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Re: Adentures of the Magnificent Seven - Tricks or Treats, Part 1(31120)

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  • wings081
    Hi David Great tale as usual,which has reminded me tomorrow will be Halloween and nobody else has posted anything appropriate for the occasion. Suzianne
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 30, 2006
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      Hi David
      Great tale as usual,which has reminded me tomorrow will be Halloween
      and nobody else has posted anything appropriate for the occasion.
      Suzianne usually reminds us but I believe she is very busy with other
      things just now.

      I'll dip my pen in the inkwell and follow David's example,hoping
      others will follow suit.

      As always


      Wings.

      --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "David Roth" <davidjroth2002@...>
      wrote:
      >
      > The Adventures of the Magnificent Seven
      >
      > Tricks or Treats, Part 1
      >
      > By David Roth
      >
      > © 28th October, 2006
      >
      >
      >
      > The day at the circus had been an overwhelming success. On this point,
      > everyone of them agreed. They also agreed that the way it had ended
      with
      > the special tribute to Emmett Kelley was stunning. And to think
      they had
      > been disappointed when they learned that the circus that regularly
      came to
      > their town had gone out of business! They'd gone collecting
      chestnuts with
      > Miss Erin mostly out of love and respect for Lisanne and Josël's
      mother, not
      > because they particularly wanted to. To then be on site when the circus
      > parade rolled down the lane where they were collecting nuts, watch
      them set
      > up, and then actually attend the first performance was more than
      they could
      > have hoped for. It was spectacular!
      >
      >
      >
      > They returned to their homes that night exhausted, but thrilled from
      the way
      > it had all played out. They should have known that neither Miss
      Erin nor
      > Sabas and Dak's grandfather, who was in on it with her, would let
      them down.
      >
      >
      >
      > Starting with Sabas, Dak and Grandpa, Miss Erin dropped the weary
      but still
      > somewhat wound up children off at their homes. Anton and Alyse were
      next,
      > followed by Kristof. Then Miss Erin, Lisanne and Josël went home to
      get a
      > good night's sleep. Although Monday was still two days away, it
      would come
      > all too soon for the children, and with its coming, school. They
      all needed
      > their rest for the start of the new week of school.
      >
      >
      >
      > Which is probably why none of them rested very well that night.
      >
      >
      >
      > There was so much to talk about, but talking would never do.
      Talking could
      > be heard, and if they were heard talking when they were supposed to be
      > sleeping, all of their parents would have been upset. To get around
      this,
      > Kristof, working in conjunction with Lisanne, rigged up a way that they
      > could still send messages back and forth to each other with a device
      the two
      > of them had developed using a clever modification of a simple
      walkie-talkie.
      > Well, seven of them. Kristof worked up the hardware part using several
      > thrown away cellular phone extended keyboards, some inexpensive two inch
      > square liquid crystal diode (LCD) panels, and a rather sophisticated
      > wireless network using the maximum transmission range of the radios. It
      > looked like a crazy children's science project in communications,
      which in a
      > strange sort of way it was, but it worked flawlessly, especially with
      > Lisanne's software. Best of all, it was both completely silent and
      > virtually undetectable. It worked without having to tie into any of
      their
      > home internet connections, so their parents never knew when they were
      > `chatting'.
      >
      >
      >
      > Tonight they all had one subject in mind. It wasn't the recent
      field trip
      > or even the circus. It suddenly occurred to Dak shortly after
      arriving home
      > and, in fact, actually going to bed, that Halloween was less than a week
      > away, and they, the Magnificent Seven hadn't made any plans for it
      > whatsoever! Their goal tonight was to do everything they could to
      remedy
      > that particular oversight.
      >
      >
      >
      > ---
      >
      >
      >
      > DAK: "Hey – you guys there?"
      >
      >
      >
      > They all checked in one by one.
      >
      >
      >
      > JOSËL: "What's up, Dakman? You know we will be seriously busted if
      any of
      > our parents catch us doing this."
      >
