The characters in this story were first established in my 2002 Academy Halloween story "Channel Surfing", but you don’t need to read that story to follow what’s going on here. Thanks to Angel and Di for their help.

A Monster Bash

By TaraKerry

The metallic green Trailblazer wove its way along the dark, windy roads. There hadn’t been another car for at least 20 minutes and the driver was beginning to wonder about their destination.

"AJ honey, are you sure about those directions? It seems pretty desolate out here. Maybe you should let me look at the map."

The passenger glanced over at her partner, "I have a wonderful sense of direction, thank you very much."

"Yeah, it always seems to direct us into trouble." Chase muttered under her breath as she moved a hand through her dark locks.

"Fine, you think you’re the map queen, how about you navigate and I drive?"

"I don’t think so Speedy, but good try."

The blond frowned, "Come on, Chase, you’ve had the car a week now and you haven’t let me drive once. Pleeeze."

Chase smiled, "Well I wasn’t sure if your little feet could reach the pedals." She saw the cute pout her partner was giving her and sighed. "Fine, you can drive."

"Woo hoo, yeah baby," AJ rubbed her hands together gleefully.

The brunette rolled her eyes as she pulled the Trailblazer over to the side of the road. AJ quickly unbuckled her seatbelt, exited the SUV and hurried over to the driver side door waiting for the taller woman to give up her seat.

AJ settled herself behind the wheel and was a little annoyed to find her feet couldn’t safely work the gas and brake. She ignored Chase’s smirk as she used the electronic seat adjustment buttons to move it forward. "Okay, where to?"

Chase turned on a light and examined the map her partner had been using to navigate. "And where is it you think we are?"

"Umm…," the blond pointed at a spot on the map, "There?"

Chase looked at the area AJ was pointing to and shook her head. "Are you sure you weren’t holding the map upside down? This is where you said the party is," she motioned to a location, "and if I’m right this is where we are right now." She circled an area about 20 miles east with her finger.

"Yeah, yeah. So I got a little turned around, so sue me."

"Nah, Kindergarten teachers don’t earn enough to make it worth the effort. I’ll think of something else," she joked. "Now drive straight and there’ll be a turn off a few miles ahead on the left that should get us going in the right direction."

AJ turned onto the new road; trees lined both sides and it was as dark as the previous one, with no streetlights in sight. "See, I told you there was nothing to worry about, I’m a good driver."

"Uh huh, " Chase flipped through the CD’s trying to find something to listen to. "What should I put in?"

"How about Disco Divas Live?"

"How about I just poke red hot knitting needles in my ears."

"Geez, no need to be so dramatic, a simple no would have done."

"No, I don’t think it would," she pushed a CD into the player, "that music gives me hives."

The Imperial March from Star Wars filled the enclosed space and Chase hummed along with it.

"You know," AJ began, "I’ve wondered if I would be tempted by the Dark Side if I was a Jedi."

"You? Nah, you’d be a good guy like Yoda. You’re about the same size."

"Ha ha very funny. What about you?"

"Hmm, I figure I’d be drawn to the Dark Side, but you’d help keep me on the right path." Chase moved her hand to pat AJ’s thigh, but stopped when movement from the side of the road caught her eye. "AJ, watch out!"

The blond swerved hard to avoid hitting the doe eyed deer that had walked onto the road and froze. Unfortunately that caused the Trailblazer to end up nose down in a ditch.

Chase looked over at AJ, "Are you okay?

"Just peachy," she rubbed her head. "Do they do that on purpose to see how many cars they can get to wreck? Or maybe it’s some sort of deer reality game show."

"Maybe they’re just really dumb," the brunette suggested as she checked her partner over. AJ jumped when she hit a sensitive area, "You’ve got a bit of a bump there."

The shorter woman gingerly touched the spot, "It’s nothing. I think the bump was bigger the time I hit myself in the head playing with my Gab whacker."

Chase laughed at that memory, "Fine, but I think we should get some ice on it."

"Okay, just let me get the car out of this ditch and we can head back to civilization."

The architect shook her head, "I don’t think so Crash. I gave you a chance to drive and see what happened." She smiled to take the sting out of the words. "It’s my turn."

