A Hammer of Pointy Cloth
“So… that’s really your costume, is it? I’m not saying it’s a bad costume, I just thought…”
“You thought what?”
“Well, maybe you’d try to branch out a bit.”
“Fuck off! Like you can talk, C.”
Eleanor and C stood pressed up against a brick wall and underneath an awning, taking shelter from the rain. Next to them, a river of people went up and down the sidewalk. A few went in or out of the coffee shop they were at, not paying either of them any mind.
It made sense that they didn’t, today at least, since everyone was dressed for Halloween. While on any other day Eleanor and C would stand out, today they looked pedestrian next to zombies and masked murderers and mock demons. Eleanor wore what she usually did, a lacy bustier and a skirt, but rather than a tuque she wore a tall, wide-brimmed black hat that ended in a sagging point.
C wore a brown duster, a little too big for him, a stuffed shirt, and grey slacks. It was basically the same thing he wore every day.
If someone pressed him, he’d admit he wasn’t wearing a costume. But Eleanor insisted she was: a witch costume. The problem was, she was a witch. She tended to use magic as her answer to every problem or question, big or small, but this was the first time he’d seen her use it that way.
“You know, I bet if there are any demons in the crowd, they’re not wearing demon costumes,” C said, a puckered-up smile on his lips.
“I’ll take that bet,” Eleanor said, tossing a candy wrapper onto the concrete and grinding it under her foot. “It’s the perfect disguise. So many people are dressed up as rusalkae or whatever.” Turning to the crowd, she closed her eyes and pointed a finger forward. Her hand grew flush and her veins popped out a bit.
At first C thought about stopping her; she was using magic in the middle of the street, even if it was subtle. Then he realized she still didn’t look that out of place. She was scanning the area for demons -- for bodies that contained no human blood.
To her frustration, she didn’t find any. Maybe, C thought, real demons thought Halloween was tacky no matter how you dressed. Or maybe they were holding a sabbath to summon a bigger, stronger demon than Moss Bay had ever seen. For now, it was none of his business.
C leaned easily against the wall, hands in his pockets. “So do you have a five on you, Eleanor? We don’t need to go to the bank or anything if you don’t. I can wait.”
“No, seriously, fuck off,” Eleanor grumbled, but she fished one out of her pockets.
“Aw, come on, don’t be like that,” he replied, turning to the glass door next to them. “Come on, let’s get inside and get you a hot chocolate.”
Eleanor turned her head away from him, looking across the street at the corner store. She was deciding whether to be contrary, C figured. She might say that Halloween is when you have candy, not hot chocolate, and run over there before he could argue. That’d be fine with him, if it did happen.
“...alright, fine.” She turned back to him. “Ladies first,” she said, pushing her way into the coffee shop.
Still smiling, C followed.