“Yes, Mistress,” Jason managed. “What sort of costume?” Some of the stuff out the window was ridiculous, some of it was beautiful, and some of it was risqué or straight-out pornographic. It looked a little like Hallowe’en at home, he guessed – brightly-colored costumes, at least – but the grown-ups seemed just as involved, if not more, than the kids.
“You’ll have to wait and see,” she chuckled. “Don’t worry. It’s just for the little party we put on at the estate; you’re not going out in the streets.”
“Okay, mistress,” he choked. That was supposed to be good? Not going out in the streets? He hadn’t tried running away in a while, and in the press of costumes, it wouldn’t be that hard to get lost – but she seemed like the sort of person who’d have thought of that already. He couldn’t do anything about it, so he watched the scenery.
Feathers, there were a lot of feathers, and rich, elaborate robes, animal skins, antlers, lots of antlers, and some that looked really, really real. He could hear them laughing and shouting and singing even inside the car, stopping traffic with processions across the roads, dancing on the back of trucks.
Then a scream echoed through the crowd, the sort of thing where one person started screaming, then those near them, and then further out, like the wave. Even the people he could see screaming looked as if it was part of the game, though, some sort of ceremony? As the crowds parted in mock-fear, he could see people wearing giant papier-mâché pumpkins on their heads stomping forward, wielding large staffs that they were swinging back and forth. Every so often, someone unfortunate or slow would get hit with the staff, paint splattering all over their costume.
“What…?” Jason asked, staring in awe.
“Oh, that?” his Mistress laughed. “That’s the Revenge of the Pumpkins. It’s supposed to be a teaching lesson, about wasting food; they’re supposed to be the ghosts of pumpkins smashed or left to rot, and food left on plates uneaten.”
“People seem to really want to get out of the way of the stick,” he noted, as one woman brushed at the paint dripping down her, tears streaking her face.
“Well, yeah. Wouldn’t you? Considering, I mean,” his owner answered offhandedly. As she drove away, he saw two of the pumpkin-heads pick up the sobbing woman and carry her off.
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