You open the third door down and waltz in like you own the place. This cane makes you feel like a bigshot! Well, it's not like you would really be that much more hesitant on a normal day, either. Your face is positively beaming until you see Worth lounging at his desk like usual. You cross your arms.
"Hey, you're not wearing a costume! Don't you know what day it is? And did you call Lamont like I asked you to?"
Worth snarls. "I'm not dressing like fuckin' Freddy Krueger, Hanna. An' he's coming on his own time, 'less the lucky bastard decides to take his chance of escape."
You sigh. "Alright, then. But you're ruining the holiday spirit. I guess we'll be late to pick up Toni, if we're waiting for 'Mont." Your eyes meet a cheap calendar hanging on the wall, with this day circled in bright red ink, a mark you made a week ago. Something's bugging you about that calendar, but you can't put your finger on what that could possibly be.
"I could... find her and bring her back here." The slight hitch in Alfonso's sentence surprises you. His speaking pattern is usually smooth and relaxed, with little hesitation. You look up to him and see his eyes are closed and he's clutching his head; if you weren't so suddenly worried, you'd laugh at the fact that his hand is to the side with no makeup, assuring that the stuff wouldn't smudge off onto his pristine white gloves.
"Trip, you feeling alright?" He opens his eyes, and you pale to see that his orange irises, usually inexplicably luminescent, are now equally inexplicably dimmed, their slight glow growing fainter by the moment.
"Do the undead... usually get... headaches?" he grits out, seeming suddenly tired and in pain. Then, the breath is knocked straight out of your lungs as you look back at the calendar and realize exactly what was bothering you.
"Oh, shit! Worth, I need to use your back room!" Without waiting for an answer, you slip behind your much taller partner and start pushing him toward said room. "Ramone, you need to stay in there for a while."
"Hanna, what's going on?" he asks, concerned though cooperating completely. He turns to face you just inside the room, and you shut the door quickly, feeling bad about slamming it in his face but knowing any delay could be fatal.
"I'm sorry, Todd, but I completely forgot what's supposed to happen today! Which is insane, I've been waiting for this for years! I mean, I'm lucky enough to be alive during one, and here I go, even with a zombie best friend, forgetting everything!"
"Hanna?" his voice is muffled and strained behind the door, reminding you that he still doesn't know what you're talking about. Worth is snarling behind you, in a similar state. You take a breath and put your back against the door.
"Right, see, every hundred years or something like that, on Halloween, it's the anniversary of the first man to ever be resurrected in the way you must have been! For playing with nature in a way humanity shouldn't, the whole process is cursed. It goes further than just being kinda crumbly and having detachable limbs; on that anniversary, at midnight, the souls of the undead escape their bodies for a while.
"I'm not sure where they go, but they leave behind a walking husk that feels like a huge part of them is missing. Which, of course, it pretty much is. So, sensing the presence of souls in human beings, they try to fill that gap with their flesh. It doesn't work, so they just forget and try again. There aren't many zombies in the world at any one time, so it's not too widely spread, but just one is crazy strong and dangerous.
"So, it's not your fault, Rupert, but until dawn, you're going to kinda try to eat people. Mainly Worth and I, since we're right here. We gotta try and keep you locked in..." There isn't any reply from behind the door, only a skeptical grunt from Worth. You turn and knock on the door lightly. "Rupert?"
There's a sudden and loud bang, a forceful impact, clearly meant to knock the weak wooden contraption out of the way. You slump slightly, now knowing that your friend is gone, at least for a few hours. You look at your watch. Yep, midnight on the dot. You wonder how much he heard of your explanation? The door rattles again. Worth puts his weight on it next to you, grimacing.
"Way'ta bring a flesh-eating monster inta my office, Hanna. How much time've we got?"
"He's not a monster! He's just... empty." You defend your friend, even as he bangs relentlessly on the door, making the hinges squeak and rattle shrilly in protest. "And we've probably got a good six to seven hours before daylight rises. Then we'll have to get him outside; his soul won't come back until he sees that light."
In a bone-rattling crunch, one more impact has splintered the wood, revealing a freshly-made hole in the door, where a green-ish, thin hand is hovering, fingers pressed into a fist. Your eyes widen. "That guy can really punch, can't he?"
"That ain't a good thing, Hanna."
The hand retreats and hits the door again, making the hole wider. There's a whole forearm sticking out now, the white sleeve sleeve of the Two-Face costume partially ripped, caught in the splintered wood. The limb grabs towards you, and you duck lower. There's a low, disembodied growl sounding from the gap, and it makes you flinch; it just doesn't sound like a person anymore. Worth pushes himself away from the door and sprints around a corner, reappearing moments later with a shotgun.
"A blow to the head should do it, right? Open the door."
You stare at him in horror. "No! Worth, you can't just kill him! If you do that, his soul will have nowhere to return to! He'll just be stuck in some kind of purgatory or wherever he's gone to for eternity! I thought I told you that you weren't allowed to do that to my friends!"
"He's not the man you know anymore, Hanna!"
"But he will be in six hours!"
Worth looks between you, the door, and the gun a few times. With another blow, the hole is widened even further, revealing the face of the creature trying to get to your flesh, and fill the hole in its being with your blood. It will just feel emptier, and then try the same process again with Worth, and everyone else it can reach within the next few hours. There's now a clean target to the center of the head. Worth shakes his own.
"Sorry. But I ain't dyin' like this." And with that, he aims the gun, point-blank, and pulls the trigger.