Author's Note: This is it, my dear readers. This is the moment you've all been waiting for. What Jack has been trying to say is... oh wait, almost forgot the disclaimer. Jack Skellington was born in Tim Burton's head. He sings with the ever wonderful voice of Danny Elfman and made it big on the scene through Disney and Touchstone Pictures. Capcom is bringing the Pumpkin King back in game form. And me? I'm just using him for suspense, so he's not mine. Alas. (Re-edit comment: I can be so evil sometimes. It's wrong, but so much fun.)
Billy took Doctor Flaherty's advice to heart. He relaxed for the few days it took for Halloween to arrive. There was no use meeting Mr. Unlucky in an agitated manner. When Halloween did come, Billy left his home wearing a light jacket over his clothing and walked to the park. He sat down on a bench and watched parents guide their children to the houses located in front of the entrance. This was calming to Billy, watching the little children's faces light up when receiving candy and acting as if they were who they dressed up to be, whether theywere aliens or princesses to ghouls and spooks. Perhaps Halloween wasn't so horrible after all.
"About time you started seeing things my way," said the ever-familiar voice to Billy as he turned to see he was not alone on the bench.
"Do you always have to make some kind of grand entrance?" Billy asked as he leaned his back against the bench.
"I'm the Pumpkin King," said Mr. Unlucky with a grin. "It's a perk of the job."
"Is chasing people down every Halloween part of that job?"
"No, but you're a special case."
"So you're curious now? Maybe I won't tell you."
"Listen, if you weren't already dead, I'd kill you."
"Do you negotiate this well with everyone?"
"Everyone who makes my life miserable for twenty years."
"Ah, you make a good point. But see, I have my reason."
"Billy, if you want to continue this discussion, I suggest you take us to a secluded place. Other people can't see me and to them, you appear as if you're talking to yourself."
"You already know where I live," Billy said in a smarmy tone. "You can pull your disappearing act towards my place."
"I suppose so. Hold on to my hand and don't let go," Mr. Unlucky warned as he grabbed Billy's right hand.
Before Billy could object, he felt himself being dragged forward against his will. Faces of passers-by whirled past him as Mr. Unlucky entered his home. Billy needed a few seconds to regain his balance as he stood in his living room. The skeleton made himself comfortable as he sat down on the couch. Of course, Billy wasn't going to let him get too comfortable.
"Ok, we're alone. Now spill the beans."
"There are many of these beans you want me to spill. Where should I begin?"
"Why did you follow me that night when I was fifteen?"
"Ah, that night. I remember it. I was finishing up the celebrations in the Real World and was on my way home. That's what I do on Halloween, send tingles up people's spines and scare them out of their pants. It's fun," the Pumpkin King said with a nostalgic sigh. "Anyway, I stopped in your lovely cemetery because you called me."
"Well, not just you. If you recall, you and your friends were using a Ouija Board that night. You called the spirits and I replied. I couldn't resist, those always create such potential for fear."
"Why didn't you show up when they were there then?"
"I've always been a fan of good dramatic moments, and you were going to explode. You did."
"That wasn't an explosion."
"You cursed yourself. You proclaimed that you had no belief whatsoever in Halloween. You said that if you were wrong, you would submit yourself to a lifetime haunting."
"I know all of that," Billy said impatiently.
"Every good story needs a good background," the skeleton said bluntly. "I'm just setting the stage for what I have to say. You see, Billy, you were meant to curse yourself that night."
"I cannot answer that."
"You've got to be kidding!"
"Billy, there are forces in your world and mine that are greater than either one of us. The point is I was meant to meet you and tell you of your fate."
"You know my fate?" Billy asked. "Are you sure about that?"
"Mister Colby, do you want to know why I have been following you every Halloween or not?"
"I'm sorry. Go ahead, Mr. Unlucky."
"Please, call me Jack."
"Then get on with it, Jack."
"You may not know this, but I have been keeping a close watch over you every Halloween since you were very young. Yes, before you were fifteen. I had never shown myself to you because I felt you were not mature enough to see me yet. If you ever felt you were being followed while you were trick-or-treating or felt a shiver run down your spine, that was me. Perhaps I was the reason you never really liked Halloween since you were young. I apologize."
