Chef Brian was making some great food despite the fact that his ingredients were school supplies. His mystery meat a l’orange was to die for.
“So what’ll it be?” Waitress Maria asked between blowing and popping a big bubble with her bubblegum.
“Two fresh grilled cheese ala Brian.” Warren said. “And water.” He turned to Kate. “I always get so hungry after a competition.” He confessed.
“Just a salad.” Kate said. “Me too, but I have to watch my figure.”
“To drink?” Maria asked, trying one more bubblegum bubble.
“Water.” She said, and she frowned at the Police Officer and Sheriff guarding the prisoners who only looked interested in the doughnuts and coffee. Sadly, the doughnuts did look good to her and it took some strong will power to resist.
“You did great out there, by the way.” Warren said.
“Huh?” Kate turned to him and smiled, and almost turned a little red. She had hoped Warren would think she did well. Indeed, she did not mind the look Warren gave her when she took off her black belt to tie up the soldiers; not at all. She wanted Warren to look at as much as he wanted; but then, she supposed he was talking about the fight. “Who is the new one?” She asked, distracting Warren by pointing with her head.
A Truscan soldier had his face to the window, spying on them. Warren was inclined to go and get the man, but another Truscan told Warren keep his seat.
“I’ll fetch him.” The big soldier said, standing stiffly and walking to the window in flip flops. He waved vigorously to the man outside, indicating that he should come in and he pointed to the door. The man outside hesitated, but eventually came to open the door though he did not come all the way in.
“Sergeant?” The man wanted to be sure what he was seeing.
“Come in. Come in.” The big Sergeant reached out and grabbed the man by the wrist. He had to yank him into the cafeteria.
“But the Queen Regent sent me around the building to see if there are any more doors. I have to report back.”
“Later, later.” The Sergeant said, nodding to the two karate masters. “I want you to meet someone first.”
“But.” The man hardly got that out before the Sergeant forced him to the floor, to sit on the cushions.
“Welcome.” A woman dressed all in silk with a pure white face and the reddest lips imaginable came and took off the soldier’s boots. She massaged his feet, and the soldier moaned from the pleasure while his Sergeant laughed. Then she washed the soldier’s feet with water and dried them with her long black hair.
“She doesn’t speak the local language very well. They say she speaks Japanese, whatever that is. I call her Geisha, though I think that is what she is, not her name.” Geisha smiled for her Sergeant and poured the newcomer some tea.
“She has the longest black lashes on the most remarkable eyes I have ever seen.” The soldier admitted his astonishment.
“Ladyfinger?” Geisha held out a tray.
“Try one.” The Sergeant encouraged. “Chef Brian made those with cookies and something called Peanut But and Chocolate syrup, or something like that.”
The soldier would have responded if his mouth was not busy tasting the luxury. His eyes rolled up and he became speechless.
“God, they’re good.” The Sergeant agreed, taking another one for himself.
“Well, Shirley. Not much for us to do.” Doctor George sipped his coffee.
“Let’s hope it stays that way.” The Sheriff said, sipping his coffee as well.
“Where’s Ethan?” Shirley was concerned about the dentist. He was quite mad and everyone knew it.
“I’m watching.” Officer Lindsey pointed. Ethan was with the gypsy woman.
“So what is my fortune?” Ethan was nearly begging.
“Ah!” The gypsy woman said, peering more deeply into her plastic ball. Crystal was hard to come by in the school cafeteria. “I see. I see.”
“What? What!” Ethan leaned forward as if trying to see with his own eyes. “I’m going to die? Someone is going to die? Please tell me someone is going to be injured really, really badly and suffer.”
“Quiet!” The gypsy said sharply. “I see you pulling your weight in the current crisis, but that is all.” The gypsy looked at Ethan as if she did not like Ethan very much, but Ethan was not repulsed.
“That’s all right.” He said with some glee. “I like pulling things. Preferably without anesthesia!”
Scarecrow-Grandpa climbed up the ladder to the hole near the gym ceiling. It was his idea, so he said he had to be first. True, he slipped about ten feet up and splattered on the gym floor, and this did not embolden everyone’s confidence; but Grandpa was no worse for wear, only needing to be restuffed in a few places.
“Carefully Grampy.” Lila said with a seriously concerned look in her little eyes. She was getting cuter all of the time and Morgan the pirate even commented that she now understood why Captain Hook got so easily taken in.
The scarecrow made it on the second try and Chris, the knight followed. The ninja and elf made it in record time. They seemed to be competing. Then Lila tried her magic on Maxamillian first. He was heavy, but she could levitate him easily enough while Max Man climbed. Then she levitated Ginger the Jaguar, as everyone was calling her. Ginger did not like feeling helpless and let out a few roars of protest. The two pirates came next and Red Rayder and the Princess brought up the rear.
