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Halloween Ball

Oct 10th, 2016
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  1. “So, the Halloween Ball is coming.” Sibella said, sitting across from you at the modest wooden table in Grimwood’s Kitchen, warmed by the oven and filled with the smell of cooking toadstool tarts. You took a sip of your tadpole tail tea.
  2. “Halloween Ball?” you asked. Sibella nodded, leaning forward, elbows on the table.
  3. “Yeah, haven’t you heard?” she said. “It’s a big deal.”
  4. “Aren’t we a bit old for dances?” you said. She chuckled.
  5. “This is no dance. This is a ball. A ball, Anon.”
  6. “What’s the difference?”
  7. “There is a huge diff—”
  8. “Sibella!” a voice from behind you called in a harsh whisper, though anybody could’ve heard it. You spun around, and there, poking her head in the room was the little, poofy-ponytailed werewolf, Winnie.
  9. “Oh, hey, Winnie.” you said. She smiled.
  10. “Hi, Anon.” she said before looking back at Sibella and gesturing her out of the room. Sibella rolled her eyes and stood, leaving the room with Winnie, leaving you all by yourself.
  11.  
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  13.  
  14. Winnie stood next to the open door of the kitchen, smelling the toadstool tarts cooking in the oven. Anon was in there, she knew it. He was the one who promised to cook those tarts after all. But he was in there alone, like a deer sipping from a stream. He was prey, easy for the pouncing. She took a few deep breaths.
  15. “So, the Halloween Ball is coming.” she barely heard coming from the kitchen. Her brow creased. She thought Anon was in there by himself. Was somebody asking him to the ball before she could? She peeked into the room to see who it was, and there sitting opposite of Anon was Sibella the vampire, her beautiful face resting on her aesthetically perfect hands, her pearly white fangs poking out from her voluptuous lips, which curved into a charming smile, right below her alluring, almond shaped eyes, all framed by her pretty purple hair. Winnie bit her lip. The way she saw it, Sibella was way more attractive than she was. What human wants a werewolf anyways? But, Winnie had told Sibella that she was going to ask Anon to the ball. How could her best friend betray her like this?
  16. “Sibella!” she called into the kitchen. She’d tried to whisper but failed. Sibella looked up at her, and Anon spun around to look at her, smiling when he saw her. Winnie couldn’t help but smile at him.
  17. “Oh, hey, Winnie.” he said. Butterflies flew around in Winnie’s stomach.
  18. “Hi, Anon.” she said, fighting off the nervousness she felt when she was around him. She glanced back up at the traitor and gestured her out into the hallway. Sibella stood and followed her. Winnie took one last glance at Anon as he smiled up at Sibella as she left the room.
  19. “Sibella!” she whispered. “What are you doing? I was gonna ask him!”
  20. “I know!” Sibella said, dropping down to a whisper. “I was warming him up to you.” Winnie’s yellow eyes widened.
  21. “You didn’t tell him that I was gonna ask him did you?” she asked.
  22. “No, no.” Sibella said, chuckling. “I was just, you know…” she shrugged. “Getting him ready for you or something, so…” Winnie shook her head.
  23. “So…” she parroted. “What?”
  24. “He’s in there.” Sibella said. “Go ask him.” Winnie’s tail slumped down between her legs.
  25. “What? No, not yet…I’m not ready.”
  26. “Just go do it, he’ll say yes, I promise.”
  27. “You don’t know that!” Winnie said, peering up and down at her friend. The way Anon looked at her. There must be something more to just how attractive she is. The way she carried herself or something. Sibella was elegant, and grandiose...and feminine. Winnie looked down at her flannel shirt and pursed her lips. She knew that she was a tomboy. Boys don’t like tomboys, as far as she knew anyways.
  28. “Just go ask, Winnie.” Sibella said. “If you don’t, somebody else might.” Winnie bit her lip.
  29. “...I’ll do it soon, I promise.” she said. “I just have to—”
  30. “What are you guys talking about?” a voice said from right behind her. It was Anon, his voice was unmistakable. How many times had Winnie sat in her room, admiring what she could remember of the timbre of his voice? Her body seized in start and she spun around, goofy smile on her face.
  31.  
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  33.  
