The Haunted House
At the top of the hill overlooking the city, there sat a dilapidated old mansion. It had been built in the 1800s and was a showpiece then, now half the shutters had rotted away, the paint had long since peeled off of the wood paneling, which was worn and faded and splintered. A black wrought iron gate sealed off the property from the rest of the land, it too had seen better days, the latch didn't even hold shut on the gated door anymore, and the wind swung it open, as if ominously inviting any passersby to come inside. The house was dark save for a few dim lights that could be seen through the windows.
Nobody had lived there for many years, and nobody really knew when or why the previous owners had abandoned the gloomy old house, though there had always been rumors of foul play, and how now only the spirits of the dead occupied the mansion, who sought to drive away anybody who dared set food on the property. But tonight, someone was there.
A partition of black curtains had been set up halfway between the gate and the front porch, as if halfway up the sidewalk there opened a portal leading to another world. A black velvet curtain parted, and Hannibal Smith stepped out dressed in a black tuxedo, looking rather overdressed for the occasion. In the dark he would've been almost impossible to see were it not for his whiting hair, the white shirt under his black jacket, and the white flower that showed on his lapel, that reflected in the light cast down from the full moon partially covered through the trees and the black clouds that filled the sky.
"How do you do?" he greeted as he grabbed hold of the curtain and pulled it back, "Step on in, won't you? Make yourself at home…I hope you survive the tour of our haunted house."
Past the curtain, there were two rows of eerily flickering jack-o-lanterns that had been set up on either side of the broken old sidewalk, leading up to the porch. The wooden steps appeared to be as rotted away as the rest of the house, and the floorboards wiggled enough underfoot to give anybody the impression they were just about to give way. The front door opened and Murdock stood in the entryway in a butler's outfit, complete with white gloves, his face a shade paler than usual and his hair slicked back till he almost didn't even look like himself. He bowed, and gestured in with one hand. "Welcome, join us, won't you?" he asked in a deep and eerie tone. "Walk this way." With that, he turned around and stalked off hunched over like Quasimodo.
The house was coated in dust and cobwebs, and plunged into near total darkness, the only illumination offered came from a few brass candelabras arranged throughout the rooms on various pieces of the antique furniture that hadn't seen use for many years. Hannibal picked up a candelabra with three burning candles in it. "We'll start upstairs. Follow me."
Before leaving the hall, he stopped at a small inn table, where rested on top of it was a large glass fish bowl, and it was filled with various old coins.
"Just a moment," he said, and gestured towards the bowl, "before we continue, would you not mind making a small contribution? A mere pittance of the coin of the realm. Who knows? Before the night's over, you may need it for fare across the River Styx. Just place your coins here, and should things take an…unexpected turn for the worst, I'll be more than happy to see they find their rightful place…on your eyes for Charon to collect at the ferry. What's that? You only carry paper tender? That is of no consequence, I shall be very happy to make a fair exchange." He reached into his pocket and took out two half dollars, "You surely shan't mind the lack of return change. I can guarantee you on this night, you'll get your money's worth for unseen horrors."
Hannibal picked up the candles and led the way up a long, winding stairwell. The light from the candles cast creepy shadows on the wall as he climbed the large, wooden stairs that made echoing noises with every step taken.
"You no doubt are familiar with the stories about this place," Hannibal said, "the murders, the ghosts that continue to haunt this place, well let me assure you," he stopped suddenly at the top of the stairs and turned around, "they're all true." His eyes shifted, looking all around the hall, and he added, "Do try not to upset the spirits, rest assure they don't appreciate it. If you don't watch your step around here, there's no telling what might happen."
A bloodcurdling scream filled the entire second floor and in the middle of the hallway, a figure dropped down from the ceiling, suspended by a rope. Face's eyes bulged out and his tongue lolled out of the side of his mouth as his head slumped to the side, his face frozen in an expression of horror as he swung by the noose.
