Excerpt for Halloween Hullabaloo by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Halloween Hullabaloo


Suzy Stewart Dubot

Copyright©Oct. 2017 Suzy Stewart Dubot

Published at Smashwords

An Anglo/American who has been living in France for over 35 years, she began writing as soon as she retired.

It is a passion discovered late in life, but lived to its fullest.

Before retiring, she worked at a variety of jobs. Some of the more interesting have been: Art and Crafts teacher, Bartender, Marketing Assistant for N° 1 World Yacht Charterers (Moorings), Beaux Arts Model, Secretary to the French Haflinger Association...

With her daughters, she is a vegetarian and a supporter of animal rights. She uses words when she's not protesting in the street. She is an admirer of the British abolitionist, William Wilberforce, who was also a founding member of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (S.P.C.A.).

Her website :


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

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Halloween Hullabaloo

“Yes. Let me check… Folk Dancing is in room eighteen,” the supervisor said with a finger on the line. “Just follow this corridor to the end and turn left. The door is marked with its number.”

He pointed along the hallway before flipping the sheets of paper back into place on his clipboard, ready for the following enquiry.

“Next…” he said before looking up.

Saturday evening was always busy as people gathered to socialize at the Rosebery Community Centre. There were close to a dozen different activities one could attend, Bridge, Folk Dancing, Ceramics, Drawing, Games, Card Creations etc., plus those rooms reserved by groups for their meetings.

This particular Saturday was October 31st, and there were more than the usual number of visitors, perhaps due to Halloween festivities. The supervisor, Jim, guessed that a lot of tonight’s visitors were those wishing to avoid the candy scroungers out on the streets ‘Trick or Treating.’ He, too, was glad he wasn’t at home jumping up and handing out sweets every time the doorbell rang.

As he looked up, ready to direct the next person in line, he was a little surprised to see a man in an elaborate fancy-dress costume crowned by a wavy, powdered wig to his shoulders. He’d captured the look of an eighteenth-century aristocrat to a tee. He’d even got one of those black spots stuck to his cheek!

Jim was only flustered for a second, though, because he remembered someone else had passed by in an historical costume. It had been less fancy than this one, but certainly recognisable as something from the past. That man had asked for the room for the ‘Gathering at Midnight’—a room reserved by a private group.

Thanks to the first man in costume, Jim already had a pretty good idea what this man would be asking, so was prepared even though the enquirer’s English was questionable.

“Please, ze room for ze rendez-vous of midnight?”

Jim’s finger had begun its journey down the page again, but, before he could locate the line showing which room, he was distracted by a rather lovely woman who’d sidled up to the waiting man. Her equally ornate costume was made to exaggerate her hips, so it was awkward for her to move in the limited space in front of the Enquiries cubby hole. She’d had to turn sideways.

Her tall, powdered wig was decorated with strands of pearls and gemstone pins. By today’s standards, she would look ridiculous, but, somehow, the effect she gave was one of elegance.

His finger continued to the bottom of the page where it stopped on the reserved room in demand.

“Room ten,” he told them pleasantly.

Dix” he added for good measure, holding up all his fingers before pointing them in the right direction.

Thirty years on, his schoolboy French had finally come into use…

As they seem to drift away, he noticed that their clothes were not made of the usual light-weight, gaudy synthetics, but of something more substantial and classy.

They didn’t skimp on paying for the best, he thought. Even the woman’s perfume is delightful.

Not having the time to linger further, he turned his attention to the next two in line and smiled. These lads were in sweatshirts and jeans. They looked scruffy in comparison to the previous two, but they were regulars. He knew them, and they addressed him by his first name.

“Hi, Jim! Alright then? Will you be joining us later?”

They’d only stopped to let him know they were there.

“Wouldn’t miss my chance of getting back at you, now would I?” Jim said with a laugh and a hand gesture of throwing a dart. “See you dudes later!”

Ah, yes. The games room, he thought with a smile.

At 9 pm, he would be free from this job and could join them for the darts competition.

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