-Halloween 2017 Special-

*A Night to Remember*

"High school was a rough time for me. It was around that time that my parents and I realized that things weren't going to work out between us, and that I soon realized how alone I really was.

I haven't seen my family since…well, since before Everyn. I've never gone back home in the years since. It's just as well, they probably think I'm dead…one less person to worry about on the will, right?

Emily and I never got along. I guess that's typical of a lot of siblings, but she and I took it to an art form. She excelled in school and was easily sociable, and I struggled to simply pass my classes while only growing more shy and moody as the years went on. As people grew to dislike and mock me, Emily became equally embarrassed to even be associated with me.

And…there was my brother. I don't talk about him a lot…or at all, really, if I can help it. I know too many people now, too many to trust with the safety of knowledge about my loved ones. Theodore was the good son, smarter than even Emily and had a gift for mechanics…but right after I graduated from high school, he told my parents he had no intention of fulfilling their insane dreams of him taking up the family business and becoming a lawyer.

The last I knew of my brother was that he owned a car repair garage and lived the busy life of a mechanic. I guess I wasn't the only black sheep amidst the flock, after all.

High school wasn't all bad, I guess. Of all the horrible things that happened in the end before that damn bird showed up, I remember…a few good things.

I remember the Halloween on my senior year. That's where…a lot of things changed for me."

OOO

*Knock*

"U-Uh, occupied! What's up?" I nervously fidgeted, shivering slightly.

"You ready yet? Party's in half an hour, and I am *not* going to be late." Emily rapped on the door again, giving an impatient huff.

"Y-Yeah! I'm just, uh, finishing my makeup." I tried to swallow back my nervousness as I answered her, hoping to placate her for at least a few more minutes.

"…Ugh, fine. Just hurry up or we're leaving without you." With an annoyed groan, she stalked off down the hallway, the heels of her costume clacking with each step.

"Finally some peace and quiet." I let out a sigh of relief, rubbing my eyes in a tense state of frustration. My older sister was difficult enough on a good day, but she was downright unbearable when it came to her parties. If it wasn't for my brother's demand that I come along for the Halloween celebration, she would have scoffed at the mere suggestion of my attendance….but to refuse a request from Theodore was to risk insulting our parents, even if it involved the black sheep of the family.

As I adjusted the last button of my long coat, I still found myself wondering why he had put up such a fight with me coming. While Theo and I had always been relatively close, he had never gone out of his way to stick up for me like that…not that I held it against him. I was the perfect example of what happened to the Lovett children that disobeyed their parents, unwanted and disliked.

"Well, if they want the black sheep, they'll have it." I cracked a slight smile as I managed to look into my mirror to check on my look.

A long gray coat, old fashioned and demure, with a hood attached that I'd managed to sew on with the help of some internet tutorials. I'd slipped on a pair of elbow length gloves, admittedly an item I'd 'borrowed' from Emily's old prom dress some time ago and dyed black, and topped off the bottom with some old black jeans and boots.

What topped the outfit off, of course, was the bone-white painted bird mask sitting on my bed, alongside a moth-eaten wide-brimmed hat I'd found online. I'd spent some time painting the skin around my eyes black to help fit the image, as well.

It was perhaps a bit tongue in cheek to dress as a plague doctor, but it wasn't an untrue metaphor.

"Everyone around here already treats me like I'm diseased anyway." Slipping on the mask and pulling up my hood, I allowed myself to smile a little behind the curved beak as I looked into the mirror, nervously clutching my hat. "Maybe it'll be fun. Senior year hasn't been that bad so far…"

"Okay. Let's do this." I sighed, taking a deep breath as I slid on the hat and opened my door, raising my voice for Emily to hear. "Alright, I'm ready!"