**Previously in the Fuller family: A visit to the local pool for the day nicely topped off a perfect summer. Rosetta's concern for her daughters increasing desire to be alone deepens, but she seems the only one with these worries. David is hoping it's a phase, or something she'll get over eventually, wanting to think that she's just a shy, gentle girl. Rosetta has become Mayor of Hidden Springs and has the full support of her family to move forward with her new career.**
Autumn has come and the weather has gotten colder. More of the family activities were contained indoors and, unfortunately, the kids seemed to argue more often. Over the few weeks of being cooped up, Dayna's worked out every day, increasing her desire to be athletic. Brenna is withdrawn as usual and spends most times playing with the doll she'd gotten as a baby, but has also taken a great interest in space and watching the stars. Caylin has followed in her fathers footsteps as much as she can and even dreams of doing her own magic shows, and also shows an interest in Science like her mother. Rylan still dreams of having a guitar, or maybe a keyboard, of course any instrument would do. In the meantime he's thrown himself into chess. David has cut a lot of his free performances in the park, and sticks mostly to his weekly shows at the Flying V or Mike's Master Karaoke. Rosetta worked daily at learning the rules of being the mayor, so far doing marvelously and looking forward to her first fund raiser
It was finally Spooky Day in Hidden Springs. Since, during holidays, there was no school - nor work for either Rosetta or David - the family decided to make a full day of it and go to the festival. Rylan, Dayna and Caylin were truly excited but Brenna held reserves. As usual, with going out to the park, she worried there were going to be many people. Mysteriously there weren't very many people at all. Rosetta was starting to wonder if they were the only family in this town that liked going out.
The first thing the kids did, aside from Brenna, was run to the haunted house. David wasn't far behind them either, since it was always a favorite of his as well. He and Caylin were the first two inside. Browsing through the passageways they saw wonders a plenty, until the two louder kids entered in behind them. Rylan and Dayna had come as well and were very rambunctious, their voices echoed through the spooky halls distracting the other lookers.
Rosetta fully planned on visiting the haunted shack, never having been in one before, but there was a pumpkin patch with ripe pumpkins ready to be harvested. She thought maybe she could get a few of them for the kids to carve this afternoon, and wanted to do it before anyone else might pluck them. She was also thinking that she'd have to stop by the bookstore and pick up a cooking book with a good pumpkin pie recipe for her to learn.
While the rest of the family was off tending to their own businesses, Brenna wandered around smelling, picking and enjoying the last wildflowers of the year. Pretty soon it would be too cold and no more flowers would be sprouting. Brenna finds things about her world even more special since she's been looking out at the vast emptiness that is space. While she gathers her flowers, she thinks about saving her allowances up to get her own telescope.
Brenna is being watched by Rosetta as she picks off pumpkins and loads them into the car. She had found six good pumpkins, once for each member of the family. Unfortunately that didn't leave an extra one for pumpkin pie making. After loading all of them in the car Rosetta glanced around the park. She saw Brenna smelling flowers still, and the other three kids were running in and out of the Haunted House. She spotted David by the Apple bobbing trough and smiled. That sounded fun.
I just love this holiday. It's always been my favorite, but it's even more awesome now that I have my own family to spend it with. I don't know what I'd do without them. I can't imagine that going places, like this, would be as fun or fulfilling. Honestly I'd have another one if I was young enough. The more the merrier right?
David smiled at the approach of his wife and motioned her to join in the dunking. He and a few others were going to have a contest. Rosetta nodded said "Sure!" Everyone assumed their positions while David counted down. A moment after his count down to one he, Rosetta and an acquaintance by the name of Paula splashed their faces into the water. After a few seconds of fishing and fumbling around, Rosetta was the first to snag an apple. She spit it on the ground next to her and dived in for more. The race was to see how many each could get before the time was up. David snorted and bit, but failed to get any apples before the ding was heard to end the contest. He brushed the water from his face and looked at Rosetta, who was grinning and showing off her four red wet apples. A small pout came across his face but was quickly replaced by a big smile.
"Well well, someones got a big mouth!" He teased.
Rosetta gave him a secret smile. She tossed him an apple. "I'll share my spoils. Hey, you guys looked like you had a bunch of fun at the Haunted Shack, I think I'll take a trip through. Want to come?"
David shook his head, "Nah, I'm going to see what the kids are up to. You have fun though, tell me what you like best, and watch out for falling spiders!" He winked and turned to find their children.
David found the kids just about to start a pie eating contest against each other. David had to smile at the four of them all line up and braced to dig in. David heard a bell go off and saw all the kids slam their faces into the berry pies. Caylin was the first to start chowing down, followed closely by Brenna, then Rylan. Dayna was the last start eating.
Rosetta made her way into the Haunted house and was surprised at how large it seemed inside. The external view of the shack made it look smaller. She smiled at the hanging ghosts, and the coffins with hands sticking out. She made her way through the hallways while random items jumped out at her. Only a few of them actually startled the woman.
Surprisingly, Dayna was the first to finish the contest. She brought her head up for a deep breath and spotted her father. He was doubled over with laughter having seen his daughters face covered in berry juice. Even though she didn't really know why he was laughing, it was contagious so she smiled with him. Rylan finished second, when he looked up though he let out a squeal.
