It was one week until Halloween and everyone in town was getting excited. All of their hard work and dedication was about to pay off.
And within the Skellington household Jack's son, Zack, was just waking from a good nights sleep. He looked over at his calendar and saw the date was Oct 27th. He immediately shot up with excitement and said to himself, "Al right! It's almost time!" Zack then got dressed for the day and, "I'll be able to show dad, and everyone my personal scare I've been practicing!" He finished getting ready and ran downstairs. His mother, Sally, was there preparing breakfast. "Hello Zack." She said. "Hi mom! What's this?" Zack sniffs the soup, "Oh boy, my favorite, worm's wart! Thanks mom!" He then slurped the whole thing down. Sally turned to him and said, "Your father said to say sorry for not being here and that the Mayor is assigning jobs to whoever want to help." Zack finished up and stood up, "Alright, thanks mom. See ya!" he said as he left.
And down the street closer to the town hall, stood Zack's child hood friend, Elektra's house. Inside she was just waking up. She had fallen asleep listening to her music on the sofa again. When she awoke she stretched, looked out her window from a distance and said, "Good morning sunshine." She then went to her room and changed, had some breakfast and went outside. But she felt like she didn't get enough sleep because of her dreams. They seemed to be telling her something, but 'Oh well' she thought. She then walked around the front gate and looked at some of the decorations the townsfolk had spent so long to put up.
Zack ran over to where the Mayor was giving out assignments. He ran up to him and said, "Hello Mayor! So, what do you have for me today?" The Mayor turned around and said, "Oh hello Zack." He looked at his list, "Hmmmm, well the only job left is to collect some deadly nightshade from the cemetery. How does that sound?" Zack replied, "Sure! That sounds just fine. I'll get right on it." Zack said as he walked away.
Elektra noticed Zack walking to the gate and started to stare at him. She had always had a strong crush on him. But now she wondered if that crush was turning into something more...
Zack was just about to get to the gate when he noticed Elektra staring at him. He then walked over to her and asked, "Hey Elektra! How's it going?" Elektra continued to stare at Zack as he came toward her. She could feel her checks burning and turning red with embarrassment. But she replied, "It's going well, you?" She then thought to herself, "Damn! Damn! He'll se my checks! Calm down!" Zack responded, "Fine. I guess you didn't want a job from the Mayor, huh?" There was a short period of an awkward feeling between them, until Zack asked, "If you, uh, have nothing else to do, wanna help me gather the Deadly Nightshade from the cemetery? I was just heading there now." He said trying to ignore Elektra's cheeks. "Erm, okay, If you want me too." She said going even redder. As she stood next to Zack she looked at him again and blurted out, "Uh, you're getting taller, huh?"
"Um, yeah, heh heh, thanks." Zack said flattered. As they walked through the graveyard Zack decided to start some small talk, "So, you looking forward to this years Halloween?" Elektra smiled and looked down, still a little red, "Yeah. I heard there was going to be a scare show. Is that right?" She asked. "Yeah, and a lot of the citizens have signed up to try to scare everyone in the audience." Zack then smiled as well, "I've been practicing my own scare for a few months now; but it's not ready yet. Anyway, we're here." Zack said as the tow of them came up to the tombstone reading 'Deadly Nightshade.' They then crouched down and began picking.
As they gathered the plants, they heard a sound behind the tombstone. When Zack went to go take a look he saw a Halloween-style present. "What's this?" Zack asked. When he opened it, out popped a skull on a spring and it began laughing evilly. "What the heck is this about?" He said. But then Zack noticed a small sign on the skull reading, 'The bugs are back!' which hung from under the skull on some thin, black string. When Elektra saw this spring out she fell back form the surprise. But when she stood up again, she had a feeling she knew what was coming. Although Zack was concerned he didn't know want to cause a panic so close to Halloween. So he said, "I'm sure it's just a stupid prank Lock, Shock and Barrel are playing." Zack gave a fake smile, "I'll just take this to my dad and let him dispose of it." Zack picked it up, "Well let's get going, this should be enough Deadly Nightshade." As Elektra followed Zack she really didn't like the looks of the box it made her feel uneasy.
When they got back to town Zack said, Uh, could you do me a favor, and drop those off to the Mayor?" Elektra asked, "Uh, sure. But what about you?" Zack said, "I'm just gonna go and drop this 'present' off with my dad and the doctor. I'll see you later." Zack looked down at the present and said quietly, "This could mean only one thing..."
Earlier in the same day Nicki woke up, stretched, got dressed and went downstairs. "Figures." She shrugged, "Mom and dad are never home. Hmmm. Maybe I'll go get a pumpkin for Halloween." She left her home and made her way to the pumpkin patch, and started poking through the various pumpkins. Suddenly a dark figure appeared behind her. "Hey! Who are you? My name's........Blade." he said, coming out of the shadows. Nicki jumped and turned around to see who was talking. She saw who it was who introduced themselves. She said confused, Ummm.......My name's Nicki....You don't look like you're from around here." Blade responded, "Uh, no I'm not..." Nicki asked, "You wanna come and see the town a little?" Blade replied, "Sure. Why not?" The two of them started walking to Halloween Town.
Zack made his way to the doctor's with the trick-in-the-box in his arm. "Hey doctor. Oh, hi, dad. What do you make of this?" Zack showed them the box. "Hmm. Oh my." Jack said in surprise as he looked at the note. "I don't like the looks of.....um, Zack you can go help with the Halloween festival now. See you at home tonight." Zack replied, "Okay see ya dad. He left the lab, but got the feeling that Jack knew more than he was letting on...
