Tales From Cabin Eight: The Halloween Away From Home
It is recommended that you read the other Tales from Cabin Eight stories in
Halloween was just around the corner, and Camp Scary
was putting the finishing touches on the decorations for its favorite holiday.
There was to be a special bonfire and festival, with a prize going out for the
Best Costume. The Mess Hall had been given a fresh coat of festive orange paint,
with black accents. Pumpkins littered the tables, displaying both terrifying
and cheerful expressions that the campers themselves had carved. Black Kadoaties
hid in the alleys between the cabins; even the trees seemed to be becoming more
gnarled for the occasion.
A white Kougra named Hank grinned while making
his way to the Mess Hall for breakfast on the day before Halloween. It was nice
seeing the spooky camp come alive for something, even if every day felt like
Halloween at Camp Scary. Nevertheless, Hank was determined to have fun tomorrow.
It would be a change from the boredom that the camp usually had to offer.
Entering the mess hall, he found his cabin mates
huddled at a table near the windows and went over to meet them. Sara, a red
Zafara, was pointing at a small sheet of paper on the table between a Shadow
Draik and a Faerie Shoyru. Hank sat down next to the Draik, named Marcus.
"Morning, guys," he said cheerfully.
"Morning! It's nearly afternoon!" Sara said,
rolling her eyes. "You really are a deep sleeper, you know that?"
"What can I say? I have to get my beauty rest,"
Hank said, grinning.
The Shoyru, named Haley, giggled. "Hank, what
are you dressing up as tomorrow?"
"I don't know yet. What're you going to be?"
"I'm going to be Fyora! She's the most beautiful
Faerie of them all!" Haley sighed dreamily.
"Pah," Marcus muttered. "That's boring. I'm gonna
be Judge Hog! He's amazing!" he shouted, while swinging his arms around in various
punches and blocks.
Hank glanced at Sara. "And what are you going
to be? Something to reflect your annoying tendencies?"
Sara stuck her tongue out. "For your information,
I plan to be Lisha."
The Kougra grinned. "Like I said, someone annoying."
"At least I have a costume planned out. You better
get a move on, Hank," she warned.
Hank sighed. "I know, I know, I just don't know
what I want to be. I've got a few ideas, but... I just don't know," he muttered.
"We can help you!" Marcus said cheerfully.
"You'd do that for me?" Hank said, smiling half-heartedly.
"Of course! We couldn't go trick-or-treating
without you," Haley said.
"Thanks, guys," Hank said.
"Now, let's see, do you want to be someone scary,
or someone famous? Or both?" Sara asked.
"Well, I kinda wanted to be the Brain Tree, but
I had no idea how to make it," he told his friends.
"Perfect! Together, we can create an awesome
Brain Tree costume!" Marcus said.
The group left the mess hall chatting animatedly,
hurrying to the craft tent to gather supplies. As they made their way between
the gnarled trees, they didn't notice the cloaked figure hurrying away from
beneath the open windows of the mess hall.
The sun was setting between the trees as the
quartet was unceremoniously kicked out of the craft tent. They carried assorted
fabrics and paints in their hands and wore smiles on their faces as they strolled
to their cabin. When they entered, they immediately began to work on Hank's
costume, and continued working on it throughout the night. It was nearly one
in the morning when they finally went to bed.
Hank grinned as he got into bed. It had taken
a long time, but his costume looked great. The brains looked so realistic Hank
could've sworn he saw some of it pulse slightly. And the trunk was so detailed.
It even had a hollowed out gap so Hank could see out, but no one could see in.
It was perfect.
"Thanks for helping me, guys," he said as he
drifted into sleep.
"That's what friends do..." Marcus replied between
Hank fell asleep amid dreams of giggling friends,
the Brain Tree, and candy rain.
"It's Halloween!" Hank shouted, arousing the
other three pets.
"Whu-?" Marcus mumbled.
"Wake up! It's Halloween! We have to get ready!"
the Kougra yelled excitedly.
"But it's early, Hank," Sara said groggily. "Halloween
isn't until nighttime. Go back to sleep."
"I can't! I'm too excited to sleep," he confessed.
"Then go take a walk or something. Let us get
sleep," Sara ordered.
Hank sighed. Why weren't they as excited as he
was? Didn't they realize it was Halloween? He pulled on some clothes and tramped
out of the cabin, making sure to slam the door on the way out.
He decided to get some early breakfast. As he
entered the mess hall, he realized he was the first one awake. It was completely
empty in the room, except for the cook in the kitchen, a grouchy old Moehog.
He grabbed a bowl of porridge and sat down at the same table the group had sat
at the day before, next to the slightly open windows. He ate his breakfast silently
and thought about that night excitedly.