"You see, the spirits are on the prowl tonight," Hannibal said, walking past the lieutenant's body hanging from the ceiling, "and they don't take kindly to people who disrespect their dwelling. Step this way, please."
Hannibal stopped at a door halfway down the hall and opened it, and stepped in, the candles the only light.
"This was the master bedroom a hundred years ago," he said, "used to be a real sight to see, now it's just an abandoned eyesore." He shook his head somberly, "Real shame what happened here, those poor innocent people." Holding the candelabra in one hand, he gestured towards the large double bed with the fancy brass frame, all coated in dust and spider webs, "The missus was sleeping there one night, there was a horrible storm, thunder and lightning, howling winds…" he gave a slight shiver as if he could feel those winds ripping through him now. "Her husband was away for the night, gone on business don't you know? The children were asleep down the hall, the servants sent home for the night, so there wasn't anybody else in the house when…just as the clock struck midnight…the front door opened, and a lowly set of footsteps were muffled out by the storm raging outside. They walked slowly up the steps, pit, pat, pit, pat, pit, pat, never once arousing the lady of the house, who perilously thought she'd be safe out here, miles from anyone, tucked away in her own bed. Then, when he reached the top of the stairs, he slunk down the hall and came to this room." Hannibal turned back towards the door and grabbed the brass doorknob and said in a stage whisper, "He slowly opened the door, and stuck his head in to make sure the coast was clear. When the woman laying there in that bed didn't get up, he crept in, and," Hannibal stepped back towards the bed, and all was silent for a few seconds, and then suddenly, "did her in!"
In one swift movement, Hannibal pulled back the filthy bedcovers and a piercing feminine scream echoed all throughout the room as a sudden flash of lightning illuminated the room in a blinding shade of white that engulfed everything.
The bed was empty. Hannibal tossed the covers back into place with one move and explained, "Such a pity, young she was and pretty too. All that blood…" he shook his head somberly and added, "when her husband came home the next morning, he discovered the clocks had all been stopped and the mirrors all covered. A killer's remorse?" He shook his head uncertainly, and added, "Well, we must be moving on, follow me."
Returning to the hall, Hannibal led the way down to the other end of the corridor. Here there were two sets of stairs, one going up, one leading down. Hannibal explained, "The attic is of particular interest for anyone who comes in here…watch your step, these stairs aren't what they used to be."
The attic was one large room at the top of the stairs, filled to the brim with God only knew how many years' worth of storage. There were a few small lights on the walls, they didn't cast enough light to actually see anything, but the basic outlines could be made out, and it looked like a few generations' worth of junk all piled to the ceiling.
"Makes you wonder if Fibber McGee moved his closet up here, don't it?" Hannibal asked in a borderline creepy tone with a slight chuckle. "Everything but the kitchen sink as they say. Feel free to take a look around, but be careful, you never know what kind of surprises might just be waiting to pop out."
With little more than the light of Hannibal's candles to see by, it took a while to find out what all was stored in the attic. A lot of it was trunks and crates, many of them piled on top of each other, and on top of the piles there rested assorted items left out in the open to collect the dust. There was an old Victrola on top of a table, that without anybody touching it, had wound itself up and was playing an eerie tune on an old record. In one corner was a collection of antique dolls all piled together, that despite their age, and the obvious years of neglect, still looked to be in fairly good condition, and in fact, if you looked at them long enough, it almost appeared that they were watching you. And if you looked at them longer than that, you would swear you saw them blink.
Scattered around the room were various taxidermy animals: stuffed birds on perches, stuffed badgers and foxes and wolves. Just like the dolls, if you looked at them enough, they began to take on an almost lifelike quality, and when the light shone over their eyes you'd almost swear they were watching you. Mounted on the wall were various hunting trophies: an elk, a moose, a bear, several sets of antlers. No different than what might be found in many people's living rooms, and yet there was a sense of something foreboding emanating off of them.