"Mom! What happened to you! You're ... you're dead!!"
Instantly the laughter stopped and the contest ended. Caylin and Brenna jerked their heads up and David spun around so fast that he nearly fell over. There, standing behind him was a ghost very much resembling his wife. He backed up a few feet and started looking around for his real - live - wife.
Rosetta smiled. "Yeah, right." Then she looked down at her hands and the grin left her face as quickly as it had come. "Oh."
There was a pause during which no sound was heard. Then Rosetta spit out a nervous laugh. "No way, this can't be real." She stopped laughing but tried to maintain a smile. She was actually getting worried that she was dead and tried frantically to remember what else happened in that Haunted House. Nothing stood out in her mind. David ran up to her then.
"What happened? What happened! Dear spirits what happened to you?" He awkwardly reached out to touch her, but stopped just before contact. He didn't know what would happen if he did. He stared at her, unable to say anything more.
A festival worker had noticed the commotion with the family and walked over to offer any assistance. He was shocked when David near jumped on him to find out what was going on with his wife. David, though he was near raging, registered a slight smile on the mans face. As if he was trying not to smile, but not doing a good job. David stopped and stared, anger starting to grow.
The man put out his hands, trying to assure David and said, "It's okay. It happens in the Haunted Shack. The effect is temporary and it's just an illusion. She's not a real ghost. You can touch her and everything. It's all fine. It only lasts a few hours, five tops but most people stay that way for about three."
David let out a breath. Due to the chill in the air and the anger on his face, it looked like smoke from a dragons mouth. He took another deep breath as if he was breathing this information in. Letting out again he looked at Rosetta, who was still nervous.
Rylan burst out laughing. "Oh that's awesome!! I wanna go in there again!" Dayna chimed in with a joyful nod and a grin saying that she would go too. Unfortunately their father shook his head. He said that it was time to go home.
"It's getting too cold to be out, and it's getting dark. Besides, we have things to do before you go out trick or treating." He looked at each messy faced child in turn before his gaze fell back to Rosetta. "Geesh, you scared the crap out of me woman!"
Rosetta smiled, "Yeah, scared me too. I thought maybe that one thing that did spook me in there scared me to 'death'!" Then she laughed. Since she seemed okay with it, David let a little more anxiety go. He wanted to kiss her but was not sure how he would feel about smooching on a spirit. Even if it was an illusion - something he knew quite a bit about since he was a magician.
Grumbling, the kids piled into the car. Rylan commented on the weird smell. Rosetta told him that it was the pumpkins she had picked.
When they got home, each person grabbed a pumpkin and headed to the living room. Rosetta had told them that they were all going to carve their own pumpkins to set out for Spooky night. The kids were really excited about it. The filed in the living room and positioned themselves on the floor to get started working.
David decided he would rather have pumpkin pie and pumpkin spice cookies instead of a jack-o-lantern and said he would pass on the carving. He would be glad to stay there and watch though.
Soon, the living room had the noises of squishing and scraping. Not to mention the sounds of children groaning in mock disgust even though they loved every bit of the gooeyness. Dayna laughed every time she had to pull a scoop of slick seeds out. Caylin and Rylan had already emptied their pumpkins and were starting to cut out shapes on the front. Brenna was trying to carve a cat on her orange canvas, but it wasn't going as well as she had hoped.
Rosetta, still carrying her ghostly illusion, emptied her pumpkin and carved a spooky ghost into it. In honor of her recent 'demise'. David laughed when he noticed what she had been making and said it was the perfect idea.
When finished, Rylan sat back to enjoy his work. Unfortunately it was horrid. It looked nothing like the idea he had in his mind. He shrugged thinking it still looked cool and would work and went to checking out the others' carvings. Caylin had done a classic jack-o-lantern design and it had turned out well, Dayna had done a cat face and it appeared to have come out great. His mothers looked wonderful too. Just his and Brenna's turned out wrong but neither were upset about it. It was their first time after all.
Everyone finished up and carried their jack-o-lanterns to the front yard. They lined them up side by side while their mother got candles to light them up. The family stood and admired them for a few minutes before going inside to wash up.
Each of the kids still had berry pie all over their faces. Rosetta laid out their costumes while they each showered, then help them get dressed up for trick or treating. She would have loved to go out with them, but she had a really early work day the next day and needed to get to sleep. After her kids were dressed, she snapped a picture and watched as David led them all outside.
Rylan the Tiger was the first out, followed closely by Brenna the Gnome. Dayna was dressed as a mouse and Caylin as a cow plant. The four children and their chaperon decided to use the car, since the houses were pretty spaced out and walking would take a long time.
Dayna was the first to ring house number one, unfortunately there was no answer there. The next ones though were good scores, even though sometimes they were given something other than candy. Rylan came home with a new stuffed animal, and Caylin got a corn dog instead of a candy bar from one house. Dayna admitted that someone seemed to have given her a small space rock.
David spoke up, "Well I guess some people just couldn't buy candy, or maybe they were dentists or something. Figuring candy was bad for you, so gives toys instead." His children glared at him with skeptical faces. He laughed. "Well sorry you didn't get as many sweets as you wanted, but you did have fun and that's what matters."
The evening being over everyone dressed in pajamas and crawled into bed. Each slept soundly though the night was filled with odd dreams.
To be continued...