They stood askance. Bright purples and deep oranges speckled their faces. In the bright sunlight, the masked figures kept their hands behind their backs as if in parade rest. There stood ten of them. The wind blew the blue hair of some of the masked people standing in the Newark, Delaware corporate office complex. The vast majority of employees had left for home early this day as the company, Terry Capital, recognized Halloween as a sacred holiday. Betina Ossley walked with a stride that said purpose. As the CEO of her company she walked out last from the office. She stepped right into the standoff of the ten costumes that stood about like a copse of ill-planted evergreens. Her gait began to quicken as she saw that the rest of the parking lost remained vacant.
Betina attempted to procure her vehicle but was met with a masked woman about her height at five foot six. No noises escaped from the lips of the masked people. Ominously, they stalked Betina. Like rotating robots, they moved in a methodical, measured way. The sun became a flashlight in the afternoon sky. Its beam provided full comfort for Betina. One figure strolled up behind Betina. When she turned back, the spook had seemed to evaporate. In truth, he just crouched and scurried away from her.
The ten of them then made a single file line like in elementary school but horizontally. Betina observed all of this like a surveyor taking in the landscape. They all walked towards Betina with a lugubrious stride.
“You know that I’m not afraid of any of you,” Betina said. She ventured towards her car with bravado.
A red haired mask wearer stepped forward at a faster pace than the others. The figure was about six feet six inches. All of the masked people tried to outstep the last. With no witnesses to this entire event, she was at the mercy of these faceless (maybe) assailants. Betina knew that the masks could not stop her progress. She had to get home to prepare for the trick-or-treaters to show up at her door. She had no time for any more of this foolishness. She straightened like a steel rod had replaced her backbone.
“You’re going to have to say something. Anything!”
Silence. The group was now about six paces away from Betina. Fear had not coursed through her body. With the help of the sun, the faces all seemed to stand out with distinctive shades and individual designs. Betina breathed. “What are your names?”
Silence. The masked ones then put their hands on each other’s shoulders and followed the tallest one around Betina’s car. A chant sprang up from the mouths of these masks. It was like a ritualistic call with them going around a fire. Except on this day, that fire was her transportation. Around and around they chanted unintelligible words that didn’t scare Betina but left her perplexed.
At last, the masks stood still and a single voice sprang from one of the throats like berries bursting in the harvest.
“I am Douglass,” said a yellow haired crooked like mask that looked as if the wearer had been socked in the jaw. “This is Allen, Gwinnett, Edwin, Phillips, Wollstonecraft, Ray, she’s Hardie, that’s O,Brien, and that’s Burton.” They all waved their hands and grasped at the air like tickling keys on a piano.
Betina remained resolute. She nodded to the masked figures and proceeded into her car. Douglass then came up to Betina’s driver side window.
She commanded the car to allow the window to go into its slot.
“You know it could’ve been different if it were night,” Douglass said.
“You struck no fear in me now and I would be prepared for any nighttime interruption to my day. Now if you would please excuse me, I’ve got plans for the evening that do not include you all.”
O’Brien rolled up to Betina’s car just as she prepared to drive off and shouted, “Happy….”
“Halloween,” Betina said, smirking. She drove off into brilliance.