For Halloween, Joyce set up a haunted house in her house. I had no idea she was even doing it, so I didn’t know what to expect when I opened the door.
Y’all really need to read the first part of this post. That’s where I got scared out of my mind.
I next found myself covered in cobwebs and ghost guts when a red glow started coming from the kitchen. Out of that came what looked like a woman dressed totally in black. I reckoned it was Joyce, so I called to her.
I got scary laughter from all over the room.
Then I saw the silhouette was carrying an axe, that it raised over its head…and it came closer and closer to me.
Now remember y’all, I was covered in spider web and slime, had the shit scared out of me in the bedroom…and now a dark form with an axe was coming at me. With cackling laughter from all around the room.
I’ll admit it. I screamed again. Keaton would say that was super gay of me…but he’d have screamed too. I was fuckin terrified.
Then I smelled Joyce’s perfume just as the some of the lights went on and I could see that it was Joyce holding the axe, done up in an Elvira Mistress of the Dark (or whatever she’s called) super tight black dress, complete with the wig and, when she smiled and started laughing, vampire teeth as well.
Joyce has a sense of humor, but I’d never heard her laugh like that. I think she kept saying “you should have seen your face” and shit like that, when I could make out what she was saying from behind the vampire teeth.
It was still dark and green and eerie, so I couldn’t even find the couch, and, believe me, I needed to sit down. When I did find the couch, I ended up sitting down on a skeleton…and jumped in the air again.
When my heart got back close to normal, I noticed Joyce had stopped laughing and was holding the vampire teeth in her hand. Maybe she thought it was too much. It wasn’t. I’d been scared shitless and almost had a heart attack a couple times, but, well, I put it this way:
“That was fuckin awesome!!!”
So she knew it was okay.
“There’s beer on the coffee table. You look like you need one.”
I did. And, sure enough, there was the good old ice bucket with three Stone IPAs in it. I don’t usually drink beer out of the bottle at Joyce’s, but I was glad enough to have found the opener in a room that was still dark. I felt behind me on the couch, found there was no scary surprise, and lay back against the pillows.
“Are you going to be okay?”
“Yeah, I’m fine. Just getting my heart to go back to normal.” Then I realized I was still covered in spider web and ghost guts and sitting on Joyce’s couch. “Is this shit going to come off the couch? I’m sure I got it all over the place.”
“There’s a sheet on the couch. You just can’t see it.”
That was a relief. Although, if you think about it, it was Joyce’s fault that I was covered in slime and cobwebs.
“Is this stuff going to come off me?” Good thing I had a ball cap on, or it would have been stuck in my hair too.
“It’s supposed to. You just need a shower and I’ll put your clothes in the washing machine while we’re having dinner.” I was wondering if I was going to have to have dinner in my boxers, but then I remembered I keep a tshirt and some basketball shorts at Joyce’s for when we have breakfast.
“How did you do all this? It’s fucking amazing. But even if you’re all crafty, there’s no way you could have done all this on your own. Or did you?”
She moved the skeleton on the couch out of the way and sat down next to me. I noticed her breasts looked dang good in her costume.
“I have a coworker who did these elaborate haunted houses for his kids when they were younger. Now that his kids are away at college, he had all this haunted house stuff in his garage, and I asked him if we could make a haunted house here. When I told him I wanted it really scary, he got all excited. We’ve been working on it for days. Since you were busy watching the World Series, I figured you wouldn’t be over here to see what we were doing until it was finished.”
I told her it was amazing again and headed off to the shower. One thing, though: she wouldn’t turn on the lights for me, because she didn’t want me to see how anything worked. That included the bathroom, since you can see the bathroom light in the bedroom. She lit this gayass scented candle for me so I wouldn’t kill myself in the shower.
While I was washing off the ghost guts, I did get to thinking how awesome it was that Joyce had gone to all this trouble for me. I mean, it wasn’t a haunted house anyone else was going to see, and, well, we had a haunted house in Maryville, but that wasn’t the same thing as having your own personal haunted house. Maybe Joyce just wanted to hear her tough jock boyfriend scream like a girl (if she did, she got her wish lol)…but mostly I realized she wanted to make me happy. That was pretty cool. Not like Monica would ever have taken the time to turn her apartment into a haunted house.
Not like any of my girlfriends would have. Maybe Shoshanah, but high school kids don’t know how to make flying ghosts out of slime. So I reminded myself to tell Joyce how much I appreciated it when I was dressed. Meemaw would have wanted me to in any case, but I really meant it this time.
Then we had dinner…the dining room had been decorated too, it just didn’t have any scary surprises. I could tell the decorating was Joyce’s work and it looked awesome too. We ate by the light of three jack o’lanterns. Next time you want a pumpkin carved, call Joyce lol. After a salad, she made the beef cooked in beer again. That went with baked potatoes with sour cream, bacon and chives, a pumpkin “souffle” (okay, we agreed that wasn’t the best thing she’d ever made…but it was Halloween) and of course (Pillsbury) biscuits. I think it was a joke, since she only got one bottle of it, but she served me a pumpkin beer too. It was as gross at it sounds. I wasn’t even polite enough to finish it…but, like I said, I think it was a joke. She got me another IPA right away. And the rest of the meal was dope.
For dessert she got a Halloween ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins. Y’all know that you can never go wrong with ice cream when it comes to me. It looked awesome and tasted great too. It had pistachio and strawberry inside, so I reckon Joyce ordered it special for me.
After dinner we went into the den so we could watch a scary movie. Joyce had picked a super old Dracula movie, which, I gotta admit, was pretty spooky. Not jump out of your seat spooky, more like have nightmares after you’d watched it spooky. That the room was all dark helped. (And Joyce kept telling me I was better looking than the dude who plays the hero in the film. I’m not a good judge of course, but he was pretty good looking.) Then we headed into the bedroom. Joyce unchained the skeleton and turned off the pumping heart (the Dodger hat was a present for me…it had the World Series patch on it and would have been a cooler gift if they’d won) and we got into bed and Joyce put on that old movie channel she likes. We missed the beginning of the movie, but it was this kinda lameass kinda fun thing about this actor who murders critics the way people are killed in Shakespeare plays. My favorite was when they sawed of some dude’s head in bed like in Cymbeline.
(I got to impress Joyce by knowing Cymbeline. I reckon she still thinks I’m kidding when I say I read Shakespeare on those long bus rides with the Crawdads.)
I was surprised that she didn’t let me spend the night…but she explained that she didn’t want me to see the house in daylight and see how everything worked. I reckon she was right: I’m not the kind of person who wants to know how a magician does his tricks. I like being amazed.
And sometimes scared shitless.