We both knew he was going to sit up. Lord knows, we’d sat in my living room time and again, lights off, knees up to our chests, watching Michael Myers slice and dice the babysitters and their boyfriends. More times than I could count. So we knew. Of course we knew. Still, when he did rise, then slowly turn his head to stare at Jamie Lee Curtis, we both squealed.
“Get up, get up, get up!” I muttered the phrase under my breath with pressing urgency. As if she could hear me. As if it would make any difference. Even now, knowing what would happen, I almost believed if I said it enough times, the sequence of events might change.
“He’s coming, Laurie, oh my God, he’s coming! Get up. Get up. Move, dammit!” My best friend Rachel clapped her hands over her mouth; whether it was because she’d cursed–which she usually didn’t–or because she’d shouted–which might wake my parents, already asleep upstairs–I didn’t know. Either way, I giggled. She looked at me, let out a rush of breath, and smiled. The moment of levity eased the rising tension.
Still, when Michael slashed the butcher knife at Laurie, and she tumbled over the banister and down the stairs, we clutched each other’s arms, deliciously terrified.
We watched with bated breath until the last creepy moment, when Donald Pleasence peeked over the balcony to see nothing but an empty lawn. Michael Myers had defied death, fated to kill again and again. As the eerie theme played, and the credits rolled, I turned to Rachel.
“Have you tackled that algebra homework for Ms. Reed yet?”
“Are you kidding? You know me better than that, Bri. I’m a procrastinator. I’m not planning to start on that stuff ‘til Sunday night.”
I grinned. It was true. Rachel and I’d had the same schedule all through middle school, and she always put her homework off until the last minute. I was the opposite; I preferred to get my homework done and out of the way, free to enjoy the rest of my weekend without a figurative sword hanging over my head.
“You ready for bed?” I shook my head at Rachel’s question. It was nearly one in the morning, but it would probably be at least two before we went to sleep. Neither of us would ever come out and admit it, but we were both always a little on edge after watching one of the “Halloween” films. We’d seen them all, and we knew Michael Myers didn’t exist. Still, it took a little while for reality to set back in.
We were cuddled into opposite corners of the couch, discussing our plans for the upcoming eighth grade dance, when a ghostly figure drifted through the doorway. Rachel screamed. I jolted at the unexpected shriek, then followed her gaze across the room.
A tall figure stood there, draped in a white sheet, with thick, black-rimmed glasses on, and an old, white, slinky-like phone cord wrapped around its neck.
“Geez, Mr. Feicho! It doesn’t matter how many times you do that, it still always scares me to death!” Rachel was panting, a hand clutched to her chest.
I laughed. I couldn’t help it. My dad had been pulling this stunt ever since Rachel had first come over. And she was right; no matter how many times he did it, she always screamed, convinced it was Michael Myers, come to life. Still, he usually waited until the morning, catching us just as we were waking up. It was a bit weird for him to come down this late at night; he and mom definitely weren’t night owls. I shrugged it off. I’d never be able to explain what went on in that man’s head.
“Hey Dad, what’s up?”
He didn’t answer, drawing the charade out. I smirked. It as so like him, never wanting to give the joke up, even after the punch line had been said.
We waited. So did he.
Finally, Rachel gave up. “Well, after that nice little scare, I need the bathroom. I’ll be right back. ‘Night, Mr. Feicho.” She was just walking past him when I caught the gleam flash in the glow of the TV’s blue screen.
Suddenly, the scene didn’t make sense. Rachel slid down the door frame, her throat slit wide, blood spurting in fountains from the gash. She didn’t scream. She couldn’t. But she gurgled as crimson bubbles popped from between her open lips. Her eyes widened in shocked terror.
“R-Rachel?” She looked across the room at me; her eyes went flat, and her head lolled. Turning, I took in the sheeted figure, a bloodstained knife in his hand. Now I screamed. The high-pitched shriek tore at my vocal cords, shredding them. I leapt from the couch, looking frantically for somewhere to run. There was nowhere to go.
Even if he heard me, it would be too late. He’d never get to me in time.
“Daddy, help me!”
Then a gloved hand, cloaked in white, gripped my throat, and the thick blade thrust into my gut. The shriek cut off. The knife ripped free, then stabbed again. A third time. And again. Finally, he let go, and I collapsed to the floor.
My vision darkened.
“Daddy. D-d-daddy.” The word was barely a whisper now, my breath coming in shallow pants. As I lay there, dying, in a pool of my own blood, I watched the man who was not my father flip the latch, turn the knob, and calmly walk out my front door.