Needful Things 2: Halloween Sale

By Wynn

Buy (bi) 1. Obtain in exchange. 2. obtain by any sacrifice.

Devil: (dev'el) 1. A supreme evil spirit, satan.

Devil's Bargain: An unfair or unhonered deal. 2. The lose of something incredibly valuable through a bargain. 3. A deal with a malicous person or creature.

Part 1: Re-opening

This old town been home long as I remember.

This town gonna be here long after I'm gone.

East side, west side, take a closer look round here.

You been down, but your still in my bones.

-The Michael Stanley Band

1: You've Been Here Before

Thursday, October 21,1999

"You've been here before. Sure you have. I never forget a face. But, you haven't been here for a while. Same face, but time has taken it's tole. Well, not as much as me. I might be old, but age brings wisdom. For exampel, I know everything about the people of Haddonfield, Illinois.

"Aha. I remember now. You were here when Michael Myers was here. Twenty years. Twenty long years. Time, it's a funny thing, isn't it. So many changes.

"So, if you were only here during those murders, you don't really know Haddonfield. Look at the people. See her? That's Laurie Strode, one of the only survivors of that night. She's gotten on with her life, she's a teacher at the local colledge and she has two kids. John and Jamie Lloyd, twins, 18 as of last month. The only reason she didn't change her name was because she thought Laurie Lloyd sounded dumb. Her husband, Billy Lloyd, he was another survivor of that night, he didn't have any problems with that. She was crazy after that night. It was amazing how much good therapy can do.

"Her shrink, Dr. Hoffman. He used to work over at Smith's Grove. He was a big man there. The head something. He hates Loomis. Dr. Sam Loomis, 'member him. Sure you do. He was the one, Myers shrink. Yep. He survived that night. Amazing, he blew up the hospital and survived with only some scars. Myers wasn't as lucky, though. He was put into a coma. Still in there as far as I've heard. A waste of our tax money, if you ask me. Don't get me wrong, I don't think they should go around pulling the plug on coma patients. But keeping a serial killer alive, that's just crazy.

"Speaking of crazy, that fits Loomis like a glove. And, he's being followed by Tommy Doyle, who's only care is Loomis' aproval and finding the key to Michael's madness.

"And, get this, Rachel Corruthers, one of the nurses down at the hospital, she has her eye on Tommy. Crazy shit. And, Brady, Rachell's ex-boyfriend who's not ready to bury the hatchet because his youth is the only thing that keeps him alive? His younger brother is a friend of John Lloyd

"Weird stuff, hun? It's one big circle.

"Oh, your lookin' at that new store. An awning, I havn't seen an awning in god knows how long. It's an endangered species 'round here. "Needful Things? 'Where prayers come true.' What the hell is that supposed to mean. Fancy shit, too rich for my blood. Looks like a curio store. Might be worth checking out, though. But, it looks closed.

"Hey, did you see that? That hand in the window, just flipped the sign to OPEN. Looks like I spoke too soon. Hey, who's that walking towards it?Why that's Brady Hollister. Looks like he's going to the store.

2. Brady's new Jacket

Brady Hollister was in fact going to Needful Things. Vincent Prince, his boss and manager of Vincent's Drugs had told him too, beleiving someone should appraise the place.

"The last thing we need is someone stealing our customers. It's October and we don't want to end the tradition of having the best Costume department in town."

Bitch, bitch bitch. Brady was getting tired of Vincent "Price" Prince. Having a jerk for a boss when working at a convineint store is one thing. But, having the same jerk boss at the same dead-end job for ten years is hell. The only reason Brady didn't quit was because he needed the money for his medicine (the type of medicine found in a bottel rapped in a brown paper bag). Some people drank to forget, Brady drank to remember his youth.

Brady stepped under the awning and rapped lightly on the wood frame of the glass door. The smaller squares of glass were covered with soap from the inside, the larger one read:

Needful Things:

Open all day Monday, Wensday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. By appointment only on Tuesday and Thursday.

Carios Imptor.

What a strange place. What did that mean anyways? Carios Imptor? Must be German or something. And by appointment Tuesdays and Thursdays, that was just plain odd.

"Come in." a voice came from inside.

Bradey pushed open the door. A bell sounded overhead.

A man sat at the counter at the back of the room. He was old, about in his sixties with white hair and mustash. He wore a dark purple velvet smoking jacket and held an unlit pipe in his hand. "Welcome to Needful Things. You are my first customer and I am Leland Gaunt, your most humble servant."

Brady made his way up to the counter. "I'm ah..." He was at a loss for words.

"Bradey Hollister, I know. Feel free to look around. Everything here is for sale, but all that's for sale isn't here."

Brady didn't feel like asking how Mr. Gaunt knew his name (There would most likely be a reasonoble explenation) or how what he ment about things for sale, having figured that out out by himself. But, he did ask...

"What does that thing on the door mean?"

"Exuse me?" Mr. Gaunt sounded puzzeled.

"Carios Imptor. It's written on the door, what does it mean?"

"That's an old buisness man's saying." Gaunt smiled, it was an easing smile because Brady didn't seem to notice the sharp yellow teeth there, or if he did, it didn't matter. Most likely the later in retrospective.

"It means no refunds. But, don't worry, You won't want to return anything."

"Oh, I'm not here to buy anything." Bradey admitted, a very risky mistake. "I was just curios."

Gaunt laughed, it made Brady very uneasy. "Why, that's the point of my shop. It's a curio shop. I sell what people want. What is it you want, Mr. Hollister?"

"I don't need anything." he said.

"Everyone has there price!" Gaunt snapped. Then he calmed himself and returned to his passive demeanor as quickly as he left it. "I'm sure there must be something here you wish to have."

Brady scanned the room. There were stairs leading up to Mr. Gaunt's Apartment, an empty space in the store that read "SOON TO CONTAIN HALLOWEEN COSTUMES", a football jacket, carnival glas... Stop. A football jacket.

Bradey walked over to it. It was a baige and red bubbelgoose. He recognized it as the type given to the Haddonfield Huskers, the highschool football team. He had a jacket like this. Number 37. He paused. Then, he moved around to the side of the jacket to look at the number on he shoulder.

37

I'll be damned. He again turned the hanger to show the back.

Hollister

37

"I see you've found something." said Gaunt, moving from behind the counter to next to Brady. "The Football jacket. A real specimen. They don't make them like they used to."

"1988." Bradey Whispered.

"Hmm?"

"1988. I had a jacket like this in 1988." He remembered that year. It was the year he was somebody, he had been going out with Rachel, just prior to the Halloween they had broken up because he was tacking things too quickly. Everything up to that night was the best time of his life.

And he had worn this jacket.

"Would you like to try it on?" Mr. Gaunt's voice seemed a million miles away.

Brady didn't know. Up till now, he hadn't even touched it, leaving it on the rotatable hook that held the clothes hanger to the roof in the sale window. It seemed like a crime against humanity for all but the holiest of beings to touch it. Mr. Gaunt unhooked it and pulled out the hanger before slidding it onto Bradey's back.

Touching it was like a lightning bolt from god. He felt a surge go through him.

Suddenly, he was back then. It was the summer of 1988. He was on the football feild, wearing full equipment. The Litchfield Lions' player ran with the ball weaving through the Huskers. Brady was ready, though. He slammed into the lion with full force. He recovered quickly, grabbing the ball and jumping over the fallen Lion. He rushed forwards, the Lions at his heels. As they descend on him, the football flies from his hand. He falls to the ground, hoping the ball goes far enough.

"Huskers win the game." he can hear the announcer shout. Brady is swarmed by screaming fans, his jacket pulled on as they hoisted him over their shoulders.

The jacket was off and he was back in Needful Things. Gaunt inspected him closely. "Mr. Hollister, are you allright."

Brady nodded frantically. "How much is that jacket?"

"I beg your pardon?" It wasn't a question, it was more like when your 5th grade grammer teacher found you saying something like "More better" and expected you to correct it.

"What is the price of the jacket."

"Oh, I see. When you asked "How much", you meant a monetary value. Why is that, Mr. Hollister?"

'Wha?" Brady was perplexed by this.

"Why do people always assume money is the answer to everything? I say, Mr. Hollister, it's quite an annoying habit. Where I come from, money is of littel value. We trade something of real value."

"Where's that?"

"Achron. Acheron, Ohio.

"I see." he didn't but he was in a trance, some sort of dreamlike state.Like a having a hangover while in a coma. He guessed it was from being away from the jacket. "So, it's not for sale?"

"It is for sale," Mr. Gaunt said slowely. "But, the money is only half of the price. Ten dollars. Does that seem fare, Mr. Hollister?"

"Yes. It does. What's the other part?"

"A favour. A prank really. Very harmless. No one will know it is you."

"Allright."

"Do we have a deal, Mr. Holliser?"

