The residents of Creepy Cavern were in a dreadful prickle. Halloween
was looming and everyone was down in the grumps. The apparition and the
specter were both in bed with the flu. The banshee had laryngitis. The
werewolf had mange. There was no snap left in the dragons. And the witch
could think of nothing more wicked than worming the Cheshire cat. The
ghoul was gloomy, the wizard was weary, and the spook was out of boos.
All were in a vile temper. Pac-man had lockjaw. The skeletons had
lost a ball game to the zombies who’d ground them to bone meal, and they
weren’t rattling. The scarecrow accused the effigy of being stuck up. The
effigy called the scarecrow a stuffed shirt and said he was so dumb he
wouldn’t know the difference between Bart Simpson and beanhole beans…or
Buffalo Bill for that matter.
Ignoring the pestilent populace, a sorceress hummed and chanted as a blue
flame rose over her steaming cauldron, where the crouching crone cackled and
stirred. Seeing his reflection in the cauldron, the moon gazed down so
long he lost his gibbous. In the cauldron was a new potion the crone had
concocted which she believed would animate a pet rock. The recipe promised
that, after one sip, everyone would become vibrant, vigorous, virile,
voluptuous, voracious, viagrant, and very, very frightening. What the
crone didn’t know was that the sneaky sorceress had secretly added a few
newt’s eyes, tattletails and some voodoo dust. Within a few hours after
drinking the potion one became invisible.
As the motley crew wailed and howled and groaned and growled, the
sorceress continued to chant and the crone unceasingly stirred. Finally
the potion was ready, and all lined up to hold out their cups. As they
sipped, they smacked their lips–those that had lips–saying, “Ahhhh.
Ooooo. Yeaaaaa. Mon.” Soon thirsts were slaked and stomachs sated and they
began looking for some action. They hailed a pumpkin, piled in and pogoed
off to the Toad Wart Tavern.
At the Toad Wart moods began to lighten. The mummies had their
potato picking money to spend and they soon became unwrapped. Bats began
to boogie with wraiths. The gremlins, who had gone to the Toad to watch
dimpled dollies spin tessellated tassels on their trousseaus, weren’t long
getting into a mix-up. Table dancing Sacha, the sultry shade,
inadvertently nudged a tipple into the lap of Big Daddy Warlocks. Big
Daddy threw a shoe, jumped up and started to howl. Then a gnome, fresh and
full of cider, got carried away and patted the pompons of a prissy
poltergeist who pelted them all with prunes.
Suddenly, at midnight, they turned invisible and that was when they set
out for the masquerade ball being held on the common near the town square.
They hopped and whooped and jumped and skipped and bounced and wafted
through the streets. Every cat in the neighborhood did an upside down “U”
as the delightfully demonic dervishes whirled and twirled along.
“Boo, Boo, boo”; they yelled.
“Who, who, who,” an old owl answered.
Now, everyone who was anyone (or anything) was at the ball. There
was Tom Swifty, Betty Boop, the Katzenjammer Kids, Dirty Ernie, and Winnie
the Pooh. Miss Piggy was done up as golden egg, with false eyelashes. The
Jolly Green Giant and Mr. Clean, in matching muscles, served as bouncers.
Long John Silver was clanking about, poking the Pillsbury Doughboy and the
Michelin man in the stomach. Tim Horton showed up, resplendent as a
doughnut hole. And, who should be courting Lizzie Borden but the headless
While the Ungrateful Dead changed bands with the Murdering Measles
the Munsters and Typhoid Mary argued over the identity of Jack the Ripper,
wondered if the Tylenol Cyanide Capsule killers were coming, and how the
vampires were doing in these days of AIDs.
They all seemed to be enjoying themselves–except Medusa, who was,
as usual, having a bad hair day–and Little Miss Muffet who, tuffetless,
stood watching a Mexican Jumping Bean doing Ti Chi on a magic mushroom.
Nobody took any notice when the old crone and the invisible hoard of
head-haunters arrived. Their attention was caught by Lady Godiva–lissome
and lovely in puce Day-Glo body paint–who was about to accept the prize
for best costume. So the invisible haunters infiltrated.
Towards the end of the evening, just when Tom Swifty was slowing
down, the crone opened her thermos and poured two and a half cups of
potion into the punch bowl. Then the imps got busy and talked everyone
into “one for the road.” All glasses were filled–and emptied. And soon
events took a turn for the really weird.
Betty Boop, about to go off with Lawrence of Arabia on his
motorcycle, put down her punch and began waltzing furiously. Jolly Green
and Mr. Clean did the bunny hop. Rasputin, who had convinced Lolita he
was the Count of Monte Crisco, took to giggling and couldn’t stop. Henry
the VIII, who had just chosen Miss Muffet for his ninth wife, slipped and
flipped onto his crown.
“Oh, woo, woof,” bayed the hounds of Baskerville. “What a bash!”
Then the Scarlet Pimple, who had been doing the lindy with Freda
Frogle, turned blue and disappeared. Freda frowned. Then, one after the
other, every single reviler vanished.
“Mercy me,” said the Sorceress. “Looks like we won’t be seeing each
other until next Halloween.” And off she went in the doppelganger’s
The next morning Percy Plimsole took Pepe his pet poodle for her
walk in the common. Pepe was sniffing along happily when suddenly she
yipped and began to hackle. There in the grass to Percy’s surprise was an
ax, an eyelash, half a crown and some very green peas.