“I’d like to go to the Halloween party,” Isaac said. “I really would. But I have a headache.”
“We’ll wait for you,” Marianne said. “Take some medicine. We’ll go when you feel better.”
“No, I don’t want Charlie to miss out,” Isaac said. “Go ahead and go without me.”
“All right,” Marianne said. “But we’ll miss you.”
And she and Charlie dressed in their costumes and left. Isaac changed into his pajamas and went to bed to try to sleep away the awful headache. He pulled his pillow over his head to shut out light and sound and eventually drifted off to sleep.
He woke up to a pinching feeling on his right pointer finger. His headache was mostly gone. He pushed the pillow off his head and sat up. He looked at his finger.
There was a bright orange spider ring on his finger. It waved a front leg at him. “Hello,” it said. “I’m the spirit of Halloween past.”
“Really?” Isaac asked.
“Absolutely,” the spider ring said. “Let’s go see a memory.” The room started spinning.
“I think my headache is coming back,” Isaac said.
“Not to worry,” the ring said. “We’re here.” They were in a room decorated with orange and black streamers. Adults and children were in costumes playing games and talking. “Hey, look who’s over there,” the spider said.
“It’s me. And there’s my dad,” Isaac said. “This is the party where he dropped his glasses in the punch.”
“How did that happen?” the spider asked.
“He took them off to wipe the glitter off and someone bumped into him,” Isaac said.
Just then, a small bumblebee ran into Isaac’s dad and his glasses fell into the punch with a plop. “How unfortunate,” the spider ring said.
“It’s not that bad,” Isaac said. “We all laughed about it for years afterwards. It’s a good memory.” Isaac watched his father fish the glasses out of the bowl with a ladle as little Isaac giggled.
Isaac woke up feeling like his teeth were glued shut. His mouth tasted like caramel. His headache was mostly gone. He pushed the pillow off his head and sat up. There was a caramel apple sitting on the nightstand.
Isaac picked it up and took another bite. He looked around the room. Shouldn’t there be another spirit? An origami bat fluttered down from a dark corner of the room. “I’m the spirit of Halloween present,” it said. “There are a lot more treats at the party. Do you want to see?”
“Of course,” Isaac said. “Take me there, please.”
The room dropped out from below them and another room rose to meet them. This room was decorated with white and black balloons. Children and adults in costumes were playing games and talking.
“Great party, isn’t it?” the bat asked.
“Where’s Charlie? Where’s Marianne?” Isaac asked.
“Oh, they left. Charlie said it wasn’t as fun without you.”
“Well, take me home,” Isaac said. “We can all go to the party together. My headache is gone now.”
“Sure thing,” the origami bat said. “I’ll tell the vampire teeth that they’re not needed.”
“Thanks,” Isaac said.
“Have a happy Halloween,” the bat said.
Isaac woke up when he heard a door slam. He pushed the pillow off his head and sat up. “Marianne? Charlie?” he said.
Charlie burst into the room. “Dad? Are you feeling better? We came home to get you. It’s a great party. You don’t want to miss out.”
“Thank you, Charlie,” Isaac said. “I am feeling better. I’ll change into my costume and we can go.”
“Hurry! We need to get back before all the caramel apples are gone,” Charlie said.
Isaac looked back at the nightstand. There wasn’t a caramel apple sitting there, but his mouth still tasted like caramel. How strange.
“We’ll wait for you by the front door,” Marianne said. She and Charlie went out and closed the bedroom door behind them.
Isaac jumped up. He needed to hurry and change into his costume. He had a party to attend!