Madison preened in front of the mirror. Her witch’s costume was the prettiest she’d ever seen and after a few adjustments, possibly the most revealing. It was short and made of a few layers of black and lime green net, it showed off her slender legs and made her feel glamourous like a movie star. She was sure she would attract Logan’s attention at the disco tonight. Her friends all agreed that Logan was the hottest lad at Cottonbury Senior School. Well their eyes were gonna be knocked out over her Halloween costume. She had carefully applied her make-up. Just weird enough with some dazzling glitter and now she was going to put on her hat and cloak and dash off to the disco before her mum and step-dad Chas, saw her and made her change into something they approved of.
Her phone buzzed playing a snatch of “The Monster Mash” which she had put on especially for Halloween. It was beginning to irritate her already and she was thinking which hit that would sound cool to download to replace it with. She wondered who it was this time as all her friends had already texted to say what they were wearing and some had sent selfies, showing how they looked. She was hot-ironing some curls into her fair hair before spraying with some green glitter. She glanced at the caller address and put down her curl wand. It was from Logan and he had sent a selfie of himself dressed as the most grotesque bogey man. Madison doubted any of the girls would realise underneath that hideous make-up was the handsome features of Logan Rafferty. She sprayed the green glitter and posed provocatively leaning forwards, clicked and sent the pic to Logan. Not that he would have any difficulty recognising her, but he might like that view of her assets.
She grabbed her phone, keys and cash and slipped them into her evening bag, then shrugged herself into her cape and perched her cute witch’s hat on top of her curls pinning it with a couple of Kirby grips in place. She rushed downstairs, calling goodbye to Chas and her Mum as she went, before they could suggest she had to be home by a certain time or got a look at her outfit. School was only a short back lane away so she did not have to drive and some of the boys were bound to bring something stronger than pop to drink. The school had a strict no alcohol policy for their dances but some hooch always got in. It was just a matter of knowing who would risk breaking the veto and expect to get away without punishment. She strutted down the lane perched on her tiny spiky sandals, imagining that it was the catwalk at a Milan fashion show and she was, of course, the supermodel who all the paparazzi were hoping to photograph. The shadows flittered around her and it spooked her a bit. She almost though she could hear someone following in her footsteps, shuffling slightly. She turned and looked back then laughed because no one was there.
She would be one of the last arriving, but it was always good to make an entrance. School looked eerie as she neared decorated with ghoulish pumpkin faces and huge cobwebs, spiders, bats, ghosts and other scary decorations. They had done quite a good job covering up the institutional stolidity of Cottonbury Senior. Mr Andrews was on the door and waved her through although his eyes popped out on stalks as she divested herself from her cape. The young teacher’s cheeks went red when he got an eyeful of her costume.
Dirty old man, Madison thought to herself although Danny Andrews was only twenty-three and at his first school since qualifying as a teacher. She did not really mind him gawping at her and waggled her hips provocatively just to embarrass him further. Poor Danny was more suffering innocent than sinner as he was a deliberate target from the teasing flirtatious little hussies in his class brushing up against him, well aware that he could not really complain about their behaviour.
Madison moved into the hall where the lights had been dimmed with strobes flashing erratically from various directions. A local group made up of kids who had left graduated a couple of years before were thumping out a song which had been popular earlier in the year, but was now a bit boring, she thought. Several of her girlfriends stopped to admire her costume and she posed with them for more selfies. Her eyes were scanning the room for Logan. She asked Savannah if she’d seen Logan but she did not even know he was planning to wear a bogeyman costume.
Madison found the buffet and ate a cheese stick before grabbing a cup of the fruit punch, then she headed for Jaden who she thought was guaranteed to have something stronger to spike the punch with. They sneaked off to the corridor together and he doctored her punch with some vodka before sneaking a selfie of him kissing her. Yuck, but she had something to take the edge off. The band changed to give the youngsters a rest, they seemed to only know half a dozen tunes anyway. The next band contained the music teacher Mr Blake and some older friends of his. They were better at playing but their music choice was more straight-forward rock and roll. Madison’s dance and theatre classes made sure she could do all the oldie dances that her grandparents had been able to do. However she doubted any of the boys could dance a jive or a boogie.
