by MacKenzie Kennedy
"I hate Halloween."
His sister snorted. "We're mages. The masters of mumbo-jumbo. And you're scared of ghosts."
He shivered. "Just the icky feeling of being floated through."
"Then shoo them off."
He went quiet. His sister sighed. "I know you miss her. But she's gone and-"
"Just because I'm talking about-"
The palm of his hand began to glow with a ball of light. "I hear something."
She began scanning the darkness. "Where?"
He threw the light at the person and his sister shouted for him to stop. The man lifted a hand and the light dispersed into a small shower of sparks. "That's friendly," he said quietly. He reached back and tugged the hood down.
"Mergwyn," his sister said, nodding to him.
"You," her brother said with a scowl.
"Yes, me. I'm the only one who would come out on tonight to warn you." He dismissed him with a look. "And it was really for your sister. How she turned out so lovely and you so-"
"Warn us of what?" his sister asked.
"Of course, you both have an enormous amount of impatience," he said with a sigh. "Someone has declared that you two are the targets for tonight's festivities."
Fahn narrowed her eyes. "What?" she hissed. "Who dared-?!"
"I knew you'd be upset, so I came to lend a hand." Mergwyn smiled nicely at her. "Maybe we can remove it from you."
"What are you talking about, you idiot?" Fahn said hotly. "Who would be asinine enough to do this to Gihn tonight?"
"Fahn..." She turned and looked at him. He gave her a weak smile. "It's all right."
"But tonight," she said unhappily.
He shrugged. "It'll keep me from thinking about her if I'm dodging tricks."
"I won't be throwing any at you," Mergwyn said. "Mostly because of your sister's beauty."
Gihn smirked at him. "And because she'd seriously hurt you if you did."
He shrugged. "You know her better than I do."
"Let's stop talking and get inside," Fahn told her twin. "Put up a spell to keep out intruders."
He nodded and they hurried toward home. Their parents had left them the family home and they lived there together. Gihn had made some argument about not leaving his sister alone once he was married, but it had all been nothing when his love had left.
Mergwyn was left behind as they ran. They reached the house and Gihn darted inside while Fahn brought up the rear. She turned, locking the door and pushing it shut. Gihn was already mumbling his way through the spell.
"It's up," he said, moments later.
Good, she thought, giving him a nod. We'll just sit inside here and go to sleep. No one's likely to get through one of his spells.
Fahn looked out the window and grimaced. Of course, that was only if they stayed inside. And there were a few things that could make them want to be outside.
Gihn got his bath first and Fahn took her turn after giving the yard a wary look. She made it fast and got dressed in the clothes she had just taken off. Maybe I'll stay up tonight, she thought. Just to make sure nothing happens.
She walked down the stairs and into the kitchen to make some coffee. A cup or two of that would help keep her awake for a few hours. She stood on tiptoe to reach the canister and grimaced. "Gihn," she muttered crossly. "I know you're so much taller than I am, but why do you have to ?"
The canister tipped and she caught it before it fell. She peeled the lid off and gave the bottom a dark look. Empty.
She backed up and looked at the shelf. Oh, there's another canister, she thought. It's all the way in the back. "Gihn!" she shouted. "Get your tallness in here!"
She waited for an answer and grew suspicious when she didn't get one. She stomped out to the living room and yelled, "Gihn?"
Fahn had a sinking feeling in her stomach and she went to look out the window. She saw a pale shape and her brother on the lawn. She yanked open the door and ran out. Why would he go out when he knows he's going to be the target of 'playful' pranks?
He turned when he heard her come close. A soft smile was playing on his lips. "Fahn," he said and gestured to his companion. "Look. It's Hana. She came back."
Fahn's eyes went wide as she saw the phantom. "Gihn," she said gently. "Hana left you last year."