AJ waited until Chase vacated her seat before she crawled across to the passenger side and sat down muttering something about stupid deer.

The sound of spinning tires cut through the otherwise silent night. The SUV was stuck. Chase turned the car off and unclipped her cell phone, intent on calling AAA, but she had no service in the area. "Your phone working out here in BFE?"

"Nope. Guess that Verizon guy hasn’t been out here yet. And you know, I wonder if he’s ever tried that ‘Can you hear me now?’ thing at Disney World. That place is a signal black hole. I mean there was this one time…"

Chase waited for the short blond to finish, hoping it wouldn’t take too long for her to reach the end. Her thoughts drifted away to things she needed to do that weekend.

AJ glanced over at her partner and saw a glazed look in her eyes. She knew she was being tuned out. "So then me and Spanky decided to stalk Disney princesses, but they seemed to have been warned, so we went to the House of Blues and shared some red headed sluts instead.

This last part got the brunette’s attention, "What?"


"You were talking about Disney, then I heard something about red headed sluts?" Chase raised an eyebrow.

"Yeah, well maybe next time you’ll pay more attention to my stories." She stuck her tongue out impishly.

The older woman rolled her eyes, "Okay, we have two choices. We can either wait here and hope someone comes by, or we can start walking down the road and look for a house that will let us use their phone."

"I vote for the second one, this road seems to be pretty deserted. Not that I wouldn’t want to spend some alone time in the dark with you christening the new car, but I’ve seen too many horror movies to know messing around in a vehicle at night in the woods is never a good thing."

Chase rolled her eyes, "But walking around in the same conditions is okay?"

AJ sighed, "Trust me on this. I’ve seen more scary movies by the time I was 16 than you have in your entire life."

"Wow, maybe we should call Guinness and see if they have a category for most hours in a life wasted watching horror movies."

"Yeah, yeah, real funny. Now get off your smart ass and let’s see if we can find a house."

Chase grabbed a flashlight from beside her seat and joined AJ by the side of the road. "So you ready to trek out into the great unknown?"

"Sure, maybe we’ll come across something interesting."

"With you along, I have no doubt we will."

The pair had been walking for about fifteen minutes when a house came into sight. The lights were on inside and loud music was emanating from the structure. "Looks like we found us a party," AJ commented as they walked up the drive. "Just hope they aren’t freaks."

Chase bumped her with a hip. "Well if they are, you’ll fit right in."

"True, I do seem to attract them, I got you after all."

They climbed the steps onto the wooden porch. Chase rang the doorbell and hoped the occupants inside could hear it over the din. She glanced over at AJ who was moving to the beat of the music and was pretty oblivious to what was going on around her. The brunette returned her attention to the door and was a bit surprised to see it open with a big, white bunny standing there.

"Can I help you?" The woman in the costume asked.

AJ stopped dancing when she heard the voice. In front of her was a red headed woman, a little taller than she was, wearing a white bunny costume with a pair of bunny ears attached to a headband. "That’s really cute," she thought until the woman talked and AJ saw gleaming white fangs.

Chase smiled at the homeowner, "We’re sorry to bother you. Our car is stuck in a ditch about a mile down the road and we need to call AAA to tow us out. May we use your phone please? Or could you make the call for us?"

"Sure, come on in," she held the door open, "I’m Buttercup."

The brunette had to poke her partner to get her to stop staring and enter the house. "I’m Chase and this is AJ."

"It’s nice to meet you. The phone is right over there, help yourself and I’ll be right back."

Chase walked over to the small table in the entryway and picked up the phone receiver. It was an old rotary phone and should have had an instant dial tone, but she heard nothing. She pressed down on the switch hook button several times, but the phone still didn’t work. She glanced over at AJ who was watching her intently, "It’s dead."

"Great, that figures. The phone is always dead in movies right before the killer strikes."

"What are you talking about?"

AJ lowered her voice to a whisper so only Chase could hear her. "Did you see her teeth? What kind of person wears fangs with a cute bunny suit?"

"Umm, I don’t know, a creative one?"