      >
      >
      > KRISTOF: "Yeah. You got a death wish or something? We are supposed
      to be
      > sleeping, you know – not that that's actually ever stopped any of us."
      >
      >
      >
      > DAK: "Yeah, I know all that, but I just realized something…"
      >
      >
      >
      > KRISTOF: "I definitely got a bad feeling about this."
      >
      >
      >
      > SABAS: "MOO! You're stepping all over him, Kris – let him talk."
      >
      >
      >
      > ANTON: "Yeah. Let him talk. What's up Dak?"
      >
      >
      >
      > DAK: "You guys know what day Next Friday is?"
      >
      >
      >
      > ALYSE: "Um, day after Thursday?"
      >
      >
      >
      > LISANNE: "Oh wow – I totally forgot."
      >
      >
      >
      > JOSËL: "Forgot what, sis? Come on, Dak – you've got all our
      attention, fess
      > up"
      >
      >
      >
      > DAK: "Friday is Halloween, you guys, and we haven't done a single
      bit of
      > planning for it!"
      >
      >
      >
      > Several seconds of silence and empty screens elapsed before Lisanne
      jumped
      > back into the conversation.
      >
      >
      >
      > LISANNE: "Okay guys, Dak's on to something, but it's late, and
      honestly,
      > I'm way too tired to deal with it now. How about this: planning
      session at
      > our place tomorrow at two o'clock?"
      >
      >
      >
      > Everyone agreed with the plan and they all signed off.
      >
      >
      >
      > ---
      >
      >
      >
      > Sabas and Dak were the first to arrive, mostly because Dak kept nagging
      > Sabas all through Sunday School and church, but also because it had
      been Dak
      > who reminded everyone about their oversight. He felt a certain
      degree of
      > responsibility for making certain everyone showed up and was prepared to
      > spend however long it took to make their plans. Anton and Alyse
      arrived a
      > few minutes later followed by Kristof who was, as was often the
      case, the
      > last to arrive. There'd even instances when they met at his house
      and he
      > was the last one there. He said it was a gift.
      >
      >
      >
      > Miss Erin had set out a plate of homemade pumpkin cheesecake and a
      pot full
      > of hot, spiced cider for them to snack on while they made their
      plans, and
      > then pretty much left them alone in the living room. Although she
      was in
      > the next room, she never listened in on their conversations. She always
      > respected their privacy and had some how managed to find that unique
      place
      > where she was involved in nearly every aspect of their lives without
      being
      > an overbearing, intrusive presence.
      >
      >
      >
      > They waited until they heard the door close before they gathered into a
      > tight circle and began to whisper in almost conspiratorial tones.
      They knew
      > Miss Erin wasn't listening, but somehow discussing it like this
      added to the
      > sense of mystery they imagined for the event.
      >
      >
      >
      > "Well," Dak said, as though he was in charge of things, "I guess the
      first
      > place to start is to decide how we're going to approach this. Are
      we going
      > to have our own party, or are we going to accept an invitation to
      someone
      > else's? If we decide to have our own, will it be just us or will we
      invite
      > kids from school? We gonna go trick-or-treating? If we do the party
      thing,
      > whose house will host it, and will we hand out candy there? What are we
      > each gonna be? Are we dressing up for school, and will it be the
      same as for
      > whatever we do later, and last but not least, if we do the trick or
      treat
      > thing, where are we going to go? Anyone know what Friday's weather is
      > supposed to be like?"
      >
      >
      >
      > "Geeze, Dak," his brother said, "How'd you manage to get all that in one
      > breath?"
      >
      >
      >
      > They all wondered the same thing, and all laughed when Sabas
      actually came
      > out and said it. When the laughter died down a bit, Lisanne picked
      up the
      > discussion.
      >
      >
      >
      > "Those are really great questions, Dak. Don't let that goofy brother of
      > yours tease you about it. He was like that too, you know, but he'll
      never
      > admit it!
      >
      >
      >
      > "Okay, where do we start?"
      >
      >
      >
      > "Costumes," Alyse answered. "Two questions there, as I recall.
      First, do
      > we plan for only one – the same for school and afterwards, or do we
      do two
      > of them and if so, should they be related or different? Should we
      do a sort
      > of theme thing where we're all doing the same stuff?"
      >
      >
      >
      > "I think we opt for only one, you guys," Josël suggested. "It's
