"Scare me", said Karen. She tossed her long almond colored hair over her shoulder coyly and giggled. She was dressed up for Halloween as a sexy Goth/Dominatrix/cheerleader. I thought that maybe using the word "dressed up" was too strong a phrase since she really only had some patches of fabric covering her important bits.
"I don't know if I can scare you, but you have raised some very powerful emotions", I said to her with a wink.
"Shut up. Don't be dirty", she said.
She pressed herself close to me and I felt my heart pounding and all the blood leaving my head. I started to stammer as I often do when in the presence of pure beauty. My mind was fluttering with my good fortune for meeting this woman and how lucky I was that she wanted me.
She straightened my Clark Kent neck-tie and gently touched my cheek. She smiled as she looked into my eyes.
"This party should be fun. It's been so long since I've been to a Halloween party at someone's house and not at some stupid bar where you pay twenty dollars to get smashed into herds of horny costumed men", she said while readjusting her garter.
"Yeah, just one horny costumed man is enough these days", I said.
She smiled and struck a sexy pose with her leg up on the bed, "Trick or Treat", she said and she laughed.
That was what I found so fascinating about her. Clearly she knew she was just beautiful. The type of woman that could launch a thousand ships against Troy but she was hilarious about it. Her laughter was a better drug than anything I have ever known. I felt a leaping joy and I knew that I couldn't stand to be without her.
"I'll get your coat and meet you by the door darling. We don't want to be late", I said.
"I just have to put my hair in ponytails. I'll be right there", she said.
I stopped and took her hand in mine and kissed it.
"I love you", I said.
She smiled and took her hand back.
"I love you too".
I went downstairs to the front room closet and took out her winter coat. The temperature was going to be quite chilly and I knew that within an hour after the party started she'd tell me that she was cold. She was always cold. She just never seemed to be able to hold onto any warmth and it brought me great joy to provide it for her on cold nights in bed.
I looked at my watch and realized that we were already running about ten minutes late.
"Baby", I called, "we're running late already".
I didn't hear a response.
"Baby", I called again.
She appeared at the top of the stairs, white as a sheet. I dropped her coat over the back of the couch and hurried up to her.
"What's wrong", I asked.
She pointed toward our bedroom and was shivering.
"There was.. there was... something I...", she said.
I looked toward the bedroom and knew. It had found me. The creature that had tormented me as a child had found me.
"Stay calm and go downstairs", I said. "I'll take a look".
"What was it? What is going on? It was a ghost wasn't it? That ghost you told me about", she asked.
"Go downstairs", I said.
She took my hand and started down the stairs, looking back at me. Her eyes filled with scared tears.
"It'll be okay. I promise", I said. "I'll be right down and we can go to the party and forget all about this".
She didn't believe me and I could tell. I smiled at her and winked. I let her hand go and I made my way into the bedroom. This monster that had been following me since I was a small child. The shadowy creeper that ruined almost every photo of me as cloudy mist over my head. There it was, a dark mass sitting legless on the bed.
"She's great", it grumbled.
"You shut your mouth and get out of here", I said.
"That's no way to speak to an old friend is it", it gurgled.
"I've never been your friend", I said.
"How can you say that after all the fun times we had together? All the nights spent, sitting, plotting, cursing, dreaming of the power. How can you say we weren't friends", it asked.
"You were using me", I said.
The black form moved soundlessly from the bed and rushed forward directly into my face like a blast of cold wind as it had done so many times as I was a child. It bared it's ant-like pincers and hissed.
"I'm not a child anymore", I said.
"Still just as scared though", it mocked. "Are you going to marry that sweet young girl? If you don't I might have to express some interest", it muttered gravely.
"Stay away from her", I said.
I reached for the dresser drawer and pulled out the crucifix given to me by Father Gonzalez and flashed it in front of the monster. It cackled with evil delight.
"I'm far too old for that to work anymore boy", it growled.
The crucifix was torn from my hand and thrown to the other corner of the room. The beast laughed.
"You're hardly a believer anymore", the beast said.
"I do believe", I said.
"No. You don't. I can smell it on you like fat kids smell cake", it chuckled.
There was a knock at the bedroom door. It was Karen.
"Michael, what's going on", she asked.
"Let's open it shall we", said the monster.
I sped to the door and held it shut.
"It's okay Karen. Everything will be fine in a minute", I said.
"Don't lie to her", said the monster.
"I'd never lie to her and it's because of her that you'll be leaving this place, you'll be leaving me and never returning", I said.
"Don't be a fool. She believes in God less than you do. Neither of you can defeat me. I am eternal", the beast said. The room shook with the sound of it's vicious, blood chilling voice.
"Our faith is not shaken. It's our belief in love that will defeat you. After all, what is God if not Love", I said.
The room went still. I turned to the bedroom door and opened it. Karen stood there, brave and beautiful.
"Today we win Karen", I said to her and I took her hand, squeezed it tight and led her into the bedroom.
She squeezed my hand back and I knew that this evil was to be forever defeated. Besides, we had a party to get to.