Halloween vacation from planet Sworgard

Halloween vacation from planet Sworgard

Ben Sanders & Owen Foster

“Our next stop is planet Earth! Please buckle in as we make our descent into the atmosphere.” As the announcement ends over the loudspeakers, excited murmurs erupt from the crowd of green people. 

   “I read in Alien Travel Magazine that humans do something called ‘Halloween’ at this time of year. You think we’ll see it?” Marvin said.

   “I don’t know. I hope I can see someone dressed up like me!” Zaine said. 

   The aliens crowded around the windows of the ship as they descended through the final layers of clouds; now within their sights was a suburban neighborhood. The oval-shaped spaceship descended to the ground. As the silver body shone in the moonlight, red lights flashed on the wings. 

   Colorful, flashing lights filled the neighborhood yards. An occasional scream rang through the air. Kids dressed up as ghosts, zombies, and superheroes rushed between houses, clinging onto bags.

   “Alright everyone, welcome to Earth! Remember the protocol: all aliens are required to stick with one other fellow alien. Please take a bag for candy before you leave and most importantly, don’t blow your cover.”

   Excited, Marvin and Zaine rushed to the exit, grabbing bags as they left. “WOAHHHH,” they exclaimed in unison. 

   The cold October air chilled their skin. The neighborhood was massive. Enthusiastically, they both rushed to the nearest house. A kid dressed as a zombie walked up the pathway with them.

   “Oh hello there,” the older woman said at the door, “I just love your costume, it’s so realistic!” 

   “Of course it’s realistic, it’s re-” but Marvin was cut off when Zaine pinched his arm.

   “Oh well, you guys are so cute! Here’s some candy kids,” the elderly woman said as she put M&M’s and Hershey’s into their bags. 

   Marvin and Zaine looked down at their bags and then back at each other. They just couldn’t get over the fact the woman gave out free candy. She didn’t even know who they were! 

   “Thank you, human lady – I mean Ma’am!” Zaine said. 

   Quickly, Zaine and Marvin rushed away giggling. 

   “Can you believe that stranger just gave us free candy, Zaine? On our planet, who knows what a stranger would’ve done!” 

   As they walked away, Marvin felt a tap on his shoulder. He found the kid dressed in the zombie costume behind him. 

   “Are you guys from around here? You didn’t even say Trick or Treat,” he said laughing, ”By the way, I’m Jonathan.” He extended his hand out to shake hands. Marvin and Zaine looked at each other, “We’re from Sw-, Switzerland. We don’t celebrate Halloween over there.”

   “Oh, well that makes sense. Do you want me to take you trick or treating and do some other fun Halloween stuff?”

   “We would love that,” Marvin said. 

   As they went to the next house, Marvin rushed and tripped over the sidewalk. Frantically, he picked up his bag and the spilled candy. When he looked up, he saw a child dressed as a mummy sprinting by with a roll of toilet paper. 

   The mummy took the roll and threw it into the tree of a house with no lights on. The house looked abandoned. “Why is he doing that, doesn’t he know that he needs that paper for the bathroom?” Zaine said. 

   “Yeah, what a crappy costume. He’s throwing it, and he’s all wrapped in the human waste paper too. How disgusting.” 

   The boy joined a group of his friends and they walked away laughing. Jonathan laughed. “That’s what we do for fun! It’s not weird to dress up with toilet paper! Also, they’re throwing toilet paper because they’re tricking that house. The people didn’t give them a treat, so they are pulling a trick.” 

   “Why are they being tricked? They should not have to give them candy,” Marvin said. 

Jonathan only shrugged his shoulders, “I don’t know. It’s just some old Halloween tradition. It’s just what we do.”

   “Let’s do it!” Zaine said.    

   Before Marvin and Jonathan could stop him, Zaine went over to the nearest unlit house, grabbed a pumpkin off the doorstep, and threw it at the car in the driveway. The car alarm started blaring as Zaine stood triumphantly over the pumpkin-covered car. 

   Shattered glass lay on the ground, as Marvin and Jonathan looked ahead with large eyes. 

   “Zaine! What are you doing?!” 

   “I am tricking the silly humans Marvin! They are not here and did not give us treats!”

   “No, Zaine. That’s not a trick! That’s property damage,” Jonathan said. 

    The car alarm blared behind the aliens, giving them the subtle hint that they should leave. Quickly Zaine and Marvin ran away, deserting their bags. Jonathan ran away in fear.

   “Marvin! We left the candy!”

   “Forget the candy guys, it’s either a Kit Kat or 5 years in the slammer!” Jonathan yelled, running into the darkness. 

   With their human companion gone, Marvin and Zaine panicked, rushing through the neighborhood and into backyards. Eventually, the aliens found themselves in a cornfield. 

   “Let’s hide in here!” Marvin said. 

   The two aliens crashed into the cornfield, ignoring the sign in front of the entrance saying “corn maze.”

   “I think we’re safe,” Zaine said. 

   Having escaped the feds, they shifted their gazes upon a rusty, circular saw on the ground. Marvin picked it up and looked at the device. 

   “Hey Zaine, what do you think this is?” 

   “I’m not sure. Hey! There’s a cord, pull it!”

   In an instant, the quiet field filled up with industrial noise. Screams started erupting from the corn.

   “Zaine, I think humans might need our help. Come on!”

   Quickly, Zane and Marvin rushed through the corn. A group of kids not too far from the aliens stood in the maze. Once they reached the group, Marvin began to talk nonsense, swinging the chainsaw above his head to fight off any danger nearby. 

   “Agarhuoiobwi! [come and get some!]

   The petrified kids ran off frantically, carrying one of their friends who passed out from terror. 

