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The Misadventures of Johan O’Malley: Halloween Gone Wrong

This chapter takes place eight months before the events of The Misadventures of Johan O’Malley: Chapter 1. It’s a fun bonus chapter set during Johan’s junior year Halloween.

T-minus five days until Halloween and Melody’s annual Halloween party. This year, Mike, Mohammed and I scored invitations for the first time ever. Melody’s parties were legendary in our small town, since there wasn’t much to do, even on a major night like Halloween.

Melody lived in a Victorian-style mansion near the school, so I’ve been told. I‘d never visited her house before. But when her fancy black invitation with silver script came in the mail, I couldn’t help but cheer. Her parents were old school and thought formal invitations made the event more exclusive, even if the two of them would be away in Vermont for Halloween weekend. 

I placed the invite on the entryway table when I got it, next to some creepy letter addressed to my older brother Liam. Despite being in college, Liam decided to come home for Halloween. I couldn’t understand why he would rather spend a holiday in a boring small town instead of in a big city, but whatever. 

After I read over the invitation for the hundredth time this week, I heard a car honk from my driveway. Mohammed beeped the horn of his silver Lexus again as I opened the front door. My other friend Mike took up most of the back seat, propping up his feet on the smooth leather interior. Once Melody and I became a couple on Halloween, I really needed to get Mike a girlfriend. He could barely talk to girls without me around to offer my guidance. 

“Where to?” Mohammed asked as soon as I got in the car.

“Spirit of Halloween.”

I wanted to dress up in something that would make me look manly for Melody. I figured a cop was the perfect outfit. We walked into the store, and I saw the back of a mannequin wearing what looked like the perfect cop outfit. Without thinking I rushed over to try it on. I grabbed the hat and put it on and began reaching for the gun, when the mannequin grabbed my wrist and before I knew it, I was being pinned to the ground and handcuffed for trying to steal an officer’s firearm! Without thinking I found myself trying to break free so the officer tazed me in the back of the neck.

“Johan,” Mohammed yelled from behind me. “Stop being an idiot. Sorry officer, he thought you were a mannequin and wanted to wear your outfit as a Halloween costume.”

The officer let out a chuckle and got off of me, but because he freakin’ tased me, I couldn’t muster the strength to get off the floor. “You’ve got to be more careful, son. I thought you were a hardened criminal.”

That caused Mike and Mohammed to burst out laughing. “It looks like you are a hardened criminal, Johan!” Mike said in between laughs. 

“Help me up,” I whined to my friends. The officer just rolled his eyes and left the store, heading in the direction of Dunkin as Mohammed lifted me off the ground. They started walking toward me but then stepped over me and continued on out of the store. “Where the hell are you going?!”

“Dunkin Donuts. The officer just asked if we wanted to come with him. He wants to question us about any suspicious behavior you may have shown in the past.”

Now this was getting embarrassing. I was just lying on the floor handcuffed in the middle of a Halloween store! Suddenly some little kids came over and helped me up. Maybe I had been too harsh in the past saying that children are just annoying little brats. But I got ahead of myself because suddenly one of them came out of the bathroom with a roll of toilet paper and before I knew it the kids were spinning me in a circle and wrapping me in it! I tried yelling at them, but my mouth was the first thing they covered.

Then for the next two hours every time I tried approaching someone asking for help, they just pointed out the cool realistic mummy that the store had. One family even tried to BUY ME! The store owner came over to check what was up and I thought he would be able to see that I wasn’t a toy but when he saw that I didn’t have a price tag he just said “$100” and before I knew it, I was being loaded into the trunk of their car.

Thankfully, right before the door closed, Mike, Mohammed and the stupid officer spotted me and yelled at the family to stop. They didn’t even bother to buy me a donut! I guess I was lucky though because Mohammed ripped the toilet paper off my face, causing the two little kids to start sobbing!

“How dare you play this prank on my family,” the large dad said. “Think of the psychological trauma you’ve caused.”

