“This is actually pretty fun,” Zach admitted. He took a quick glance around the room, secretly happy that Gentry was nowhere to be seen.
“Yeah, too bad Gentry wasn’t here to see you.”
“… Yeah. Well, it’s a nice party.” He awkwardly stared at the others, then put on a smiling face and chirped, “But why are they playing the Chicken Dance? The last time I did that was in Estonia, first grade. But it’s not as bad as I thought it would be. I didn’t even know they made a techno version.”
“That’s nice, Zach.” Mikey nodded absent-mindedly. Felix giggled.
“Yeah.” Zach’s eyes lit up, “I’m glad I dressed up. Now that I think about it, I actually like costumes. A lot. In fact, I wish I could be in a school play or something. Back in Estonia my neighborhood celebrated Halloween. This American guy introduced it, he always gave out these big chocolate bars. And it was the coolest thing... in fact, it’s actually my favorite holiday. And you know what’s great about it? Not the candy… But the costumes.”
“Mmm-hmm.” Mikey nodded.
“People always stress fitting in. But Halloween is the one day you can be a freak It’s the one day you can be accepted despite being weird or different--- in fact, it’s celebrated.”
“Uh-huh.” Yawned Casey.
“Maybe it’s not such a big deal for you. But it wasn’t so easy fitting in when you were the only black guy in an all-white neighborhood either. I didn’t have that many friends. But on my first Halloween… it’s hard to explain. But the moment I put on my costume, I belonged. I was part of something…”
Casey eyed his watch and Mikey’s eyes glazed over.
“… And it was the best feeling in the world. But then the American moved away and it died down. Halloween spirit just died and I was a mismatched genetic Frankenstein again. People didn’t even try anymore---”
“Hey, Zach.” Mikey stood up, “I’m gonna go talk to Mr.Handson about things. You wait here, okay?”
Casey stood up as well, “Oh my God, there’s Kylie. I’m gonna go talk to her… Zach, you should go get something to eat! Take your time. REALLY.”
Felix nodded curtly, and shuffled after Casey.
“Ok.” Zach breathed, casting his eyes to the ground as he moved to a chair by the wall. His wings slumped down over his shoulders, and he tiredly stared at the crowd. He knew everyone here, and everyone here seemed nerved by him.
The ghost who sat beside him didn’t say a word.