"Time to scare next week!" Joey said excitedly one October evening.
His friends turned to stare at him, hardly believing what he had just said. Ross rolled his eyes, Monica looked up with horror from the magazine she was reading, Chandler gave a wry grin and Rachel raised an eyebrow. Phoebe just smiled happily, nodding in agreement.
"Oh come on everybody! It's nearly Halloween…we've got to go out and scare people!" Joey frowned at his friends' lack of enthusiasm.
"Joey, tell me," Chandler said, "How old are you again?"
"Awww, what's the matter with you all? You're never too old to celebrate Halloween! Pheebs, you agree with me, right?"
Phoebe nodded her head vigorously. "I think we should have a party!" she said eagerly, "We could dress up and everything."
Ross shook his head, "I'm too old for this sort of thing now," he protested, "I'm a adult."
"Ross, you play with dinosaur bones everyday," Rachel jumped in, "You can't tell me that's adult." She snickered to herself.
"For your information, the study of fossils is a very complex procedure…"
"Oh my god!" the group exclaimed, stopping Ross in mid-sentence.
"I loved Halloween as a kid," Monica told Chandler later that day, "I used to dress up as a witch and knock on my neighbours' doors asking for treats."
"Why doesn't that surprise me?" Chandler joked.
Monica slapped his arm. "I wasn't that bad!" she exclaimed. "Anyway, most of the time I got 'tricked'."
"Awww, did the little witch get all wet?" Chandler teased, grinning, "Throw a bucketful did they?"
Monica frowned. "Did everybody do that? Because I thought it was just because the neighbours were weird."
Chandler shrugged. "Well, then I was weird too."
"Well, considering the childhood you had, I'm not too surprised." Monica turned to her kitchen sink, washing the fruit that was lying out on the table.
Chandler watched in silence, smiling as his friend washed the apples carefully and slowly.
"You know, I think those apples are clean enough Mon!"
Monica looked up and glared at him. Chandler retreated to the living room, knowing that he had once again succeeded in irritating Monica. He knew though that she enjoyed the friendly bickering between them.
It was a situation that happened often. They had a special bond with each other that their friends had noticed since college. If Monica was upset, Chandler would be there to comfort her and the carefree personality of Chandler also held a sensitivity that only Monica could understand.
"The way they look at each other sometimes, they might as well be together!" Rachel once said, getting agreement from the others.
"They just don't know it yet." Joey added.
Rachel, Ross and Phoebe seemed quite surprised by this wise comment of Joey's, not known for his knowledge on relationships…or his knowledge on anything for that matter.
"This movie is so scary, I can't think of a single joke!" Chandler said a couple of days later. The group were watching a late night horror round Monica and Rachel's.
"I don't think it's scary at all!" Rachel commented, munching on her popcorn. "Compared to other movies, this is tame!"
"How can you say that a man getting cursed by the devil is not scary?" Ross demanded, looking at her in disbelief.
"Ok, people, I'm trying to watch this!" Joey protested, turning the volume up.
"Ow!" Chandler said, flinching at the scene on the screen.
"Chandler, he only tripped over a corpse!" Monica giggled, shaking her head in amazement.
"Only tripped over a corpse she says," Chandler murmured. He turned to face her. "That corpse just got killed by that guy! Graphic scenes by the way, you can't tell me you wasn't scared."
Chandler stood up and turned the TV off.
"Hey!" Joey yelled.
"Sorry Joe, but this has got to be settled!" Chandler announced. He turned to Phoebe. "Did you find that scene scary?" he asked.
"No…but then, I've lived on the streets, so…" Phoebe shrugged, causing Monica and Rachel to grin.
"Oh come on." Ross scoffed.
"What do you mean, 'come on'?" Monica asked, scowling.
"It's a well known fact that women get scared by horror movies. Especially by movies that have a scare rating of five stars!"
"…and where did you hear that?"
"Well it was in this magazine I read…"
"Well, and magazines always state the truth, don't they?" Rachel snapped sarcastically.
"Ok, look. I see how we can settle this." Joey stood up next to Chandler. "Women get scared by movies so that their boyfriends can hold them tight throughout the entire screening! Why do you think I always take my dates to see movies like this?"
"That's not true!" Monica exclaimed, "Chandler, that isn't true is it?"
"Yes." Chandler nodded.
"Another fact we know is that women get scared by anything." Ross smirked.
"OH!" the girls gasped.
"The man has got a point." Chandler said, "Monica, remember when that cat ran up to you in the park and you shrieked like it was going to attack you!"
"That wasn't the reason! I'm allergic to animal hair!"
"Funny you had a dog called Chichi then…" Chandler murmured.
"It's a different sort of hair…" Monica retorted. She stood up. "Speaking of dogs, wasn't it you who ran away from Rachel's dog when it was just a puppy?"
"Chandler ran away from Lepou?" Rachel asked, howling with laughter.
"He was growling at me!" Chandler protested, going red.
"Only because you trod on its paw." Monica laughed, "I would have growled."
"Ok, look, lets just say that some people are scared by some things and others are not." Joey cut in.
"Speaks the man who once shrieked like a hyena at the sight of a bug in his bathtub." Phoebe muttered.
"Yeah well…at least I don't scream every time my smoke alarm goes off!" Joey shot back.
"You girls have just got to admit that men are more braver than you!" Chandler said, turning the TV back on.
"We'll see about that!" Monica said triumphantly.
"What are you going to do…call Frankenstein and ask for his monster?" Chandler asked, causing Ross and Joey to crack up.
"Last night was great." Joey told Chandler the next morning.
"Yes, those girls really got irritated by the fact that they know we're more braver than them!" Chandler replied, chuckling.
"I'm going to take a shower." Joey said, going into the bathroom.
"Watch out for bugs!" Chandler mocked. Joey glared at him, closing the door.
Chandler poured some cereal and took it to his chair. Settling down to eat, he could hear Joey turning the shower on.
Chandler leapt out of his seat at the sound of the screams coming from the bathroom. He ran to the door and opened it. Inside, he could see Joey cowering in the corner of the room, wrapped in a towel with his hair wet.
"What the hell is going on here?!" Chandler freaked.
"BL-Bloood!" Joey shrieked, pointing to the water coming out of the showerhead. The water was a dark red, staining the shower area.
"I just stepped in, turned the water on with my eyes shut so that they wouldn't get stung. I opened them and all that blood was pouring on my FACE!"
By this point, Joey was totally out of control. He ran out of the bathroom.
"Joey calm down a second!" Chandler shouted, stepping closer to the shower. He looked closely at the water and collected a cupful of it in hands. His brow furrowed, and then his eyes widened. "Nice try girls." He said, wiping his hands on a towel. He turned the water off and unscrewed the showerhead, studying the inside of it.
"Hey, Joey, ever heard of food colouring?" Chandler called.
"I suppose you've got to hand it to them, that was a pretty neat trick!"
Joey stepped into the bathroom, frowning in confusion. "What are you talking about?" he asked.
"Last night, Monica and Rachel must have sneaked in here while we were asleep and tipped red food colouring in the shower head!" Chandler smiled wryly.
"Why would they do that?! It scared the hell out of me!"
"That's exactly what they set out to do!"
"Well it worked…" Joey wiped his forehead wearily.
"Don't worry, we'll get them back!" Chandler nodded grimly, "The scare war is on!"
END OF PART ONE