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The night of Hallowe'en, and something's different...

The sky is a bright pink, as though a massive, sky-sized sunset has stopped mid-set. It's 9pm. Frail old women are pottering about the street with smiles of contentment on their faces, apparently not worried about the dangers that Hallowe'en could present them. Instead of pumpkins with candles inside, gardens are lush and green, decorated with beautiful, multicoloured arrays of flowers. The sun shines down intensely even though it can't be seen in the sky, so that no matter where you look, your vision is slightly obscured by a reflective light. A cute little lamb is tied to a lamp-post outside a newsagents as its owner shops inside; it stands on its hind legs with its tongue poked slightly out when people pass by, and gets an "aww" and a pat on the head everytime.

Jakob, 9, looked on with a face of utmost disgust. He saw all the pedestrians making their way, and all the decorations, and felt smothered in a tide of forced jollity.

"Hey, dickface, I'm not the blody Grinch! This is Hallowe'en!"

Sorry.

...has he gone? Good. Right.

The infamous suburbian town of Swindon was quite unlike any other. Sure, it never got dirty, like many towns, and knife crime, such a problem throughout the country, completely pervaded them... but that was only because the dirt and knives had had a meeting and decided it would be for the best if they stayed away.

Swindon was, in fact, according to how most people in the country saw it, a Hallowe'en town. No-one there knew it, though, as it was what they had been used to their whole lives. They were a bit scared of other towns, where it appeared to be Hallowe'en every day. They found it kinda creepy that people could stretch Hallowe'en to 364 days in length.

Nonetheless, once a year, the traditional Hallowe'en modus operandi came down from the walls and awe-inspiringly beautiful decorations took their place. All for the sake of Tradition.

Tradition. Just the word made Jakob get sick into his own scorn. He really was a rather malevolent child, and certainly didn't see why, for the sake of tradition, he had to be forced to take a break from it. He didn't do things "because they're what's done". He did things because "she gave me a look I didn't like" or because "I can".