Brady had no idea what he was getting himsel into. "Yes. Deal."

3. A Different Prespective

"What is he doing?"

Vincent Prince watched Brady stroll out of Needful Things and towards his car in the parking lot, wearing a dirty old Power Rangers jacket three sizes too small.

4. Mr. Gaunt's First Customer

Mr. Gaunt watched Bradey leave, his Needful Thing covering his back. He turned back to the counter and pulled up a littel black book from the shelf. A silk bookmark opened to a page reading Castel Rock. He pulled out the tag and turned the page to a fresh new one. He wrote on the top of the page:

Haddonfield.

Then, he moved down to the first line on the page and wrote.

1. Brady Hollister

The bell over the door rang.

Another customer.

5. A Town in Ruins

Revrand Sayer's pickup-truck bounded down the dirt road. The sign he had Just passed read:

Welcome to Castel Rock

Sayer had passed through Derry and before that the TR, Both townships sugjested he go to Castel Rock. He knew he had to come to Mane, hunting it.

It had come here.

Not the It that plagued Derry in the late fifties and eighties under the name of Pennywise. Or mabye it was. Damnation always had a face and a name.

Mabye Pennywise and that rabid dog Cujo and all the Its that killed in Castel County were part of that.

Castel Rock was a waistland. Seven years of rebuilding and they still hadn't cleaned up the destruction left by Danforth "Buster" Keaton and Ace Meril's one night of vengance. Sayer's truck passed over the new bridge and into the city. The old municiple building was being rebuilt. Sayer parked his truck next to two vacant shops and stepped out to ask for derections.

Who he met was Revrand Willie Rose."

"Evning' Pilgrem." he said. "Revrand Jack Sayer, Dumont county."

"Well, good to meet another Revrand. William Rose. Tell me, what brings you to Castel Rock?"

"I'm looking for something."

"And, what would that be."

"Leland Gaunt."

Rose was a statue "Of course." He finnaly said. " Leland Gaunt. Can I give you some advice?"

"Certainly."

"Stay away from Leland Gaunt. He's a poisoned man. He destroyed this town. He forced people to kill each other. A good many people are dead because of him. He even got an eleven year old boy to kill himself. He's too powerful. He got me to attack the local Catholic preacher. I owe my life to Alan Pangborn for stopping him. He's the devil."

"I know that, Revrand Rose. I've been hunting the bastard for 35 years. He's been spreading his poison all over the country, mabye even the world. Now, he was only here for a few weeks. Why did he leave so soon?"

"Revrand Sayer, the man you will want to speak to is Alan Pangborn."

6. An Insightful Interlude

The students waited in the History class at Haddonfield Highschool.

There teacher, Mr. Frikland was late today.

"I think he aint coming." informed Steve Wallace.

"You know what that's like." chuckeled Greg Dumont.

"Hell no." said Steve. "I bet Jamie could tell you different, right Jamie?" an unfair move, since Jamie had no part in this.

"Kiss my ass, Steve." Jamie replied.

"Is that an invitation."

"Leave her alone." John was into the conversation quicker than anyone could stop him.

"Twins." Steve scoffed. The fact he came off as hatful to Jamie was the greatest (yet unpresentable) evidence of his thespian's skills. He was entirly infatuated with Jamie Lloyd the second she stepped out of Principle Strode's car infront of the school in Grade 9, wearing the same outfit she wore now, grey sweatshorts and sleevless shirt with her eyes neatly concealed beneath a Huskers cap. It was the same simple beauty that Mattie Devore had that drove Mike Noonan crazy that was now taking Steve over so infectiously.

The classroom door opened and Mrs. Strode walked in. "Hello kids." she said. "Your teacher Mr. Frickland is sick today. I will be taking over for him today. So everybody take out your books, Jamie, no hats in school."

The class chuckeled as Jamie reluctantly pulled off her Huskers hat.

"I see you were on the subect of World War II." Laurie said picking up the teacher's binder. "Apparently you were in the middel of a very insightful discussion on Adolf Hitler." In fact, they had just began and Mr. Frickland had been quite intrested in there thoughts on the Furur.

"Would anyone care to enlighten us?" Greg's hand was up. "Allright Greg."

"Well, he started this war because he hated the Jews. He basically rallied the Axis to iradicate one of his troubles."

"It's more than that." said Jamie. "He was working with the people, not ordering them."

"What do you mean?" asked Laurie.

"He wasn't the only ones who hated the Jewish people. It had gone back all the way to the Middel Ages when the were blamed for the Black Death. Hitler drew on this. He promised them the iradication of the Jews. He promised them what they wanted in exchange that they fight for him. He increased their hatred and bargained for there alliance. That's more than Evil.

7. A Better Bear Trap

The bell above the door to Needful Things rang for the second time today and Rick Tower walked in. Rick was the owner of the infamous Tower Farm that was the home of the annual Halloween Party.

It had began with his daughter, Linda throwing the party in 1989 while he and his wife were out of town. When they returned, the house was such a mess, Linda was forced to admit the party. When the Press arrived at the party that year, they had deducted that it was official and a few days later, asked Linda if they could sponser it.

Linda quickly acepted and it became an annual tradition, Vincent's Drugs and some other stores hosted it too, in fact no one would be surprised if they had a big company come up and offered a quarter of a million dollars to sponser them. There was just one problem:

No one asked Rick Tower.

It was his farm. His farm, goddamit and now it was the equivelent of Lovers Lane. Fucking kids. They came to his house every year and tore the place appart. Damned kids. They left beer cans and broken bottels all over the place, expecting him to clean it up. Stupid kids.

But, right now, he was in town to sell some of his pumpkin crop that was doing so well. He had been ready to go back home when he saw Needful Things and became curios. He strolled into the store, his eyes darting every which way.

"Hello, Mr. Tower." Gaunt said. "What brings you to my store? Any item in perticular, or are you just browsing?"

"Browsing." said Rick, brining his eyes back away from Mr. Gaunt and around the shop. His eyes stopped on the sign reading: "SOON TO CONTAIN HALLOWEEN COSUMES."

"Oh of course." Mr. Gaunt said. "I completely forgot. I would be thrilled to sponser your party, Mr. Tower."

"It's not that." said Rick. "Far from it. I actually would prefer we had less sponserers."

"Well, for whatever reason?"

"I'm not exactly too fond of these Halloween parties." Rick said flately.

"Ah." Gaunt said pressing his hands together. "The children destroy your property."

"Yes."

"It's not right that these children be givin the right to use such reckless behavior."

"Yeah."

"They should be subserviant, not have such anti-social behavior at parties."

"Right!"

"After all, who gave them permision to act so recklessly. They are merly children."

"DAMNED RIGHT." Rick was beyond salvation now. He was compleletly enraped with Mr. Gaunt's insight in the matter."

"Mr. Tower, I beleive there's something you may find of intrest.

Mr. Gaunt went into the store room and, after the sound of boxes being shifted ended came out with a brown cardboar box.

"I really need an assistant to clear out that stock." Mr. Gaunt chuckled. "It's like hell in there."

Mr Gaunt set the box on the counter, slit it open with a razor he kept on the counter and pulled it open.

Rick Tower looked down into the box and saw a silver bear trap.

Rick had agreed on a price of seventy dollars for the bear trap and some tear gas, plus a small favour. Mr. Gaunt decided on one favour for both items because he found Rick's use of the items quite intriguing. Rick carefully loaded the box into the front seat. "Lets see those kids mess up my barn now." he chuckled.

8. Voices

Mr. Frikland's subsitute arrived and with it, relief for Laurie, who's work in this school day was far from over. In the middel of class, after what Jamie had said, the voice came back. The voice of guilt, gnawing at her soul.

Hey, Laurie, remember me? Sure you do. You've been trieng to keep me out with psychiatry and pills and booze, but I'm down and not out. You haven't forgoten already have you? Of course not. How could you. I mean how could you forget everything that happend on Halloween. Remember how Micheal was trying to kill you? Nope, he wasn't after Annie or Linda or the nurses or any of the ones who DID die, he was after you! All you! Man, think about it, if you had just taken what was coming to you, they would all be alive. Wow, hot damned. Doesn't that get you? Don't you ever think "Fuck, what's my life when compared to over a dozend, I wish I had blown by brains out before Michael even got to Haddonfield." Do you?

She just needed something, those pills, some vodka, a smoke, anything.

Fortunatly, Laurie had a fresh stock of all three and decided to do all three. She sighed and leaned back in her desk, puffing smoke through her open office window.

Un un. You're not going to get rid of me that easily. Hey, put that out, don't you know smoking kills? Or is that serial killer sibelings? You would know. Oh, here's a good one. Remember when Linda called you and she was dieng? And, what did you do? You hung up. You thought that was a prank. Boy, was that dumb. I bet you could have saved her if you had gone right then and there? But, did you? No. How could you forget anything like that. Don't worry. I'll remind you.

