Seventeen year old Cali Morgan was snapchatting in front of Michael Myers. His chalk-white expressionless face looking down on her from behind. He raises his arm and prepares to stab Cali directly in the back of her head.
“Hey Cali, What have I told you about being on your phone out on the sales floor?” Boomed Ron Bilko, the manager of “ITS HALLOWEEN!”. This was the seasonal store that popped every year in September in the vacated spot of the old “PLAYTIME” sporting goods department store.
“Alright, alright…” Cali grumbled back at him as she finished up her last text. She then stepped away from the Michael Myers animatronics robot and shoved her phone back into her rear pants pocket.
“It was just a quick text, Mr. Bilko. Besides, we’re closed for the night.” Cali pompously said back to her superior.
Cali hated this job. Truth be told, Cali hated all jobs. She felt that having almost everything given to her was just a natural part of life. To get her hands dirty just to earn a buck, just wasn’t really her thing. This job was forced upon her. Peter Morgan, Cali’s overworked Dad owed his longtime friend Ron Bilko a favor. That’s where the “enthusiastic services” of his daughter came in. Ron always needed extra help at this type of store every year and there was never enough bodies around to work the sales floor.
“It’s just not professional, Cali. I know we’re closed. But, it’s a habit that you should practice at ALL TIMES”. Ron already knew that what he was saying was falling on deaf ears. The word “professional” only pertained to athletes for today’s youth, at least that’s how he felt.
“Just bring that box of decomposed hands into the backroom and then punch out for the night”. Ron pointed to a brown box on the floor that had the words ZOMBIE-HANDS printed on its side.
Ron had been told ahead of time that Cali had a “bit of an attitude” by Peter. He discovered it himself from the first day when Cali openly volunteered that dressing up “was just so retarded for kids to do”. From that day forward, with the consent from both of Cali’s parents, Ron would give Cali all the really monotonous jobs in the store. He had her sort through a giant bag of rubber eyeballs to try to make pairs. The rack of plastic bones that hung on the wall was always an overflowing mess. It was Cali’s job to pick up the occasional bone that would hit the floor, five to hundred times a day. Then..Ron had her do the ultimate in pure humiliation.
Cali would have to stand outside in front of the store near the highway dressed as whatever embarrassing costume was chosen for that day. She would have to remind passing cars that Halloween was coming and to stop in to the store to get your costume.
Ron felt that having a job was a privilege that should be respected. He felt the youth of today had lost that ideal, especially Cali. He may not change her attitude towards life, but being dressed up as a giant mustard dispenser out in public might knock her down a few pegs.
“Asshole” Cali thought as she carried the box of hands towards the back of the store. She could not wait to get out of this damn place, once and for all. Halloween was the stupidest thing ever created, in her mind. There was nothing even remotely fun or better yet, scary about the whole thing. To her, scary was running out of lipstick before a date or not having your phone charged with texts that just HAD to be sent. But, all these rubber bats and fake skeletons? Just really, really stupid shit. As far as she was concerned, she has yet to be scared from anything in this stupid store.
She approached the last aisle before the storeroom. The aisle had a big cardboard sign hanging over it that said “MONSTER MASK MASH”. This was the area that had set up dozens of rubber, full side masks displayed on styrofoam heads. The selection was quite extensive, with everything from the incredibly gory to downright silly. There were the traditional standbys along with the goofy political. Each mask staring straight out towards any future consumer that might be interested in purchasing them.
Cali looked at the masks, shook her head and smirked. She then proceeded to down the aisle. The stores front lights were being turned off in the distance. Darkness was slowly embracing the store. Cali felt her phone vibrating like crazy as she was almost at the door of the storeroom.
“Fuck this” she thought and dropped the box of hands on the floor. She took at her phone and begin to frantically tap the screen. Her face completely submerged and aglow from the dark light of social media. She giggled a few times, then stretched out her arm to do a selfie above her head.
Cali’s goofy smile slowed melted away into a grimace as she looked up at the wall of masks. Every single one of them was now turned to their side and looking directly down at her. Her arm started to shake as she slowly lowered it down. She felt her body become frozen from absolute shock. Then, suddenly the Frankenstein mask on the third row moved his rubber lips and spoke.
“Didn’t he tell you….THERES NO PHONE ON THE SALES FLOOR”
Hilary Clinton chimed in, her head three masks away.
“Be professional, dear”
Freddie Krueger whispered directly above Cali on her right.
” learn some respect, BITCH”
One by one, each mask had something to say to Cali, who now stood there immobilized by fear.
“You a real brat and I should know!” Bart Simpson yelled at her.
Then they all stopped for a moment, then a grim reaper mask spoke the last set of words.
“So,….are you scared of something NOW, CALLLLLLLIIIII.”
The mask grimaced. Then all the masks started laughing maniacally down at Cali. That’s when she found it. The energy to run out of the aisle, screaming.
On the ground, next to a box of rubber hands sat Cali’s phone vibrating underneath a wall of now lifeless rubber Halloween masks.