The Hollow Halloween
Chapter Five: Night of the Negas
A witch's cackling rang out in the night as Nega-Des chased a small group of kids in sweater vests down the street carting a massive Spurned Love Grenade Launcher on her shoulder.
"What'll we do?" Chester panted, "That crazy lady with the misty tail's gaining on us!"
"Yeah," Elmer was sweating like a pig, "we can't keep this up much longer!"
The laughter came again as she vanished only to reappear right in front of them. "I'll get you my pretties...and your humungous boil too!"
"Hey!" Elmer objected.
"Quiet you fool!" the boil hissed. "I don't want to be a wart on a frog."
Not much further away the two popular girls rushed down an alley only to find themselves at a dead end.
"Like, what now Trixie?" Veronica questioned.
"I don't know!" her friend panicked, "We're...we're trapped!"
Suddenly both were thrown into coughing fits as aqua colored smoke filled the alleyway. From amidst the smoke a hairy figure rose and cut off their only exit.
"Nowhere to run creampuffs?" Nega-Norm chided, "Then how's about a nega-makeover?"
In a snap a hate arrow crossbow appeared. But before he could fire-
"Not so fast you poorly dressed ruffian!"
-a blast of positive magic hit him from behind and sent him flying into the dumpster.
"Remy-poo!" Trixie exclaimed.
The girls hastily ran over to Remy and his floating friend.
"Uh..." Veronica pointed to the latter, "who's this?"
"Why he's my fairy--err--fairly short friend from my days back at the F.U.N. Academy."
"Wandissimo Magnifico," the fairy bowed and planted a kiss atop Trixie's hand, "at your service."
"Ooo," Trixie was clearly impressed by the flattery. But something dawned on her, "Remy, how'd you get out of going to that totally unpopular day camp?"
"Oh sure my parents wanted me to attend those dreadfully boring festivities like all the others. But I managed to talk them out of it." he boosted and winked to his fairy godparent, "And by 'talk' I mean 'bribe'."
Veronica started to grow nervous, "We'd uh, better like get out of here before that creepy guy in the werewolf costume comes back."
"Right," Buxaplenty nodded, "come along now, we'll be safe at my mansion."
"Oh my stars!" Cupid exclaimed into his wrist communicator, "Things have gotten completely out of hand down here! My operative's a nega?!"
"And her genie godparents too sir," Twitter's image added. "What are we going to do?"
"I'll tell what we're gonna do," Cupid narrowed his eyes and twisted his helmet back in place, "We're gonna round up these negas and cancel out that black magic. Sound the alarm!"
The Love Bunker went into red alert. Cherubs and Thunderhearts raced down to Dimmsdale to undo the havoc the negas had wrought.
"To arms!" Cupid paused when he noticed that no one was around to hear his heroic battle cry. "Um...Chartre?"
"Got'cha now deary!" Nega-Des cackled and fired her weapon.
A pastel blur darted between the nega-genie and her targets. "Des, NO!"
Chester ran for cover while Elmer cringed and held up his arms. When anxious seconds passed with no trace of pain he slowly lowered his arms and peeked ahead. "Wh-What happened?"
"Elmer!" Chester shouted from behind a nearby mailbox, "RUN!"
The witchy nega-genie hovered in place, momentarily uninterested in her escaping prey. "Not exactly what I was going for but hn, you'll do."
When the smoke cleared a pale nega-sprite stood and smirked back. "The more the scarier."
All across town Cupid and the cherubs were doing a fairly good job of rounding up the negas and dispelling their negative energy.
Just a block away the Love Fairy could see Twitter zeroing in on the unsuspecting Nega-Timmy.
"Ahahaha!" the nega was rubbing his hands together deviously as he advanced on AJ.
"T-Timmy?" the child genius stammered, "Wh-What's going on? What happened to your voice? I-Is that some kinda skin condition?"
"I'd love to play 20 Questions," the nega replied sarcastically, "but I think you'll appreciate this more when you're an evil genius like me."
AJ had to choke back a laugh, "Y-You? Aha! A genius?"
"Yesss, thanks to that ridiculous Funeduween idea all the adults are out of the picture. So turning the children of Dimmsdale will be a synch. And then, the entire city will fall victim to our evil plot!"