Buttercup rejoined the women before the pair could finish the costume conversation. "Did you get hold of AAA?"

Chase shook her head. "Actually the phone is dead, I couldn’t get a dial tone."

"I’m sorry, that happens out here in the sticks sometimes, but it usually only stays out for a little while. Would you like to join the party while you wait?"

"We wouldn’t want to intrude," the brunette politely replied.

"No problem at all, the more the merrier."

Chase looked at AJ for her opinion. "Sounds like fun," the smaller woman announced.

Buttercup adjusted her bunny ears. "Great, let me introduce you to the gang, unless you’d like to put a costume on first. I have some things upstairs."

"Is it a costume party?" AJ inquired, the hostess nodded her head, "Then I say we put on a costume too, if you don’t mind us borrowing one."

"Not at all, just go up the stairs and it’s the second door on the right."

Chase and AJ found the room with the costumes in it. There were quite a few in there and many different sizes.

"Ooh, this is really cool." AJ began sorting through the clothing on the bed. She pulled out several items and tried them on, topping the ensemble off with a worn, brown hat. She turned to show Chase her outfit, and her jaw dropped when she eyed the taller woman. Chase was dressed in Jedi robes and was twirling a lightsaber around like she’d been doing it all her life. "Whoa, that’s great."

"Thanks, you don’t look so bad yourself Indiana Jones, or should I call you Janice Covington. So do you know how to use that whip?"

AJ took the coiled leather from a hook on her belt and got a pretty good crack when she swung it out.

"Impressive, most impressive, but you are not a Jedi yet."

"Uh huh. Come on Obi-Wan, let’s get down to that party."

Chase and AJ walked back downstairs and entered the room the party was taking place. AJ’s eyes opened wide when she saw the other partygoers, they all seemed to be wearing two costumes.

Buttercup watched the pair come into the room and motioned them over to where she was. She admired their costumes for a moment, "Great choices. Now let me introduce you to the others." She pointed to a Werewolf in stormtrooper armor, minus the helmet, "That’s Jack, and over there is Frank…" AJ’s eyes swept over the Frankenstein Elvis and moved onto the next person, a Pirate Mummy named Katrina, followed by Peter, a Star Trek uniform wearing Creature from the Black Lagoon, and after him was Gertrude, a witch wearing Dorothy’s costume from The Wizard of Oz. This last costume sent a shiver down the blonde’s spine, there was just something wrong about it.

"I think that’s everyone," their hostess announced, "no, wait. Where’s Guido?"

Suddenly a little figure, about 3 feet tall, hopped out of the tub of dark liquid they were standing next to and landed on the ground next to AJ who almost screamed in surprised, but instead grabbed hold of Chase.

"There you are Guido," Buttercup addressed the leprechaun snorkeler. "I forgot you were looking for Frank’s sunglasses." She returned her attention to the women in front of her, "We were bobbing for shrunken heads and Frank decided he was going to keep his Elvis sunglasses on while doing it and lost them. Luckily Guido volunteered to retrieve them.

Guido checked out the newcomers, "Hey, how you doin’?"

"Uh, pretty good," Chase answered since AJ seemed to be speechless. "How about yourself?
"Better now that you’re here." He gave them his best attempt at a sexy smile, but AJ decided the act would give her nightmares for weeks if not longer. "If I’d know we were going to have such hot chicks here I’d have worn my red Speedo."

Buttercup cleared her throat, "Guido, how about you go dry off and get back into your costume, we’re starting the next game."

"Yeah, sure, fine." He gave Chase’s butt a pat as he passed by.

Chase saw AJ was about to go after the little man so she placed a restraining arm around her, "I don’t think it’s time for midget wrestling."

The smaller woman looked up at her, "Fine, but if he does that again, I’m going to shove his Lucky Charms where the sun don’t shine."

"Sorry about that," Buttercup looked apologetic, "Guido pictures himself as a ladies man. Would you like to join our next game? Pin the severed head on the body." The women nodded, "Great. Hey everyone, this is Chase and AJ, let’s make them feel welcomed. Now we’re going to play another game."