Suddenly, he heard voices from outside the window.
Hank glanced out the windows and saw Mrs. Feign, the camp director. Making sure
he couldn't be seen, he crept closer to the window and watched the Mutant Ixi.
There was something weird about her, but he couldn't quite put his finger on
She was fiddling with a small brown square of
some sort, though what it was Hank couldn't tell. The Ixi mumbled slowly while
her finger was on the square, and then traced a shape in the air. She did it
twice more, and then pulled out a square of purple that was roughly the same
size as the brown one. Hank realized they were squares of fabric. She did the
same peculiar procedure and then procured a square of yellow, and finally blue.
The Ixi then replaced all the squares in a pocket, and mumbled a few more words.
Glancing around, she then hurried off towards the director's office.
Hank was mystified. What in the world was she
doing? It seemed like black magic, or something like it. Whatever it was, Hank
was sure it was something bad. The Ixi's actions made sure of that.
"And you say she was tracing the air?" Sara asked
again. She, Marcus, and Haley had arrived at the mess hall a little before eleven
o'clock to eat the last of the porridge.
Hank nodded and mimed her procedure. "Just like
"That's so strange. Wonder what it could mean,"
"Maybe it was to prepare something for Halloween?"
Haley considered thoughtfully.
"No, it was more like magic," Hank concluded.
"I'm sure of it. But nothing happened! No shimmer in the air, nothing."
"Maybe it was invisible," Marcus guessed. "It's
possible, isn't it?"
"Maybe," Hank replied. "I just don't know. It's
all so confusing."
"Well, let's not dwell on it," Sara said forcefully.
"We should put the finishing touches on our costumes now. Make sure they fit,
and we have all the accessories. Ready to go?"
It was time. The group had just finished dinner,
and they hurried to Cabin Eight to slip on their costumes. The entire camp would
meet at the fire pit in the middle of the camp grounds, where there'd be assorted
attractions including a costume contest.
Haley's Fyora costume was beautiful; the purples
in her gown accented her Faerie color perfectly. Sara's Lisha costume was complete
with a blue and white dress and oversized glasses. The yellow, red, and black
Judge Hog suit that Marcus wore fit his personality wonderfully. And finally,
Hank's Brain Tree costume was the ultimate outfit. The brains were the right
shade of pink, and the trunk the color of coffee fit him perfectly.
The foursome made their way out of the cabin
(Hank taking care not to scrape the ceiling with his brains) and arrived at
the fire pit just as the pit erupted into flame. Around them, assorted Neopets
wore their costumes and happily awaited the start of the festival. Nearly everyone
was in awe of Hank's costume; no one else had been resourceful enough to take
on such a feat. He smiled inwardly; he had the award in the bag.
Suddenly, a crash shook the area. Many Neopets
tumbled to the ground, screaming. Another crash rattled the ground. Then another,
and another. They were getting bigger in magnitude, as if something humongous
was making its way to the fire pit.
And in fact, something was. Gasps were heard
abruptly, Hank turned to where they were pointing. He could faintly make out
a figure moving through the trees. Hank gasped. It was the Brain Tree. But something
was off about it. It had strange shapes protruding in places on the Tree.
As the Tree got nearer to the fire, he realized
that the Tree was wearing a long, flowing purple gown, almost identical to Haley's.
Its arms, rather than branches, were muscular gloved hands, just like Marcus's
idol, Judge Hog. And it wore oversized glasses just like Lisha's.
The screaming stopped, only to be replaced with
laughs. The creature looked so ridiculous that it was hard not to laugh. Silently,
it stared at the Neopets in Halloween costumes.
"What is it?" Haley wondered out loud. "Who sent
"I did!" a voice screeched through the laughs.
From behind the Tree, a figure emerged. She was wrapped in cloaks which billowed
as she walked, and the fire cast strange shadows over her face. Nevertheless,
Hank recognized her as-
"The witch!" he shouted. It had only been a few
weeks ago when he was captured by the Acara witch, and it still stung to think
that Sara had been the one to rescue him. The others soon recognized her and
had similar reactions.
"What's she doing here?" Sara asked, glaring
at the figure.
"I've come to stop you four!" she shouted. "You've
defeated me twice and I won't let it happen again!"
Marcus, who had been laughing just seconds before,
was confined to whimpering behind Hank, who rolled his eyes and concentrated
on the Acara.
"So you create a Brain Tree replica with Fyora's
gown?" Sara sneered. "Real scary."
"Oh, you won't be saying that when it gets finished
with you! But it is not just a Brain Tree replica, oh no. It is the FyLis Brain
Hog!" she cackled.
