Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Goosebumps #48: Attack of the Jack O' Lanterns (R.L. Stine)

Drew is incredibly short for her age, which is why her dad calls her Elf. She and her friends Walker, Shane, and Shana are looking forward to Halloween because they want to get back at these bullies Lee and Tabby. One year, the two had a Halloween party where two guys in ski masks burst in and threatened the guests. The figures made them get down on the floor and do push ups before they learned it was all a set up and the guys were the kids' next door neighbors.

They come up with a whole bunch of gags, including a recording that mentions the two evil brats by name. They plan on turning the lights on and then turning on the recording. Other pranks include throwing fake slime at them and making a giant fake monster pop out of the closet. A few hours before the party, Tabby calls and says they're going trick or treating with some other kids instead and won't be at the party, meaning they get screwed for a second year in a row.

After meeting up, the whole group heads out for the night. They come across a women who seems overly excited to see them all dressed up and begs them to come inside and meet her husband. Drew notices that there are already a bunch of kids crying in the house. The husband then comes out and tells them that they can never leave. Just messing with you, it's a figment of her imagination.

What really happens is that they mope around and try to come up with some new ways to scare Tabby and Lee. Drew's mom temporarily decides she can't go trick or treating because four people went missing recently before her dad says it's okay. When they really do go out, a giant monster dog jumps out of the bushes and attacks Drew, but it's actually one of the teenagers from before.

Shane and Shana never show up, but two figures with jack o' lantern heads on top do, complete with flickering candles inside. Tabby just rolls her eyes and says that it's clearly the twins, and neither seem very scared. The figures offer to take them to a new neighborhood where they can find lots of candy. That neighborhood has hundreds of houses and they totally clean up, but the figures won't let them leave when they're done.

Tabby gets ticked off and yells at the twins before pulling off one of the pumpkin heads. That's when they discover that there is nothing underneath. The pumpkins keep laughing maniacally and taunting them from the ground. After picking up their heads, the figures tell them that they need to keep going and that they can never, ever stop.

After a few more houses, Walker begs them to stop and says his bag can't hold any more candy. The figures tell them to eat to make more room. They then take them to more houses, all of which are answered by figures with pumpkin heads. When Tabby and lee refuse to keep going, the figures start wailing and are joined by all the others in the neighborhood. They then step forward with four pumpkin heads and say these will be their new heads.

Tabby starts screaming, the figures put heads on both mean kids, and the kids take off running down the street. Once they are out of sight, everyone else cracks up. Turns out that the twins are actually aliens from another planet. Drew laughingly says that since they don't eat candy, she and Walker can eat it all and asks what they do eat. Shana then announces that they eat fat humans, meaning they're behind the recent disappearances. I did not see that coming.

*Someone points out that it might be their last year of going out because they can't go trick or treating as teenagers. It made me a little sad because I remember the last time we went out as a group running into some teens passing out candy who flat our told us we were too old and made fun of us.

*Walker dresses all in black and says he's a dark and stormy night. Drew's dad asks where the stormy part comes from, so he pulls out a water gun and shoots him in the face. I giggled for way too long over that scene.

*Some kid dresses up like a milk carton “complete” with nutritional facts on the side. Sigh, remember when our school milk cartons lacked that?

*This new bookstore opened in town and sells all its books for $1 each. I've picked up some BSC, Nancy Drew, and Goosebumps books there. This one clearly had never been read. The spine wasn't cracked at all, and it actually had the original trading cards inside!

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