      getting kind
      > of late to try and put two really good costumes together."
      >
      >
      >
      > "Makes sense to me," Anton said. "You too, Aly?"
      >
      >
      >
      > "Yup," his sister answered. "I'm wondering if we can somehow do
      something
      > with all that stuff we had for the train trip? You know, the Edwardian
      > England stuff? Wasn't that sort of when all those great black and white
      > monster movies sort of take place?"
      >
      >
      >
      > "Yeah," he answered. "I think so. What do the rest of you think?
      > Dracula's London? The Mummy's Egypt? The Invisible Man's Romania?"
      >
      >
      >
      > "I like it," Kristof answered. "I'd been thinking about Superman,
      but then
      > I realized Lex Luthor was really smarter than the Man of Steel, and
      I don't
      > want to be the bad guy. Edwardian England works for me."
      >
      >
      >
      > Sabas, Dak, Lisanne and Josël also went along with the idea.
      >
      >
      >
      > "Okay," Lisanne continued, "that decides the first couple of
      questions. We
      > only do one costume each, and all of our costumes will be themed for
      > Edwardian England. That naturally brings up a second question, and Aly
      > mentioned it when she brought up all those great old black and white
      movies.
      > Which one is our theme? Dracula and the Werewolf prowled London. The
      > Invisible Man was somewhere in continental Europe, the Mummy was in
      Egypt
      > and London, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde took place in London, and the
      Monster in
      > Mary Shelley's book was someplace in England. Did I get them all?"
      >
      >
      >
      > "Hunchback of Notre Dame took place in France – Paris, I think, and the
      > Phantom of the Opera also took place there," answered her brother.
      >
      >
      >
      > "Yeah," Sabas chipped in, "but I think both of those stories took place
      > earlier. I say we stick with the Edwardian era."
      >
      >
      >
      > "Agreed," Lisanne answered. "So which one will it be? Edwardian as the
      > main theme, but which sub-theme?"
      >
      >
      >
      > "It seems to me that there is a common theme in almost all of them,"
      Kristof
      > said. "Look back at your list, Li. One place keeps coming up.
      Whether it
      > was Stoker's vampire, Shelly's Monster, or Stevenson's hard to see guy,
      > London is the connection. Glad I didn't live there in that era."
      >
      >
      >
      > "Why's that, Kris," Anton asked, "You're not afraid of the dark or
      scared of
      > ghosts, are you?"
      >
      >
      >
      > "Of course not," he answered almost defensively. "Besides.
      Everyone knows
      > none of that stuff is real. I just wonder what was in the water
      that made
      > people come up with stories like that, and really, a lot of them
      written at
      > about the same time, that's all."
      >
      >
      >
      > "I heard that Stoker was an alcoholic and that Mary Shelly smoked
      Opium,"
      > Alyse added."
      >
      >
      >
      > "Hey you guys," Lisanne interjected, "this is all very interesting
      and all,
      > but can we please get back to our discussion? Are we going to have a
      > sub-theme to our costumes?"
      >
      >
      >
      > "London," Kristof answered. "That's the common theme. Doesn't
      matter which
      > one of the stories you model after, they all took place at about the
      same
      > time. The only common thread is London. I say whatever each of us
      ends up
      > doing, that's what the common theme should be."
      >
      >
      >
      > "Perfect, Kris," Josël said. "Okay, what's next, Li?"
      >
      >
      >
      > "Candy, of course," she answered. "We gonna go trick-or-treating?"
      >
      >
      >
      > "As if that's really a question," Dak answered. "Duh! Of course we
      are!
      > Come on, Li – this is the best neighborhood in the world for candy
      > gathering. We do this right, and we'll get almost as much candy as
      > chestnuts."
      >
      >
      >
      > They all laughed at that one.
      >
      >
      >
      > "Hey," Sabas said, "Your mom was something out there. I mean, she's
      always
      > cool and all, and she gets right in on the fun with us, but I don't
      think
      > I've ever seen her so giddy! What was that all about?"
      >
      >
      >
      > "I asked her about that when we got home," Lisanne replied. "It has
      > something to do with collecting them with her mother when she was a
      child.
      > She said it's one of her favorite memories of her mom, and she
      hadn't done
      > it since years and years before Grandma died. It was like she was there
      > with her mom again, you know?"
      >
      >
      >