Hank began to say something, but stopped short.
Did she just say FyLis Brain Hog? That made it seem even more absurd. He chuckled
"Very creative," he said between laughs. "How'd
you come up with that one?"
The witch paused. "Well, I took a bit of all
your costumes, and combined them to make a super creature. Then I combined the
"Alright, I was being sarcastic," Hank interrupted.
"I could've figured that out myself."
"Enough mocking!" the Acara suddenly screamed.
"Brain Hog! Go!"
The creature creaked and stepped towards the
quartet. It reached down and snatched a screaming Neopet in its Judge Hog arms.
"You see," the witch said as the Tree attacked
the Neopets, "the Brain Hog has the strength of Judge Hog-"
The tree shot purple beams of light towards Marcus,
who screamed and ran for cover.
"-the magic of Queen Fyora-"
Sara lobbed some stones at the Tree, but it caught
them in its free hands.
"-the intelligence of the Brain Tree-"
The creature snapped a branch off from its head
and shot it at Hank, who narrowly missed it.
"-and the resourcefulness of Lisha!" she cackled.
Hank's heart was pounding. Was there any way
to outwit this thing?
"Hank!" Sara shouted. "Got a plan?"
"I'm working on it!" he shouted back as he dodged
another branch attack. He heard Marcus whimpering behind the nearest cabin.
Suddenly it hit him.
"Marcus! Come here!" Hank yelled towards the
sound of the whining.
"I can't!" he cried. "It'll hurt me!"
"It's just a magic trick! It won't do anything
Timidly, the Draik stepped out from behind the
cabin. Hank hurried over to him.
"Alright, this is what I need you to do. The
witch said that it's only a replica of us, right? So if we can confuse the Tree
enough, we might be able to defeat it."
Marcus nodded faintly. "Ok, but how do we confuse
it?" he asked, watching the Brain Hog swipe at Sara. The witch cackled maliciously
by the bonfire.
"Give me your costume," Hank commanded. Marcus
tearfully tore off the costume and handed it to Hank.
"Now help me rip off the arms," he said, tearing
at the fabric. Soon, Judge Hog's muscular arms now took the place of Hank's
Brain Tree branches.
"Quick, Marcus. Go to Sara and get her glasses.
I'll go get Haley's gown. Hurry!"
The duo split up and went to find their friends
amidst the chaos. The Brain Hog was still rampaging through the camp, shooting
purple beams and branches at the campers.
The foursome quickly reunited and placed all
of the assorted costume pieces on Hank. Although he was considerably smaller
than the Brain Hog, they still looked similar. Hank moved slowly under the weight
of all the extra items towards the real Brain Hog.
"Hey you stupid tree!" he shouted when they were
close enough. The creature stopped moving and turned towards the group. When
it caught sight of Hank, it froze.
"Yeah, that's right. I'm the FyLis Brain
Hog!" It stared at Hank, genuinely confused.
"What are you doing?" the witch's voice screeched
from behind them. "Stop that!"
Hank continued. "You're just a fake, a replica!
I'm the real deal!"
The creature couldn't move. It began to shimmer
slightly. The witch howled as she neared the quartet.
"Stop! The FyLis Brain Hog is smarter than you
kids! You cannot defeat it!"
Sara turned to the Acara. "Oh yeah? I'm not so
sure about that," she shouted gleefully. In fact, the Brain Hog was shimmering
even stronger now, and it moaned loudly, the confused look still plastered on
Suddenly, there was a loud "BOOM" and everyone
was knocked to the ground. Where the creature had been seconds before, there
were only some small bits of fabric. The witch too had disappeared. Hank, ego
swelling, decided she was embarrassed a group of kids had defeated her for the
Hank pulled Marcus up from the ground. "Sorry
about your costumes, guys," he said.
Sara dusted herself off. "I can't believe you'd
do this, Hank!" she said suddenly, putting her hands on her hips. "I didn't
think you were selfish enough to get that witch to come and create a creature
so you'd have to rip up our costumes, all to win that silly costume contest!"
"I... what?" Hank spluttered. "You think I got
But Sara's frown changed into a smile. "Forget
it. We're rooting for you."
Hank grinned. "You had me going there for a second."
The campers emerged out of their hiding places
and Mrs. Feign and the other counselors appeared to restore order.
"Funny how adults are never here to restore order
when order is the one thing that's needed," Sara remarked. "Though I doubt they'd
be able to maintain order if they tried."
Marcus sighed. "C'mon, let's go get some candy."
The group hurried towards the bonfire and finally
began to celebrate Halloween.