Shut up.

And, what about Annie? Tommy saw what happend. If you had listened to him, Linda might be alive. Oh, I have so many things to remind you about.

Shut up.

Tommy knew the whole time. He knew the boogeyman was there. Man, that could have saved you some time. And some lives.

"Shut up." She had gone from thinkin shut up to muttering it.

And, Dr. Loomis. Didn't you have any grattiude for him? He saved your life once and nearly killed himself the second. The second time, if you had lost your life while repaying the favour, he'd have half his face back. Let's not forget that.

"Shut up."

Is this bothering you? Why? How could me reminding you of your part in the murder of about two dozend people be upsetting?

"SHUT UP!!!!" She was screaming now. It became increasingly obvious now, that her secretary Brenda Nealson was in her office. A hurt expression crossed her face.

"I'm sorry Brenda." said Laurie, " I wasn't talking to you. I wa ah... What did you want?"

"Your husband's on line 2."

Dr. James Lloyd formely Jimmy Lloyd was finished his rounds and was on the phone with Laurie. He had no problem with Laurie keeping her name, in fact, he had changed his name to James instead of Jimmy when he became a doctor, fearing all the jokes about a doctor named Jimmy (Jimmy Bones: Freelance gynocologist was a popular one when he was younger).

The minute he heard Laurie's voice, he knew something was wrong. He could just tell sometimes. He didn't question her on it, he decided it would be best not to. Unfortunatly, Laurie wasn't very talkative, leaving Jimmy sorry he called. He finished the call and hung up. Someone walked past his door, someone he knew. "Rachel?"

Rachel returned to the door. "Just finishing my rounds, sir."

"Rachel, how many times have I told you not to call me sir. Can the protocol."

"Sorry si...Jimmy."

"You were trying to sneak back to the patient in 302 arn't you."

Rachel nodded. It seemed to Jimmy, and most of the people Rachel met that she could always seem younger and less mature than she realy was. But, she was 28 and quite a mature 28, but she could slip in and out of it without a hint of the other side. "Think I should?" she asked with cautious optemism.

"You know what they say about patients and staff." Jimmy replied as if playfuly scolding her.

"No, what."

He opened his mouth to give out the same speech about how ambulance drivers could date nurses and nurses could date doctors and all three wern't allowed to date patients that he had heard twenty years ago.

But, he caught himself, remembering that if he had listened to this advice, he would not be married with children. "Go for it."

Rachel smiled and walked off to the patient's room.

8. Alan Pangborn gets a phone call.

Former Castel County Sheriff Alan Pangborn was sitting in his home in when the phone rang. Polly Pangborn was out, so he had to pry himself out of his sunchair to get it. "Hello."

"Hello Alan." The voice was choked with despair and fatigue, but Alan recognized it.

"Norris? Boy it's good to hear you again." He stopped. Sheriff Norris Ridgwick rarely called Alan unless there was a problem. "What's wrong?"

"There's someone here who wants to talk to you. About Leland Gaunt, Needful Things."

"Who?"

"Someone who's been following him."

The sound of the phone being shifted announced a new person on the phone. "Mr. Pangborn, I'm Revrand Sayer. I need to talk to you about what happend here in 91."

No. Not this. He couldn't remember Castel Rock. Not now, not after all he had done to keep it down.

Surprise Allen. I'm back. Boy, it's good to be home. You shut me up after you found out Gaunt was lieng about what happend to Annie, but I've got a lot more from what happend in Castel Rock.

Oh no.

Remember Brian Rusk, the kid who killed himself. You had noticed he was acting weird the day before. If you had gone straight out and bam asked him,"Brian, is Mr. Gaunt haunting your dreams, causing you to throw mud at Wilma Jersick's sheets and rocks at her windows?" he would still be alive.

Shut up.

And what about Lester Pratt. He died almost killed John Lappoint right next to your office. If you were doing your job right. Mertle Keaton, Netti Cobb, Lester Pratt, Sally Ratcliff, Hugh Priest, All of them. They would all be alive if you had done your job right. And, don't get me started on Annie and Todd.

"Mr. Pangborn?" Revrand Sayer's voice drove of the one of guilt.

Yeah. Look, Mr...Sayer is it? I' have too much to say over the phone. I'll drive down there as soon as I can, Ok."

"Well, be waiting for you, Mr. Pangborn."

Alan hung up the phone and walked back to his bedroom.

Alan, your going back to the Rock? You don't know what your getting yourself into.

"I know. I have to go back. It has to do with Leland Gaunt."

You'll just find more to fuel me, Alan. You might be able to hide from me here, but the Rock is my HOME.

"Than why do you want me to stay here?"

Your asking me? Think about it, I'm a part of YOU. Your supplying the argument for both sides. I'm winning. Either you like me better or I have a better point. All I know is Castel Rock is bad for both of us. More you then me.

"I'll take my chances." said Alan, pocketing his handgun he hadn't used for 8 years.

What about Polly?

Alan froze.

Aha. Didn't think about her did you? No, you don't think about anyone living.

"She'll understand."

Alan, you walk out that door and go to Castel Rock, you won't be coming back.

"You think you know more than me don't you?"

You said it.

"Your wrong, then. Because you are me."

And with that, Alan Pangborn left.

9. The "Price" is right.

Vincent "Price" Prince walked into Needful things angry and demanding an explenation.

Bradey Hollister hadn't been to work since he had bought his jacket from Needful Things and Vince was more than angry at Bradey for leaving (and not answering his phone) and, in part, at Mr. Gaunt for whatever he had done.

"Mr. Price,how can I help you?"

Prince erupted in rage "IT'S PRINCE!" Vincent was always angry at people calling him Price, which wasn't that funny since Prince looked nothing like Vincent Price. He prefered being called Prince, unawear that Vince Prince could be a joke on it's own.

"Oh, I'm terribly sorry,Mr. Prince. I had heard people calling you Price and thought that was your name. Please, forgive me."

"Well as long as it doesn't happend again." Prince said, calming himself.

"I'll make sure of it, I promis."

"Ok."

"What can I help you with."

Vince remembered. "One of my employees was in here recently. Bradey Hollister.

"Oh yes. Very nice lad."

That came out of the blue. Vince had to wait to get his preverbeal vocal balance back. "He went straight home after that,he was suposed to be working today."

Mr. Gaunt put a large-fingered hand on his chin. "I beleive he did. Most people would skip work once theyve found their prized posetion."

"What?"

Mr. Gaunt changed the suject with ease. "Tell me, Mr. Prince, do you enjoy cigars?"

Price was addicted to cigars. They were the answer to his hard knock life as a conveniant store owner. "Sure, I do."

"Excellent." Gaunt smiled. "I just had a delivery of fine cigars. Would you care to buy some."

Vince fell silent again. "How much?"

"Not very much, I assure you."

Prince reluctantly nodded. "Allright."

Mr. Gaunt pulled up the box and plucked two cigars from it and reached for his lighter.

The cigars were good, Vince soon found out. "Damned good." He said outloud.

"Your right, Mr. Prince." Gaunt puffed.

"I am!" Prince laughed.

"Of course." smiled Gaunt, an evil grin was more like it. "The customer is always right."

10. Barry Simms picks a fight

"This is Backtalk with Barry Simms." Barry rushed into the recording booth as his producer introduced him.

"Hello Haddonield. Today's subject is the Halloween Debate. Now, we all know how bad Halloween has hit us with Michael Myers, but we have with us Father John Brown who thinks that halloween has a direct tie with the devil. Father?"

"Hello." Father Brown said into the microphone. Brown had come for a routean talk to explain his points to the people. He expected Barrey to be intelligent, understanding and polite.

Poor shmuck.

"Father, would you care to talk about your point?"

"Thank you, Barry. My point is veary simple. The idea of people dressing up as monsters as healthy social behavior is definatly questionable. The day is based entirely on the glorification of evil beings."

"Now, hold on. Are you saying that these people are going to become supernatural beings because they dress like them for Halloween?"

"Not in that sense no, but it's quite possible these people may become dangerous if they believe they acctually ARE monsters. Cults of people beleiving themselves to be vampires, commonly known as Renfield Syndrom, have been known to kill people in the search for blood. People who beleive they are wolves have become feril and violent in life. The fact that young children begin this tradition is extremely dangerous. Children are more prone to new ideas like vampirism and are addicted to it quickly. In fact, most people with Renfield Syndrom inherited it from an experiance at a young age."

Barry wasn't trying to offend Brown, yet. If he went right out and pocked at him in the begining of the interview, Brown would'nt stay long. So, he took things calmly. "We have a caller. Beth O'Brian. Your on Backtalk, Beth."

"Hi, Barry."