Hanging from an overhead pipe, were two hangers which had an old tuxedo and full length white wedding dress hanging from them, looking as if they were merely waiting for their owners to come back and don them. Unlike the rest of the items in the room, these didn't appear the worst for wear given the many years they must've been hanging up here without protection from the elements.
"No," Hannibal said, as if he were clairvoyant, "this isn't the dress the woman downstairs was married in. This came some years later, when another family occupied this house. For that, we must return downstairs. Walk this way if you please."
Hannibal returned to the stairs and headed down, and then led the way down the back stairs as he began to explain, "There was another couple that lived in this house after the turn of the century. Young they were too, and very much in love. They had their wedding here in this house, as a matter of fact. All their families, the local priest, a band, everything you could ask for, and a lifetime of love ahead of them…" an ominous expression formed on his face as he shook his head sadly, "So tragic what happened that night after everyone had gone home and left the newlyweds to begin their honeymoon. Do be careful going down these stairs. Nobody's quite sure what happened that night, maybe they had a fight, not unusual with young couples, not usually any great problem…but sometimes…"
Another bloodcurdling scream, definitely female, and a bright light from somewhere was cast down the stairs to reveal the body laying at the foot of the stairs.
Amy Amanda Allen was sprawled on the floor at the bottom of the stairs, dressed in a full length wedding gown identical to the one hanging up in the attic, except this one looked showroom new, or rather it would were half of it not spattered in blood. When she'd landed in the fall, she half turned onto her side, which offered a perfect view of the large butcher knife in her back where the blood originated from.
"Mayhaps," Hannibal said, "there is a warning to take from this, about getting engaged to a cook with a bad temper. But who can say for certain? Oh yes, they did find the husband, a couple days after the wedding, when the authorities came out and found this, they also found the bridegroom, hanged out in the garage. Of course, they were never able to find anything he could've stood on before jumping…but that doesn't really prove anything, does it?
These stairs were a servant's entrance to the kitchen, and Hannibal suddenly changed the subject by asking, "Would you care to stop momentarily for a drink? The spirits may be strict towards those that would desecrate their final resting place, but they're nothing if not hospitable." He stopped at the kitchen table and gestured to a row of bottles that were lined up, labels reading cyanide, arsenic, formaldehyde, rat poison, Hannibal picked up a bottle marked pesticide, and asked innocently, "After all, what's in a name?" He poured himself a glass and downed it in one shot. "Refreshing," he said, "shall we be on our way now?"
Hannibal walked out of the kitchen, and into the dining hall, where there rested a very long table accompanied by twelve antique chairs, and in the corner, an antique pump organ.
"You've no doubt heard the old ghost tale about the man and his wife who lived in a lighthouse on the shore, and to cope with the isolation, the wife learned to play the piano, but she only learned one song, and played it over and over, and over, until finally her husband snapped, took an axe, chopped up the piano and her with it, yes? Well, you won't find any such fables here."
Hannibal had scarcely finished speaking when the organ began playing. Hannibal raised the candles to put some light on the subject, and revealed that the keys were being played in time with the music, but there was nobody there.
"If this were one of those old player pianos," Hannibal said, "you might be able to convince yourself that nothing strange was going on here…but let's face it…there's no such hope in this case."
Without another word on the subject, Hannibal left the dining room, and entered the front parlor. Here the candles were almost unnecessary because at the end of the room was a large fireplace, with a large roaring fire burning inside.
"We really should've stopped through here sooner, but I suppose it is better late than never, as they say," Hannibal said as he set the candles on a table and walked over to the fireplace. On one side was a basket which decoratively held the extra fire wood, on the other side of the fireplace was a large container full of round, medium sized rocks.
