Tuesday, October 12, 2010

RomanticVamp Week 21: The Dress

Romantic Vamp

Picture 1

Picture 2

Romanticvamp's Choice: Both

The Dress

A/N: I know this might be a bit early, but I love Halloween and I just couldn’t resist!

“Bella! Halloween’s tomorrow!!”

I glance up from my cereal at my brother Emmett. He’s all smiles and bouncing energy as he looks at me across the table. I roll my eyes and put my head back in my hand, staring down at my breakfast.

“Aw, come on, Bells,” he whines.

“Exciting,” I mutter.

I can practically hear his pout.

“So you’re really not going to go tomorrow night?”

“Nope,” I say, popping the “p.”

He keeps pouting, but is too busy shoving food into his mouth to verbally complain.

I’ve never liked Halloween. When I was little, maybe I did, but as I hit middle school and high school, I came to loathe the holiday. The girls who actually bothered to dress up used it as an excuse to show off every inch of skin they could manage. It was the holiday that made being a skank in public acceptable. Then there was me, who just wanted to dress up as whatever I fancied. I loved going all out, making my costume as authentic as possible. I quickly learned it was the way to get laughed at and gave those skanks opportunity to cut you down.

I hate Halloween. Without a doubt.

Not to mention, at my age, Halloween parties require you have a significant other or date to show up with. As I have neither, there is absolutely no way I am going to the big Halloween Bash, no matter how much Emmett begs. He has Rosalie. Alice and Jasper have each other. It leaves me as the awkward and unneeded fifth wheel.

I go through my Friday like any normal day. I work, socialize, and then head out in the evening. As I walk home, I watch all the frantic mothers with their kids, looking for last minute costumes or accessories, and trying to find those bags of bite-sized candy in whatever stores still have them. Every store front has displays of ghosts and mummies and vampires and jack-o-lanterns and spooky lights. I tuck my coat tighter around me and hurry home.

Everyone is over, putting the finishing touches on their costumes. Rosalie actually has her sexy police woman uniform on, debating with Alice on if they should cut more fabric off. She’s dangling a real set of handcuffs from her fingers and I wonder briefly if I should beg her and Emmett to go back to her place tomorrow night after the party.

Jasper and Emmett are comparing their costumes further away from the girls. Emmett is holding up the ridiculous black and white striped jumpsuit that declares him an escaped convict. He has the black ski mask on right now as he argues with Jasper. The subject of their argument is whether or not Jasper should wear a shirt under his cowboy vest.

Alice and Rosalie have moved on to Alice’s costume. They’re debating how high on her stomach Alice should tie her button up and how low on her hips she should wear the gun holster. I shake my head. Sexy cowgirl indeed.

As I pass by, they all try to convince me to go with them for the millionth time. I refuse, stating I don’t have a costume, that I don’t have a date, that I have to be here to hand out candy. When none of those work, I thank them for inviting me and lock myself in my room. I curl up in bed, trying to get extra sleep since I have a feeling I won’t be getting any tomorrow night when Emmett and Rosalie get back.


Emmett is already awake when I make my way into the kitchen in the morning. He’s cooking too. He directs me to the table and tells me to sit so he can bring me my eggs. I shrug and do as he says. It’s not often he decides to cook. I may as well enjoy it.

Except when he puts the plate down in front of me, I stare at it for a moment before looking up at him incredulously.


He grins. “I thought I’d try to get you in the mood.”

I look back down at my breakfast. He has formed the egg whites into the shape of a ghost, complete with frowny open mouth and a hand. The yolks make up the eyeballs. It’s quite impressive really.

It still isn’t convincing me to go to the Halloween ball with them.

I almost don’t have the heart to destroy his work, but I do eat the eggs and go to run the normal household errands. As I start on my way home, something catches my eye.

