If only they knew why I had to blow them out
The light flickered as I whipped my finger back and forth across the light of the candle in the window and looked out of the foggy glass. It was the night before Halloween and I had decorated the house with dozens of orange candles. They sat on the long dining room table and in the window sills. A ding resonated on my phone while I was deep in thought. "All those candles will burn the house down!" The text appeared from my friend Jackson who was currently walking to my door to pick me up for the Halloween party.
The doorbell rang and I ran to open the creaky door to the old house. “Trying to summon some demons in here, Dorie?” Jackson asked.
“No, I wanted to really be in the spirit before you came in,” I let him inside away from the cold and started on blowing out the candles.
“Attack of the pumpkin spice!” He sniffed loudly and laughed. He was wearing a banana costume, which fit his whole goofy personality.
“You cannot talk to me in that banana costume right now,” I shook my head.
“Well you look good as a princess, not like every girl does that. I can’t stand this old house you picked to live in by the way, it is creepy,” he scanned the room and shook.
“Dont be so spooked, this house has history,” I pat him on his yellow back.
“Ghost history,” he started his way out of the door, but couldn’t push it open, “What gives?” He asked the door like it would just suddenly open for him because he asked.
“The door gets stuck, here,” I started to help him shove the door open, but the candles in the house suddenly reignited themselves.
“No! I refuse to die in a cheesy horror film!” Jackson screamed, “Turn this off now Dorie!”
“Wow I didn’t do that. Must really be ghosts in here,” I laughed nervously.
The candles then suddenly all blew out in smoke and the door whipped open, leaving Jackson in a hysterical yellow heap on the ground outside of the door. “Why?” He rubbed his shoulder.
“Probably the door opened when I acknowledged their existence," I helped Jackson up and we headed towards his car in order to make our way to the party.
”Did not think a ghost had feelings,” he rubbed at his arm that hit the ground.
Jackson pulled up to Reina’s big house that had pumpkins lining the whole path down the sidewalk to the front entrance. “Good, time to enjoy life in a house that isn’t haunted,” Jackson beamed as we skipped our way to the front door where we let ourselves in. There were decorations all along the walls. Skeletons, black cats, and ghosts. All elaborate and realistic looking. There was even a few moving ones down the long hallway in the middle of the house making background creaking mechanical noises.
“When you have the money for decorations, you end up really going all out,” I walked on to take a tour of everything that was in the house like a museum while Jackson went to go drink his sorrows. I walked down a hallway of dancing ghosts and spinning clowns until I reached the end that had a slashing grim reaper with an orange candle in the window behind it.
“Wow, Reina has the same obsession you do about having the candles in the window,” Jackson reached out and played with the flame the same way I did when I was waiting for him to come to my house, but right as he did so, all of the lights went off in the house and the grim reaper’s eyes turned bright red, and it stopped making mechanical sounding noises.
It turned to us and boomed out in a loud voice, “Tun around and what do you see? What is R and B? You only have two minutes or you turn into cups of tea!”
Jackson and I turned around to see colorful buttons on the wall. There was orange, yellow, blue, purple, red, green, and black. “So R and B means red and black? Or red and blue?” He asked me.
“Maybe we can look around here and find another clue,” I started scanning the hallway and pulled on a closed door, but it wouldn’t budge.
“There is no way to get out of here again? What is my life today?” Jackson chugged the drink in his hand and started scanning the room in a panic.
“Look over here,” I gestured towards him and pointed at the stained glass window that was behind the now dark and silent reaper, “That window before had all colors coming through, but now it only has red and blue shining through it.”
“Out we go then!” Jackson hit the red and blue buttons and the lights in the hallway turned back on while all the decorations around us started moving as usual again.
“There you guys are! We are about to play a Halloween game, let’s go,” Reina grabbed our wrists and led us to her huge living room. I turned around as we went and saw that the candle that Jackson played with was no longer sitting there.
“Did we just get put into an escape room of another realm?” Jackson asked me.
“I think so. It starts every time an orange candle appears and someone plays with the flame. I was playing with the flame at my house earlier and that must have set this sequence of events all off,” I looked around to see if there was any more candles, but didn’t see any for now.
“Avoid candles, got it!” We both joined with Reina and the rest of the party to bob for apples and play pin-the-stem-on-the-pumpkin.
“Hey, we should do something with candles,” one of the party goers, Trey, picked up an orange candle that had appeared in the window while everyone was distracted with the festivities. I turned to see Jackson’s face start turning green.
“Maybe we shouldn’t because we might set this lovely home on fire,” Jackson held out his hand as to say “stop.”
“Why are you so afraid that I will burn this beautiful house to the ground!” Trey started swinging the candle and laughing while suddenly the house turned dark again and everyone disappeared from the living room except Jackson, Trey, and I.
“What gives!” Trey looked around and ran to a door, trying to open it without budge.
“Same thing I said. Now you have us stuck in another escape room,” Jackson rolled his eyes.
“Escape room?” Trey asked while a figure of a ghost appeared.
The ghost swayed and stated, “Below words lies a key, unlock what needs to be, or I will be pouring you as tea.”
“The bookcase! I yelled while we all ran and started moving the shelf aside. The dusty floor had a key.
“What do we use it for though?” Trey asked.
“Try to unlock these doors,” Jackson was already trying to open all the locks, when finally one opened back to the hallway with the grim reaper.
“You found your way back to me, now you have to pick the correct cup of tea to drink,” it informed us and went dead again. We all looked at the three cups of tea laid before us. One had black liquid, the next blue, and the last green liquid. I looked up at the stained glass window again that this time only shined green.
“Everyone drink the green tea,” I took a sip of it and handed the disgusting tasting liquid to the other two as they took a sip and made a sour face, the hallway once again turned back to normal.
“Can you please explain this silly easy riddle nonsense?” Trey asked.
“We are just lucky enough to be able to figure these escapes out, who knows what would really happen if we didn’t figure them out on time. Can you imagine if it was children who got stuck like this?” I looked back into the door of the living room where everyone was laughing about Trey’s silly candle swishing.
“No one touch anymore candles for the rest of the night or we are doomed!” Jackson dramatically wiped sweat off of his forehead.
“Yeah, and each time we drag someone new into this, so we have to keep all candles away from everyone,” I looked around and saw an orange candle in the parlor and went to blow it out, and it disappeared right after.
“You also have to move out of that creepy house, we are packing your bags right now!” Jackson, Trey, and I left off in his car to pack myself up away from the ghosts. I quickly grabbed my things while blowing out candles as I went and decided I would stay at Jackson's place until I could find somewhere new and less haunted.
”This secret is with us forever. No one will believe us and we will just have to say we have a candle phobia,” I gasped at Jackson when we had finished our extremely fast move.
”Yes, I don’t want to know how much harder each riddle would get as we move along with those sick games,” he agreed.
The candles did not ever stop. They would follow us around for the rest of our lifes there on out. I had to forever keep a watch out for them and blow them out for the rest of eternity or be doomed to an unwanted escape room with Jackson, Trey, and whoever would be forced to join. Jackson and Trey did the same as me to keep the candles away from out loved ones. My family and friends who didn't understand what was actually going on thought we really had developed a phobia to them, but they would never truely know what dangers were lying in another path. Even the three of us didn't fully understand what we saw that night of the party.