by SilverTurtle


Emma stretched as the screen before her went dark and the room lights came on. "Well," she said as she stood and turned to face the assembled crowd, "that was quite a Halloween!"

"Indeed," Moseby agreed while taking up a position beside Emma, "I've never seen so much wholesale slaughter. Our writers were in quite a mood."

"Yeah," Zack chimed in, "There were some parts that even scared me!"

"I had no idea Irene could be so terrifying," Cody said as he shivered, "we got off light the first time we went into her rooms."

"And don't you forget it!" Irene materialized in front of the twins giving them both a start. She grinned when they mock glared at her and drifted away.

Suddenly the door burst open and a gleaming golden armored figure stood in the doorway, the lights making it shine even more brightly. For a long moment the crowded room went still as they stared at the mythic warrior, eyes drawn to the round shield and pointed spear the figure carried.

The moment was broken when the figure strode forward, the lights shifting to reveal the face of the intruder, "Now I am ready to show you all vhat I can do!"

"Ilsa!" Moseby cried out shocked, "What are you doing?"

Ilsa's golden armor clanked as she stepped further into the room. An unhappy yapping behind her drew everyone's attention, briefly, to an awkwardly shuffling and costumed Blitzkrieg dressed as the eight legged horse Sleipnir and growling at anyone who dared look at him too long. "I am prepared to show all you talentless hacks vhat TRUE skill looks like! I vill stun you all vith my acting prowess. I vill tell the tale of my people. About Valkyries and noble death and devotion! You vill laugh, you vill cry, you vill eat your hearts out!"

"But Ilsa," Moseby said, trying to break things gently, "Halloween is over. We're finished here."

"VHAT! NO!" Ilsa yelled and stomped her foot, "But I finally have everything ready! The story, the scene, the costume! It vas going to be my greatest triumph!" She pouted angrily before staring each and every person in the room down, "You vill sit. You vill vatch my story. You vill applaud."

Zack, feeling brave, asked mockingly, "And what will you do if we don't?"

Ilsa glared coldly at him and slowly waved her very real spear in his direction, "You vill. Of this I am sure."

Getting the implied threat a wide-eyed Zack slowly sank into his seat dragging on his little brother's arm to make him sit too. "If I have to watch this train wreck," he whispered as his brother gave him a questioning look, "I'm not doing it alone."

"Ilsa," Moseby said reasonably, "You can't keep us here no matter how you threaten us. We're all tired and ready to take a break. This year's collection was a bit hard on all of us."

Ilsa thunked the bottom of her spear against the hardwood floor and huffed angrily, "Fine." She watched sullenly as people rushed for the doors, watched as they moved even more swiftly when Blitzkrieg started taking out his bad temper on unprotected ankles. Before Moseby could escape she dropped her spear across the door, blocking his exit, "Vhere do you think you are going? I have a story to tell and dammit I vill tell it tonight! Or so help me I vill make your life miserable...vell, more miserable."

Moseby took one look at her evil grin and helplessly backed away towards the seats.

The double doors closed slowly on Moseby's look of horror as Ilsa's voice was heard intoning over the opening strains of Wagner's 'Ride of the Valkyries', "Ve begin vith a brief history: Valkyries vere originally sinister spirits of slaughter, dark angels of death who soared over the battlefields like birds of pray, meting out fate in the name of Odin. Chosen heroes were gathered up and borne away to Valhalla, the heavenly abode of Odin's ghostly army..."



A/N: Well, it's been fun. We got some great stories this year and we thank everyone for their participation as writers, readers, and reviewers. Hopefully you all had as much fun as we did and might consider joining in next year with your own stories (or sooner, with our other story collections).