"You've always been watching me?"
"Just on Halloween. My world has certain constraints that cannot be broken, or bad things happen."
"But why me?"
"Every once in a while, someone is marked to join Halloween Town. It is a very rare occurrence. Our town is very sparsely populated, and everyone who is there came from this world. They were all watched and brought to Halloween Town to live in eternal celebration of the strange and spooky. You will one day join us."
"Join you? What about Heaven, Purgatory, even Hell?"
"You are exempt from all of them. Your spirit will come to Halloween Town."
"Why are you telling me this?"
"Sometimes, a soul refuses to come to Halloween Town upon death. They become lost and wander the Earth rather than accept their fate. It's sad, considering how great Halloween Town is. Your dislike of Halloween made you more likely to become a lost soul, and I couldn't let that happen. I followed you for your own good, to save your soul, not steal it."
"So you're telling me that all this time, all my life, you've been looking over me every Halloween. The reason you've been doing so is so you could one day tell me that I'm going to spend my afterlife with you and your community of weirdos? I don't believe you."
"I figured you'd still be in disbelief," Jack said as he got up and walked over to a mirror. "If you need any proof, look in the mirror."
Billy walked over to see that both he and Jack were visible in the mirror. Still, something was off in the reflection. It started with Billy's skin. It changed into a light blue, almost white hue. He became transparent, and almost seem to hover in place. His clothing was replaced with a black cloak which moved with the reflection. He tilted his head to make sure his reflection would do so, which it did. This made Billy jump back from the mirror, causing the mirror's reflection to become normal once more.
"What was that?"
"Your future. You have a real spirit, Billy. You will make an excellent specter. We've never really had one with this much potential."
"You didn't use any magic on me, did you?"
"No. I just allowed you to see your afterlife."
"And I have no choice in this?"
"Billy, have you ever really felt like you didn't belong here? Have you always yearned for something more? I have, so I definitely know the feeling."
"Yeah. But it doesn't mean I'm comfortable with becoming a spook."
"You will be someday. You'll see."
"When is that day?"
"Not for a good forty or fifty years."
"That's good to hear. Will I still see you?"
"Yes. Face it, you're stuck with me."
"I think I can get used to that, Mr. Unlucky, I mean, Jack. Will you still be around then?"
"Well, I can't let someone else scare you out of your pants."
"Fair. Hey, you better get on your way. Halloween's still young."
"You're right. I guess this is goodbye until next year."
"So long." Billy said as the skeleton disappeared.
Billy sighed as he sat down on the couch where Jack had sat moments before. In less than one hour, he had figured out more about his afterlife than any other living person he knew did about theirs. As far as he knew, his soul was going to Halloween Town. This meant some major adjustments in his attitude towards Halloween. He could start with the people currently ringing at his door.
"Hello, kids," Billy said to the pirate and his little sister dressed as a bumblebee.
"We heard you're the crazy guy that doesn't like Halloween. Is that true, Mister?" asked the pirate boy as he lifted his eye patch.
"Of course not. Wait right here. I'll get you two some treats."
His name is William "Billy" Colby. He is a semi-normal man from Wolf Creek, Kentucky. He used to hate Halloween, but not so much anymore. A skeleton he called Mr. Unlucky finally showed him what he was meant to be. Not everyone in the world can look forward to becoming a specter upon death and spending eternity in perpetual celebration. No, Billy is special. Billy is the guy from Kentucky, the one who had the Pumpkin King on his longest chase in his reign, and most important of all, the newest lover of Halloween.
As he passed out candy to children and made amends with the holiday, every figment of his being was happy. If he could be this happy in his eternity, Billy figured that Halloween Town would be better than heaven anyway. It would take some getting used to, but that was life was about. Billy still had a good chunk of it left and until that ran out, he would make Halloween the best day of his year and everyone else's. That in itself was proof of where he would one day belong.
Thank you everyone who made this story a success! I hope I didn't disappoint you.