"You of course, are familiar with this old Halloween tradition, aren't you?" Hannibal asked as he picked up a rock, "The ancient Celtics were an interesting breed of people. It was their belief that every Halloween night, all members of a family were to take a rock, and each put a special mark on it so as to identify each rock for each relative. Then they would cast their stones into the fire, and wait until morning. If all the rocks stayed within the fire through the night, they would be spared peril for another year, but if any of the rocks were found outside of the fire when the sun came up the next day, that person was surely doomed to die before the next Halloween." Hannibal held out the rock. "For your own protection, you wouldn't mind to mark one for yourself and give it a toss, would you?" With his free hand, he reached into his breast pocket and pulled out a glowing green marker, "Very rare to find this color, isn't it? So much the better to tell whose rock is whose once they've all been marked."
Once Hannibal left the parlor, he walked down a corridor which led straight back to the front hall. Murdock stood by the door, still dressed in full butler attire, with a gruesome smirk on his face.
"I'm afraid our tour has come to an end," Hannibal said, "so glad to see that you got through it in one piece. Jenkins will be very glad to show you out now."
Murdock swung the door open and said in a parting greet, "Goodbye, so long, farewell, adios, auf wiedersehen, happy haunting, do come back now, ya hear?"
The door slammed shut and the colonel and the captain met each other halfway across the hall and broke their character, letting out a good, long laugh.
"Hey guys," Face came down the stairs with the noose still wrapped around his neck, "Let's take five, what do you say? I need a drink."
"I highly recommend the arsenic," Hannibal said.
"Nah, Face," Murdock told him, "It's ginger ale. The cyanide's iced tea, the formaldehyde's Mello Yello, the rat poison is grape Kool-Aid."
"The pesticide is lime-ade," Hannibal added.
"And if that don't do it for ya, there's a bottle of blood in the fridge," Murdock added, "nice chilled tomato juice."
"I'm gonna go find B.A.," Hannibal said, "He needs to tone down those effects, I about went blind and fell down the stairs on the last one."
"Well that would've been just great," Amy said as she came out of the kitchen and met them in the dining room, "you would've landed on me, then I really would've been impaled on that stupid knife."
"How're you holding up, kid?" Hannibal asked.
"I still say I should've been the hanging victim," she said as she leaned against the table and crossed one leg over the other to rub her sore foot, "These shoes are killing me."
"Yeah, but Face could hardly wear the dress if you switched," Murdock pointed out.
"Hey Hannibal," Amy said, "you never explained, how did you guys get the organ to play by itself?"
"A magician never reveals his secrets," was the colonel's only answer as he walked off to find the sergeant.
"Well don't be long," Murdock said, "the night's just getting started, we're going to have a whole gaggle of people in here soon."
"We should've had a camera going," Amy said as they walked into the kitchen, "With all Hannibal's monologues he's probably going to consider this night the highlight of his acting career."
"Well, it would make a pretty neat horror movie if you could put it all together," Face commented.
Murdock got a quick bite out of the fridge, then went back to his post at the front door and peered out the window, and he could see the outlines of people coming up the hill. He raised his arm and spoke into the tiny microphone concealed in the cuff of his jacket, "Better step it up, Colonel, they're coming again."
Hannibal reappeared in the kitchen and came through to the dining room and told everyone, "Places, everyone, resume your positions." He went over to Amy, tapped her on the shoulder and told her, "You, play dead."
"Very funny," she said as she headed back to the kitchen, "If we do this again next year I say we make you the corpse."
Hannibal straightened his collar and headed out the front door and made his way back to the partition in time to welcome the next batch of visitors. "How do you do?"
"Oh boy, what a night," Hannibal said as he lit three new candles and stuck them in the candelabra to replace the ones that had burnt down to the nubs.
"How many people have been through here now, Hannibal?" B.A. asked.
"I haven't been keeping track," he answered, "Murdock, what's the fishbowl say?"
Murdock picked up the glass bowl full of coins and shook it, and took a wild guess, "About a hundred, of course that's not counting the ones whose money went everywhere when they ran out screaming."