"Think again pal!" Twitter released his arrow and watched it nail the startled nega in the tush.
Not really able to wrap his brain around the highly illogical situation, AJ slipped away while Timmy came out of his daze.
"Alright!" Cupid cheered, "We're on a roll now!"
"You think sssso?"
The cherub's pupils shrank. He knew that voice, albeit it was a bit raspy now. Slowly he turned to face the speaker. "B-Buttercup?"
"Hey there, Lover Boy." Nega-Chartre flexed her nails and motioned him forward, "Let's dance."
Timmy jerked his gaze around frantically. "Whoa, what the heck's going on?"
Everything had come to a climax, the bulk of the negas were thwarted leaving only Nega-Trudy, her nega-genies, and Nega-Chartre, the most powerful of the lot.
"Oh no! The spirit of Halloween's gonna freak when he sees this! I've gotta find Cosmo and Wanda and wish things back to normal."
Amidst the fray Nega-Trudy caught sight of the fleeing boy as he rounded the street corner. "Hmph, should've known he'd be too weak to stay bad."
The nega-genies appeared on either side of their master and stared after him.
"Things aren't goin' so well," Nega-Norm informed her, "those cherubs keep comin' and we're running low on negas. How not great is that?"
"Well at least I managed to turn one," Nega-Des bragged.
Her partner blew her a raspberry and crossed his paws. "Big deal, like we really needed a couple of preppy negas anyway."
"Forget the others," Nega-Trudy scowled, "we can't let that brat reach his godparents and wish us all back through the portal."
Timmy raced down the street where Cosmo and Wanda were posing as props in the storefront window of a costume shop.
"Guys!" he practically leapt for joy when he spotted the pink and green tombstones. "You're okay!"
"Timmy!!" the godparents cheered and poofed back to their original forms.
"Oh Timmy, it was terrible," Cosmo explained, "you were all mean and scary and then you made all these really spooky wishes so we hid so you couldn't misuse our magic anymore and-"
"It's okay Cosmo, I'm me again." Timmy assured him, "Now we've gotta stop those other guys before they wreck Halloween and Jack totally kills me!"
"Don't worry hon," Wanda waved it off, "the spirit of Halloween may be one scary guy, but I don't think he'd ever actually hurt anybody."
"Just psychologically," Cosmo beamed.
"Too bad they can't say the same for us."
The trio jumped and spun around to find the nega-genies staring them down.
Nega-Des formed a ball of crackling green fire in her hand and hurled it into their midst.
"AAAHHH!!!" they screamed and dove in various directions as the flaming orb hit the ground and exploded in burst of neon fire.
"Sttttrike!" the witchy fiend cackled.
A shadow fell over Timmy as he struggled to push himself up. "Huh?"
Looking up he locked eyes with a sneering dark haired sorceress.
"It's a real shame it had to come to this Timmy but-" she smirked and raised her hate canon, fixing his terrified expression between the crosshairs, "-if you're not with us..."
Timmy turned to his godparents for help only to find they'd been ensnared by the nega-genies. The misty green and wolfish tails were wound around them so tight that neither could speak let along raise their wand.
With no help in sight he could only turn back and watch as Nega-Trudy blasted him head on. But, to everyone's surprise, she was reluctant to pull the trigger.
I-I don't get it, the nega-creature frowned at her strange hesitation. What's going on?
"Hey, hey, what's this?" Nega-Norm growled, "Do the little pork chop in already!"
"Yeah!" Nega-Des called, "We're wasting precious bewitching hours here!"
Their master trembled and lifted her finger from the trigger. "I-I can't," her crimson eyes softened, "Timmy..."
The nega-genies exchanged puzzled looks when she lowered her weapon.
"Ooohh..." a hand flew to her forehead, "What's happening? I feel...so...weird."
As she dropped to her knees a figure crept up from behind and grasped her shoulder. "Maybe I can help ya clear your head there?"
The others gasped when the tattered gloved hand pulled away with what--at first--appeared to be her shadow. A small hiss escaped her as the nega-creature was pulled free and stuffed into the treat bag in his opposite hand.
Timmy's eyes lit up with recognition. "Hey! You're that lady from the play! And the movie theater!"
Trudy glanced behind her, "Who-?"