“Think, thinky think.” Lila said to herself, tapping her temple with her face all scrunched up. It was getting hard to remember some of their real names. Red and Ashanti seemed to always have been Red and Ashanti. “Mary and Eddie.” She said proudly to herself as she settled on the scarecrow’s shoulder at the front of the column. “I think.” She added in all honesty.
It was narrow going in the small room by the hole. They had to crawl on their hands and knees for a short way before it would open up again. They tried not to get tangled in the electric chords, or stick their feet through a hole to the balcony, and they tried to keep quiet, though they were a large enough crowd. A few yards in and their path turned to the right where they would find an access door to the roof of the art and music rooms. That was the roof that would lead them to the roof above the offices. The scarecrow was not sure, but he believed there was another access door there that would let them into the ceiling area above the actual offices.
Lila and the scarecrow stopped and looked out into the room where the stage lighting was done. They had to let Chris the knight and some of the firmer hands pass by for them to get the access door open. “My hands are too flimsy and yours are too small.” The scarecrow told her. Lila nodded. She did have the smallest hands she had ever seen, and, in fact, everything about her was small. She was just thinking about the implications of that when her scarecrow suddenly lurched forward.
“It doesn’t have any blood in it.” Rachel said as she removed her fangs from the straw neck.
“But the others do.” Tom encouraged, pointing to the crew crossing behind the straw man.
Lila screamed and lit up like a miniature sun. Perhaps it was fairy instinct, or some other, more innate magic, but both Tom and Rachel hissed, threw their arms up to cover their eyes and backed away to hide in the shadows.
“Hurry.” The scarecrow shouted behind to the others. He only had to say it once. They all knew the vampires for what they were.
“Shamey shame!” Lila said, shaking her finger at the two cowering in the corner, trying to escape the light. She would have flown up into their faces if the scarecrow had not pinched her leg. “Grandpa!” Lila protested, but the scarecrow was already backing toward the door. Ginger had just gone through and Jennifer, the elf, was last before Lila and her scarecrow. Meanwhile, Link and Peter the ninja had somehow managed to rig the roof access door. Once the scarecrow was through, the door was slammed shut and it was effectively locked from their side so the vampires could not get at them. One fist hammered enormously from the other side, bending the metal slats in the door ever so slightly, but the vampires would not be able to get at them that way.
“I wonder what other nasties may be running around.” Sir Chris said, and everyone shuddered as they crossed the open roof. Halloween was not known for its’ angels.
At that moment there was a knock on the door of room 204. The children looked up. The knock became desperate, and the two dressed as ghosts came tumbling out of the closet. They were mostly still dressed.
“The door’s locked.” The devil girl and the skeleton girl got up and went to the door window. The dead lawyer and zombie opted to keep their seats.
“The dance is half over!” The Grim Reaper complained, scattering the cards across the room.
“Hey!” The demon protested. He thought he had a winning hand.
With a little hand waving, they convinced the person outside to turn the handle. A woman came pushing into the room and she slammed the door before anyone could stop her. The devil girl threw her hands up and looked at the ceiling, but the skeleton girl gasped. “It’s Cleopatra!” And for all practical purposes, it was.
“Hush.” Cleopatra said, hiding against the wall by the door. “You have to hide me. I’m being chased by a man.” Her English was heavily accented, like it was a foreign language and she was having trouble remembering.
The boys were staring and the ghoul suggested, “I could chase you.”
Cleopatra frowned at the joke. She paused to make sure she was remembering the right words. “No. I mean a man.” She repeated, and lowered her voice an octave on the word “man.”
“I’m in love.” Scream whispered.
“Hey! Aren’t you dead or something?” The devil girl asked in all seriousness.
“Silly girl.” Cleopatra said stroking the girl’s cheek with her hand in a very motherly act. “I’m right here.” And she added something in a language that could only have been Egyptian.
“Cleopaateera!” They heard the voice in the hall. “Cleo, babe!”
Cleopatra quickly switched off the light, but the man in the hall noticed and came to the door. He opened it slowly. The light came back on and the children shouted. Pimp Kyle came in, confused by all the sudden noise. He came all of the way into the room before he realized where Cleopatra was. Cleopatra screamed and scooted out the door and ran down the hall while the devil girl and the skeleton got between the pimp and the hallway. The pimp merely smiled at the children, spun on his heels and shoved the girls out of the way with the word, “Move.” He shut the door behind him. The demon immediately tried stabbing his rubbery-plastic knife into his facemask, but this time the devil girl and the skeleton were outside. They only teased the others a little before letting them out.
Miraz came shooting down the curved slide for the tenth time before he found Opas, swinging on the bars. “We better not tell Captain Tor about this stuff.” Miraz said.
“What?” Opas was hanging upside down.
“He’ll turn it into training equipment and take all of the fun out of it.” Miraz concluded.
“Ah, yes.” Opas agreed. “See. This is a very interesting position, swinging upside down like this. I can feel my brains rushing to my head.”
“Didn’t know you had any.” Miraz said.