The Dreadful End

Megan had not expected an audience.

Word had gotten around the mansion of her successful stint as a "pseuo-ghost", and some of the spirits were genuinely interested in seeing an example of how mortals haunted their own homes. Other ghosts showed up because they thought it would be amusing, and others were in attendance because they heard that there might be snacks.

Forsythia and Wellington sat on either side of Granny, having invited themselves under the pretense of attending an 'educational' event.

Constance Hatchaway was present, not because she had any interest in the affairs of 'underlings' like Megan, but rather, she had heard that members of the Dread family would attend, and she preferred to be seen associating with persons of what she deemed to be, a like social standing. She had carefully smoothed her pristine white gown, and was sitting regally beside her escort, the dashing Headless Horseman.

Megan stood nervously at the table before the assemblage. "Ladies and gentlemen..uh.. thank you for your interest. The following very short presentation is an illustration of one of the ways in which mortals 'haunt' their own homes in celebration of Halloween."

Megan sat back down. "Gus, if you would.."

Gus waved his hand, and dimmed the lights.

The old sheet that had been stretched before the projector suddenly lit up wth a glowing mist. Three rather adorable sheet ghosts materialized, and started singing a jaunty Halloween tune.

The ghostly audience murmured, and chuckled, clearly amused.

In the back row, Wellington had let his left hand slip to his side, and was now making some rather interesting gestures toward the projector, while he mumbled quietly under his breath.

For an instant, the ghostly images on screen seemed to be caught in a loop, then the screen darkened. A general groan of protest was heard throughout the audience.

Then, some rather exotic Middle Eastern music slowly welled within the room, and the screen displayed the mansions trophy room. Two veiled eyes appeared at the bottom of the screen, then the figure walked back from the camera to display a comely woman bedecked in a large quantity of jeweled veils.

She stood in front of the fireplace, and gave a little shimmy.

Pickwick dropped his hip flask, and Gus slid eagerly to the edge of his seat, materializing a large bag of popcorn, "Mortals have hoochie coochie dancers for Halloween," he piped. "Att's brilliant!"

The entire assemblage of ghosts were now slid forward. Constance Hatchaway was no longer busy trying to keep the Headless Horsemans hand off her knee.. she too was staring at the screen.

It was very difficult to say whether the veiled dancer was simply cutting capers, or was genuinely competing for the title of Worlds Worst Exotic Dancer, between shaking her bosoms at the camera, flirting with the stuffed polar bear head, or doing an Egyptian Sand Dance that looked for all the world as though she was trying to mount an extremely small, invisible pony.

The Headless Horseman was holding his pumpkin head on fingertips 'til he nearly dropped it, Wellington and Forsythia smirked , and a stricken Granny gasped "Oh my stars and garters !"

Megan and Ezra sat together at the projection table too stunned to move or speak.

The veiled woman on screen turned her back to the camera, and waggled her bum. The audience roared. Pickwick squinted at the screen, and looked thoughtful. "I know that bum," he said loudly.

But there was no time for a reply. Constance grabbed the Horsemans head, and hurled it at the screen, putting an end to the nights entertainment. The Black Widow didn't have to guess who was responsible; Wellington and Forsythia had snuck out of the room, and were well down the hallway.

Constance waved her hand, producing an especially large, evil-looking axe, and flew in a rage after them.

The room erupted in applause, then slowly emptied. Granny stayed behind, nervously clasping her hands before her as she addressed Megan. "Very interesting, Dear," she said sweetly."but I'm thinking it might go better with...say, Valentines Day?"

Gus ambled over, and sat down between Megan and Ezra, both of whom were still not daring to speak or move. He offered one, then the other some of his popcorn. "So when's the matinee?" he asked cheerfully.