The kids came by in good numbers, which we’re happy to see again. We all took turns manning the door (or, in GorT’s case, monitoring). And the Castle was perfectly decorated in the spirit of the season. The front courtyard was all decorated like a haunted house motif. One kid remarked that the corpse we had in our little graveyard looked very realistic. “It damn well ought to,” your Mandarin replied, as I looked nervously around. ‘Puter was out back making jack o’lanterns… although he didn’t seem to remember that the fire goes on the inside.
Of course, one teenaged kid came to the door dressed as Edward the vampire from Twilight. Unfortunately, the Volgi answered the door and went all batshit crazy on the poor kid. He’s in fair condition and should be released soon. Thursday, tops. Even little Dat Ho was eager to go trick or treating, and picked out a nice Robin Hood costume; at the last moment, however, the Czar forced him to spend the day polishing the kitchen grease traps for thinking about stealing a parsnip from the larder.
Anyway, it was time for the Castle Halloween party! To add to the atmosphere, we played scary sounds records really loud, which helped drown out the real screams coming from the basement. The Czar and ‘Puter manned the bar making Taffy Apples: two shots of apple schnapps, two shots of caramel vodka, and five shots of Tylenol cough medicine. It was a big hit with the kids under 12. We had to put ‘Puter behind the bar, because he was having a lot of… trouble… when the kids were bobbing for apples. Something about them dunking their heads into a big pail of water was a bit much for him.
Another fun game we played was “knife throwing,” in which the Czar had the kids whip daggers at life-size posters of Stalin and Woodrow Wilson. And, at first, Justin Bieber. Except, he wasn’t a poster and a lot of the girls got worried when he began crying in terror. We even had a costume contest, which was initially won by a cool-looking mummy, except of course it was our butler and he was disqualified since it wasn’t actually a costume. At one point, your Mandarin showed up wearing a Nancy Pelosi mask, but a lot of the little kids begin sobbing, so I removed it (the mask, not Nancy Pelosi).
The older kids spent their time with dancing to Halloween songs like “Monster Mash,” “The Creep,” “Experiment in Terror” by Henry Mancini (the Gormogon theme song, by the way), “Nearer My God To Thee,” and “Wake Me Up (Before You Go Go),” while an elaborate laser light show entertained most of them and blinded about half of them. Actually, all of that was provided by GorT. Without any other equipment besides his own combat chassis. His 1980s tribute by dancing The Robot delighted our young guests, who laughed hysterically. Most of us, of course, realized he was not doing satire.
We had readings of H.P. Lovecraft performed by Christopher Walken, and at the end of the evening we each told a ghost story. Your Mandarin spoke of a crazed lunatic killer that once murdered the entire staff of a hotel, bathed the walls in their blood, and then set fire to it. Upon realizing that the statute of limitations might not be expired, your Mandarin was quick to point out that this “crazed” killer was in fact the Mandarun and not the Mandarin as he first misspoke. Then of course it was the Czar, who himself told a story about a spectral кафедральный собор whose притвор dripped blood on the Feast of Санкт Згормняцк. ‘Puter showed them pictures of his childhood. GorT wove a frightening tale of the ghostly magnetar, that terrified the Manulex-37 positronically. Finally, the Volgi captivated the audience for about ten minutes with a three-hour re-telling of “Ch’ieh Tzu the Arrogant and His Conversations With the False Phoenix Emporer Fu Hsieh on the Nature of the Learned Man.”
We certainly hope your Halloween is fun and scary, and remember to lock your doors and windows tonightbecause ‘Puter’s hammered on these Taffy Apples and once these kids go home, he’s going to wander the streets looking for action.
The Mandarin, whose real name is 吏恆, joined the order in 1309, and introduced the Gormogons into England during the 18th Century.
The Mandarin enjoys spending time with his pet manticore, Βάρἰκος, or Barry (who can be found in the Bestiary). When not in the Castle…well, frankly, nobody is quite sure where he goes.
The Mandarin popularized the fine art of “gut booting,” by which he delivers a powerful kick to the stomach of anyone that annoys him. Although nearly universal today, the act of gut booting or threatening someone or something with a gut boot is solely due to him.