      > "Yeah. I guess that makes sense," he said in reflection, "so we hit
      this
      > neighborhood, is that the plan?"
      >
      >
      >
      > "Unless the weather is bad," Josël said. "The paper said there's a
      > fifty-fifty chance of rain, and it might be a little on the cool side."
      >
      >
      >
      > "Can't be worse than a blizzard and an avalanche," Kristof quipped
      to all
      > their amusement.
      >
      >
      >
      > "Good point," Josël continued. "If the weather turns bad, I'm sure
      we can
      > talk Mom into taking us to the mall. To tell you the truth, I think she
      > likes it better when we go there anyway. Some motherly thing about
      it being
      > warmer, dryer and safer and all that. You know how it is."
      >
      >
      >
      > Lisanne took control of the conversation again.
      >
      >
      >
      > "All right then. We meet here just after dinner, and unless the
      weather is
      > bad, we trick-or-treat in this neighborhood. Guess that only leaves one
      > question to be answered.
      >
      >
      >
      > "We doing a party or not, and if so, whose? Ours, or someone else's."
      >
      >
      >
      > Before anyone could answer, the lights in the living room where they
      were
      > working on their great Halloween plans flickered and dimmed. They could
      > hear a cacophony of eerie sounds that included things like rattling
      chains,
      > someone or something moaning, doors, or perhaps wooden coffins creaking
      > open, and a wolf howling in the distance. While this was all going
      on, they
      > also heard something that sounded like mail being dropped through
      the slot
      > in the front door. That was impossible, of course, since this was
      Sunday
      > and there wasn't any mail delivery.
      >
      >
      >
      > Still, that's what it sounded like, so Lisanne excused herself from the
      > group and went to the front door to see what had made the sound.
      She found
      > her mother there holding a strange looking orange envelope, which
      she handed
      > to Lisanne.
      >
      >
      >
      > Printed on the front of the envelope in elegant flowing script, were the
      > words "The Magnificent Seven" and nothing else.
      >
      >
      >
      > The noise stopped abruptly when Lisanne slipped her finger under the
      flap to
      > open the envelope.
      >
      >
      >
      > ---
      >
      >
      >
      > "Well, that was interesting," Kristof said. "Someone working on special
      > effects for a party already? I thought that was my job!"
      >
      >
      >
      > He was speaking when Lisanne and Miss Erin entered the room.
      >
      >
      >
      > "Wow, you guys," Lisanne said as they all turned to see her and her
      mother
      > come through the door that led to the hallway with the front door at its
      > end. "I think we may have the answer to our last question."
      >
      >
      >
      > She pulled what looked like a postcard of a three-legged black cat
      from the
      > envelope and opened the card.
      >
      >
      >
      > "This was just slipped through our front door mail slot. It's like
      someone
      > knew we were in here making plans for Halloween. This is so weird."
      >
      >
      >
      > "Spare us the suspense, Li, and just read the card," Anton answered
      > impatiently.
      >
      >
      >
      > Kristof started to speak. "I got a…"
      >
      >
      >
      > "…bad feeling about this," they all finished the statement in
      unison, and
      > then laughed at their friend.
      >
      >
      >
      > "Listen to this, you guys," she said, and then began to read the card.
      >
      >
      >
      > "You are cordially invited to an evening of merriment, food,
      beverage, and
      > hauntingly good fun on the evening of All Hallows Eve, Friday, 31st
      October
      > at precisely eight o'clock. The festivities take place in the large
      mansion
      > at the corner of Gallows and Lupine streets. Come dressed for Edwardian
      > England, and bring this invitation.
      >
      >
      >
      > Yours in good faith,
      >
      >
      >
      > Francis Nigel Stein, esq."
      >
      >
      >
      > "Oh my God!," Kristof exclaimed, "We just got invited to a Halloween
      party
      > by Frank N. Stein!" ( he pronounced the words as one - Frankenstein).
      >
      >
      >
      > _____
      >
      >
      > Now Available: Sometimes I Hear Voices
      > A New Poetry Collection
      > ISBN: 978-1-4116-8690-8
      >
    • David Roth
      Sir Wings, I thank you. As I m sitting here at the keyboard, Halloween is two hours in your past. I m struggling to write the rest of the story. I started
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 31, 2006
      • 0 Attachment
        Sir Wings,