   “Shoot Zaine! My translator was malfunctioning, I was trying to tell those kids I wanted to help!” 

   “You scared the crap out of them. They looked terrified!” Zaine said. 

   Sad they couldn’t help the kids, Marvin and Zaine walked out of the maze and made their way back to the neighborhood street. Jonathan sat on the curb, eating some of his candy. His eyes darted around looking for the aliens. 

   Zaine yelled out to him, “Jonathan! You made it!” Johnathan smiled upon seeing the aliens walk towards him. 

   As they got back to the street, Marvin and Zaine saw the kids they accidentally scared laughing and bursting with excitement trying to tell their friends what happened. 

   “Why are they so amused from being scared? I’m surprised they didn’t go tell the human authorities,” Zaine asked. 

   “Well being scared gives you an adrenaline rush! It’s scary in the moment, but afterward, you feel great. Usually, the experience is pretty funny. I think we just like being scared!” Jonathan said. 

   “I heard they listen to these things called murder mystery podcasts too. Who wants to listen about murder, and ENJOY it?” Marvin said. 

   The night continued for the group. The aliens looked ahead toward a massive crowd as they brushed past kids with costumes. 

   “Hey, Jonathan, what is that group of humans doing together outside that house? I mean, that house looks pretty scary, man,” Marvin said. 

   “I know! I mean, I could barely sleep after watching Nightmare on Alien Street.” Zaine said. Jonathan looked at him perplexed, pondering why the movies from Switzerland are just off-brand copies of the movies he knows. 

   Jonathan perks up when seeing the crowd, “You guys don’t know?? That’s the Miller Family! They have the best-haunted house every year. If you survive it, you get the biggest candy bar.”

    In desperation for more candy, Marvin and Zaine rushed over to the line with Jonathan. As they waited, they heard screams coming from the house as well as a witch’s cackle. Halloween lights and atrocious figures filled the front yard. White letters displayed, “John 3:16” on the mailbox just below a metal cross.

   “Hey Zaine, that doesn’t look quite scary. What is that?”

   “Well Marvin, I think I recognize the symbol from New Alien Times. I think it’s referring to Christianity, which is kind of weird considering they don’t promote this kind of stuff.”

   “Well then what are these silly humans doing?”

   “We all love Halloween and God! It’s just a fun time to get candy!” Jonathan said. 

   “And celebrate the devil?” Zaine said. Marvin punched Zaine. “Hey man, don’t be rude.”

   “Honestly I don’t understand why we keep celebrating Halloween with all the devil imagery associated with it. I like candy though!” Jonathan said. 

   Jonathan and the aliens reached the front of the line and waited to enter the haunted house. A man dressed up with a bloody hockey mask stood at the entrance, blocking the hordes of kids from entering. He motioned to Zaine, and the group started walking up the house’s steps. 

   The group walked through the front door of the haunted house, greeted by an animatronic cackling witch. The aliens glanced at each other and shrugged. Not that scary. 

   As they got deeper into the house they started feeling nervous. There hadn’t been a jump scare in a few minutes and the tension was building. Marvin glanced at Zaine, “I don’t like this, something’s not righ-” Just before Marvin could finish, a man in a robe and long, untamed hair jumped from behind the curtains. 

   “Happy Halloween!” The robed man said as he handed the aliens and Jonathan a pocket bible. Jonathan whispered to Zaine and Marvin, “Mr. Miller is just dressed up as Jesus, he does this every year,” as he rolled his eyes. 

   “What is this?” 

   “I think it’s what humans call a bible, but I just don’t quite understand why Jesus and Halloween go together.” 

   “Maybe he likes candy?” Zaine asked.

   “No Zaine, that’s not how that works.” Jonathan exclaimed, “Bibles?! I want candy, not Bibles!” In anger, Jonathan walked away when a kid with a mask cut in front. “Oh, man! Is that Kanye West?” Jonathan yelled as he ran out of the house after him.

   Marvin and Zaine, surprised at Jonathan’s exit and wondering who Kanye West is, decided to push further through the house. Holding tightly onto each other as they wandered through the labyrinth, Marvin and Zaine approached the final door. 

   As they approached the door, they both held their breath. In one quick motion, Zaine opened the door only to find the backyard. Below them, they saw a sign over a bucket that said, “Take one piece.”

   “Marvin, look! We got our candy!” 

   “I was really scared, but man, that was fun! I guess I understand why those kids seemed so excited after we scared them.” 

   “Hey Marvin, I feel like we’re forgetting something,” Just as he finished his sentence, Marvin and Zaine looked into the sky. There, they saw their ship fly off into the clouds.

   “Marvin! Look!” With looks of horror on their faces, Marvin and Zaine scream “Nooooo!” in desperation. 

   Five minutes before, Aliens took their seats on the ship. “Alright everyone, we all hope you had a wonderful time on Earth! Please take your seats.”

   Two small children dressed as aliens rushed onboard giggling. They sat in their seats onboard and whispered to each other. “Hey, what do you think this attraction is?”

   “I can’t wait to find out!” the other child said. In an instant, they found themselves in space. 

   “Hey look at that effect dude! It looks like we’re looking at Earth from space.”

   “I know, these effects look so real!” 

   Back on Earth, Marvin and Zaine, crushed in defeat, sat down on the street curb outside the Miller’s house. Jonathan reappeared and sat down next to them. “Hey, do you guys want to come over to my house? I’m sure my mom would be fine with a sleepover!” 

   Marvin and Zaine, sad about being left behind, decided why not. 

   “I wonder what a sleepover is Zaine,” Marvin said as they walked away.