My official disclaimer: TNBC and all such characters (c) Tim Burton. He's the man and I wouldn't steal anything from him. Characters that may appear in later chapters are mine, mind you.

Chapter 1:

Moonlight and the Mayor

Jack stared out his tower window, his eyeless sockets adjusting to the gloom. He had just awoken after having a particularly strange dream that he had dreamt several times previous, though now he could not recall what it was about. The pale moonlight streamed in, casting deformed and demonic shadows on the floor and walls. It startled him how much it creeped him out. He'd been dead for almost ten years now, and had adjusted well to the odd nature of Halloweentown. But something about this dream had him shaken and he couldn't explain why.

Zero lifted his head groggily from his little cushion in the corner as his master climbed out of bed and walked toward the window. Below, Jack could see the buildings of town, its crazily winding streets, and a few dimly lit streetlamps. He turned to his faithful ghost dog.

"What could this dream mean, Zero?" he asked

The dog only gave a soft, confused yip.

"It's the fifth time in two weeks," he went on. "It feels like a memory, but it doesn't seem to be all that familiar. Like a strange feeling of déjà vu."

He sat on the edge of the bed, drew his legs up and set his skull in his hand. He was feeling rather frustrated that he couldn't remember or figure this dream out and why it kept repeating itself. He didn't think he would be able to go back to sleep, either.

Before long, the orange glow of dawn crept into the tower. Jack looked up, squinting, from his sprawled position on the floor. Indeed, he had fallen asleep again, while he was sitting there certain that sleep would evade him, and had fallen off the bed.

A ringing sound, intertwined with a scream, caused him to jump. The doorbell. Why am I so jittery, he thought as he slipped into his clothes.

The doorbell rang again. Jack could hear an almost annoyingly cheerful voice drifting up from the front door.

"Jack? You home?"

Jack sighed and headed down the tower stairs to meet with the Mayor of Halloweentown. Again.

At the front door, the Mayor's drastically happy face had spun about to the side with a look of perpetual distress. Where was Jack? Maybe he wasn't home. What was he to do then? He looked up to the tower, and seeing nothing, he knocked loudly on the door.

"Jack? Where are you?!" he called up to the tower.

Suddenly, the door opened. There stood Jack, more than twice the squat Mayor's height.

"I'm right here," Jack said, rubbing the back of his skull. "You don't have to yell."

The Mayor's face stayed upset for a moment, looking Jack up and down, just to make sure it was Jack. Indeed it was, so again the face whirled to the happy side, with its ridiculous smile and spiraled eye.

"Halloween's in a week, Jack," he said cheerfully. But then, his head spun back around, now looking worried. "We're still five pumpkins short for the jack-o-lantern display. I've looked everywhere and there just aren't any more!"

Jack thought for a moment. The Mayor's constant perfectionism was starting to wear on his nerves. Five pumpkins? Five measly pumpkins and the Mayor was getting himself all worked up into an absolute fit. If Jack didn't say anything, tensions would explode. He sighed heavily.

"Mayor, I'm sure five pumpkins won't make that much of a difference," he said tiredly. "Just rearrange the display so it won't be so noticeable."

Now it was the Mayor's turn to think for a moment. Rearrange the display? But he had it all worked out this way. Rearranging it might further complicate things, and right now, things were complicated enough. He looked up at Jack, and Jack could tell he was thinking hard about what to say.

"Well, Jack, I just don't know…but we can work something out…"

And so it went for the rest of the morning, making, fixing, and adjusting plans for the upcoming Halloween.

Jack tried hard to concentrate, but thoughts of his disturbing dream kept creeping into his head like winding tendrils of an illusive mist. He tried and tried again to clear them out, all to no avail. His frustration ever increasing, he finally began making excuses just to get the emotionally distraught Mayor out of his house. After much convincing, subtle gestures, and irritation, Jack finally won out.

Surrah (c) 2007. My rights reserved, so there. Except as I stated before, TNBC is not mine. But wouldn't it be cool if it was?