"Jack Oleander," the spirit of Halloween bowed slightly and removed his worn straw hat. "Now if you'll excuse me," he went straight for the nega-genies who cowered in place, literally paralyzed with fear, "I've got a few more negas to round up."
The imps gasped when Jack muttered a quick, "Here, hold this." and shoved the treat bag at Hocus on his way past.
With one good yank the negas were pulled from Norm and Des who groaned and unwound their tails. Free at last the fairies floated upward and stretched the kinks out of their spines. "Yay!!"
Jack returned to Hocus and stuffed the nega-creatures into the bag. "This won't hold them for long. I'd better get 'em back in the coffin."
"Weeee, we won!" Cosmo cheered, flying circles around the panicking pre-teen. "Pffft! Ack, I've still got fur in my mouth!"
Wanda shook her head while her hubby poofed up a lint brush and tried to clean his tongue. A sudden tug on her shoe brought her attention back to Timmy.
"Um, Wanda? Maaaybe we oughtta get outta here? Ya know, just incase you-know-who's still mad about the coffin thing?"
"Sure thing Sport."
Truthfully, Jack hadn't been paying much attention to the kid or his fairies. He was preoccupied with getting the negas back into the coffin...and reprimanding a few thoughtless imps.
"Wait!" Trudy called after him, "What about saving Halloween?"
"What about it?" Jack glanced over his shoulder. "Looks to me like 'Funeduween' (or whatever those clowns called it) is history now. And hey, the night's still young. So get out there and--ya know--spook it up huh?"
Giving a quick wink he spread his arms and disappeared (imps and all) back to the castle in his classic, eerie fashion.
"Well," Norm grumbled, "that was a howl."
"Why do I feel like making poison apples?" Des blinked.
The agent of love got shakily to her feet just as Chartre appeared holding a rose.
"Here you go sweetie," the sprite smiled sweetly, now back to her old self. "It's no jawbreaker but I figure this will do the trick."
"Thanks Aunt Char," Trudy gratefully accepted the rose.
"Hey wait, I remember Nega-Des attacking you," the genie godmother eyed her suspiciously, "How'd you change back?"
Cupid slung an arm around the sprite's shoulders and pulled her close. "Heh, a little love magic goes a long way, right Flower Girl?"
She grinned and blushed while he wriggled his eyebrows, so cheesy. "Right Lover Boy."
"Oooh," Norm clutched his stomach, looking green in the face, "anybody got a goody bag? I think I'm gonna be sick."
A short time later, after the miserable failure of 'Funeduween', Dimmsdale was ready to once again embrace Halloween...which didn't seem nearly as dangerous or destructive as the alternative. Kids flooded the streets in their costumes and rushed door-to-door chanting "trick-or-treat!"
Back outside Tootie's house her genie godparents waited for their godchild to emerge. Even Norm found it mildly amusing to watch the other children run by them carting bags of candy twice their size while laughing away.
Vicky had already left to take Timmy and his friends trick-or-treating. The evil babysitter was particularly happy now that she was getting double her fee for coming out on such late notice. Her little sister managed to escape the greedy redhead's candy run by convincing her parents she'd been invited to go along with her friends from school. A group that would be supervised by a certain pair of 'responsible volunteers'.
"Great," Norm groaned, watching the seconds tick away on his wrist watch.
"Oh what're you so sour about?" Des asked. Does he have to complain about everything we do?
"Oh nothing, I mean, what genie wouldn't be thrilled to walk around all night with a kid dressed as a FAIRY princess?"
Des frowned, she could actually sympathize there. "I know it's humiliating but it's Tootie's decision. And besides, it's only one night a year."
"One looong night." he griped.
The front door shut as their godchild came out ready and raring to go. "Okay guys, I'm ready! What do you think?"
Her godparents turned around fearing the worst, but instead, big smiles spread over their faces. Tootie was wearing genie garb instead of her embarrassing, frilly fairy princess costume.
"What's this?" Norm teased, "I thought you were going as a poofy FAIRY princess?"
"Well..." Tootie blushed, "they're not the ONLY kind of princesses around."
"That's my girl," he nudged her chin playfully.
"Oh you're such a cutie pie!" Des gushed.
A gong sounded followed by a series of flashes as Des started snapping pictures like crazy.