        I thank you. As I'm sitting here at the keyboard, Halloween is two hours in
        your past. I'm struggling to write the rest of the story. I started the
        day knowing that I would have about 4 hours in which to write 8,000 words if
        I were to hit 100,000 for the month. It's been an hour and a half, and I'm
        at about 1,000. No way will I make that target. Right now I'll settle for
        finishing Tricks part 3 before I go to bed so I can start NaNoWriMo tomorrow
        morning.

        Thank you kindly for your encouragement.

        Dave

        -----Original Message-----
        From: ticket2write@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ticket2write@yahoogroups.com] On
        Behalf Of wings081
        Sent: Monday, October 30, 2006 5:35 AM
        To: ticket2write@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [ticket2write] Re: Adentures of the Magnificent Seven - Tricks or
        Treats, Part 1(31120)

        Hi David
        Great tale as usual,which has reminded me tomorrow will be Halloween and
        nobody else has posted anything appropriate for the occasion.
        Suzianne usually reminds us but I believe she is very busy with other things
        just now.

        I'll dip my pen in the inkwell and follow David's example,hoping others will
        follow suit.

        As always


        Wings.

        --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "David Roth" <davidjroth2002@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > The Adventures of the Magnificent Seven
        >
        > Tricks or Treats, Part 1
        >
        > By David Roth
        >
        > © 28th October, 2006
        >
        >
        >
        > The day at the circus had been an overwhelming success. On this
        > point, everyone of them agreed. They also agreed that the way it had
        > ended
        with
        > the special tribute to Emmett Kelley was stunning. And to think
        they had
        > been disappointed when they learned that the circus that regularly
        came to
        > their town had gone out of business! They'd gone collecting
        chestnuts with
        > Miss Erin mostly out of love and respect for Lisanne and Josël's
        mother, not
        > because they particularly wanted to. To then be on site when the
        > circus parade rolled down the lane where they were collecting nuts,
        > watch
        them set
        > up, and then actually attend the first performance was more than
        they could
        > have hoped for. It was spectacular!
        >
        >
        >
        > They returned to their homes that night exhausted, but thrilled from
        the way
        > it had all played out. They should have known that neither Miss
        Erin nor
        > Sabas and Dak's grandfather, who was in on it with her, would let
        them down.
        >
        >
        >
        > Starting with Sabas, Dak and Grandpa, Miss Erin dropped the weary
        but still
        > somewhat wound up children off at their homes. Anton and Alyse were
        next,
        > followed by Kristof. Then Miss Erin, Lisanne and Josël went home to
        get a
        > good night's sleep. Although Monday was still two days away, it
        would come
        > all too soon for the children, and with its coming, school. They
        all needed
        > their rest for the start of the new week of school.
        >
        >
        >
        > Which is probably why none of them rested very well that night.
        >
        >
        >
        > There was so much to talk about, but talking would never do.
        Talking could
        > be heard, and if they were heard talking when they were supposed to be
        > sleeping, all of their parents would have been upset. To get around
        this,
        > Kristof, working in conjunction with Lisanne, rigged up a way that
        > they could still send messages back and forth to each other with a
        > device
        the two
        > of them had developed using a clever modification of a simple
        walkie-talkie.
        > Well, seven of them. Kristof worked up the hardware part using
        > several thrown away cellular phone extended keyboards, some
        > inexpensive two inch square liquid crystal diode (LCD) panels, and a
        > rather sophisticated wireless network using the maximum transmission
        > range of the radios. It looked like a crazy children's science
        > project in communications,
        which in a
        > strange sort of way it was, but it worked flawlessly, especially with
        > Lisanne's software. Best of all, it was both completely silent and
        > virtually undetectable. It worked without having to tie into any of
        their
        > home internet connections, so their parents never knew when they were
        > `chatting'.
        >
        >
        >
        > Tonight they all had one subject in mind. It wasn't the recent
        field trip
        > or even the circus. It suddenly occurred to Dak shortly after
        arriving home
        > and, in fact, actually going to bed, that Halloween was less than a
        > week away, and they, the Magnificent Seven hadn't made any plans for
        > it whatsoever! Their goal tonight was to do everything they could to