  34. You sat in the kitchen, tapping your fingers on the table. Winnie and Sibella had been in the hallway talking for a few minutes now. What was the secret? Were they even still out there? You scoffed internally at this Halloween Ball you’d just been informed of. But if it was such a big deal, maybe you should find a date, not something you’ve had a great success with in the past. Maybe you could ask Winnie, you thought. But no, she’s a cute werewolf, she probably already has a date. You looked at the door. They still weren’t back. They couldn’t be talking about anything that was that private, and you were all friends, right? You stood up and walked to the door, poking your head out.
  35. “What are you guys talking about?” you asked. Winnie jumped in start and spun around to you.
  36. “Uh...A-Angus...Angus blood.” she said. You brow furrowed.
  37. “Angus blood?”
  38. “Y-yeah, best blood around.” she said with a goofy smile.
  39. “Besides human blood.” Sibella added. Winnie let out a forced chuckle.
  40. “Yeah…” she said, glancing up at you. “...But, hey, nice talking to you, but I have some, uh...werewolf stuff that I’ve been putting off for a while, heheh…” She took a few steps back.
  41. “Alright…” you said. “See you later.”
  42. “Bye!” she said before turning on a dime and scurrying away.
  43. “She’s a weirdo sometimes.” Sibella said. You nodded. “A cute weirdo though. Right?” You chuckled. “Right?” she asked again.
  44. “I...I guess so.” you said, scratching your head. Sibella smiled. “Well, you, mister.” she said, jabbing her finger at your chest. “You need to find a date for the Ball.”
  45. “Who said I was going?” you asked.
  46. “Me.” she said. You chuckled through your nose.
  47. “Well, I guess that’s that, then.” you said. She didn’t laugh she only continued to smile.
  48. “So, do you have someone in mind?” she asked.
  49. “No.”
  50. “Well, think of somebody.”
  51. “Why?”
  52. “Wouldn’t it be embarrassing to have no date?” she asked. “Just imagine if you didn’t have a date to your high school prom.” You laughed.
  53. “Yeah, imagine…” you said.
  54.  
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  56.  
  57. You kicked a pinecone around the field at Grimwood’s. It was a nice, autumnal, sunny afternoon. One of the days when the sun set a soft yellow that shone through the orange and red and yellow leaves on the trees, the kind of sunset that makes you feel kind of bittersweet and nostalgic, but you can’t really place why.
  58. Some leaves crackled behind you. You turned around. There, wandering in the field was Winnie, twirling a stalk of purple flowers in her fingers. But she didn’t look herself. Her hair was down, way longer than it seems when it’s in a ponytail. It flowed down like a waterfall of waves and curls, down to the backs of her knees. A peach, spring dress descended from her shoulders, rippling in the cool breeze. She still wore no shoes, but her feet seemed much more delicate than they usually do.
  59. “Winnie?” you called. She looked up at you and smiled, gracefully walking towards you.
  60. “Hi, Anon.” she said, softly. Her voice was less gritty than usual. You looked her up and down, at a loss for words. “What?”
  61. “...What’s with the dress?” you asked.
  62. “What—” she stopped. Her voice had gone hoarse. She softly cleared her throat. “What do you mean?”
  63. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you wear a dress.”
  64. “I used to were one every day, but that was before I met you.” she said. You looked down at her flowers.
  65. “What do you call those…” you said, snapping your fingers. “Monkshood?” She smiled.
  66. “Yeah. Or you can call it Wolf’s Bane.” You chuckled.
  67. “Oh, well that explains why you’re carrying it.” you said. She chuckled with you, batting her eyelashes. “But still, why are you—” Something caught your eye. A soccer ball flying through the air. “Oh, watch out!” you said, pointing. But it was too late. By the time Winnie had even look up at you, the ball had struck her on the back of the head. In an instant, her pupils contracted into slits, and the peaceful, placid eyes were replaced with her much more familiar, intense eyes. For just a moment, as she turned around, the entire aura that she was giving off disappeared, and she was carrying herself like the Winnie you know. She took in a deep breath to yell at the guys who kicked it, but just before she did, she glanced back at you, and snapped back into ladylike shape. She bent over and took the ball, then cleared her throat again. With a little yelp of effort, she threw the ball back, as if she had no idea how to throw, which you knew wasn’t true. She turned back to you, tugging at the collar of her dress and uncomfortably shifting her neck, before settling and smiling up at you again.
  68. “You’re not gonna let them have it?” you asked.