“Me?” I screamed. “They wrapped me up like this and you think I’m only worth $100.”

“Johan, drop it,” Mike said. “We can just go to Party City now.” The officer finally took off the handcuffs, which left red raw circles on my beautiful wrists. It felt good to be able to move my body again. I wanted to scream at the Spirit of Halloween staff, but I should probably cut my losses and find a costume at another store…one where I only look at costumes placed inside plastic bags.

#

Standing in the front of the mirror in my bedroom, I admired the way I looked in a sorcerer’s costume. I heard Melody liked astrology so this was the best I could come up with from Party City’s sale rack. Mike and Mohammed were meeting me here soon and then I would give them directions to Melody’s party. They wouldn’t look as good as me though.

Just as I stepped into the living room, I saw Liam on the couch eating Halloween candy. He held the creepy letter, smiling at whatever stupid plans he had tonight. I was going to say something to my brother, but decided against it and to wait for my friends outside. I took a picture of Melody’s address earlier and had it ready for our drive. 

Mohammed pulled up only a few minutes later, messing with his Zeus costume. I told him at Party City that I resembled a God more than him because of my muscles, but he just shrugged and purchased it anyway. Mike, on the other hand, decided to dress AS ME!! Were those my skinny jeans and fedora? I thought they went missing.

“Where did you get my clothes?” I screamed as I got into the car.

“I asked Liam for them last night,” Mike said casually, playing some game on his phone.

“Got the address?” Mohammed asked.

“Yep, I took a photo last night before bed. I’ll type it into the car’s GPS.”

The GPS told us we had a 20-minute drive ahead of us, which surprised me because I thought Melody lived a lot closer to us. Mohammed followed the directions, heading west, where it really was the middle of nowhere. We passed the empty high school, Mohammed’s neighborhood and eventually Mike’s, before the houses became sparse. 

When the GPS said, “You have arrived at your destination,” I thought someone must be pranking us. 

After driving across grass, Mohammed parked in between two large SUVs outside an abandoned barn. Maybe the address on the invitation wasn’t her home. It looked to me like Melody’s family went all out for this year’s Halloween bash.

“Johan, are you sure this is the correct address?” Mohammed asked. 

“I know what I’m doing,” I snapped. “And I intend to make an entrance.”

With that, I slammed the car door behind me, fixed my robe and made a beeline for the front door of the barn, getting my hands covered in spider’s web in the process. Melody really did a great job decorating!

I took a deep breath, opened up the door and shouted, “I’m here.” At this point, Mike and Mohammed stood behind me.

“Oh everybody, the inductees are here!” I wanted to let them know that I was more of a guest, not an inductee, but they were close enough. I walked into the next room and everyone seemed excited to see me. “Look, it’s them. Three of our inductees are already here!” Now this was something I could get behind. I knew I was about to be the star of this party. I was a little concerned that everyone wore white masks and black robes, but who was I to question my first high school Halloween party. I bet Melody was the one closest to the back door because I saw long brown hair peek out from under the robe. I flashed a smile in her direction and went with the theme of the night. 

“Um, Johan, this doesn’t look right,” Mike whispered. 

“Shh, Mike or we’re never getting invited to another party!”

Everyone gathered around a huge bonfire in the backyard and started singing songs in Latin while waiting for the other “inductees” (party guests) to show up. This was not my typical party, but I said to my friends “When in Rome” hoping one of them would know what that phrase meant.

We started chanting along with the group around the fire. The more we chanted, the livelier everyone became! I still didn’t understand a word anyone was saying, but I was having a blast. Everyone danced in a circle. The only time I had ever seen this was at my friend Mike’s bar mitzvah in seventh grade. I was getting really into the festivities, so I yelled out “Mazel tov!” which caused everyone to immediately stop dancing and stare in my direction.

The tallest of the bunch stepped forward. “Disciples are only supposed to speak in Latin tonight, per our ritual. Please respect our traditions or get out.”