        remedy
        > that particular oversight.
        >
        >
        >
        > ---
        >
        >
        >
        > DAK: "Hey – you guys there?"
        >
        >
        >
        > They all checked in one by one.
        >
        >
        >
        > JOSËL: "What's up, Dakman? You know we will be seriously busted if
        any of
        > our parents catch us doing this."
        >
        >
        >
        > KRISTOF: "Yeah. You got a death wish or something? We are supposed
        to be
        > sleeping, you know – not that that's actually ever stopped any of us."
        >
        >
        >
        > DAK: "Yeah, I know all that, but I just realized something…"
        >
        >
        >
        > KRISTOF: "I definitely got a bad feeling about this."
        >
        >
        >
        > SABAS: "MOO! You're stepping all over him, Kris – let him talk."
        >
        >
        >
        > ANTON: "Yeah. Let him talk. What's up Dak?"
        >
        >
        >
        > DAK: "You guys know what day Next Friday is?"
        >
        >
        >
        > ALYSE: "Um, day after Thursday?"
        >
        >
        >
        > LISANNE: "Oh wow – I totally forgot."
        >
        >
        >
        > JOSËL: "Forgot what, sis? Come on, Dak – you've got all our
        attention, fess
        > up"
        >
        >
        >
        > DAK: "Friday is Halloween, you guys, and we haven't done a single
        bit of
        > planning for it!"
        >
        >
        >
        > Several seconds of silence and empty screens elapsed before Lisanne
        jumped
        > back into the conversation.
        >
        >
        >
        > LISANNE: "Okay guys, Dak's on to something, but it's late, and
        honestly,
        > I'm way too tired to deal with it now. How about this: planning
        session at
        > our place tomorrow at two o'clock?"
        >
        >
        >
        > Everyone agreed with the plan and they all signed off.
        >
        >
        >
        > ---
        >
        >
        >
        > Sabas and Dak were the first to arrive, mostly because Dak kept
        > nagging Sabas all through Sunday School and church, but also because
        > it had
        been Dak
        > who reminded everyone about their oversight. He felt a certain
        degree of
        > responsibility for making certain everyone showed up and was prepared
        > to spend however long it took to make their plans. Anton and Alyse
        arrived a
        > few minutes later followed by Kristof who was, as was often the
        case, the
        > last to arrive. There'd even instances when they met at his house
        and he
        > was the last one there. He said it was a gift.
        >
        >
        >
        > Miss Erin had set out a plate of homemade pumpkin cheesecake and a
        pot full
        > of hot, spiced cider for them to snack on while they made their
        plans, and
        > then pretty much left them alone in the living room. Although she
        was in
        > the next room, she never listened in on their conversations. She
        > always respected their privacy and had some how managed to find that
        > unique
        place
        > where she was involved in nearly every aspect of their lives without
        being
        > an overbearing, intrusive presence.
        >
        >
        >
        > They waited until they heard the door close before they gathered into
        > a tight circle and began to whisper in almost conspiratorial tones.
        They knew
        > Miss Erin wasn't listening, but somehow discussing it like this
        added to the
        > sense of mystery they imagined for the event.
        >
        >
        >
        > "Well," Dak said, as though he was in charge of things, "I guess the
        first
        > place to start is to decide how we're going to approach this. Are
        we going
        > to have our own party, or are we going to accept an invitation to
        someone
        > else's? If we decide to have our own, will it be just us or will we
        invite
        > kids from school? We gonna go trick-or-treating? If we do the party
        thing,
        > whose house will host it, and will we hand out candy there? What are
        > we each gonna be? Are we dressing up for school, and will it be the
        same as for
        > whatever we do later, and last but not least, if we do the trick or
        treat
        > thing, where are we going to go? Anyone know what Friday's weather is
        > supposed to be like?"
        >
        >
        >
        > "Geeze, Dak," his brother said, "How'd you manage to get all that in
        > one breath?"
        >
        >
        >
        > They all wondered the same thing, and all laughed when Sabas
        actually came
        > out and said it. When the laughter died down a bit, Lisanne picked
        up the
        > discussion.
        >
        >
        >
        > "Those are really great questions, Dak. Don't let that goofy brother
        > of yours tease you about it. He was like that too, you know, but
        > he'll
        never
        > admit it!
        >
        >
        >
        > "Okay, where do we start?"
        >
        >
        >
        > "Costumes," Alyse answered. "Two questions there, as I recall.