Amy giggled at the memory of that and asked, "So what's the money for?"
"Our good deed for the decade," Face said lightly.
Hannibal explained, "Every year the children's hospital has a fundraiser to throw a Halloween party for the kids, this year they came up short so we told them we'd cover the difference so it didn't have to come out of pocket."
"Or in this case, so it goes back into the pocket," B.A. added.
"First thing tomorrow we get it cashed in and personally delivered to them," Face told her.
Murdock went to the door and looked out the curtain and said, "Hey Hannibal, there's some more coming."
"No rest for the wicked," Face said as he headed for the stairs.
Hannibal went back to the front door and hopped off the porch and made his way to the curtain and pulled it open and stepped out. "How do you—"
All night long they'd had in little kids with their parents, young couples on dates, whole groups of high school kids out for a thrill, and a few older adults just out for a good time. There were three men standing on the other side of the curtain this time, young but not pups, and they were dressed, though Hannibal couldn't be sure in the dark whether it was just for Halloween or if it was the real deal, in army fatigues. The one in the middle was the tallest, and he had short blonde hair, the other two were slightly shorter and had dark hair.
"Hannibal Smith," the blonde man said, "On behalf of the United States Army it is my pleasure to place you under arrest for bank robbery and treason."
Hannibal looked at the men one by one and he said, "If this is a joke, I'm not laughing."
He saw the leader pull a gun out of his pocket, and that told him that to some degree, these men were very serious. Even in the dark, he could tell that the semi-automatic was no toy. Now what?
"Get your hands up," the young man said.
Hannibal complied, and started to back up.
"Colonel!" he heard Murdock's voice from the door.
He didn't turn around, he walked backwards up the step and kept his cool as he told the pilot, "It's alright, Murdock, just go with it."
Murdock followed suit and raised his hands high above his head and also walked backwards.
"Alright guys," Hannibal called as they entered the house, "The jig's up, everybody come on out. B.A. Face. Amy."
One by one they came out of their assigned spots and also assumed the position.
"How'd you find out we were here?" Hannibal asked.
"We have our ways, Smith," the right hand man said as he also drew a gun on them.
"So this is what it's come down to?" Face asked, "The Army's sending a bunch of kids after us?"
The third man also produced a gun and addressed the 'butler', "And Mr. Murdock, fancy meeting you here."
"Why's that?" Murdock asked in his normal tone, "We ever meet somewhere before, like London?"
"Are you sure about that?" Murdock asked.
"Only fools are positive," Murdock said.
"And he ought to know," B.A. added, "he's as big a fool as they come."
"Shut up!" the blonde man ordered.
"I'm sure about it," Murdock ignored the warning, "I would swear we met in London once."
"Oh yeah?" he asked, seeming to go along with it, "Well that just might could be." Then he dropped his act and answered nonchalantly, "Except I was never there."
The second man walked up to the woman in the wedding dress and made a sound of disgust. "And Miss Allen…consorting with wanted criminals, what would the Courier think of you now?"
"You seem to know a hell of a lot about us," Hannibal said, "So why don't you repay the favor and tell us who you are?"
The only thing he said for an answer was, "Haven't you figured it out yet? We're the men that finally caught the A-Team after 13 years."
"Oh yeah?" Hannibal heard a noise from outside getting closer to the house and he raised his voice and asked, "And who's that, more of your friends?"
Everybody turned and looked and saw a figure wielding a chainsaw kick in the front door and come inside. Entering the dining room, they could see by the candlelight that whoever it was, was tall and of regular build, dressed in dirty clothes, wearing a hockey mask painted blood red, and he sawed the air with a large chainsaw, the noise of which was near deafening to everyone.
"What the hell is this?" Hannibal yelled to be heard by the men in green, "Some kind of prank?"
"If it is, I'm not laughing!" Face said as he and Murdock ducked behind the table to put some distance between them and the madman. Amy ran and hid behind B.A., who was also wide eyed in awe at this sudden arrival.