Elektra finished with giving the Mayor the Deadly Nightshade, then went home, out on cd, got a small bowl of ice cream and eventually started to fall asleep. Because it was getting pretty late now.
Zack was now finished with the decorations for the day. He then decided to go home and call it a day. As he walked home, he heard giggling. When he went to go look, he didn't see anyone, until three masks popped out. Zack said, "Well, well, if it isn't the three pranksters of Halloween Town. What are you three up to this time?"
"We were just wondering if you got our present." Lock.
"We thought it would make a good present for you two." Shock.
"You know you and your girlfriend? Heh heh." Barrel.
Zack's face turned red, "Wha...what do you mean? We're not..." Zack began stuttering, "Well anyways, what are you three up to now that Oogie's gone?"
"Who said," Lock.
"That Oogie's," Shock.
"Completely gone?" Barrel. Then they ran off into the night.
"Wait! What's that supposed to mean?" Zack shouted. Now he was worried, but he'd rather not tell Jack (at least for now).
Nicki and Blade walked into town and saw Zack, just standing there. Nicki thought Zack looked like he'd seen a ghost. She asked, "Hey, you okay?" Blade continued, "Yeah you should see a doctor if you're not feeling well. If you've got doctors here."
Nicki then looked at Blade again, "So you aren't from around here." Blade said in a depressed tone, "No...I'm not...I'm not even sure where I'm from anymore." Nicki began sniffing him, "You smell kinda human." Blade was a little freaked out by the sniffing, "Uhm yeah. I'm human. But don't tell anyone though, I don't think I'd be welcomed here if everyone knew." She noticed that he was freaked out about the sniffing, "Sorry it's a werewolf thing." "Okay that's...nice." Blade replied. "So, uh what is everyone doing here?" Nicki explained, "Nothing now, but some of the townsfolk are getting ready for the Halloween Town festival." "Wow, cool. It sounds fun. I hope nothing goes wrong for you guys." Blade said happily.
"Uh, thanks." Zack said with a smile, "And don't worry, as long as you don't try to ruin Halloween of hurt any innocent people, no one will treat you harshly. If it will make you feel more comfortable, I'll be your friend!" Zack extended his hand. "By the way, I didn't catch your names." Blade responded, I'm Blade, nice to meet you," He said shaking Zack's hand, "Uh, what's you name again?" Nicki introduced herself, "I'm Nicki. I've seen you around town before. What's your name? Umm, Zack, right?" Blade said, "Oh your name is Zack? Wow you look familiar...kind of like someone a friend told me about. Oh well." "You knew someone who visited here?" Nick asked. "Yeah, I didn't think he was telling the truth about this place, but here you are! Anyway, what's the festival here?" Nicki laughed, "It's the annual Halloween festival. What else would we celebrate in Halloween Town?" Blade laughed too, "Heh heh, oh right. "Well what usually goes on around here? I'm pretty curious." Zack explained, "Well we spend nearly 24 hours filling the day with scares beyond belief, and handing out various prizes." Blade got excited, "Oh, sound exciting! I hope I'm still around when it happens." Nicki said, "Well it's in a few days so it's not far off. Hey, if you don't mind helping, you wanna help me get a pumpkin for the festival?" Blade nodded, "Sure! It shouldn't be too hard to find a pumpkin here."
Zack said, "Well okay then. I'll see you two at the festival. Hope you have fun!" Zack waved as he headed home. Nicki waved back, "Later dude! See you during the festival!" She turned to Blade, "Now for that pumpkin." Blade replied, "Lead the way." And they headed back to the pumpkin patch.
As Zack walked home he couldn't help but rethink about what Boogie's boys had said about Oogie. But he also wasn't paying attention to where he was going and bumped into the Hanging Tree. "Oh sorry." Zack said. Hanging Tree turned around, "It's alright Zack. Nice to see you again. But, what's the matter?" Zack blurted immediately, "Oh nothing, just thinking about the scare show." "Oh that's right! You're giving us your personal scare this year aren't you? We I know you'll do Jack proud. Well, I'm off, I need to go root myself for bed. Goodbye." Zack replied, "Okay bye, and don't worry, I'll work out all the bugs." As the Hanging Tree walked away Zack thought about 'bugs' and that made him feel worse. He then decided to do some investigating at Oogie's old Casino.
Elektra bolted up from her nap. She had a really bad nightmare. But she didn't know what to do because some times her dreams told the future. But she pushed the thought to the back of her mind and decided to try to forget it. She had a shower, to help her forget, but she couldn't. It was so real, and scary. But not the scary that was normal around Halloween Town. It was the bad scary. She got dressed again and decided to go for a walk near Oogie's Manor.
Zack reached Oogie's old casino torture chamber. "There were a lot of dust and cobwebs here, as if someone was here recently." Zack continued to walk around and eventually heard someone talking, "When should we do it?" "That's obvious you idiot!" "Why, during Halloween of course!" They then began laughing. Zack then thought that now it was time to warn Jack before things got out of hand. He started to run, until he hit something big. As he got up, he said aloud, "What? What's going on? That thing looks just like..."
"ME?" The thing said, "Well, well, looks like there's a little bug roaming around. I love BUGS!"
Zack backed up, "I'd say I'm in trouble now..."