"Whoa Des!" Norm covered the opening around his shades. "Easy on the snapshots! You're gonna blind the kid!"
"Say 'cavities'!" she beamed, unable to resist getting one last photo for the scrapbook.
Outside the Turners' residence an angry redhead stood tapping her foot impatiently while the other trick-or-treaters in her group kept a safe distance.
"What is taking so long?!" she demanded, mashing the doorbell for the tenth time in the past two minutes.
The door slowly creaked open as Vicky turned to head back down the walkway. Two blue eyes shown through the darkness inside. With a buck toothed grin the mysterious watcher sprang out onto the stoop behind the unsuspecting babysitter, "FaIrY gOdPaReNtS!!!"
"AAAHHH!!!" Vicky must've leapt ten feet in the air causing the kids to break out into laughter.
"Cool costume Timmy," AJ praised, "No one's ever thought of going as Mr. Crocker before."
"Yeah," Chester agreed, "you've even got that 'thing' on your neck."
"Well, I wanted something unique and scary," Timmy replied proudly as he and his friends headed off down the street, "And what's scarier than a fairy obsessed, F-giving teacher?"
They passed a yard with a fall scene out front, included was a pumpkin-headed scarecrow leaning on the bails of hay.
"Heh, now that's usin' your imagination."
The kids paused.
"D-Did that scarecrow just say something?" Chester asked nervously.
"D-Don't be ridiculous," AJ stammered, "Scarecrows can't talk. It...it's a scientific fact."
Timmy's eyes widened from behind his black rimmed glasses. "Jack Oleander?"
The scarecrow bent over toward them and removed his head; the kids trembled as he held it toward them. "Call me...JACK, the spirit of HALLOWEEN! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!"
"YAH!!" the boys screamed and took off in opposite directions, all but Timmy who stepped back and asked shakily, "Y-You're not mad about the nega-thing are you? It--it was an accident! And uh--it--it won't happen again! Yeah!"
"Relax kid," Jack replaced his head and waved the matter off, "everything's fine now. The negas are back inside the coffin, the portal's sealed off, and no one got hurt."
"Phew," Timmy wiped his sweaty brow. It looked like he was off the hook.
"Although..." Jack propped his pumpkin head on his hand and tilted it thoughtfully, "...you did go poking around where I specifically told ya not to."
Cosmo and Wanda watched Sanjay run past them screaming like a frightened little girl. "DEMON SCARECROW!!"
"Gee, I wonder what that was about?"
Wanda looked worried, "You don't think Jack is still mad at Timmy do you?"
"Nah, don't worry baby." Cosmo assured her in his typically overconfident manner. "Look! Here he comes! Hey Timmy, over here!"
Their godchild came over looking peeved and dragging his empty bag behind him.
"Aw, what's the matter Sport?" Wanda asked. "You got out of having to spend Halloween at the Learn-A-Torium didn't you?"
"Yeah, but thanks to Cosmo prying open that coffin I have to spend the next WEEK stuck in this Crocker costume!" he shot his godfather a glare and got a nervous laugh in response.
"Ah well, he's tough but fair."
"And one more thing," Timmy smirked and pointed at the fairy, "you have to spend the next week stuck--as your mother!"
Instantly Cosmo was poofed into the Mama Cosma costume. Wanda quivered and bit her nails; it was obviously a punishment for her too.
"Wanda? What? You still love me right baby? Right?!" he leaned forward to kiss her but she screamed in terror and took off.
Timmy watched the chase ensue with a smug grin. "Yep, tough but fair." A look of confusion suddenly crossed his features. "Huh? Why do I feel like I forgot something?"
Back at the Learn-A-Torium...
A giant tarantula sat in the ball pit wearing safety gear and looking fairly distressed. His captors rushed up with a fresh tray of soy cubes.
"Well scary special guest," Gary smiled cheerily at the oversized arachnid, "since you're the only one left in the whole building, it looks like it'll just be the three of us celebrating Funeduween this year!"
Betty shoved a soy cube in the terrified spider's mouth. "Say, why don't you come back in February so you can help us celebrate Let's Just Be Friends Day?!"
Outside Jack leaned against the broken window frame, noticed the readers, and pointed at the scene. "Well gang, it doesn't get much scarier than that. Hn, so hey, Happy Halloween!"