DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fanfiction produced for entertainment purposes only. Yu-Gi-Oh! and all related characters are the creations of Kazuki Takahashi.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This story is set a few years after the Ishtars moved to Domino City, which happened at the end of the Battle City Arc in my fanfiction version of the Yu-Gi-Oh! world.
Trick or Treat!
By Shadow's Mirror
Isis loved Halloween.
Of course, since she lived with her brothers in an apartment block, she had to make special arrangements in order to participate to her heart's content. Fortunately, the landlord was an amiable fellow and easily bribed every year with a box of Odion's homemade cookies in allowing her to decorate the front of the apartment block as she wished. As no one else in the apartments cared much about it, and were all too nervous of 'the big tattooed man' (None of them having any idea that the real danger lay with the two 'sweet little brothers' or Isis whenever she entered a kitchen.) to argue anyway, they were all fine with Isis doing whatever she wanted to do. A fact which Isis appreciated and tried not to take too much advantage of.
She didn't go overboard with the outside decorations, preferring a tasteful couple of carved pumpkin lanterns on the front porch and a broomstick standing by the front door to the plastic headstones, plastic spiderwebs and plastic bats in many of the neighbours' yards. For her, Halloween wasn't about fake decorations, parties or scary movies. She just loved the spirit of the night. To her, it was a delicately balanced contrast between a serious honouring of those who had departed the mortal world and a celebration of life and all the mysteries it held.
Her favourite part of Halloween was the tradition of Trick-or-Treating. Every year, Isis stocked up on little candies and put them in a big bowl on the table just inside the front door of the lobby, early in the evening of October 31. Then, she'd settle down on the lobby couch with some knitting or a good book and wait, the anticipation slowly building as the clock ticked ever closer to that all-important time.
Just on dusk, the first knock on the door would come. After that, there would be more. Then more. Then even more. There were a lot of children in the neighbourhood and (with a little nudge from Malik and Marik the first year they had lived there) word had spread to the surrounding areas that there was candy for the asking at the apartment block with the Halloween decorations outside. The children had quickly come to know that the candy there always seemed that little bit sweeter and the candy bag would always be that little bit heavier after coming away from there.
This year was shaping up to be no different than the two previous years, and just as much fun.
The last slivers of the day's sunlight were fading quickly, the long shadows seeming to stretch even more than usual as they heralded the coming special night. The pumpkin lanterns on the front porch were lit, the broomstick was set up near them, the candy was in its bowl by the front door and Isis was settled on the lobby couch with her latest knitting project, a scarf for Odion in lovely shades of buttercream yellow, mint green and rose pink.
She was two feet into her scarf when the first knock sounded at the door.
The two little girls standing there were delightful. One was in a witch's costume complete with pointy hat and the other was a little princess in a glittering paper crown. Isis smiled at them and gave them some candy, then watched as they went off to the next house on their hit list. As she went back to her knitting, she made a mental note to visit the little princess's mother (who also worked at the museum) the next day and see if she needed any advice on getting excess glitter off the dining room table. Being Malik and Marik's elder sister meant she was well versed in such matters.
Next up was a little boy in the first ghost costume of the night. Isis smiled happily as she gave him his candy and congratulated him on his lovely costume. She was still smiling as she returned to her knitting after seeing him on his way. She loved the ghost costumes the most. While easily the simplest costumes she would see that night, being just a sheet with a couple of eye holes cut out, it always amazed her to see just how creative the children could be with so little to work with. That little boy had added a cute red bow tie to his costume.
It was a perfect night for Trick-or-Treating. The moon was almost full, the sky was clear of clouds and the light breeze was just right for cooling walking children and parents without chilling them. So it was no surprise to Isis that she didn't get a lot of knitting done over the few hours that followed.
The children were out in full strength that night.
More witches and princesses were among the parade of vampires, mummies, werewolves, goblins, pirates, princes and demons that came up to the door. There was also a little girl dressed as a mermaid and a little boy playing Robin Hood. Another little boy proudly told Isis that he was 'The Dark Avenger, enemy of evil everywhere' and received an extra candy for his enthusiasm and wonderful alliteration. There was even one little boy dressed in a grey vest and blue tie who solemnly stated that his daddy had told him the scariest thing to dress up as was a Tax Agent. Isis shivered and told him just as solemnly that his daddy was quite right and he was very scary indeed, then gave him an extra candy for having such a terrifying costume.
There were also more ghosts.
A lot more ghosts.
It was easily the most popular outfit of the night.
Every little boy and girl in a sheet received a sincere compliment with their candy. From the little girl in the pink sheet who sadly explained that her mama had washed it with her new red dress by accident, to the little boy who had added a pirate hat, eyepatch, wooden sword and fake beard to make himself into Blackbeard's Ghost, Isis truly adored them all. She had a wonderful time admiring all of their creativity with their costumes.
It was with deeper regret than usual that Isis noticed the door wasn't being knocked on as much. As her scarf grew longer between each visitor, she knew the night was almost at an end. When there was no visitor for almost half an hour, she sighed softly and wondered if she should go blow out the candles in the pumpkin lanterns. She decided to give it a little while longer. It was only a little past 8 o'clock, after all. Some children were likely still going, if their parents had needed to work late and couldn't take them out early in the evening.
The half hour had just chimed and Isis was in the middle of considering if 12 feet was long enough for a scarf or if she should take it to 16, when there was a soft knock on the door. Surprised, but also very happy, Isis went to answer it.
The little boy on the front porch was around 12 years old, with dark hair and big brown eyes that held what Isis easily recognised as a gleam of mischief, having seen it regularly in her younger brothers' eyes. Oddly, he didn't seem to be wearing a costume. He was just dressed in a white t-shirt, faded blue jeans and black sneakers. Isis was confused for a moment, until she noticed the bundle under the boy's arm. To one as experienced with both household laundry and seeing ghost costumes as Isis, it was easily identifiable as a sheet. She smiled and gave the little boy some candy.
"Was your ghost costume too hot, child?"
The little boy thanked her sweetly for the candy and then smiled up at her. The mischievous twinkle in his eyes was suddenly even more intense. "Oh no. I'm not a ghost and I'm still wearing my costume."
Isis blinked at that. "Oh? So... forgive me, child, but what are you dressed up as, then?"
His expression was as innocent as an angel's, but his eyes would have made any angel back away slowly in sudden nervousness. Fortunately, Isis was well used to such looks and was able to brace herself and hold her ground.
"I'm an unmade bed."
By the time the happy little boy trotted back down the path to his waiting mother, Isis's candy bowl was another good scoop emptier and Isis was laughing so much that it was several minutes before she was able to pick up her knitting again.
That last costume had definitely been the best non-ghost costume of the night!