"Now, Beth, you've called in before. For those of you who don't know, Beth is a Senior at Haddonfield U and heads the student activity council and has called in quite often to offer Pro-Halloween conversation." Barry put his hand over his microphone and leaned over to Father Brown. "This will probably be a reasonable debate, Beth's a real nice girl, you don't mind do you?"

"Ah, no that wel be fine." said Father Brown. Poor Father Brown.

"Ok. Go ahead Beth."

"How can you possily link Renfield Syndrom to Halloween."

"There are vampires on Halloween aren't there?"

"That's besides the point." Beth knew what she was talking about. Or, at least she could fake it. "Just because a kid runs around in a bad Bela Lugosi suit with a pair of fake fangs doesn't make him a psychopath. It doesn't even come close to the drinking of blood that causes RS."

"It's still a wicked notion to have children masqurading as monsters."

"That is up to the parent you shouldn't make it city wide law. If it were as "wicked" as you say, it would be a sin or something."

"Sins aren't the only damnable rules that are broken."

"And vica/versa, right father?"

"I'm not sure what you mean?"

"Relegious sinificance can't declare Marshel law. If it did, Gluttony would be illeagal and Rosie O'Donnel would be in Alcatraz."

Barry bellowed laughter. "And they would handel Glutony the same way they do drug addiction. Oprah would be in and out of Betty Ford more times than Gerald."

Barry almost colapsed his chair hooting with abnoxious laughter. Father Brown found this not the slightest bit funny and overly tastless. "While were on that subject, Father, your a supporter of Bob Dole, right?"

"Not really, no."

"Oh,right. You use the same method of 'support' as Bob Dole, I forgot."

Father Brown found it more than obvious the program had turned to lockeroom-humor. "Hey, Beth." said Barry. "How about you and me hook up? You know they say politics makes strange bedfelows?"

"Well, acctually for the past few years that's been politicians make estranged bedfellows."

"Touchay."

Brown stod and began to walk out of the room. "Ohp." Barry smirked. "This seems like a good spot for a commercial." He pressed a button and half-rose from his chair. "Beth, honey, can you wait for a minute. Our preist seems to be leaving."

"I'll be right here."

"Great."

Barry rushed up to the door and into the hallway. Father Brown walked towards the door slowely with his cane leaving a rythmatic thump on the floor.

"Your not leaving so soon are you?"

"Mr. Simms, I don't enjoy being patronized. Or, insulted. I suggjest you re-evaluate the content of your show. Until then, I'll find somewhere elts to speak my mind. Good day."

"You won't find anywhere elts. I'm the only fucking game in town. You can't stop Halloween."

Father Brown looked ready to walk away from Barry, with an expression that said "I don't have to deal with vermin like you, I'm better than you."

"Mr. Simms, if I was meant to stop Halloween, the lord will show me the way."

"You have so much faith." Barry had spitfulness in his voice.

"It aids me." Brown was turning around and walking to the door.

"Didn't seem to aid you in helping your wife." Smirked Barry half turning away.

Before he knew it, he was lying on the ground.

What the hell happend? The breif taste of rubber and dirt in his mouth followed by a coppery taste helped Barrey peice it together. Father Brown had brought up his cane and brought it across Barey's jaw with more force and rage than Barry would have thought possible from him. Barry quickly survaid the damage. He had bit his own toung and a bit of blood filled his mouth, a tooth lay on the floor and his cheek had a small gash.

To be fair to Father Brown, Barry had REALLY deserved that because Father Brown's wife had died in the Haddonfield Hospital more than two decades ago, in fact she was the one who's blood Jimmy Lloyd had slipped in and hit his head.

Barry knew it. He even knew Brown himslef had almost died in the fire trying to rescue her.

But Barry didn't care. His mind was a ramble of thoughts and that wasn't one of them. What the hell was that, what did he do, he sucker smacked me, he can't do that, he can't fucking hit me, my fucking mouth, I'm gonna fucking kill him.

That's what he was thinking.

Father Brown could probably sense what would happend next. Barry brought himself up to a kneeling position and pounced on the preist, his head hitting him square in the stomach and his fist determined to relocate his jaw.

The two of them collapsed as Brown toppled backwards and Barry lost his ballance.

I'm gonna KILL him. Barrey brought up his fist and readeyd to stike when a hand came around his wrist.

Scherrif Ben Meeker stood there, keeping a firm grip on Barry's outrached arm.

"Leave it alone, Simms."

"Hey, he hit me when I wa..."

"Father Brown you allright?"

Brown was lieing on the floor, the wind knocked out of him Barrey's blood smearing his shirt.

"He can't do a damned thing!" Barry shouted, lisping from his woundedd tounge. "He hit me firsst!"

"I don't care." Said Meeker. "Send me the medical bill. Now, stop it."

Barry's memory flooded back. He remembered that he was in the middle of a show and Beth was waiting and his listeners were waiting. "Mike." Barry hollered. "Bring in the nexsst sshow."

"But Barry, Steve's not here yet."

"Ssso call him in, play sssome mussic,do sssomething! I can't go on, I need to get ssstiches form my god damn tounge!"

"Should I call an ambulance?"

"Fine! Sssur....yeah. Get me an ambulancsse!"

Meeker helped Father Brown to his feet and to the door. Barry watched him,

He can't hit him. NO ONE can hit him. He won't get away with this.

It was these thoughts Barry Simms kept on his mind the next day when he stepped into Needful Things.

11. Street Festival

Saturday.October 18th

The annual October Street festival was the first sign of fall in Haddonfield, a prequel to the Thanksgiving Day Parade in November and the empending Halloween bashes clustered throught the city. This wasn't exactly a parade though, they blocked off the streets stretching from the Mall on the western courner to 17th Street farther east. It was a common street fair, where people could hang out, buy knick knacks from the several localy run buisnesses that anchored itself to a table on the side-walk, get some food and just stay around people. The crowd was dotted with people who had been to Needful Things, with the notable exceptions of Brady Hollister who was home and in dreamworld under his Huskers jacket and Rick Tower, who was carefully placing his death traps. Mr. Gaunt's store was the only one who's merchandise had not been placed on a table in front of his building for presentation. Acctually, Needful Things was also the only store that kept there doors open, promising shade to the people under the unusually hot October sky.

The first one through the door was Marry Witherspoon, one of the teachers down at the highschool and a gifted painter. Marry, like most of Haddonfild's community of dabblers in the profitable arts, on the block of the bypass between Oak and Belmont Avenue. Her table held an asortmant of paintings which she sold for what Gillian Tombes, a "freelance art critic" had called an "absurdly inflated price.

"Exuse me?" Marry asked, fully knowing what she had said but taken aback by such an emboldened (and rude) statement.

Gillian was the closest thing to a snob Haddonfield had. She had lived there all her life, but never really belonged. Her parents had both been in social upper crusts, her mother was from Beverly Hills, her father a stock broker from Philidelphia. There daughter had the perks of the most steriotypical rich girls, the Shirly Temple after Daddy Warbucks kicked the bucket. She was tutored in arts from her many trips to the art galeries, but her "cing" was always venemous, her boardom caused her to hate art, but it was the only thing she was good at. She regarded everything she came upon as crap. If presented with the Monna Lisa or Whistler's Mother, she would spit on them and dig up there creators to yell in there skeletal faces.

When her father's stocks hit rock bottom, Haddonfield was her new homw. Now stuck here, she felt free to loath everything.

To say Gillian Tombs and Marry Witherspoon wouldn't get along is like telling a man who was about to plummit from a helicopter into a volcano that he might get a little warm.

"I said this art is way to much. Ninty dollars for this? A blind monkey with a paint brush in his teeth and a pair of rollerblades could make a better painting."

"What gives you the right to say that?" Demanded Marry, fury taking over her usually cheerful demeanor.

"I know art and this aint' it." Gillian began to leave. "Don't quit your day job, girly."

Marry refused to leave it at that. She had lived a very confined life in which people who were rude to her were few and far bettween. The audacity of this woman could not escape her mind.

Upon reaching Needful Things, her anger had slightly, yet visibly, subsided.

She had seen the add for the curious Curio Shop in the newspaper the day before and had stated to her husband, Craig that they should visit it, since these types of places held hidden treasures. Craig was working the art table now, letting Marry check out this place.

"Hello, how may I help you." The store owner asked.

"Hello. Marry Witherspoon, head of the Haddonfield Arts Commity."

"Ah, welcome, Marry. Leland Gaunt, propriater of thid establishment. let me say how much respect I have for your commity."

"Oh, are you an artist?"

"I dabble." Mr. Gaunt nodded. "I have a hand in everything, really. I do enjoy purchasing a good painting now and then."

"Perhaps you can come over to the festival. There is a block full of art tables if you wanted to buy something."

