Several years have passed since Dr Finklestein's demise. His years of work in Halloweentown to raise his status and respect had come crashing down when his true nature was revealed. He had sacrificed a whole clan of monsters for his greatest invention, the Soul Robber. He openly despised and hated half-lifes, beings that were stuck between the boundaries of living and undead. His actions had led to a split in Halloweentown. Not only between the undead, living and half-lifes but also between those who fed on humans and those who did not.
Its citizens began to fear the unknown… Most didn't even realise there was a division between the monster races of Halloweentown until Dr Finklestein had introduced the concept. He had brainwashed Jack's son Jason into believing it. The result of which led to the Pumpkin Prince's attempted destruction of Halloweentown. Jack however stopped the madness with the help of the remaining Crime Lords, monsters with power in town only second to the Pumpkin Monarchy (at times they were greater depending on the situation). Jason was then imprisoned in the catacombs while Dr Finklestein met a gruesome end at the hands of Jack.
In the meantime, the Crime Lords had chosen their own heirs to their positions of prestige. Boogie, Oogie's sister, had chosen Shock, the witch thief and former Boogie Boy, to head the illegal gambling ring. Mr Hyde, the town historian, had selected Kamen, the mummy boy and avid music lover, to become the next keeper of Halloweentown's knowledge and secrets. Behemoth, the genius in disguise as a dim-witted man, had elected Lock, the cunning devil and former Boogie Boy, to lead the alcohol distribution. Harlequin, the colourful and charismatic demon, had decided to pass his duty to Hayley, his half vampire and half demon daughter, to control the flow of foreign trinkets from the human world. Finally, Maul, the terrifying werewolf, had chosen Shadow, a Joker and torturer, to take his place as the hitman of Halloweentown.
With time, Jack hoped that his people would forget Dr Finklestein's theories and concepts. He hoped his town could return to its old ways of maniacal madness and fright. But once a bombshell like that had hit, there would always be people willing to uphold it. Unfortunately, the trials ahead for Halloweentown would not be easy to overcome given its new view of its citizens.
The full moon hung above the crooked streets of Hemlock Homestead. A young ghoul slept peacefully in his bed. His small home was as twisted as the rest of Halloweentown. The surrounding architecture was nightmarish and surreal, giving a terrifying beauty to the whole scene. By now it had recovered from Jason and Dr Finklestein's rampage. The buildings had been restored to their former spooky glory.
He was awakened abruptly by the sound of scratching echoing bellow his bed. Half dazed he knelt down on the floor. It was common to see night time shades and monsters creep under your bed or hide in your closet. They liked being in dark, small spaces.
The young ghoul paused nervously. He was expecting the glowing red eyes and fanged maw of an under-bed monster. He was greeted by an eerie sight. Two eyes stared at him. The pupils of which were blue. A violet marking rested bellow the left eye like a jester doll. They all glowed with eerie lights. A hand emerged from the darkness bellow his bed, it was chalky white with a glowing purple swirl on the back of it.
"Get away from me!" He squealed as he pulled away from the hand, practically tripping over his own feet as he tried to escape it.
The hand became an arm, the arm then followed to a shoulder. Something was emerging from bellow the darkness of his bed. Almost like the shadows were acting as a doorway for the strange being.
"I mean it! Get away from me!" The young ghoul shouted "HELP! HELP! THERE'S A FILTHY HALF-LIFE IN HERE!"
A voice confidently answered "Scream all you want, no one will come. My illusions have seen to that."
He looked up to see someone sitting on the edge of his bed. A woman with alabaster skin, probably in her late twenties, she was rather average in the looks and on the heavier side of normal weight. Yet he still couldn't help but notice her developed womanly curves. She tried her best to conceal them beneath a baggy black shirt and a pair of loose jeans. Upon her shirt was a large image of a demonic crescent moon devouring the sun. Her messy red hair was kept at bay in a wild ponytail beneath her black and indigo jester cap.
"Joker scum! I know what you do!"
She replied calmly "I always thought ghouls would understand. I mean, you do feed on humans from time to time."
"But we fucking don't torture them like you do. You twisted, evil, sick freak! Go back to Sleepy Hollow and be with your own freaky clan and just die. You don't even know the meaning of Halloween…"
She didn't pay attention to the ghoul's ramblings. She just sat there blankly staring at the floor as she thought 'It's always the same. People either love me for my torturing abilities or despise me. I can't help what I am. I can't change the way I've been brought up. I can't stop being a Joker because that is what I am…'
The ghoul followed her command as she stared at him with her icy blue eyes. He began to regret giving off his ranting speech. He knew that only the finest witches could break a Joker's illusion. The Joker clan was renowned for torturing humans both mentally with their illusions and physically with their sick methods. Once they tired of their victims, the Jokers would then devour them.
"I'm not here for petty revenge. I don't really care if you like or dislike me." She unravelled a satchel she had concealed behind her. It revealed numerous intimidating implements for torture. She informed calmly "I've merely come to shut you up, you opinionated bastard before the blood of innocent half-lifes can be spilt."
The ghoul cringed, she knew of his plans. He spat "You… fucking sadistic whore!"
It didn't matter what he said. He knew he wasn't going to survive to see the next morning.
Maul howled at the full moon. As a werewolf he couldn't help it. His jaws were lined with razor sharp fangs. His eyes were a sickly green with a slit like pupils. A tattered old shirt was stretched over his muscular body. He stood in the briars calmly where you could see Spiral Hill, the monument of Halloweentown, quite easily. The surreal landscape was only mystified with a beautiful curiosity by the light of the moon and darkness of night.
His ears twitched as he heard someone approach. He turned to see a jester woman approach him. She walked with a slight limp, an irreversible scar from her battle with Dr Finklestein.
He smirked "Shadow, everything go alright."
"Fine, I already notified Gil to clean the body away."
"Maul… why did you want me to kill that ghoul tonight? He was just a teenager…"
Maul put one of his massive arms around her shoulders as he said "Whoa, Shadow, this is why the apprenticeship to this position takes so long. Whilst you may not have to learn the methods, there's a lot of ethics to being a hitman. You always have to perform the greater good."
She looked to him, lost and confused "What do you mean?"
"Well, that ghoul you killed tonight was the leader of a half-life and human eater hate club. Quite hypocritical given he was a ghoul too." Maul sighed "He had to die so the club would disperse, most of the members are young just looking for a place to fit in. They'll never follow it seriously. It isn't about what we want as people, it's about doing things to maintain the peace. What is one life compared to a hundred lives that would be destroyed by that club's existence."
"I guess you're right… my clan is familiar with the concept of the greater good. We only torture the sinful and cruel hearted humans." Shadow nervously looked at her feet. It wasn't that she disliked torturing or killing her victims. She had already assassinated a few monsters over the past few years. 'It's trying to work out the bigger picture that always gets me down…'
"It's not an easy life Shadow. No one likes doing the job we do."
"I know, but… what if we've made a mistake in killing the wrong person?"
"Then we pay for the consequences. Remember that, we always deal with the consequences no matter how gruesome they may be."
Maul patted her on the head as he said "Now then, you better get home. Your boyfriend will probably be waiting for you."
She corrected strongly "Spectre is not my boyfriend. He's just a room mate that happens to get intimate with me when I'm in the mood."
"You mean a sex buddy?"
Shadow sighed "I didn't want to put it so crudely, but yes."
Maul cackled wickedly. He turned to leave after waving to her "Well, I better get going before my wife gets angry with me."
"See ya Maul." Shadow waved back to him as they went their separate ways.