AJ stood in line behind Jack and admired his shiny stormtrooper armor, and the werewolf part of his costume was amazing. She was about to ask him where he got it when Peter came by handing out the heads for the next game. The teacher looked at the cardboard cutout she’d been given, it was in the shape of a head and the face on it appeared to be screaming bloody murder. "Looks like my Aunt Cindy when I showed her my pet spider when I was a kid."

Chase peered over her partner’s shoulder at the game piece she was holding, it was the thing nightmares were made of. "Glad you don’t take after that side of the family," she teased as she glanced at her own piece. It was tame in comparison to AJ’s, just looked like an ordinary person smiling closed mouth at her.

Gertrude saw who Chase had and stomped her ruby red slippers, "She got Fredrick, I wanted him, I always get Frederick."

Buttercup shook her head, "You get who Peter gives you, and this year you got Wendell."

The witch waited for Buttercup to move on before whispering menacingly to Chase, "I’ll get you my pretty, and the little one too."

AJ watched as the others had their turns and then she was at the front of the line. Buttercup tied the bandana around the blonde’s face the black cloth covered her eyes. "Three spins and you’re off," the bunny informed her as she began the spinning. "Go."

The smaller woman walked straight ahead with the hand that held the cutout head out stretched in front of her. She tried to peek out from under the eye covering but found it was pitch black. She walked slowly until her hand came into contact with something hard and she stuck the head on it.

There were snickers from the others as she took her blindfold off. She had managed to stick the object on the body’s groin area, it wasn’t her fault she was vertically challenged and the body seemed exceptionally tall.

Chase was up next; she had to lean down a little so Buttercup could tie the material over her eyes. Three spins later and she headed towards her target. AJ watched in amazement as the brunette walked right up to the target and placed the head almost perfectly on the neck.

The spectators were silent for a moment before erupting into cheers. Chase didn’t even look at her work as she uncovered her eyes and smiled at AJ.

"She cheated," Gertrude complained loudly.

"And how did she do that?" Katrina questioned. "You know no one can see through that cloth." The others murmured their agreement with the mummy.

The witch wasn’t going to let it go, "I don’t know how she did it, maybe she has a third eye or something."

Jack rolled his eyes, "It’s your turn so stop bitching and go before we drop a house on you."

Snorts and muffled chuckles were heard throughout the room. Gertrude was furious now. "I don’t play with cheaters," she huffed and stormed out of the room.

"Oh forget her," the werewolf announced. "Since no one’s going to beat Chase, let’s break out the piñata!"

Buttercup led the group into another room where a piñata was hanging from the ceiling. It was good sized and shaped like a bloody skull. She picked up a box, with a hole cut in the top, and walked over to the participants. "Okay everyone, reach in and pick a piece out, this will determine the order for hitting the piñata." She held up a Scrabble looking tile.

AJ was the first to pick out a piece. She reached her hand through the hole and almost pulled it right out when it came into contact with something cold and slimy. She tried to convince herself it was just spaghetti and it was not moving around. She maneuvered her hand around until it hit a small wooden tile. She wrapped her fingers around it and removed her hand from the box. She was surprised to see it was clean. AJ held up the tile, see she’d gotten a D.

"Your turn next, Stud," the blond remarked and her partner placed her hand in the box. Chase attempted to ignore the feeling that dozens of spiders were crawling over her hand as she searched for a tile.

The architect grabbed a tile and took her hand from the box. She showed it to Buttercup. "B," the vampire bunny announced and took the item from her guest. "Next."

After everyone had picked, they got in a semi-circle around the piñata, standing in the order of their draws. AJ stood between Katrina and Peter.

"So what does AJ stand for?" The pirate mummy inquired as they waited for Guido to get blindfolded.

"Nothing actually. My folks couldn’t come up with a name when I was born, so they just used the first letter of each of their names, Alyssa and Jack."

"Whoa," Peter piped in, "that’s kind of weird."

"Yeah, tell me about it. You don’t know how many times I’ve had to explain it when I fill out forms."

They turned their attention to Guido who was valiantly trying to whack the piñata with a stick almost as tall as he was. Jack was in charge of pulling the rope to make the paper skull move up and down, and from the evil gleam in his eye, he appeared to be enjoying making the leprechaun miss.