"I'm afraid I can't." Mr. Gaunt was careful to use a tone that would not upset Marry, like a father trying to break the news to his daughter that he hadn't gotten his premotion and they couldn't go to Disneyland after all. "You see, I am obliged to keep my store open regardless of community events and I cannot leave my post."

"I see."

"There might be something I have for you, though." Mr. Gaunt said, rere." he chuckled victoriously as he set an ornatly carved wooden box on the counter.

He produced a golden key, watching the lock on the golden latch and popped it open.

A silk carpeting lined the case which held a paint brush. "The man who gave me this said it had been used by Picaso himself."

"Oh my god!" The wind had been knocked out of her by this statement. "Is it for sale?"

"Yes, indeed." Mr. Gaunt smiled, putting a hand on his chin and rapping his long fingers on his cheek. "How does fifty dollars sound?"

The first thing that would pop into her mind at a time like this would be that it isn't authentic if he was ready to sell it for such a small fee. But, as you have probably already guessed, Mr. Gaunt has a profound effect on peopls's subconscious. So her answer was. "Yes. fifty sounds fine."

Marry bought the paintbrush and brought it home, completly forgetting about her post at the festival.

Mr. Gaunt wasn't liening about the brush belonging to Picasso. What he neglected to mention was that he had retrieved it by personaly prying it from his cold, dead hand.

12. Barry's Needful Thing

Barry Simms, with three stitches in his tongue and dopped up on pain killers entered Needful Things almost breaking the door when he slammmed it. He was in a bad mood because of Brown, but he still had to work. A new store was news in Haddonfield, bigger if the store is causing a ruckous like this.

Mr. Gaunt only took one customer at a time so he could emit his full attention to the present deal. Odly enough, there was always someone there, but never a line to the door. Barry had barely missed Marry Witherspoon and her paintbrush as he reached the street where Needful Things sat.

Mr. Gaunt, who had just waved goodbye to Marry from the window was still there when Barry came through. "Hello." he said, regaining his balance from the door being slammed so close and with such force. "How may I help you?"

"I'm just here to..."

"Oh, I know who you are." Mr. Gaunt said recallingly. "You must be Barry Simms, of the radio show Backtalk. I couldn't place you until I heard yonjoy your show."

"You listen to my show?" Until now, there was an age braket that Barry thought was his key (and only) audiance and Mr. Gaunt had missed it by about fourty years.

"Yes. And let me just say, I found last nights brief topic very...intriguing."

"You don't beleive in any of the stuff Brown said, do you."

"Not all of it." Gaunt picked his phrasing slowely. "I do beleive Halloween can be a very evil night, but I'd rather not end it."

"You sound like me." laughed Barry. "I'd love to see what Brown was talking about come true."

"Perhaps, that is your Needful Thing."

"What?"

"Mr. Simms, I have something that may interest you." Gaunt didn't have to search this time, he had what he was talking about right on the counter, a golden amulet with a red ruby in the center.

"What is it?"

"An ancient amulet. It may just work in your cause." Mr. Gaunt smiled.

"How does it work?"

"It will work on Halloween Night. Just keep it on until then."

"And it well bring what Brown said come true?" Barry guessed that this was just superstition fodder, but what the hell.

"I sure hope so." Mr. Gaunt laughed. "That is a most intriguing idea."

13. The Patient in 302

"Now, listen to me very carefully." Laurie instructed. "I want you to run across the street and get help, okay?"

Tommy nodded "okay."

He and Lindsey ran across the steet to Tommy's house, screaming and holering all the way. There was only one person left on the street this late, an old man in a baije trenchcoat. He really wasn't that old, about 50, but when your eight, that's 625% of your life. Tommy's mathematical brain was already doing overtime at a younge age.

The man rushed back into the Myers house where Tommy could hear Laurie's screams. Then, he heard loud sounds. Loud pooping sounds. Six of them. Tommy had heard noises similar to these on TV.

Gun shots. That guy who had entered the house was trying to kill Laurie!!

In his mind, that was the only thing that fit. After all, the Boogeymere, Lindsey." Tommy instructed, heading back for the house. He had no clue what he could do to stop this guy, all he knew was he coul ammas enough courage for his legs to get in motion. He reached the gate to the back lawn and pushed open the latch.

Lieying on the ground near the balcony was the masked man. How could this be possible? Suddenly, the man stood and surveid the surroundings. Tommy, filled with near paralyzing horror slowely backed away, through the gate and stopped in the shadows of the neighboring houses wall, his heart beating like a jackhammer in his ears.

The boogeyman walked right past him. Then Tommy heard the man yell "No." The Boogeyman heard it too. He turned to look back and Tommy could swear he could see a smirk cross his mask. And then, he was gone.

Tommy pulled himself up and walked after the Boogeyman, making sure to stay in the shadows.

Tommy had lost Michael and was wandering around the city for most of the night.

His feet ached from walking.

That was when he saw the fire.

Rushing around the corner, he saw a police car had crashed into another car, a flaming man caught in between them.

"Is it him?" shouted a man Tommy had recognized as Scherrif Brackett. "Loomis is it him!"

The trenchcoated man Tommy had seen at the Myers hose was there. Tommy deducted this was Loomis. "No." Loomis responded.

Then, Brackett noticed Tommy. "You, kid." he shouted coming up to Tommy. Tommy felt he should run, knew he should.

Screw it! Too much running.

Brackett walked up to Tommy and nealed to be face to face with him.

"Are you lost?"

Tommy nodded vigourasly.

"What's your name?"

"Tommy Doyle."

"Doyle?" said Loomis.

Brackett nodded. "I know. This is the kid who lived there. We have to get you home, son, allright."

Tommy nodded gratfully.

But, they hadn't gotten him home. He had stayed in a police cruiser the rest of the night, trying to track down his frantic parents. When the KABOOM from the hospital was heard, the squad car was there in seconds.

mout of the cruiser and into the hospital parking lot. An ambulance was driving off with Laurie.

Loomis was hurt pretty bad and was being loaded inot another ambulance too.

Tommy figured Loomis had blown up the hospital and killed Michael. Loomis was driven to risk his life to destroy the Boogeyman.

Cool. Tommy only wished he had the courage to put his life on the line like that.

His parents arrived shortly after. They hugged him and cried and really embarrese him in front of the cops. "It's ok." said his Mom. "That crazy serial killer is dead.

Tommy watched Michael being carried out on a stretcher to yet another ambulance. "No he's not." he said. "Nothing can kill the Boogeyman.."

Tommy Doyle awoke with a start. Reality flooded back into his mind.

It was 1999 not 1978. He was 29 not 8. And Michael Myers or Loomis were nowhere in sight.

Tommy tried to get up, but the searing pain in his leg refreshed more of his memory. He had been shot and was in the new Haddonfield Hospital. He had been shot when on a drug bust in Litchfiel. That was right, he was a cop. For seven years now. His parents payed for his entrance into training. His parents support had wanned for a while eleen years ago on the anniversary of Michael's killing spree. "If that killer so much as stirs on the anniversary, we're leaving town."

Luckely, he didn't even budge.

Who knows where he would be had Michael awoken in 1988.

A nurse who had been walking around in the halway neared the door. Tommy's first impression was she must be a candy striper as that's pretty much the only job a 16 year old can get at a hospital. As she came closer, though, he realised it was more like 20. "Hello, Mr. Doyle." she said. By now, Tommy could see her nametag read RACHEL. "You look like your feeling better.

What did she mean? Tommy hadn't seen her before. Then again, he had been in shock when he first arrived and asleep most of the other day. Perhaps Rachel had visited him then. If so, that was kind of creepy. Did she expect him to wake up and tell her about how his true love had died in a cave during World War II and something about a crashed plane? Did he look like Raiph Finnes? "What does the doctor say?"

"You'll live. And walk. But, for a little while you'll need crutches."

"No cast?"

"No, there isn't any bone fractures just some muscle disfunction. Your lucky."

"If I were luckier, I proobably wouldn't get shot. When can I leave?"

"Any time you want. But, Doctor Lloyd says you should stick to office work for a while."

"Seems fare."

"He also said you should ask a pretty, not-so-young nurse named Rachel out for dinner."

"He did, hun?" What did she mean not so young? He had determined by now that Rachel was about in her mid twenties. If she was not-so-young, what did that make him? He put this thought into words not to offend her. "Do you know any older nurses named Rachel?" he asked so cornily swave he couldn't help laughing.

Rachel laughed too, more because she thought it was funny. Tommy's laugh became increasingly nervus. Here he was, liying on a hospital bed with a bullet hole in his leg and a nurse trying to ask him out for a date. Was he on one of those Canded Camera shows?

"C'mon." she said. "I'm 28, that's not that young."

Tommy was taken aback from this. He was sure she was 23, except that smile made her seem to be in her teens. "You certainly don't look it."

"Flatery well get you evrywhere." she made that smile again, letting Tommy know humor and stuff that makes you smile was a good thing when dating Rachel.