  69. “It was an accident.” she said. You rose an eyebrow and shook your head.
  70. “Are you feeling alright?” you asked. “You don’t seem your usual self.” She shrugged.
  71. “I don’t know what you mean.” she said, feeling the petals on her flower. You just shrugged.
  72. “Well, have you seen Sibella?” you asked. “She’s the one who called me to come over here.”
  73. “Uh...she’s not here.” she said.
  74. “Oh.” you said. “Well, why’d she call?” Winnie chuckled, averting her gaze.
  75. “I don’t know…” she said.
  76. “Oh well.” you said. You glanced down at her. “Are you doing anything?” She smiled, and then frowned.
  77. “...Yes, actually…” she said. “I have to help Miss Grimwood with something…”
  78. “Aw, alright.” you said. She just looked up at you, nervously fiddling with her flower. You took a step back. “...Well I guess I should get going then.”
  79. “Wait! One last thing.” she said.
  80. “What?” you asked. She paused, before smiling and looking down at the ground.
  81. “You know the Halloween Ball?” she asked. Your stomach dropped.
  82. “Yeah.” She glanced up at you.
  83. “...Do you have a date?”
  84. “No.”
  85. “Well…” she said, still averting her gaze. “I-I was thinking...maybe, you and I could go together.” She looked up at you with her yellow eyes, pupils full. Your heart was beating a bit hard. You cleared your throat and smiled.
  86. “Sure, sounds good.” you said. She straightened up, big smile on her face.
  87. “Ok!” she said. “Uh, cool.” Her tail wagged inside her dress, making it swish back and forth. She hadn’t cut a whole for it. “I’ll see you later.” she said, backing up, but she reconsidered. She took a step forward, smiling bashfully. She sprang up and hugged you, lifting one of her legs like she must’ve seen in some movie. Your hands got all lost in her hair as you hugged her back. She dropped back to the ground. “Bye.” she said. You waved.
  88. “Bye.” She smiled and ran off, before stopping and slowing down to a graceful walk. You smiled to yourself and turned to walk home.
  89.  
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  91.  
  92. Winnie ran through Grimwood’s halls, looking for Sibella. She darted past the kitchen, the dining room, frantically knocked on the door of several bathrooms, and eventually, the laundry room, where Sibella and Elsa washed their clothes. Winnie sprang into the room.
  93. “Sibella, Elsa!” she screamed, making Sibella jump and sending sparks from Elsa’s neck bolts, which happened when she was startled, among a variety of other reasons.. “I did it!” Sibella smiled.
  94. “You did?” she asked excitedly. Winnie nodded.
  95. “Did what?” Elsa asked, rubbing her bolts.
  96. “She asked Anon to the Ball!” Sibella said.
  97. “Oooh.” she said, chuckling. “So, what did he say?” Winnie smiled, but stayed silent, letting the suspense build, though, given how excited she was, the answer was obvious.
  98. “He said…” Winnie said, followed by a long pause. “...Yes!”
  99. “Oh, yay!” Sibella said as Elsa smiled, putting her clothes in the dryer.
  100. “Uh-huh!” Winnie said. “My plan worked, just like I told you!” Sibella rolled her eyes.
  101. “Oh really?” she said. Winnie nodded. “Well you could’ve done it without the plan.”
  102. “Nope.” Winnie said, crossing her arms. “I know Anon, and he likes girly girls.”
  103. “Ok.” Sibella said. “So what, you’re going to act all girly forever?”
  104. “I’m not acting girly, I am girly now.” she said. “Anon helped me realize that.” Sibella glanced at Elsa and stifled a chuckle.
  105. “Well, shouldn’t you go find a dress to wear?” Elsa said. “There’s only a few days until the Ball.” Winnie smiled.
  106. “You’re right, I should.” she said, turning on her heel to leave.
  107. “Well, I hope you look cute on the day of.” Sibella said. Winnie jerked and turned around.
  108. “You know I don’t like you calling me cute.” she said, looking up at Sibella’s smug face. Sibella put a hand on her cheek and feigned a face of confusion.
  109. “But, Winnie, wouldn’t a girl of your femininity revel in being called cute?” she asked. Winnie’s ears folded down.
  110. “...I guess so…” she said.
  111. “Alright.” Sibella said. “No, go find a nice dress, you little cutie-pie.” Winnie scowled.