Buttercup checked her watch, "Okay, your two minutes are up. You can get back in line, Guido, and have another shot if no one else breaks it."

The small man handed the blindfold and stick to Buttercup and began to get back in line. He slowed as he approached Chase, thinking he could cop another feel. His hand began moving towards the target when he felt a brush of air followed by a loud cracking sound and a sudden stinging sensation to his hand. He placed the hand under his arm and glanced up to see AJ replacing the whip on her belt. "Ooh, a feisty one."

Guido walked past AJ grinning, he liked it when women fought over him.

Katrina leaned over to the small blond, "Good one, I've wanted to do that forever. Looks like your girl is up next."

AJ smiled, "Yeah, MY girl," she thought as she watched Chase take the

stick from Buttercup.

AJ knew if the brunette wanted to she could finish this right now with

one swing, but she also knew her partner wouldn't do it out of courtesy

to the others since she's already won a game.

The tall woman made a good show of trying to hit the piñata, and the

stick grazed the object several times, but she didn't make solid

contact. When her time was up, she decided to skip an additional turn, and another

encounter between Guido and AJ. She moved to the side

of the room as a spectator.

Katrina wasn't able to accomplish the task, so now it was AJ's turn.

The teacher choked up a little on the stick as though it was a baseball

bat and got ready to swing away.

Jack had to jump out of the way from AJ's first cut. Chase shook her

head, she figured he'd have to do that a few more times before the

smaller woman's time was up.

Suddenly there was a loud shrieking sound and Gertrude stormed into the

room with a wand in her hand. She was headed straight for a

blindfolded AJ.

"AJ watch out." Chase warned as she jumped into action herself.

"What?" AJ was confused and turned to where she heard Chase's voice. As

she did so, the stick followed along with her and crashed into

the witch's skull.

She started hearing more voices around her, and she turned towards

them, almost taking out several more party guests until Chase managed to

grab hold of the whacker.

When Chase helped AJ take the blindfold off, she saw Buttercup kneeling

over an unmoving Gertrude. "Oh my gosh, I’m sooo sorry, I didn't mean

to hit her."

Chase chuckled, "We know, slugger. But it was her fault, she kind of

ran into your space." She didn't want to alarm AJ by saying the witch

had wanted to harm her.

The others followed her lead and tried to make AJ feel better about

knocking the woman out for the count.

Chase heard a chirp and checked her cell phone, it had finally decided

to give her service. "The phone's working now. I'll call AAA and then we

can head back to the car. It's getting pretty late."

"Or early," Buttercup stated. "Jack, would you get an ice pack, I think

she's going to have a bump when she wakes up."

Chase and AJ said their goodbyes to their new friends and promised to

come back the next year to party with them. Buttercup walked them to the

door, "I apologize for the incident in there, she'll be fine, though her

head will ache for a little while."

"Please tell her I'm sorry," AJ opened the screen door and walked out

onto the porch.

"Don't worry, I'll definitely let her know." Buttercup would be having

a good talk with Gertrude about actions on the evening.

The walk back to the car was an uneventful one. AJ had been having so

much fun, she hadn't realized the time and was surprised that by the

time the tow truck showed up the sun was beginning to rise. The driver

gave the women a raised eyebrow at their attire, which reminded AJ they

had left their clothes at the house and needed to return the costumes.

After paying the tow truck operator for pulling them out of the ditch,

the pair drove to Buttercup's house, but the place was deserted and

falling apart. They got out of the car for a better look, "Are you sure

this is the right place?" AJ questioned.

Chase nodded and pointed to the porch where their clothes were sitting,

neatly folded. The taller woman went up and retrieved them, returning to

give AJ the note that was sitting on top of the pile.

The blond unfolded the note and read it out loud. "I hope you guys had a

good time, we really enjoyed having you as our guests. Please keep the

costumes as mementos of the evening, and maybe you can wear them next

year. Farewell my friends. Buttercup."

AJ and Chase exchanged looks, and for the first time the brunette could remember, her partner was speechless. "Come on shorty, let’s get you home."

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