The floor emptied except for a pair of teachers who were jiving around the floor. Madison drank her vodka and fruit juice and then sneaked out with Radley for a quick ciggie behind the parked vehicles by the school yard. Several other kids came and joined them. The teachers could not do anything really about them smoking outside the grounds, although they might report them to their parents. They filtered back in, outstaring the clearly disapproving teachers manning the door. Mr Blake’s band was still belting out classic rock and a couple of pairs of girls were attempting some basic jive moves. That would not do for Madison, she had hoped to dance with Logan; that would show the other girls, even if he did look gross in his bogeyman costume. She searched the kids standing around the edges of the floor and then she spotted a bogeyman costume in the shadows.
She moved across the room and snagged Logan’s wrist pulling him to the floor. Even if all they did was shuffle around the floor it would be better than dancing with another girl. Logan’s voice seemed muffled under the masking makeup but when they reached the floor, he seemed to take the boogieing on and took up a Jive stance preparing to spin her around the room. His slouch was in character as bogeymen but his boogie was hot and after a few tentative spins, he was throwing her over his shoulder, through his legs and round the room. Madison was amazed; she had never thought Logan was that strong or that skilled a dancer. She had thought despite his good looks that he was rather shy and happy to stay back allowing more extrovert personalities to have centre stage. Yet here he was eating up the floor and putting on a bravura performance.
When the band came to the end of the number, the audience clapped Logan and Madison and they blushed and bowed. Well Madison blushed and curtseyed, if Logan blushed she could not tell under his disguise. The band announced that they would play a couple of slow numbers as the evening was coming to an end. Most of the boys grabbed a girl and clutched her tightly as they band started to play a slushy love song. The floor was packed but Logan held Madison tightly to him. She thought he felt slightly cold, which considering the hot dancing they had been doing surprised her. But she was proud of being the girl dancing with Logan. Some flash cameras went off for the school magazine and yearbook trying to get pics of all the kids in costume. Madison remembered to pose and smile whenever the cameras turned her way.
Then the band finished playing and although the kids yelled for an encore started packing up their equipment. Her friends said goodbye, heading off to their cars, before driving off into the night. Madison suspected that many of them would be going on to a party at Jaden’s but her mum had definitely forbidden her going there, because she said his dad was a pusher who had probably got a meth lab in the cellar. Madison could believe it could be true. Besides, she was sure Logan, who was an A grade student, would not be heading there. He murmured whether he could walk her home and Madison cuddled into his arm and they set off down the back lane. She wiggled her arse at Mr Andrews who breathed a sigh of relief that little strumpet was heading home with some lad in a bogeyman costume.
Madison’s mum as worried when it passed one o’clock and she had not got home. She rang the school and got the caretaker who confirmed that everyone had gone home over an hour ago. He gave her Mr Andrews’ number as he had been on the door. He confirmed seeing Madison leave with a lad dressed in a bogeyman costume heading down the back lane. Chas went out and searched the back lane and the area around the school. He even checked on the party at Jaden’s, where he found Savannah snogging Jaden. She said that Madison had left with Logan Rafferty, so they rang his parents. Logan had not got home either but had travelled to school on his motorbike and yes he had been dressed as a bogeyman.
Hours passed and Madison did not appear, her mother rang the police who tried to calm her down, but as it was now very late they promised to send out a car to look around the area and posted the licence number of Logan’s Kawasaki. The patrolman made a remark about it being a powerful bike for so young a lad to his partner, and they headed towards Logan’s home looking in the courting areas where kids might seek some privacy together. They had nearly reached Logan’s house when their headlights swept the verges before a small hump backed bridge. Spotting some strange shapes, they found Logan’s mangled Kawasaki and what was left of Logan, in his much bloodied bogeyman costume. They shook their heads and thought what a waste of a young life. They called the coroner and drove to inform Logan’s parents the unhappy news.
The following day the search for Madison was extended but neither she nor the bogeyman she had dance with were found.