"I thought nurses weren't aloud to date patients."

"That's just what nurses say to patients they don't want to go out with."

"Well in that case, your co-workers REALLY don't like me." More laughter.

"So, how's tommorow night?"

"Sure. How about The Chimney."

Another suprise. The Chimney as a pretty roudy restraunt because of the Teacher's only room (also the binge drinking room for obvious reasons) and the Police Bar... Ah, that was her plan. They would go to the restraunt, he would have to get a table in the Cops area (because it's nicer) and then she would have a chance to use Test #1: Meet and rate his friends. But, what could he do.

"I'll pick you up at 7?

"Great." said Rachel. "bring your crotch."

"What?"

"Crutch." Rachel corrected embarresed. "Bring your crutches." Tommy had a feeling Froyd would have a thing or two to say about Rachel's subconsious slip, meaning the ball was in his court.

Rachel left, the date arranged and Tommy fell back, extending his arms and giving a sigh as his back hit the matris." .idn't know Rachel's adress, phone number or last name. All he knew was her first name, age and occupation.

14. The Police Station

Officer Tommy Doyle walked into the station on his crutches amidst the clapping officers. "Hey, it's our war hero." smiled Dave. "With a badge of honors on his leg."

"Welcome back, son." Meeker clapped him on the back. Tommy had always been concidered to be the son Ben never had. Everyone was happy to see Tommy back and healthy, except for, Deputy Frank Gellar. Frank wasn't sorry Tommy was alive, more that he just didin't want him here.

"Good work, Doyle." he said, the nicest thing he could say right then to Tommy. "We couldn't have caught that guy without you."

"You got him?" Tommy hadn't heard about this. All he knew was that he had stopped a car, despite Frank's objections, opened the trunk, been shot in the leg by the driver and heard more gunfire while blacking out.

"Sure did." said Ben. Jeff got him himself."

Jeff, Jeffery Gaunt, walked up. "I didn't do anything." said Jeff modestly. "Tommy's gun shot out the tires when he hit the ground, I just nabbed the guy."

"What do we have on him?"

"First off shooting you." Ben said running the back off his hand over his brow.

"Second, we found bags of cocain in the trunk. He's gonna do some time."

"Hey Jeff." called Frank.

"Yeah?"

"Come look at this.

Jeff walked over to Frank's desk and looked down at the newspaper add. It read: Needful Things You won't belive your eyes. NOW OPEN Leland Gaunt, propriator.

"Leland Gaunt. Any relation?"

"I'm not sure." Jeff scratched behind his ear nervously as he looked down. "I'll check that out. But, back to our guest of honor. Speech!"

Gaunt's declaration was followed by more shouts. "Speech, Speech."

hmy parents, god and...oh, the bullet that hit me in the leg, who without I wouldn't be recognized.

During the celebration, no one noticed Jeff Gaunt slip into the jail cell area.

Mathew Green, the man who had shot Tommy stood up as the door closed. "Jeff, man you've got to help me." He said close to tears. "I need to get out."

"Don't worry." said Jeff. "I covered our tracks."

"How?"

"I replaced the ceremonial stuff with a bag of cocaine. They'll think that's why you shot Doyle."

"Doesn't that make things worse?"

"That's what tommorow's trial is about."

"I don't want to go to jail man."

"Your not going to." Jeff was getting impatient with Matt. "I'll get you out of here. Wynn has a plan."

Indeed Wynn did have a plan. Terrance Wynn, leader of the Thorn Cult that created Michael Myers was rarely without one. His plan for Matt, however, was not very benafical for him. Jeff was supposed to drive Matt to the trial in Langdon accompanied by two guards. However, a certain technical difficulty would occur. Matt would get a hold of a gun and kill both of the guards. Jeff would survive and manage to shoot Matt in the head.

Jeff had at first objected to this plan, beeing against the idea of executing his friend, but Wynn was insistant. "He's a weak link, Jeff." he explained. "If he goes to trial he'll crack and we'll be exposed. I had high hopes for you, Jeff. Prove that your a strong link."

That remark scared Jeff so deeply, he said nothing more of Matt's fate. He knew Wynn would track him down like a dog until he finnaly killed him. When there was a will, there was a way. Jeff was in too far now, he couldn't back up he knew too much to walk away and live.

So, it was his job now to do what had to be done. Kill Matt tommorow morning.

Saturday, October 23rd, 1999

15. Matt's Fate

"Now, you be careful, Jeff." Sheriff Meeker had instructed as the guards loaded Matt into the back of the police car. "Remember, this guy is sneaky.

Perfect Jeff thought. Meeker already suspected Matt might try an escape. This made his job easier. Now, the van was bounding down the highway to Litchfield where Matt was to be tried.

Jeff was ready, he knew what he had to do. Sitting just behind the driver and the guard in the front seat, Jeff reached into his pocket and brought out a rubber glove that he then slipped onto his right hand. He eyed the gun in the guard's holster before turning back to Matt. "Time to get you out of here." he whispered.

Jeff turned back and quickly plucked the gun from the holster and fired two quick shots into the people at the head of the van. They died instantly and the van swerved without a driver. As the van turned towards the ditch, Jeff made sure to brace himself for the crash, but not so that he wouldn't be injured. If he were to make his story believable, this had to hurt. No pain, no game.

Shards of glass from the windshield covered him as the van slammed onto it's side, but he was okay, just some cuts. Matt was allright to, just some pains from being thrown around in a metal compartment. "Now what?" he asked.

Jeff tossed him the gun and he barely caught it. "Shoot the lock on the back. Make sure to get your fingerprints all over it."

"Why?"

"So they'll think it was you who killed these two and not me."

"Oh. Okay." Matt shot out the lock and walked out into the morning air.

"Now what, am I getting a ride or something."

"No."

"Well, how the fuck am I supposed to get away from here?"

Jeff was behind him now, Matt;s defenseless back to him. Jeff brought his foot up into Matt's back and watched him fall to the ground. "Your not going back, Matt." he said grimly as he pulled off the glove, stored it in his pocket and unholstered his gun.

Matt was on hid back and panicking as Jeff brought the muzzle of the gun up to his nose. He was making sounds of shock, like, well like his friend was trying to kill him, which was fitting. He was whining now too. "Why?"

"We need you to dissapear, Matt. And, this is the easiest way."

Matt looked pathetic sitting there waiting to die. Jeff squeezed the trigger slightly. Matt scrunched his eyes and was still shacking.

Jeff sighed and released the trigger. "Go." he said.

"What?" Matt opened his eyes.

"Go. Go now, hurry. Before I change my mind."

Matt was about to thank him, then stopped and realized it would be better to run.

Jeff went over to the van and slid his legs under the s,mashed side window, as if he had fallen out as it fell and had had his legs pinned. He aimed his gun and fired a few shots into the trees, as if he had shot after Matt as he escaped. He reached back inside the van and grabbed the police radio.

"Station, this is Gaunt. The car has crashed. The prisoner got a hold of a gun. The driver and guard are dead. "

"Where is the prisoner?"

Jeff waited a minute before answering. "He got away."

16. Brady's Dream.

Brady was back in the eighties, his glory days forming a never ending repeat. As soon as Halloween hit, the dream would unnoticedly slip back to the beginning. In a way, Brady was trapped in his five day memory.

Until Mr. Gaunt gave him a visit.

October 30th was just ending in Brady's dreamworld (time had a way of flowing quicker in this pocket of reality, as Brady had relived five days eight times since Thursday. Brady went to sleep expecting, like usual to wake up on the 25th in 1988. Instead, the clock-radio on his nightstand came on. "Your listening to Bill and Kathy on this beautiful Halloween day."

Brady woke up with a shock. "NO. It can't be. Mr. Gaunt? Are you there."

Mr. Gaunt's voice interrupted Bill and Kathy, accompanied by some music.

"Here's the story

of a boy named Brady.

Who forgot to pay for his Needful Thing."

" No." Brady shouted. "No, I'll pay. "

"You'd better." sneered Gaunt. "Or else all this is gone. You'll be stuck with your own reality. No one gets away without paying there price. And, if you don't believe I can take this away, lets fast forwards a bit, shall we."

Brady found himself at Rachel's house, watching himself and Rachel;. Her parents were gone, at her father's office Halloween party. Past Brady and Rachel were making out. Then, Rachel drew back. "Brady, can you see this relationship going anywhere."

"Yeah." Past Brady had replied. "The bedroom."

"Dammit, Brady, I'm serious."

"What do you mean."

"I need to know how long this relationship well last." Rachel had stood up now. "Brady, what do you want to do with your life?"

"Well, like a job? I wanted to get that football scholarship, join the NFL."

"They don't just hand football scholarships out. And, do you know how many people try to play professional football and don't make it."

"No." said past Brady honestly. "but why does that matter."

