet had died unexpectedly. Gina had come home the day before yesterday and found her dead on the floor of the brightly colored kitchen. She had been in the middle of cooking, when she had suffered a massive heart attack. She had taken care of all the arrangements yesterday, and just wanted to get it over with.
Feeling dizzy as she stepped out of the shower, she grabbed a hold of the towel rack, stumbled to the toilet, and sat down. She shook her head, thinking, ‘God girl! The stress is getting to you!”
She made her way to her vanity, and sat down. She knew the dress she was going to wear, and already had it lain out. It was a black dress with purple stripes. She wanted something that said she was in mourning, but also stated that she was also strong. Looking in the mirror, the reflection staring back at her seemed different to her. She took a closer look, and noticed that the wrinkles she had gained around her eyes had smoothed out. Upon closer examination, she saw a flash in the reflection, and there stood the little boy from earlier!
She turned to scream for him to get out of her house, but when she looked back, he was gone. “What the HELL!” She exclaimed. She looked back at the mirror and he was gone.
“I’m starting to lose it!” She laughed at herself as she started to brush her jet-black hair. She had started to get a little grey since she was twenty-five, and was very proud of it. It showed that she had matured into a woman that could do anything. She started to clean out the brush when she noticed that all the hair that was pulled out was grey. Peering in the mirror, she now saw that all the grey was gone, and that she somehow looked as if she was once again twenty-five.
‘No!” Gina thought to herself. “I have to be dreaming.”
She was almost dressed when she heard the doorbell ringing, and once again, she got that creepy feeling. Cautiously she crept down the stairs, knowing that something was not right.
She was Twenty-five, but why did she feel like she was younger then that? Her mind took her back to when she was twenty.
When she reached the door, she opened it slowly, and saw that Lisa was standing there. Lisa looked that same as she did the last time she saw her. Her brown hair, long and flowing, was normal. She looked as if she was still twenty-nine.
“About time, girl!” Lisa said, walking through the doorway. “What were you doing?” As she shut the door, Gina caught a glimpse of the child, outside.
Gina was distracted. “Lisa? How old am I?” She asked.
Lisa looked at Gina as if she were weird. “You don’t know how old you are? Are you kidding me?”
“Just humor me!” Gina sighed frustrated.
Lisa shrugged, “Ok. You’re 20 years old.”
“But I’m 29, same as you!” Gina gasped. She was starting to get scared. ‘This can’t be!’ She thought to herself. She felt as if being 20 was right, but she knew the truth.
“Gina I have known you since you were a little girl, I used to baby sit you! What in the world is wrong with you today? I know your mom just died, but you really need to pull yourself together!” Lisa lectured, worriedly. She could see Gina coming apart in front of everyone at the funeral home.
Gina looked at Lisa for a minute and decided not to push it. “Ok, let’s get going. You drive!”
“Sure.” Lisa said as they walked out the door and got into the car.
Ushers funeral home was on the other side of the Riverton Heights, and Gina knew that she was still tired. She closed her eyes on the way there, and when she opened them, they were getting near the old train depot. She widened them in alarm! The child was there standing in front of the building looking at the car!
“Lisa! Do you see that?” She asked, fearfully. “He’s there!” She turned to look at Lisa, and when she turned back, he was gone.
Lisa stopped the car, and looked to where Gina was pointing. “See what? Who’s there?”
Gina sat there speechless, as she realized that for some reason some force that was using her for a treat or treat prank targeted her. Once she found her voice she said, “Never mind, I didn’t see anything.”
“You know, Gina for a sixteen year old you sure have a hell of an imagination!” Lisa laughed.
“Sixteen!” Gina’s eyes widened in horror, as she heard her own voice and knew that she was sixteen years old again. Lisa did not even remember that she was the same age as her. That was the scariest thing.
She noticed that she was now shorter then Lisa, and that, she was wearing a dress that made her look sixteen. It was still black with purple stripes, but somehow it made her look younger. Her voice sounded younger then what she was used to, and she found she wanted to cry.
Lisa smiled at the girl reassuringly. Then suggested they go get something to eat before they when to the funeral home. Gina tried to smile but could only give her a little smirk.
They stopped at a diner and sat down. Lisa had a steak and baked potato, while Gina had a cheeseburger and fries. Gina just barely touched hers. She just wanted to know what was going on, and why she was becoming a little girl again.
The waitress walked by, and out of nowhere, she grabbed Gina’s arm. Gina looked up at her and she almost screamed. Her eyes were glazed over, and she said in a low voice, “You are being stalked by the spirit of Halloween! Beware!”