The three men in fatigues looked at each other and it was obvious from the expressions on their faces that they didn't have any idea what was going on either. The man in the mask took a step towards them and in one swift movement, brought the blade of the chainsaw down, and would've cut the blonde man in half except at the last second, he and his friends ran like hell. They got past the masked man and ran out of the house screaming at the top of their lungs, and quickly disappeared down the hill.
The man in the mask let the chainsaw run for a few more seconds, then shut it off. Face and Murdock came out from behind the table and Hannibal and the others walked over to the madman and all had a good laugh. The man reached up with one hand and pulled his mask off, revealing it was Decker who had just scared the men out.
"How was that, Smith?" he asked.
Hannibal laughed so hard he could hardly breathe, and for a brief second he leaned on Decker for support while he tried to catch his breath and find his words. When he finally did, he said over another fit of laughter, "Oh that was great, Decker. That was terrific."
Now even Decker was laughing, though he tried not to let on to it. "What is that now, 3, 4 times?"
"I lost track, but I think it gets better each time," Hannibal said over another guffaw, "of course this time was better because it wasn't a bunch of high school kids trying to smash up the place."
"Yeah, but did you see them run?" Face asked.
Amy got over her own bout of laughter and she was able to ask Decker quite coherently, "I still don't understand, how'd they get you to help them with this?"
"Something I'm never going to live down," Decker said as he resumed his normal scowl.
"Hannibal called Decker at home and challenged him to a race, just the two of them, no MPs, and this would be off the record of his pursuit of us," Face explained, "and he told Decker if he won, we'd turn ourselves in peacefully, and if Hannibal won, Decker owed him a favor, all off the record."
"Naturally," Amy said.
"If one word of this gets out," Decker said, "the remainder of my military career is going to be history."
"So I thought up the mask," Hannibal said with a shrug.
"And this is the favor you thought of?" Amy asked.
Hannibal shrugged again, "Seemed fitting, the season was right, everybody knows all the sickos come out on Halloween." He pretended not to notice Murdock behind him pointing to himself and B.A. also pointing at him for emphasis, and he added, "Dangerous sickos, Halloween is the perfect time to commit a murder because a dead body can easily be mistaken for a decoration prop."
"Like that old story about the real corpse in the carnival funhouse," Face said, "Stick a rope around its neck and who's going to be the wiser?"
"Add to the fact there was a risk any of the loonies who came out tonight could very possibly put together that it was us doing this haunted house," Hannibal added, "It only made sense we couldn't be hurt by having an extra security detail should we get outnumbered."
"Which hasn't happened yet," Amy pointed out.
"No, but the night's still young," Hannibal said, "and everybody knows I don't think too highly of Decker as a person or as a military man." He looked at the other colonel and added, "No offense."
"None taken," Decker replied, and added, "I'm looking forward to see you rot back in the stockades."
"But," Hannibal continued, "I'll give credit where credit is due, he's the stiffest competition we've had since we broke out of the stockades, so he no doubt can hold his own against whatever goons might come in here tonight…" he turned towards Decker and added, "plus it's just fun to scare the hell out of the jerks who are asking for it, isn't that right, Roderick?"
Despite Decker's best effort, a brief smile broke through.
"You know, Smith," he said, regaining his composure, "nothing that happens here tonight changes anything."
"First thing tomorrow I'm going to be right back on your tail, and I'm not going to stop until I've got you behind bars where you belong," Decker told him.
"I know," Hannibal replied, unfazed, "but I figure a truce for one night would be good for both of us."
"Speaking of which," Face said, "Where's the other half of this truce?"
"I thought up this one," Murdock said excitedly, "wait'll you see it, this is gonna be great."
