In the days leading up to Halloween, the weather became colder, and the happenings, as my wife and I called them, became more and more pronounced. It started with the building of ‘Eve’. My wife had decided that we would host a Halloween party at our home, and that she (and I by default) would make all of the decorations. This included her coup de grace, a life size bride ghost, made with a Styrofoam head, a black stringy wig, chicken wire form with a 1x1 wooden pole as her spine, and a wedding dress procured from a thrift store for eight dollars. Eve was built in a day. Not long after her ‘birth’, my wife also made a small graveyard out of Styrofoam sheets to surround her. I must admit, the sight was quite eerie.
At first the change was slight. The way Eve was built, she should have been pretty stable. Especially her head, as it was actually impaled on the wooden spine. There should have been no possibility of her rotating, yet spin she did. One morning when I got in my car to leave for work, I noticed that her back was turned to me. I thought it was odd, but didn’t investigate our little pile of wire and tulle. I thought nothing more of it until a few days later when my wife asked if I had noticed Eve turning. I said I had, but I assumed it was just a strong wind. My reassurance was enough for her. I admit, as I locked up the house then turned to face my car, I was a bit surprised when I saw that Eve appeared to be staring directly at the door, her synthetic hair and cheesecloth swaying in the autumn breeze, her chicken wire arm seemed to be outstretched toward me as though she were reaching for help.
When I got in the car that morning and turned the key, classical music was playing. I don’t listen to classical. Ever. My range of preferred music is wide, but not quite that wide. I quickly flipped the station to one of my presets, then looked up warily to see that our lovely bride had turned ever so slightly and was now facing my car. I could see from this angle that her face, too, had turned. Her painted red lips and gray eyes were clearly visible in my headlights. That is when I became more concerned since, as I had mentioned before, her head was tightly impaled on the wooden stake and should only turn if the stake itself turned. The stake, being buried at least a foot in solid ground, should have no room to move. I shook off the anxious feeling that had washed over me and headed to work and concentrated on focusing my mind in that direction.
It was 5 days until Halloween- and our party.
My wife was, understandably, becoming a bit overwhelmed by the work involved in finishing the party decorations, menu, and costuming for her and the kids. She had started tossing and turning in the night. One night she told me she had dreamt up a lady in white who proceeded to exit our bedroom closet, walk around the bed, and stare down at my sleeping self before fading away. That morning when I turned on my car the classical music blared, louder than I would ever set my own radio. I turned it down and listened for a moment as I watched the breeze rustle Eve’s wedding gown and hair, both damp from several days of rain. Her gray eyes were accusing as they stared vacantly through my windshield. I quickly turned the station to my preset number one and backed down the drive, away from her gaze.
Finally, the night of the party had arrived. I hung the finishing touches, ghosts in the trees, glow in the dark balloons, a banner indicating welcome to our humble abode, and the like while my wife finished the food preparation. About thirty minutes before the party was to begin, I put on my vampire costume. My wife and I were going to be a matched set, me a vampire and she a vampire bat. I searched for her so she could help me put on my pale vampire make up, but she was nowhere to be found. I assumed that she was busy finishing up final details. Her costume required very little effort to put on. I am certain she had already finished her make up. In any case, the first guests were arriving and I had a bonfire to start. It wasn’t until much later that I saw her walking towards me as I entertained our guests at the fire.
By her, I mean Eve. I lost my will to speak for a moment as I saw the bright white of her wedding dress and the long, black hair veiled in cheese cloth headed towards me. It only took a few minutes for my head to clear, and I realized that ‘Eve’ was simply my wife in Eve’s dress. I let out a nervous laugh and asked her about the bat costume. She just smiled and said she preferred this look. As I put my arm around her, I realized that the dress and wig were still damp and smelled a bit of something off-putting, though I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I whispered that she might have dried the costume before wearing it. She looked up at me with pale gray eyes and shrugged, her painted on red lips curved into a smile. It was a last minute decision, she said.
After the party was over and the last guest had left, we sank into bed, exhausted. I kissed my wife goodnight and rolled over, only to immediately spring up at the realization that my wife’s eyes were deep brown. Not gray at all.