James MacInnis picked up the thin folder his editor had given him. Someone had phoned in a scoop that a New England Town had what seemed to be a very small-scale plague of insanity. James didn’t understand why his editor hadn’t brushed it off, and had no idea how he was going to turn it into a story.
Jessica tugged at her skirt, then told herself to stop. Halloween was her chance to let loose, be less buttoned up. She had to be comfortable in her costume if she was going to have any fun at all.
The doorbell rang, and the chorus of “trick or treat” was punctuated by giggles.
“Hi girls,” Jessica’s mom said downstairs.
She looked in the mirror one more time and hiked her skirt back up to where it belonged. You can pull this off, she told herself. You look amazing.
This was their last Halloween together, but none of them knew it yet. Mel knew they were getting old for trick-or-treating, but she wanted to do this one last group costume idea. Over the summer, Anna had introduced the group to her favourite show: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She’d taped a bunch of episodes onto VHS and they’d spent the hot summer days camped out in her basement watching her parents big TV.
Mel was obsessed – quickly surpassing Anna’s obsession. She’d borrowed the tapes to watch some of her favourite moments again and again. She cast the four of them as the characters in the show; Anna, of course, was the perfect Willow, Vic would be Xander, Samantha, despite being a girl, was kinda stuffy, so she was Giles and Mel was the only blond, so unsurprisingly, she was Buffy.
Kelly opened the door to the Spice Girls and quietly sighed as she joined them. Under the costumes were her five best friends. They had tried to come up with a group costume for six for the Hallowe’en party, but the Spice Girls idea was too awesome to pass up, and Kelly drew the short straw.
“Oh cool, are you like, our manager or something?” Baby Spice (her friend Natalie) asked. Kelly rolled her eyes. None of her family members had figured out who she was either. She thought it was obvious. Plaid skirt, loafers, cashmere sweater, headband. And what made it the most obvious was the thing that inspired the whole costume, the magnifying glass necklace she found at the thrift store.
Fifteen stories above the street, here I am.
One story for each year it’s been since the accident.
I stand near the edge, looking down, thinking of the experiences that led me to this place. A year ago, I decided to be bold. But it’s not that experience that led me here. No, this goes back fifteen years. To the cold steel on steel that battered my body and crushed my soul. It left me unable to take risks, paralyzed with fear.
Starting this fall, we’ve decided to post our favourite book of the past month and the book we’re most excited to read next. Feel free to comment with your own favourites and recommendations!
What was the best book you read in September, and why?
What book are you excited about in October?
Lily almost missed the entrance to the bookstore, tucked away behind the beautiful but unruly mess of shrubs, flowers and vines. She hesitated before pushing the glass door open because she thought she saw the stooped figure of an old woman on the other side, but when she pushed open the door and went inside there was no one there.
“Hello?” she called. “I’m just dropping off a resume, I saw the ad in the paper at the University.”