They heard someone coming up the porch steps and looked as Captain Crane entered the room, dressed for the night in a grass skirt, cheap tribal jewelry from a Hollywood costume store, bare chested, a large machete on his side, a large knife hanging on his other side, and carrying a large wooden mask that the A-Team had brought back from a mission from South America.
"Do you have any idea how offensive this is?" he asked.
"Sorry, Crane," Hannibal said, "Halloween wasn't invented to be politically correct."
Crane grumbled to himself as he finished adjusting his costume, "voodoo witch doctor, human sacrifices, Smith, there is a hell and you are going to burn in it." He looked at the mask again and added, "But then again I suppose so am I for agreeing to go along with this."
"Look on the bright side, Crane," Decker said, "at least nobody will recognize us."
"All due respect, colonel, a good thing, if my mama ever caught me wearing this, she'd knock me into next week," Crane said as he donned the large tribal mask.
"So would mine," Murdock added.
"Alright, everybody get back into position," Hannibal told them, "we've still got a long night ahead of us. Decker, you get back out behind the trees in the side yard, Crane, you stand guard near the garage incase anybody tries sneaking in the back."
"Alright," Crane grumbled from behind the mask, "but I'll like it when this night is over."
"You and me both," Decker said as he slipped his own mask back into place and picked up the chainsaw.
"Oh you love it and you know it, Decker," Hannibal taunted him as the other colonel headed for the door.
"Oh man, what a night," Face groaned when it was finally all over.
"About time," Amy said as she sat on the table and kicked off her high heels, "Somebody is going to have to carry me to my car, I can't walk anymore."
Murdock yawned and leaned back and sprawled himself over the table next to Amy. "There must've been 300 people through here tonight."
"And Decker and Crane only had to help scare off a few dozen of them," Hannibal said with a smirk.
"Hey Hannibal," B.A. shook the fishbowl, "we did alright, got $350."
"In that bowl?" Murdock asked, "They must make goldfish the size of barracuda now."
"Actually what we got was two hundred dollar bills from the guy that left his wallet when he jumped out the window when Decker came at him with the chainsaw," Face said, "Most of the rest is in quarters and half dollars."
"Still, the hospital will be well compensated," Hannibal commented, "in all, I'd say we had a very successful evening."
"Whole night," Amy pointed to her watch, "It's 2 in the morning."
"So now what?" Face asked, just as Decker and Crane reentered the house in their costumes, but their masks were nowhere to be seen, neither were their weapons of choice for the night.
"Now we go home and go to bed," Hannibal said, "tomorrow we'll come back and collect all the equipment we set up, and this house can resume sitting empty for another hundred years."
"How'd you find this place anyway, Smith?" Crane asked.
"His lines tonight weren't all jibber jabber," B.A. answered, "people have called this place haunted for years. That's how he knew people would come, everybody wanted to see if it was true."
"Sadly we looked all throughout this place and couldn't find so much as a single haint," Murdock said as he sat up on the table, "very disappointing."
Hannibal and Decker faced each other. Hannibal offered his hand, "I know tomorrow it's back to status quo, but thanks for helping us tonight, Roderick."
"I hate to say it, Smith, but I actually had a good time," Decker replied as he took the hand and shook it.
Hannibal looked around the room and said with a small sigh, "Halloween's actually over."
"Yep," Decker agreed.
Hannibal looked to him and asked, "So why don't you take off the mask?"
Decker did a double take and when his brain finally processed Hannibal's comment, his response was to try and elbow Hannibal in the neck. The others had a small laugh about it.
"Well," Amy scooted off of the table, "I'm going home, I'm going to bed, and I just might stay there until Thanksgiving."
"Say hi to the turkey for me!" Murdock called after her.
Decker and Crane were the next ones to leave, and finally it was just the A-Team.
"Well it's been a lot of fun," Hannibal said as he went over to the candles that still burnt in their brass holder, "but now it's time to go home and call it a night."
With one big breath, he blew out the candles and plunged the house into pitch darkness.