Genre: Are You Being Served?
Word Count: 924
Prompt: Mr. Humphries is invited by his friendly neighbors to a Halloween party, but he has doubts...
thespian15 I hope you enjoy your bit of Halloween cheer! My thanks to you for playing along and to sparky955 for all her help!
The whole store had been abuzz with Mr. Grace’s new marketing campaign, straight from America. Grace Bros. was doing Halloween… or at least their version of it. The staff were less than impressed.
“I can’t believe we are reduced to this.” Mrs. Slocomb was dressed as a winged monkey, while Miss Brahms sported a short and rather sexy witch’s outfit. Mrs. Slocomb was not happy about it. “Imagine me trying to fit a brassier dressed like this.”
“At least you aren’t dressed like Mr. Granger.” Mr. Humphries glanced over at the senior salesman for the Gent’s Ready Made. He was wearing a giant Kool Ade pitcher. The face that glared out at the world was not a happy one.
Miss Brahms pursed her lips as she examined Mr. Humphries. His lime green lame suit clung to him as if for dear life. “Well, you’re all right, then. Who are you supposed to be?”
“I got so busy with the unpacking at home, I never had a chance to change. I just got in from the disco and came straight here rather than trying to find something in a box.”
Mr. Lucas laughed. He was dressed as Gene Simmons from KISS. “I’d not bother if I were you. Who would know the difference?”
“Dead Eye Dan would.” He jerked his head in Peacock’s direction. “Watch my place. I’m off to change.”
Captain Peacock, sporting a clown’s costume, watched as a mother led her screaming child away. “I don’t understand. All I said was Welcome to Grace Bros. Trick or Treat.”
Miss Brahms winced. “He looks like a deranged killer. They were probably running for their lives,” she murmured to her coworker. Mrs. Slocomb nodded solemnly.
A couple entered and paused by the elevator. They seemed to be looking for someone.
“May I help you?” Captain Peacock asked from his normal position at the foot of the stairs when it was apparently they weren’t going to come down.
“We are looking for someone.”
“Aren’t we all,” Lucas quipped as Mr. Humphries joined him. He had exchanged his disco outfit for Count Dracula. “You are quite dashing in those tails.”
“Don’t let Mrs. Slocomb hear you.” Her tail was a sore point. “Oh, there are my new neighbors.”
The man spotted him and waved. At that point, they both started down the stairs. “I’m sure Mr. Granger would be happy to serve you,” Captain Peacock said, trying to keep the chain of command in place.
“I do not wish him. I want to speak with my friend.” The man’s voice was softly accented; it almost sounded Russian. He walked quickly across the marble floor to the sales clerk. “Mr. Humphries, I hope you will excuse this intrusion.”
“Of course, how may I help you?”
“We are having a small get together and wished to invite you and a guest. It would be on October 31st.
“Well, I work that day.”
“It won’t be starting until later in the evening, say about nine. We thought it would be a nice introduction to the rest of the neighborhood.”
“I’m flattered. Of course, I will be there.”
Mrs. Slocomb checked her makeup for the last time. “All right, I am ready to do this.”
Mr. Humphries was dubious. He was dressed as a very flamboyant Lord Fauntleroy. He picked a piece of imaginary lint off the sleeve of the satin jacket. “What are you supposed to be again?”
“An omelet. It wasn’t my fault all the good outfits were gone.”
“You could have worn your costume from work.”
“And risk getting it damaged off the floor? Not likely. The worst part is that I have to keep my arms down.”
She carefully raised them and displayed a mish mash of cloth bits, green, yellow, pink and brown. “I think I’m stuffed.”
Mr. Humphries smiled. “At least you are staying with me tonight. I can’t imagine what sort of comments you got on the bus.”
“They were ignominious.” She held her chin high. “Pompous gits.”
He linked arms with her. “Shall we, my dear?”
They walked up the path, taking care to avoid the overgrown bits. “Not property proud, are they?”
“To be honest, I wasn’t aware that anyone even lived here. I checked the address three times.” They stopped before the porch.
“I’m not sure they do.”
“Where are all the other guests?” She checked her watch. “It’s just past nine now.”
Mr. Humphries looked around and shook his head. “I’ve heard some rumors, you know.”
“Well, they say the Korsokoffs are Old World.”
“How Old World?”
“Very Old World.”
“Their family is well established then…”
“In Transylvania.” He waggled his eyebrows at her. It made his wig twitch slightly. “If you know what I mean…”
“Yes!” Mr. Humphries lift a foot to mount the stairs, but it seemed to have taken on a mind of its own. “Mrs. Slocomb, would you fancy a spot of tea before the party?”
She studied him for a moment and then nodded. “I’d rather fancy a drop of something stronger, the truth be known.”
Arm-in-arm, they hurried away unaware that they were being watched from behind heavy, dust-laden curtains.
“They are leaving?” Count Korsokoff was annoyed. “What is it with some people? What poor manners these English people have.”
His wife just sighed heavily. “You can’t depend upon anyone these days.” She looked around at the half dozen corpses, blood still trickling from some of the bite marks. “Just don’t stand there. Help me clean up the empties.”