"Of course it matters." Rachel seemed irritated now. "I need someone who know what to do with their life."

"What are you saying." Future Brady grimaced, because he knew the answer and how he would respond to it."

"I think we should brake up."

"What? So, that's it. You make me wait all this time, and then you just blow me off?"

"Brady, you don't understand." Rachel could see the anger in Brady's eyes and her voice reflected a hint of fear.

"Oh, I understand." Past Brady spat. "Fucking tease. Or even worse, you probably have another guy, right. WHORE!"

Rachel slapped him. Both past and future Brady's heads turned from the force of the slap. They both also felt the warm stinging sensation on there right cheek. "Brady stop it!"

"Oh, she's going to get it now, don't you think." A voice next to Future Brady caused him to turn. Mr. Gaunt was sitting on a nearby chair, a remote control in one hand, a smirk crossing his face. "Let's watch."

Brady hit Rachel in the face. She fell backwards, hitting the back of her head against the wall.

"Good shot, Mr. Hollister." Gaunt clapped.

"You." said Future Brady." You can stop this."

"True, but why would I want to." Mr. Gaunt laughed. "This is fun."

Blood ran from Rachel's lip and she was crying. But Brady wasn't finished."

"STOP IT NOW!!!" shouted Brady."

"Allright." Gaunt said hitting the pause button on his remote, halting the scene. "But, you had better explain what I'm missing."

Brady gulped and looked down at the floor before continuing. "The police arrived ten minutes later. I was charged for battery and sexual assault. She had minor injuries but it took longer to heal her mentally. I was kicked off the football team and flunked final exams. There, now are you happy."

"Actually yes." smiled Mr. Gaunt. "You have given me some valuable information on Miss Corruthers. But, your service to me is unfinished. Are you ready to do your favor."

"Anything." Brady all but shouted. "What is it."

"Do you know Gillian Tombs?"

17. The Art Feud

Marry Witherspoon was painting again, like she had been doing for twenty four uninterrupted hours. Her first painting was nearly finished. She was painting on her porch in her back yard, a beautiful picture of the town she had taken when she went on that helicopter tour last year served as her muse.

The cordless phone that sat on the bench beside her rang. She guessed it was her husband Craig. She wiped the paint from her hands with a towel before picking up the phone. "Witherspoon residence, Marry speaking."

"I know what you did, you bitch!" Gillian Tombs shouted into her ear.

Unbeknownst to Marry, Gillian was calling from her house, which now had "STUPID ART CRITIC BITCH." written in giant red spray paint on the front of her once sparkling clean white house. "You won't get away with painting this shit!"

"You again." Marry gasped. "You leave me alone. Or, so help me god something bad well happen."

"You'll pay for this." Gillian slammed the phone down in Marry's ear.

Marry placed the phone down and turned to keep painting when the phone phone rang again. Marry pressed the TALK button and brought it up to her ear. "Leave me alone, you crazy bitch."

"Excuse me?" said the voice on the other end.

"Oh, I'm very sorry, Mr. Gaunt. I didn't mean you. Someone keeps calling me and harassing me."

"I see, that's allright. You know, harassing phone calls are illegal. You could have the police stop them."

"No, that's okay, Mr. Gaunt. I think I'll handle it in my own way"

"Excellent idea."

"What were you calling for?"

"Oh, yes. How is your paint brush working out?"

"Oh beautifully. I'm nearly done one of my paintings."

"So soon?"

"I couldn't stop. I was up all last night."

"Oh, well I wouldn't want to hear that you had lost sleep because of me."

"Don't worry I'm fine. Perhaps it is a time I take a break." Marry looked at her watch. It was nearly six.

"Speaking of which, my favor."

"Oh, of course. What did you want."

"On your front step, you'll find an envelope. Do you know who Rachel Corruthers is?"

"Yes."

"Good, now can you slip that into her bag?"

"I don't know, it's nothing harmful is it?"

"Of course not." Gaunt sounded insulted "Just a gift."

"Allright." Marry agreed. "I'll go do that."

"Splendid. Oh, and Marry?"

"Yes, Mr. Gaunt?"

"Keep up those beautiful paintings."

"I well." Marry hung up the phone and closed the box holding her paintbrush, unknowingly gazing at it for the last time.

18. Tommy and Rachel's Date Part One

Rachel saw Tommy in the hospital waiting room before he could notice her.

She had just finished work and figured out Tommy, having no idea where she lived, was waiting for her at her place of work. She walked towards him, pulling the strap of her purse over her shoulder. Just then, she bumped into someone.

"Oh, I'm sorry." Marry Witherspoon said, backing away and moving around Rachel to the front door

Tommy saw her now. "Hey." he said. "I didn't know where you live so I..."

"I figured that out." Rachel nodded. "I'm ready to go now."

"Ok." said Tommy. "The Chimney is just down the block."

"Are you sure you can make it? With your crutches."

"Yep." Tommy smiled standing and hoisting up his crutches. "I can take it. I've learned how to use these things pretty well, you know."

And with that, they departed the hospital, Mr. Gaunt's "gift"in Rachel's bag courtesy of Marry Witherspoon.

19. The First Conflict

Rick Tower snuck into Marry Witherspoons's back yard holding a metal crowbar and a can of spray paint. He had very specific instructions from Mr. Gaunt on what to do. "Destroy all of the paintings except the one in the back yard. Bring that and the paintbrush to me."

Rick reached the door and brought up the crow bar, to smash not pry. Marry's back door was small glass window with a very small am,out of wood that served as lining which was smashed to pieces easily by the crowbar. Paintings lined the walls of the house. Rick went to work, smashing and painting over the canvases. The bright green of the spray paint ruined them completely while the crowbar ripped through the fabrics and papers. Rick was having too much fun destroying this stuff, unknowingly dispensing ruin to people's property more so than the teenagers who destroy his barn annually. He decided the walls, as well as the paintings, could use a good messing. When he was finished, a mess of spray paint and shattered pottery and glass surrounded him. Finished with this part, Rick walked back outside and walked out to the painting.

"What kind of weirdo is this woman." Rick remarked as he stared in bewilderment at the painting.

Marry had seen the painting of the city in the day time, looking as it normally would. But, Rick saw through the illusion to see what Marry had unknowingly painted, saw city ablaze, with bodies covering the streets, blood flowing and deamonds walking around laughing.

The kerosene Brady brought with him to his second trip to the house of Gillian Tombs now covered the flower bed in the front yard. Luckily, no one was looking out at Brady. And if they did, they couldn't see him very well as the lowering sun aided him in keeping his work a secret. Brady reached into the pocket of his jacket and pulled out a matchbox. He prepared to run as a lit match hit the plants lighting them ablaze.

He ran all the way out of sight as Gillian walked out of the house screaming. The fire fighters came soon, but Gillian was already on her way to Marry Witherspoon's house with a knife ready.

Marry reached her house just as Rick Tower had left. She walked, unable to speak through the halls of her house, the painting battered and broken and painted over. "That bitch." she finnaly managed. "I warned her, and now I'll have to get her."

Marry too picked up a knife before heading for Gillian Tombs' house.

20. Tommy and Rachel's Date Part Two

The police bar had been full that night, Jeff was back in action after his early morning encounter with Matt, not even close to the damage taken to Tommy appeared on him. They had all quickly forgotten that two people had died that morning, judging by the noise and meryment in the bar. At least, until Tommy and Rachel walked in.

"Who's that." asked Jeff, holding a full mug of beer to his lips.

"That?" Ben nodded towards Tommy and his date. "That's a nurse that Tommy met in the hospital."

"Helloooo nurse." chuckled Bendlmen, who's joke was picked up by some of the other police officers.

"Way to go, Tommy!" said Hicks, quietly, making sure neither Tommy or his date heard him.

The date picked up from there. Both Tommy and Rachel talked about there work, which was sometimes linked when Rachel's job involved caring for the wounded and Tommy's job to track down the person who had caused the wounds.

"So is halloween a big night for police work?" Rachel asked.

"Yes, basically." Tommy nodded. "Some vandalism. Usually, we have some vandalism. The Tower Farm party is too puclicised to be checked out so it's kind of a sanctuary for trouble makers. We haven't had any real trouble on Halloween for twenty one years."

Rachel smilled and leaned back in her chair. "Ah, the Michael Myers Massacre. Horrible time. I barely remember it. I was seven and living a few blocks down."

"Well." said Tommy. "I was there. You know Laurie Strode, the one Michael was after? She was babysitting me."

"No way."

"It's true. I was so close to him at one point, he could reach out and touch me."

"Scary." Rachel wasn't telling him something. She was nervous, way too nervous. Not the whole evening, just at this point, when Micheal Myers was brought up. She shifted in her seat and he was able to see the scar on her right shoulder. Tommy knew questioning her on it was not an option. They had finished the date and Tommy had offeed to walk Rachel home, with much hooting from the surrounding cops signaling there departure. They walked home down the street past Needful Things that night.