        First, do
        > we plan for only one – the same for school and afterwards, or do we
        do two
        > of them and if so, should they be related or different? Should we
        do a sort
        > of theme thing where we're all doing the same stuff?"
        >
        >
        >
        > "I think we opt for only one, you guys," Josël suggested. "It's
        getting kind
        > of late to try and put two really good costumes together."
        >
        >
        >
        > "Makes sense to me," Anton said. "You too, Aly?"
        >
        >
        >
        > "Yup," his sister answered. "I'm wondering if we can somehow do
        something
        > with all that stuff we had for the train trip? You know, the
        > Edwardian England stuff? Wasn't that sort of when all those great
        > black and white monster movies sort of take place?"
        >
        >
        >
        > "Yeah," he answered. "I think so. What do the rest of you think?
        > Dracula's London? The Mummy's Egypt? The Invisible Man's Romania?"
        >
        >
        >
        > "I like it," Kristof answered. "I'd been thinking about Superman,
        but then
        > I realized Lex Luthor was really smarter than the Man of Steel, and
        I don't
        > want to be the bad guy. Edwardian England works for me."
        >
        >
        >
        > Sabas, Dak, Lisanne and Josël also went along with the idea.
        >
        >
        >
        > "Okay," Lisanne continued, "that decides the first couple of
        questions. We
        > only do one costume each, and all of our costumes will be themed for
        > Edwardian England. That naturally brings up a second question, and
        > Aly mentioned it when she brought up all those great old black and
        > white
        movies.
        > Which one is our theme? Dracula and the Werewolf prowled London. The
        > Invisible Man was somewhere in continental Europe, the Mummy was in
        Egypt
        > and London, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde took place in London, and the
        Monster in
        > Mary Shelley's book was someplace in England. Did I get them all?"
        >
        >
        >
        > "Hunchback of Notre Dame took place in France – Paris, I think, and
        > the Phantom of the Opera also took place there," answered her brother.
        >
        >
        >
        > "Yeah," Sabas chipped in, "but I think both of those stories took
        > place earlier. I say we stick with the Edwardian era."
        >
        >
        >
        > "Agreed," Lisanne answered. "So which one will it be? Edwardian as
        > the main theme, but which sub-theme?"
        >
        >
        >
        > "It seems to me that there is a common theme in almost all of them,"
        Kristof
        > said. "Look back at your list, Li. One place keeps coming up.
        Whether it
        > was Stoker's vampire, Shelly's Monster, or Stevenson's hard to see
        > guy, London is the connection. Glad I didn't live there in that era."
        >
        >
        >
        > "Why's that, Kris," Anton asked, "You're not afraid of the dark or
        scared of
        > ghosts, are you?"
        >
        >
        >
        > "Of course not," he answered almost defensively. "Besides.
        Everyone knows
        > none of that stuff is real. I just wonder what was in the water
        that made
        > people come up with stories like that, and really, a lot of them
        written at
        > about the same time, that's all."
        >
        >
        >
        > "I heard that Stoker was an alcoholic and that Mary Shelly smoked
        Opium,"
        > Alyse added."
        >
        >
        >
        > "Hey you guys," Lisanne interjected, "this is all very interesting
        and all,
        > but can we please get back to our discussion? Are we going to have a
        > sub-theme to our costumes?"
        >
        >
        >
        > "London," Kristof answered. "That's the common theme. Doesn't
        matter which
        > one of the stories you model after, they all took place at about the
        same
        > time. The only common thread is London. I say whatever each of us
        ends up
        > doing, that's what the common theme should be."
        >
        >
        >
        > "Perfect, Kris," Josël said. "Okay, what's next, Li?"
        >
        >
        >
        > "Candy, of course," she answered. "We gonna go trick-or-treating?"
        >
        >
        >
        > "As if that's really a question," Dak answered. "Duh! Of course we
        are!
        > Come on, Li – this is the best neighborhood in the world for candy
        > gathering. We do this right, and we'll get almost as much candy as
        > chestnuts."
        >
        >
        >
        > They all laughed at that one.
        >
        >
        >
        > "Hey," Sabas said, "Your mom was something out there. I mean, she's
        always
        > cool and all, and she gets right in on the fun with us, but I don't
        think
        > I've ever seen her so giddy! What was that all about?"
        >
        >
        >
        > "I asked her about that when we got home," Lisanne replied. "It has
        > something to do with collecting them with her mother when she was a