  112. “Will do.” she said begrudgingly, leaving the room. Sibella and Elsa chuckled with eachother.
  113.  
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  115.  
  116. You yanked at the collar of your suit as you walked up and over the hills on your way to Grimwoods. The Sun was just about set, the last orange light of the day peeking through the gaps in the colorful leaves, all clinging to their branches. You sniffed the bouquet of flowers you’d gotten for Winnie, but they didn’t smell like anything. You hoped she was off of this ‘girly’ thing she was doing. You liked her better the way she usually acted.
  117. You came upon the field in front of the looming school building, and you walked inside. The place was buzzing. Way more people were here than just the five who actually lived here. You pushed through the crowd of humans, vampires, zombies, lizard people, even the off grey alien. But you didn’t see Winnie anywhere. You scaled the stairs to the second floor, and looked down upon the crowd, and turned around. What better a place to look than Winnie’s bedroom? You traversed the maze like halls, and eventually came to the door with some claw marks and a sign with a crudely written ‘Winnie’s room’ on it. You wondered how old she was when she wrote that. You knocked on the door.
  118. “Come in.” her voice called from the inside, still straining to sound smooth and pretty. You opened the door, and there she stood in front of her mirror, in an elegant, red ball gown. She smiled bashfully up at you. “Hi, Anon.” Your heart began to beat a bit faster. You’d never felt this way about a werewolf before.
  119. “Hey.” you said. Her hair was still down, and still wavy and curly. It was wet, as if she’d attempted to tame it, but inevitably failed. “You look great.” She chuckled.
  120. “You do too.” she said. Her hair glowed from the light of the lamp behind her. Her dress swished back and forth from the back. It was her tail again. You were at a considerable loss for words. “Are those for me?” she asked, looking at the flowers.
  121. “Oh, yeah!” you said, handing them to her. “...I didn’t think you’d care, though.”
  122. “Sure, I care.” she said, sniffing them. “They’re pretty” She looked back up at you, her nose twitching. She scrunched it up, turned away, and sneezed, as delicately as possible. You’re pretty sure that’s a bit different than how she usually sneezes.
  123. “Are you allergic?” you asked.
  124. “No, no.” she said, sniffing. “They’re just really strong.” She put the flowers down. “So...should we get going?”
  125. “Yeah.” you said, smiling, offering your arm. She smiled and interlocked her arm with yours, and the two of you left.
  126.  
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  128.  
  129. Neither you nor Winnie could dance, though she was trying her hardest, rather than just having a good time with it. She squeezed your hand extremely tightly, and for a while now, had been making a strained, uncomfortable face, though she was still trying to smile.
  130. “Winnie, are you alright?” you asked as you both clumsily twirled around, among all the other couples dancing.
  131. “Fine.” she said, quickly.
  132. “Are you sure?” you asked. “You seem like you’re a little bit on edge or something.” She pulled herself close to you.
  133. “I’m just happy to be here with you.” she said with a forced chuckle, looking up at you with her eyes that were slightly bloodshot for some reason. The song ended, and Winnie took a step back.
  134. “Hey, if you aren’t having fun—”
  135. “I’m having fun.” she said, defensively. “Tons of fun.” She shifted around in her dress. “Tons and tons.”
  136. “Winnie—”
  137. “I just have to go to the bathroom.” she said. “I’ll be right back!” She scurried away. You scratched your head and sighed before slumping into a chair. You didn’t know what you were doing wrong.
  138.  
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  140.  
  141. Winnie stood in the bathroom, looking at herself in the mirror. She groaned and started pulling at her dress, trying to get comfortable, but to no avail.
  142. “This thing is like a fucking straight jacket!” she said to herself. She saw herself in the mirror. Her fur was messy from messing with the jacket so much. She looked like some kind of addict who found a nice dress. She growled at her image, and saw the reflection of some girl leaving a stall, giving Winnie a look. She spun around. “What?!” she yelled. The girl scampered out of the bathroom. Winnie took a few breaths, a few breaths out, and tried to compose herself. With one last shake off, she turned to leave, and immediately tripped on the hem of her dress, falling to the cold bathroom floor, but not before attempting to steady herself on a trash can, which only tipped over, covering her in garbage. She took in a slow, furious breath, and then a roar of anger. She sprang up, and kicked a hole in the trash can, pulling at the fur on her face in anger. She caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror. Hair and fur a mess, a bit of trash on her, teeth bore. “Oh no…” she said. This wasn’t ladylike at all. Anon would not like this. She bit her bottom lip. “Fuck...I can’t do anything right…” She felt her eyes grow moist, and blinked away the tears. She couldn’t let him see her like this.
