"Oh my bed; how I have missed thee. Let me count the ways…"

Kagome sagged down into her pillowy mattress and sighed dreamily. She was in complete bliss to know the feeling of a bed that didn't involve a two-inch slab of hard stuffing placed on a wooden floor or a simple sleeping bag stretched out on rocky and uneven ground.

It was still early, but she was exhausted. She had been in the feudal era for over two weeks, fighting countless demons and seeing terrors too frightening to even describe in her quest to restore the fabled Shikon jewel. She was sore and tired and in desperate need for a vacation from one loud-mouthed, insult-flinging, sword-swinging, two-timing, stubborn, demanding, obnoxious, rude, jerk of a hanyou that was probably still lying face-first in the ten-foot deep crater that he had dug for himself after his last journey through 'Idiotic Male Dog Land'.

Kagome sighed as she closed her eyes. Tomorrow was a new day. She would go to school, have some time with her friends, and forget for a time that she was the Miko of the Shikon, living a cursed life in service to a power beyond her control or consent. But she knew, in the end, after a brief reprieve from the madness and the terror, she would return to finish something started over 500 years ago.

It was her duty. It was her responsibility. It was the burden she had been asked to bear. And failure was not an option.

So, she would find rest now while she could. Terrors and monsters and demons would have to wait until morning.

- - DING DONG - -

Kagome groaned and rolled on her side, pulling her pillow over her ears to muffle out the sounds from below.

'Please, don't let it be for me,' she prayed in her mind. 'Please, just let it be some salesman or a friend of Souta's or even grandpa's or…'

"KAGOME!!" Souta's voice carried up to her from where he had yelled her name at the bottom of the stairs. "YOUR FRIENDS ARE HERE!!"

Kagome groaned again as she slowly sat up and tried to think of a good excuse why she couldn't go to the movies, or the carnival, or to see the 'Hot New Band' of the week, with her friends. She was just so tired!

Her spirits lifted though when she heard her mother scolding Souta for yelling in the house, and she used that added boost of stamina to pull herself off her bed. After a quick straightening of her rumpled school uniform, Kagome checked her hair quickly in the mirror on her door, then stepped out of her room and made her way downstairs.

Halfway down the stairs, Kagome was stopped by Yuka…who, for some reason, was dressed in a maid's uniform…a very short, and very revealing maid's uniform.

"Kagome!" Yuka shouted as she rushed up the stairs to meet her. "What are you doing? You can't go out like that!"

"Out? But I'm not going…"

"Eri! Ayumi!" Yuka cut Kagome off before she could say any more. "Get up here! Kagome's not ready!"

"Ready?" Kagome questioned. "Ready for what?"

"Kagome?" Yuka questioned strangely. "I know you've been sick a lot, but we've never gone out without all of us. It just wouldn't be the same. You have to come!"

"But…" Kagome's questions as to what and where were answered shortly when she saw Eri and Ayumi running up the stairs to meet her.

Eri was dressed in a skin tight black dress that was long and tattered. The shredded cloth spilled down to the floor at her feet and fell from her elbows to trail behind her arms, but the most noticeable damage to the garment had been done to the neckline, which dipped so low it nearly reached her navel at the base of the great tear. But what was most obvious that things had gone awry, was the fact that Eri's short, dark hair had been replaced by a long wig of jet-black and silver that hung to her waist.

'Oh no,' Kagome thought in alarm. 'No, it couldn't possibly…'

But one look at Ayumi solidified her anxious thoughts. She was dressed in a flowing pink dress accented with glittering golden stitching. The dress fanned out around her, swishing loudly as the coarse layers underneath which served to keep the unnatural largeness of the outfit brushed against each other. Her hair had been pulled back tightly, leaving only a few strands to curl down around her face; and settled on top of her head was a beautifully fake crown of plastic jewels and painted tin.

Still, the message could not have been any clearer.

It was Halloween.

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A/N: This is just going to be a short fic in the spirit of my favorite season. I'm going to try to make it scary, but I might just end up with suspense. Ah well, it'll still be fun. This chapter was very short because it's sort of a prologue. I might be able to finish the next chapter tonight as well.

Happy Hauntings


Disclaimer: Unfortunately my imagination only goes so far as to create plotlines not characters. I don't own any of them.