        child.
        > She said it's one of her favorite memories of her mom, and she
        hadn't done
        > it since years and years before Grandma died. It was like she was
        > there with her mom again, you know?"
        >
        >
        >
        > "Yeah. I guess that makes sense," he said in reflection, "so we hit
        this
        > neighborhood, is that the plan?"
        >
        >
        >
        > "Unless the weather is bad," Josël said. "The paper said there's a
        > fifty-fifty chance of rain, and it might be a little on the cool side."
        >
        >
        >
        > "Can't be worse than a blizzard and an avalanche," Kristof quipped
        to all
        > their amusement.
        >
        >
        >
        > "Good point," Josël continued. "If the weather turns bad, I'm sure
        we can
        > talk Mom into taking us to the mall. To tell you the truth, I think
        > she likes it better when we go there anyway. Some motherly thing
        > about
        it being
        > warmer, dryer and safer and all that. You know how it is."
        >
        >
        >
        > Lisanne took control of the conversation again.
        >
        >
        >
        > "All right then. We meet here just after dinner, and unless the
        weather is
        > bad, we trick-or-treat in this neighborhood. Guess that only leaves
        > one question to be answered.
        >
        >
        >
        > "We doing a party or not, and if so, whose? Ours, or someone else's."
        >
        >
        >
        > Before anyone could answer, the lights in the living room where they
        were
        > working on their great Halloween plans flickered and dimmed. They
        > could hear a cacophony of eerie sounds that included things like
        > rattling
        chains,
        > someone or something moaning, doors, or perhaps wooden coffins
        > creaking open, and a wolf howling in the distance. While this was all
        > going
        on, they
        > also heard something that sounded like mail being dropped through
        the slot
        > in the front door. That was impossible, of course, since this was
        Sunday
        > and there wasn't any mail delivery.
        >
        >
        >
        > Still, that's what it sounded like, so Lisanne excused herself from
        > the group and went to the front door to see what had made the sound.
        She found
        > her mother there holding a strange looking orange envelope, which
        she handed
        > to Lisanne.
        >
        >
        >
        > Printed on the front of the envelope in elegant flowing script, were
        > the words "The Magnificent Seven" and nothing else.
        >
        >
        >
        > The noise stopped abruptly when Lisanne slipped her finger under the
        flap to
        > open the envelope.
        >
        >
        >
        > ---
        >
        >
        >
        > "Well, that was interesting," Kristof said. "Someone working on
        > special effects for a party already? I thought that was my job!"
        >
        >
        >
        > He was speaking when Lisanne and Miss Erin entered the room.
        >
        >
        >
        > "Wow, you guys," Lisanne said as they all turned to see her and her
        mother
        > come through the door that led to the hallway with the front door at
        > its end. "I think we may have the answer to our last question."
        >
        >
        >
        > She pulled what looked like a postcard of a three-legged black cat
        from the
        > envelope and opened the card.
        >
        >
        >
        > "This was just slipped through our front door mail slot. It's like
        someone
        > knew we were in here making plans for Halloween. This is so weird."
        >
        >
        >
        > "Spare us the suspense, Li, and just read the card," Anton answered
        > impatiently.
        >
        >
        >
        > Kristof started to speak. "I got a…"
        >
        >
        >
        > "…bad feeling about this," they all finished the statement in
        unison, and
        > then laughed at their friend.
        >
        >
        >
        > "Listen to this, you guys," she said, and then began to read the card.
        >
        >
        >
        > "You are cordially invited to an evening of merriment, food,
        beverage, and
        > hauntingly good fun on the evening of All Hallows Eve, Friday, 31st
        October
        > at precisely eight o'clock. The festivities take place in the large
        mansion
        > at the corner of Gallows and Lupine streets. Come dressed for
        > Edwardian England, and bring this invitation.
        >
        >
        >
        > Yours in good faith,
        >
        >
        >
        > Francis Nigel Stein, esq."
        >
        >
        >
        > "Oh my God!," Kristof exclaimed, "We just got invited to a Halloween
        party
        > by Frank N. Stein!" ( he pronounced the words as one - Frankenstein).
        >
        >
        >
        > _____
        >
        >
        > Now Available: Sometimes I Hear Voices A New Poetry Collection
        > ISBN: 978-1-4116-8690-8
        >





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