  143. She crept out of the bathroom, and with a sad glance at Anon, who sat there alone as everybody else danced, dashed out the back door.
  144. She ran through the trees to the back of the building, into the woods, not stopping. She yanked out her barrettes and threw them, and held the hem of her dress off of the ground as she ran, ironically one of the girliest looking things she’d done all night. She saw where the trees stopped, and ran to it. She stopped at the edge of a cliff, overlooking the tops of the trees below. She looked up to the full moon above her, casting down it’s blue light. She growled and sunk her claws into the fabric of her dress, and with a yell, tore it all to shreds, revealing her red underwear and black garter belt and stockings that she’d worn because they were ‘womanly’. She took in a long, hoarse breath, and let out a resounding, doleful howl, sending birds flying from their nests in the trees below.
  145. “Winnie?”
  146.  
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  148.  
  149. You sat at a table in the ballroom as all the other couples danced. Winnie wasn’t back yet. What was the deal with her, anyways? She was acting all weird and girly, asked you to the ball, and now she wasn’t enjoying it. Dancing didn’t seem like her thing anyways. You were about to offer ditching before she ran off to the bathroom. You saw people glance at you as you sat. That guy with no date. Same as always. Maybe she left. Maybe you should just leave. You saw someone leave the bathroom out of your peripheral. You were hopeful, but it was just some girl, scurrying out. You sighed and looked away, down at your hands. You saw another person leave the bathroom in a flash. You turned, just fast enough to see your date running out the back door. You stood.
  150. “What the fuck is her problem?” you mumbled to yourself. She was actually ditching you. You didn’t even believe she actually would. You shook your head. She’s the one who asked you to come. And now she’s ditching you? You left the ballroom and went out through the back door, you were following her. The only thing out here was woods, and knowing Winnie, that’s where she went. You jogged in, hoping you were right.
  151. A ways in, something red glinted on the forest floor. You knelt down. Winnie’s barrettes. You stood up and began running again.
  152. The trees seemed to get less sparse up ahead. You slowed down to a walk.
  153. “AWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” you heard, ear splittingly loud. Some birds flew away at the sound. You emerged from the trees, and saw, standing at the edge of a cliff, wearing only underwear, a garter belt, and stockings, was Winnie, looking up at the Moon.
  154. “Winnie?” you asked. Things obviously weren’t as simple as you had thought. She gasped and turned around.
  155. “Anon!” she said.
  156. “Winnie, what the hell is going on?” you asked.
  157. “Oh, Anon.” she said, pulling at the fur on her face, walking away from the cliff. “I screwed up!”
  158. “I...don’t understand.” you said. “What’s going on?” She stopped in front of you.
  159. “I just wanted to go to the ball with you.”she said in a soft whimper.
  160. “But we did go to the ball.” you said. “And you ran off!” She glanced up at you, and covered her eyes.
  161. “I know…” she said. “I’m sorry.” You put a hand on her shoulder.
  162. “Winnie, what’s wrong?” you asked. “You’ve been acting weird for days.” She shook her head and looked up at you.
  163. “I’m not all girly, Anon!” she said. “I was just trying to be. But, I’m a werewolf, we aren’t girly. I didn’t want you to see me all messy, so I left.”
  164. “You didn’t need to—”
  165. “That dress was like a prison!” she said. She looked up at you, all teary eyed. “I just wanted you to like me…”
  166. “I do like you, Winnie!” you said. “I like you the way you usually are. Not all girly like this!” She sniffed.
  167. “Really?” she asked. You nodded. She wiped her eye while a tear fell from the other.
  168. “Hey,” you said. “Only girly girls cry.” She wiped away all the tears, and opened her arms, hugging you tight. You pushed the fact that she was nigh-nude to the back of your mind.
  169. “Do you want to go back to the ball?” she asked. You peered off the cliff.
  170. “It’s nice out here.” you said. She let go of you, but held onto your hand. “Why don’t we just stay out here for a while?” The two of you walked to the edge.
  171. “Yeah.” she said. “Dancing isn’t really my thing anyways.”
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