“What?” Gina asked in a small voice, making her feel younger then she already was.
The waitress’ eyes cleared up and she smiled at the child in front of her. “Did you need something, hun?” She asked, with a smile.
Gina just shook her head, and looked down at her plate. She knew that she was regressing once more as she looked up and saw that everything was bigger. Her dress was more girly. Her hair was lighter, and her boobs, were almost nonexistent. Instead of the pantyhose that she had put on when she got dressed, she was wearing white tights. Her black leather patient shoes, turned into Mary Janes! She was ten years old again. In her mind she knew how old she was, but she remembered being an adult! She looked up, and standing in the corner of the diner, was the child, the one that she now knew was stalking her.
She wanted to get up and confront him, but she heard Lisa say. “Come on Ginny. We need to go. We don’t want to be late.”
Lisa paid the server and her and the girl walked to the car. “Ginny, I want you to be a big girl. Ok.”
“God, Lisa, I’m not a baby!” She bellowed, as she put her hands on her hips and rolled her eyes.
“I know your not.” Lisa smiled, “Your mom would be so proud of you right now!”
Thinking about her mom was bringing tears to her eyes, and soon she was sniffling. She wanted her mother more then anything, but knew that it was not going to happen. They pulled into the deserted parking lot, and Ginny felt herself go lightheaded again.
She took a deep breath, and the dizziness subsided. Looking at her clothing, she almost screamed. She was dressed in a costume. A little girl’s trick or treating costume. A cowgirl’s outfit. She looked at herself in the side view mirror, and wanted to scream. Her hair was in ponytails, and her denim skirt reached her knees. Her cowgirl boots were red, and they even had spurs on the back. She was six years old again!
Lisa grabbed her hand and started for the door. “Ginny we’ll go in for a bit and then I’ll take you out trick or treating!” She soothed. Gina was still crying, she wasn’t sure what was happening, until once again just inside the front door stood the thing that was doing this to her.
She watched as it walked through the solid door, and knew what she had to do. While Lisa was in the office speaking with the funeral director, Gina broke away from them, and looked around for the creature. She walked down the red-carpeted hallways, and peeked in every room, he was nowhere to be found. At the end of the hall she found a door that was shut, and she looked in. There was a stone table there and shelves with bottles on them. The creature was standing there just looking at her. The glow behind his eyes scared her, but she knew she had to confront him.
“Please!” She pleaded. “Please! I don’t want to be a little girl! I wanna be big again!” Gina sobbed, knowing that the creature did not care.
The Jack-O’lantern cocked his head, and lifted his sack up. It took a second for Gina to understand but she finally got it. “I have no candy!” She cried out, in a squeaky voice. “I’m just a little girl now!”
He shook his pumpkin head, and lowered the sack. Looking at the girl, he waved for her to go away, and turned his back on her and disappeared.
Letting out a huge sob, Gina lay down on the stone slab, and fell asleep.
Waking up from a nightmare in which she was a little girl again, she realized she was in a very wet diaper. She looked down and saw that that was all she was wearing. She now knew she was only two years old. “Noooooooo!” She screamed, “Me not can be a baby!”
Listening to her voice, as it rang out, she knew at once she really was a baby. She jumped off the table, onto the stone cold floor, and looked around. The pumpkin creature was back, and she ran at it. Getting there she unloaded all her frustrations upon it, and started beating on the pumpkin head.
The pumpkin broke open to reveal an ancient looking skull. She stepped back screaming, and turned and ran. She felt her bladder let loose as she wet her already soaked diaper. She looked for other people, but everyone was gone. She ran into the viewing room, but only saw her mothers casket. ‘Mommy would help keep safe.’ Baby Gina thought aloud. She always felt safe with her mommy!
She looked at the casket, and her mother was sitting up. She got out of the casket, and Gina felt a loud scream escape her throat. As her dead mother ascended on her, she lay down on the carpeted floor, and curled up in a ball. She fainted.
Gina woke up in total darkness, and in a jellylike substance. She could hear muffled noises coming from somewhere and then she knew where she was. She was in her dead mother’s womb. She did the only thing that she could think of, and started scratching her way out.
The preacher was giving the eulogy, when the casket started bouncing, and the crowd watched in horror as the coffin fell and crashed onto the floor. The body of Janet Graves came out of the coffin and lay on the floor. As the preacher cautiously crossed to the body, her dress moved. The crowd gasped as a baby girl came rolling out from under the dress.
No one noticed the child dressed in a pumpkin head outfit, as he slowly disappeared!