Sitting in the window of a vintage boutique is the most gorgeous dress I have laid eyes on. It’s delicate and white and looks like it came straight out of a Victorian masquerade ball. The torso is tight, with cap sleeves that sit off the shoulder, and a full beaded skirt. I can’t help it. I want it.

I hurry inside and inquire about it. The elderly lady is all too happy to help me, especially since they’re having a Halloween sale. I don’t even hesitate when she asks me if I want to purchase it. I thank her profusely and hurry home.

Thankfully, Emmett isn’t home when I get there. I put the groceries away and then lay the dress out on my bed, staring admiringly at it. I want a reason to wear it, to show it off. I blush as I realize what I’m thinking of.

I hesitate, but grab my phone. ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ will have to wait for tomorrow night.


“Alice, I need your help.”


I step into the huge hall behind my cowgirl best friend, glancing around at the orange and black lights. The music is blasting and the room is crowded with people. I pick up the flowing skirt and follow her to the rest of our group.

Obviously, Alice didn’t say a word why she would be late when she called them. They all gape when they see me.

“Bella, I thought you weren’t coming!” Emmett accuses from behind his ski-masked face.

Jasper pulls Alice under his arm, smiling appreciatively at me.

“You look beautiful,” Rosalie says, shooting Emmett a glare from under her police hat.

I blush and thank her. Alice was indeed a miracle worker. Without much explanation, she showed up and transformed me. She curled and pinned my hair so that it drapes down my exposed shoulders and helped apply makeup. She even brought a white mask trimmed with gold and peacock feathers on one side. It’s tied so the ribbon weaves through my hair as an added decoration and holds the mask in place over my nose and eyes.

We begin to mingle and enjoy the festivities. The dress makes me feel almost magical, like anything can happen. I notice more than one curious male glance in my direction.

As the night wears on and my friends consume more and more alcohol, I begin to really feel the effects of not having a date. They start to disperse with each other and I’m left on my own. I sigh and suddenly feel like Cinderella. It’s getting later and the magic is beginning to wear off.

I seek out a quiet room where I can get some air and pull myself back together. The room I find is spectacular. It’s an old ballroom, decorated intricately. The lights are muted and the floor is covered in black balloons. I move through them, swirling my skirt as I try to compose myself.

Except, as I move further into the space, I realize I’ve interrupted someone else’s alone time. He turns to look at me.

“I’m sorry!” I quickly apologize. “I didn’t realize anyone was in here.”

I start to back away when he moves toward me and smiles.

“It’s quite alright. Don’t rush off. I’m sure there’s enough room here for both of us.”

I offer a shy smile and really look at him. He’s dressed in a tuxedo and long black cape. I don’t quite understand his costume until I see the half white mask across one side of his face. The Phantom of the Opera. As he moves closer to me, my breath catches when I realize how gorgeous and perfect one half of his face really is. His bronze hair is wild, quite un-Phantom like I note with a grin, and his emerald eyes are piercing.

“I’m Edward. You?”


“Well, Bella, care to tell me a little about yourself?”

I’m not sure what it is that sets me at ease with this stranger, but we fall into easy conversation. We exchange information about ourselves briefly, sticking to less personal facts, before discussing anything and everything that we can think of. His laugh and smile are contagious and the air around us hums with some sort of unseen force. I’m drawn to him.

Some time later, though it feels like none has passed, he stands from the chairs we’ve found and offers his hand as the music changes in the other room.

“Would you care to dance?”

I blush and try to stammer an excuse, but he won’t hear it. He pulls me to my feet and leads me through the balloons. Somehow, he leads me with grace and I find I can move easily with him. As the song changes, he pulls me closer to his body and we settle for gentle swaying instead of the sweeping waltz we’ve just been doing.

“I’d like to see you again, Bell, if that’s alright,” he murmurs in my ear.

I smile against his shoulder. “I think I’d like that.”

He simply pulls me closer and moves with me to the music. I can’t help but feel grateful and happy that I came tonight.

Maybe, just maybe, I like Halloween after all.