Brisk winds propel two demon spirits as they soar through the moonlit skies. Tony and Frank howl and guffaw on their journey toward a Halloween party hosted by the living. The uninvited fiends delight in their annual mission of claiming the soul of a human. They whiz downward through the clouds to glimpse the sparsely populated neighborhood beneath them. Ahead sits a large mansion illuminated with orange and purple lights.

Tony’s round face lights up. He points a thick finger, then shouts over his shoulder, “That’s it! That’s our destination for choosing this year’s victim!”

Frank lowers his head to have a look. He adjusts his baseball cap, then straightens his arms and zooms ahead toward the mansion.

The demons reach the stately home and hover a few feet above the rooftop. Halloween music and spooky sounds fill the air, and strobe lights fuel the ambiance for an evening of grim intentions. A group of party-goers approaches the mansion. Tony swoops down, and whizzes pass them creating a gust of wind that blows a girl’s sweater off her shoulder. She shivers and pulls it back up.

Frank laughs, then lowers himself onto the roof. “C’mon. Let’s get inside the house and search for a soul.”

“Hell, let’s wreak havoc and inflict some pain while we’re at it,” adds Tony. He flies up to meet Frank on the rooftop and jollies him along.

They slip their heads and upper bodies down through the roof to peek inside. Frank spots a table laden with various alcoholic beverages. “Look at all that booze!”

The furrow on Tony’s forehead deepens. “Forget the booze! Look at all these fools dressed in stupid costumes. They all deserve to die tonight!”

Frank smacks Tony’s round head. “Chill, dude. Our mission is to collect one soul.”

“Then let’s get to it.” Tony gestures with his hand. “In we go.”

Their bodies glide through the ceiling, and they make their way around the dimmed house in search of a suitable human for their boss. They swirl around from room to room, weaving between party-goers. Their flight stirs the air. Hair blows, skin crawls, and party-goers flinch.

Frank lands in the large living room and crosses his arms. He scans the room for potential victims.

Tony sets down to begin his search and approaches a girl dressed as a witch. He reaches up to place a hand on the back of her neck and obtains summarized visions of her life. Images of infidelity and egocentric behaviors enter his mind. He looks at Frank and gives the witch a dismissive wave. “She’s perfectly rotten. We’ll leave her. We need to eliminate a citizen with morals.”

Frank steps to his left and wraps a hand around the back of Batman’s neck to appraise his soul. Disorderly conduct and simple assault flash through his mind. Frank looks at Tony and gives him a thumbs down. “Batman can stay, too.” He crosses his arms and scans the room.

Tony places his arms behind his back and strolls around the living room. He spots a princess adjusting her perfect, brown ringlets, nods his head and causes her hair to ruffle. Tony smirks, then pivots to his left and spots a man wearing a baseball costume. He reaches over to appraise him. Larceny, robbery, burglary, and arson flash through his mind. “This guy’s a gem! He’s definitely staying.”

A man wearing a grim reaper costume walks over and joins Batman in conversation, piquing Frank’s interest. He steps toward the reaper to appraise his soul, and his face scowls. “Parking violations? That’s it? Maybe this boring dude is our guy.”

Tony taps his foot and rubs his chin, then shoots an arm into the air. “I have an idea! Let’s have a little fun.” He blasts himself through the crowd and rams a party-goer’s arm, forcing him to spill beer all over his Deadpool costume.

Frank laughs, then propels himself forward and slams into a velociraptor. The man stumbles into another party-goer, causing a glass of red wine to spill down her ghost costume. Frank looks at Tony and lifts his shoulder in a half shrug. “Who the hell wears a dinosaur costume to a party anyway? We should take him based on that alone.”

They cackle and leave the living room to check out potential victims in the kitchen. They find a spaceman, doctor, and bunny conversing at a table. Off to their right, a zombie gathers nachos onto a plate. She ladles them with melted cheese and tops it off with veggies. The zombie carries the full plate over to her male companion, a vampire, standing at the granite island.

A smirk grows on Tony’s face, and he brushes his palms together. He looks at Frank. “Watch this.” He closes his eyes and reaches an arm out to point at the plate of nachos. Red lightbulbs darken the room, preventing the zombie and vampire from detecting the addition of maggots that now squirm within their nachos. They dig into the chips and scoop up loads of cheese, veggies, and larvae, then stuff their mouths full.

“That’s disgusting!” Frank turns away. A skeleton enters the room and walks toward him. Frank crosses his arms, then puts his foot out. The skeleton trips and lands face first on the tiled flooring. He peels his mask off, revealing a bloodied lip.

Tony places a thick hand in front of Frank for a high-five. “Nice one, Frankie! But I think we can do better than a nicked lip.” He smirks, then gestures for Frank to follow and he flies out of the kitchen. He spots a staircase to the right of the living room, shoots through the air, and heads upstairs.

Frank turns to glance at the zombie and vampire still eating the maggot-infested nachos. He cringes, then steps out of the kitchen and rises into the air. He hovers above the staircase and observes Tony, who is preoccupied with a clown.

The clown, carrying a bloodied mallet, walks from the bathroom toward the stairs. He passes through Tony’s nonphysical body, then begins to descend. The jester grabs the handrail with his free hand and places his oversized red and yellow shoes on each step with caution. Tony positions himself behind the clown, closes his eyes and gives him a forceful shove. The costumed man tumbles down the entire staircase. His ulna bone snaps and his shriek surpasses the howl of a banshee.

Frank crinkles his nose and reaches up to adjust his baseball cap. “Dude! We’ve had our fun. Let’s get back to searching for a soul. We didn’t even check the party-goers in the kitchen.” Frank sinks to the first floor, then zips back into the kitchen. Tony laughs, then glides past the spectators gathering around the injured clown to follow Frank into the kitchen.

Tony and Frank observe the zombie and vampire polishing off the remaining tainted food. Tony heads over to appraise them. After receiving visions of drug use, Tony puts both hands on his hips and taps his foot. “They’re corrupt too. Let’s leave ‘em.”

Frank looks at the trio still chatting at the table. The spaceman gets up and fetches water bottles and cookies for his friends, the doctor and the bunny. Frank points out the kind gesture to Tony.

Tony cringes. “I hate niceness. Lemme check him out.” He walks over to the spaceman and places a hand on his neck. Images of integrity, honesty, compassion, and kindness flood his mind. “Bingo! This is our guy. He’s gotta go!”

“Too nice?”


“Ok, well, then I guess it’s time that he meets us.” Frank walks toward Tony and the Chosen One. “How do you want to do it?”

“Heart attack. A widow-maker.” Tony blurts without hesitation.

“Ok.” The two demon spirits place a hand over the spaceman’s chest, close their eyes and speak in unison.

“Trick or Treat, Time to Meet.”