"Hey, Rachel, have you gone to that store yet?"

"You mean Needful Things? Nope. I've heard stuff about it, though. Seems like he's been having big buisness the last few days."

Tommy nodded. "I should probably check it out one of these days."

A light flashed on in the store window of Vincent's Drugs and Rachel faltered. "C'mon Tommy lets go."

"Okay." Tommy kept going. For a brief moment his crutch slipped and in a split second he held onto Rachel's arm for support.

"Don't touch me!" she shouted and he fell flat on his face when her arm moved away.

"Sorry." he said. "I shouldn't have..."

"No, I'm the one who should be saying sorry." Rachel helped Tommy to his feet. "I don't know what happend. I just....have you ever started remembering something and then you think it's acctually happening right then?"

"Yeah. I was dreaming most of the time when I was in the hospitla that it was 1978." Tommy stopped and realised that if Tommy grabbing her arm had caused her to panick while she wass remembering something, it wasn't good.

"What happend to you Rachel?"

"What?"

"Something happend to you. That scar on your shoulder, being lost in a bad memory when we passed Vincent's Drugs, something happend."

"I don't want to talk about it."

"Are you sure? Sometimes it's better to talk about it."

Rachel gave out a deep sigh. "When I was 17, I broke up with my boyfriend and he didn't take it too well."

Then, the police sirens. No, not now. Thought Tommy. Any time but now.

Marry Witherspoon and Gillian Tombs met on Oak Street, halfway to both of there houses.

"You stole my paintbrush, you bitch." shouted Marry.

"You burned my roses you fucking psycho." Gillian brought up her knife first, bringing it down in Marry's shoulder. Mary reacted quickly with her own knife, slashing Gillian over her knife arm. Gillian droped her knife and punched Mary in the jaw before bending down to get it. Marry got over the blow much quicker than Gillian had hoped and plunged the knife into her back. Gillian grabbed the blade implaed in her back and jammed it into Marry's stomach. Marry fell to the pavement, blood soaking her dress.

"Ha." shouted Gillian bending over Marry's body. "Was that all ya got?"

"NO!" shouted Marry grabbing the knife from her stomach and bringign it across Gillian's neck. Gillian fell to the ground beside Mary, immediatly dead.

"Mr. Gaunt." said Marry in a hoarse voice. "Help."

And with her last words uttered, Mary Witherspoon died.

"What now?" shouted Frank Gellar as his police cruiser landed on Oak Street. Then, he saw the two bodies there, half a block down. "Oh fuck it."

Then, he notcied the people standing over the bodies, one of them on crutches.

"Great, great let's get Doyle in here, perfect. Anything elts want to go wrong in my life?"

Frank walked up to the bodies, saw the blood covering them "Jesus." He stopped and aknowledged Tommy "I suppose you think Michael Myers did this, right?"

"No." Tommy replied. "It looks like they killed each other."

"Who are you?" Frank motioned to Rachel.

"Uh, Rachel, I'm a nurse down at the hospita..."

"Well, call an ambulance."

Rachel ran to go find a pat phone.

"Frank, there are already ambulances coming."

"I know that Doyle." said Frank, bringing his face up to Tommy's. "Look, Tommy, this aint your normal vandalism and it isn't an open and shut murder case like this morning or 21 years ago this is an unexplained homicide. And I don't want you on this case. This is my case and I don't want you stirring up shit in the community. So, when those news camera's come here tommorow, and they well, beleiove me, you say 'no comment.' Do you understand?"

Tommy was ready to object the second Gellar's speech began, but he Frank wouldn't tolerate any objexctions. So, instead, he merely nodded. "I understand."

21. Rachel's Surprise

By the time Rachel got home after being questioned at the police station, she was scared witless. She had seen dead bodies before, but never like this, never a murder. The whole evning shook up a wasp's nest of memories for her. Brady. "Stop it, Rachel." she said to herself outloud, her voice ringing through her apartment.

She dropped her bag next to the door and kicked off her shoes. Her roomate Beth, the same Beth who frequented Barry Simms's talks show, wouldn't be back for a while so she had the house to herself.

The dead bodied flashed before her eyes. "I just need to watch some TV, that's all. Get that picture out of my mind."

The TV buzzed to life. "This is Jenny Milles here on Oak Street in Haddonfield where a brutal double murder has been...." Rachel turned off the TV quickly. She couldn't escape the picture of those two dead people, just like she couldn't escape that Halloween in 1988 when....

"I must be going out of my fucking mind!" Rachel stopped and realised she hadn't locked the door. She quickly ran to it and turned both the lock on the knob and the dead bolt shut. SHe ighed and leaned against the door. It was then that she noticed the envelope in her bag. A plain white envelope with the word "TOMMY" written on it. This must have fallen out of Tommy's hand at the hospital. He had been carrieng an envelope, Rachel remembered. She decided she had to return it to him.

Or read it. She could simply put the letter in another envelope and write Tommy on it. She ripped open the top of the envelope with a flourish and unfolded the peice of paper inside. The letter was accompanied by several photos. She decided to read the letter first:

Tommy:

I can't keep this whole thing up without you. When well your legs get better. If were going to act on this, it has to be soon. This game against her was your idea, man. And, were getting closer to Halloween. I know your going out with her tonight, so make sure that she walks past the bodies on oak street, otherwise the whoel thing is blown. And, just a reminder to slip that stuff into her drink. After seeing those bodies with that stuff in her system, shw won't know what's what. Oh, and that guy on the net is willing to buy all of it. Seeing somone slowely go insane is big bucks these days. Brady

> It couldn't be. It had to be some kind of sick joke. Then, she noticed the pictures. They were pictures of her apartment, pictures of her in her apartment. Pictures of Brady and Tommy together, outside her apartment. This had to be illegal. But, what could she do? Call the police? Not very likely, since Tommy works there. Great, so the police are against her. Something elts caught her eye. A flier that someone had stuck through the mail slot. One buisness in particular stuck out like a sore thumb.

Needful Things

You won't beleive your eyes

22. The Warning

Alan was in the front seat of his station wagon going down the highway as fast as he could. Night was blanketting the surroundings as Alan passed into the Maine border. He decided to turn on the radio. Country music blared back at him. He was about to turn it off when he heard the lyrics.

Got mu Neeful Thing from Mr. Gaunt

and now it's time to pay.

Anyone headed to Castle Rock.

Had better stay away."

If you go back there bodies well pile

and blood flow by the gallon

So, keep away from Mr.Gaunt

And go back home, Allan.

He hadn't gotten enought sleep, that was all. He was just hearing things.All he needed to do was rest.

"Hey, Pangborn."

Alan turned his head. Ace Meril sat in the passengers seat. "Ace?"

"That's right Alan old boy." he smiled. "I'm back."

"Gaunt sent you didn't he."

Ace laughed. "Yep. You know why?"

> "I'm pretty sure I can guess." Allan was acting pretty calm considering he had seen Ace get his brains blown out years ago. "He isn't going to try and convince me you killed Annie, is he."

"Oh no." smiled Ace, reaching for th pocket of his jacket. "Something much simpler."

"What?"

Ace carefully slid a small peice of plastic from his jacket pocket and held it up to Alan's face. A small blade protruded from the tip at the flip of a switch.

"WAKE UP!" he screamed and dug the knife into Allan's shoulder. Alan did quickly wake up, and just in the knick of time, too. He hit the breaks just in time for the front of the car too stop inches before the train tracks where a train pounded across. As Allan began to realise he could have died had he not hit the brake fast enough, the rythmatic thud thud, thud thud, of the train turned to "stay away, stay away, stay away."

He jumped from the car out to the side as theyy train pulled away. "You won't stop me with tricks, Gaunt." Allan shouted into the night air. Then, he noticed the switchblade stuck in his arm.

23. Gaunt's control.

Mr. Gaunt leaned back in his chair on the second floor of Needful Things smiled and clasped his hands, locking finger between finger. Then, he lifted the index finger of his left hand and dug it into his knukle. A drop of crimson blood worked it's way down his hand. At that moment, everyone who went to Needful Things' sleeping had a horable nightmare. Bradey's football dream was interupted when Michael Myers worked his way onto the field, Marrie Witherspoon Vincent Prince's store was closed down, Rick Tower's Barn exploded, Barry Simms was attacked by Father Brown's cane that now had a long blade coming from the end. as this all happend, Mr. Gaunt released his hands and reality snapped back. Then, he laughed a sinister, evil laugh tha carried through Haddonfield, silent to all but those who had bought from Mr. Gaunt.

But, some one elts heard it, too. The sound carried past Haddonfield and down to Smith's Grove Sanitarium. Michael Myers' hand flinched at the sound.