Halloween Eve


Emily Sousa '23, Author

It was a brisk October evening, the night before Halloween. Juliette was on her way to Target to purchase last minute costumes for her daughters. Quickly pulling into the parking lot, she checked the time on her watch. It was 8:25 PM, and the store was open until 9 PM.

“Perfect.” she murmured under her breath, grabbing her wallet on the way out of the car.

She made her way inside, the breeze swinging her burgundy jacket back and forth. The store looked adorable, various pumpkins scattered around the entrance. Halloween has always been one of Juliette’s favorite holidays. It was a love that she enjoyed sharing with her family. The automatic doors slid open, providing her entrance to the store.

Juliette rarely shopped at this specific store, mostly due to the abundance of crimes that had been committed there. Store managers claimed they would arrive to open the store to find bodies laying across the store front. She shook her head. What insane thoughts! Logically she knew that everything was fine. It wasn’t like she was shopping in the middle of the night. It was probably just the Halloween stories filling her mind.

She started down the main aisle of the store, down towards the children’s costumes. Her daughter Samantha had requested a bumble bee costume. Glancing down the aisle, Juliette saw a bumble bee costume displayed on one of the mannequins. Looking through the nearby shelves, it became apparent that the only costume left in the store was on the mannequin. She sighed. She searched her surroundings, looking for an employee. She noticed a young man in the red Target vest. His vest was stained with coffee. She laughed, fully relating as she spilled her coffee all of the time.

“Hello Sir,” she began, “I apologize for being a bother, but I was wondering if I could purchase the children’s bumble bee costume on that manneq—?” She paused, staring at the lack of a mannequin in the direction she was pointing. “Oh, um. I’m sorry…. I thought….” Juliette stammered, her cheeks turning red.

The employee stared at her with a dumbfounded expression plastered across his face. “Um… well if you figure out which mannequin you need the costume from, let me know.” He shrugged and started in the other direction.

Juliette just stood there, frozen in confusion. She knew what she saw. The bumble bee costume and the mannequin were RIGHT there. She had only turned her back for a moment. She thought she was going insane. She started down the aisle once more, rubbing her eyes in distress. She turned the corner, starting down the next aisle. Juliette paused again, a shriek barely escaping her mouth. There stood THE mannequin, bumblebee costume and all. Her heart started to race. She thought maybe there were just two of the same mannequins, logically that was the answer. There was no WAY they could be moving on their own, that would be childish to think. She walked back over to the aisle the employee had gone into, turning her head every few seconds to ensure that the mannequin hadn’t moved. She suddenly felt a tap on her shoulder, causing her to jump. She whipped her body around, shocked to see the employee standing right behind her. He handed her what appeared to be the bumblebee costume.

“I found the costume you were looking for,” he exclaimed, “At least I think this is it.”

“Oh yes, thank you so much.” Juliette said, reaching for the costume. “Where was it? I thought it moved, I felt like I was going crazy!”

He pointed towards where Juliette had originally located the costume. “Over there.” he said.

To her shock, standing in the original spot was the mannequin. Juliette jumped, politely accepted the costume, and headed towards the register. She didn’t even stay to find a costume for her other daughter. She quickly ran through the self checkout line, paying as quickly as she could.

She speed walked towards the doors, and stopped dead in her tracks. Right by the entrance was a mannequin with a red vest. She shook her head.

“It’s probably just for Halloween.” she said under her breath, “It would make total sense.”

However, as she glanced back, she noticed an abundance of coffee stains on the vest. A shiver was sent down her spine. She covered her mouth, and ran out the automatic doors.

This was a Halloween Eve that Juliette would never forget.