I simply nodded, not knowing the word for yes in Latin. I didn’t realize typical Halloween parties had language requirements. Then I remembered the Latin Liam taught me when I was younger and decided to show off for Mike and Mohammed

“Orrysay, leasepay orgivefay ymay riendsfay. Eythay on’tday eakspay atinlay”

“That’s Pig Latin, you moron,” Mohammed said. 

“Orrysay,” I whispered. Who the heck knew the difference between Latin and Pig Latin anyway?

After the confusion, the music and dancing started again. About ten more people joined us. All of them wore masks and robes, which made me feel left out. 

So I walked up to the guy from earlier and said, “Buddy, can I get one of those costumes?”

“You mean uniforms? There are some extras over there underneath the tree.”

I walked toward the tree when I saw a bunch of weird looking figurines hanging from it, which I thought were cool decorations. I didn’t stop to see what they were because the music and dancing seemed to be picking up a lot. I grabbed my uniform and rushed back to the circle.

Now, Mike and Mohammed were the only ones underdressed. “You two look ridiculous,” I said quietly to my two boring friends. 

“Johan, this is not Melody’s party,” Mike said. “I think we’re attending some sort of cult ritual.” 

“I agree. This is so sketchy. Are you sure you took a picture of Melody’s Halloween invitation and not something else?” Mohammed asked.

“Don’t be an idiot, I did everything right. We’re at the coolest party I’ve ever been to. Stop complaining and put on the uniforms.”

Just then the music stopped and they announced for everyone to take off their masks. I was surprised to see my world cultures teacher, Mr. Nordberg, in this circle! I was about to wave hello but then someone in the middle yelled, “It is time for the first sacrifice of the evening!”

Oh my god, Mohammed was right. We had to get out of here. Before I could tell them to run though, there were flashing police lights and a voice on a loudspeaker telling everyone to put their hands up.

In the flashing red and blue lights, I barely made out Liam’s face in the crowd. Then everything started to click. His creepy letter that arrived that same day as Melody’s invite. I threw off my robe and started to run, figuring that if they saw that I wasn’t wearing a robe they would know I wasn’t part of the cult. Unfortunately, I forgot that I didn’t throw the robe over my clothes, I changed into it. Now I wasn’t just fleeing the police. I was fleeing them completely naked. And I left my wallet in my pants!

I hopped into my car so fast that I accidentally landed butt first on the gear shifter which made me scream bloody murder. Mike and Mohammed got back to the car just in time, allowing us to get the hell out of there. But you know what they forgot, my clothes!! Apparently, the cops let them leave because the officer was that weirdo from the mall last week. He felt bad that I DRAGGED them into another scene and let them walk. It didn’t look like Liam would be so lucky though and I couldn’t wait for my mom to find out when bailing him out. 

“That was the most fun I had all year,” I said to my two very pissed off friends. Mohammed was mad that I was sitting naked on the leather seats. “Oh, cheer up guys, we had a unique Halloween experience. Then Mike and Mohammed made weird faces as if they smelled a fart. They moved their heads around the car trying to find the source of it when they came to my gear shift and they both gagged.

“Dude, your gear shift smells like shit, what happened!?” Mike said. I saw Mohammed put his head out the window.

“I don’t know, probably something from the cult we just infiltrated. Better they think that than find out what really happened.”

Mohammed dropped me off at my house and I sat in my seat for a little bit.

“Well, we’re here. Get out.”

“Just a second,” I said.

“Look dude, if I’m not home by midnight my mom is going to report me missing to the police.”

I hobbled out of the passenger side and waddled into the house. I took one last look at the car and, judging by the faces Mike and Mohammed made to each other, they figured out what made the steering wheel smell so bad. I only prayed neither of them texted Melody. Knowing Mike, he would try texting her some stupid joke about how I’m “autosexual” which I would never be able to live down. 

Oh well, at least I had a Halloween I would never forget. 

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