My Deadtown series, set in Boston, features Victory Vaughn, a shapeshifter who kills other people’s personal demons for a living. After a mysterious plague turned two thousand Bostonians into zombies, the quarantine zone became Deadtown, the district where all of the city’s paranormals must live by law. Here, Vicky and her teenage zombie apprentice, Tina, talk about Halloween.
Tina: Hey, lighten up. Halloween is fun. It’s when zombies are cool—everybody wants to be one.
Vicky: Yes, for that one day. That’s my point. The norms say that the veil grows thin that night, and the “others” can come through.” But we “others” are here all along. Every day, not just Halloween. But they’d rather not see us then. They’d rather we stay in Deadtown and out of their sight.
Tina: Do you remember when Jenna and me snuck out of Deadtown to be in Boston’s Halloween parade? Nobody knew we weren’t in costumes. That was awesome.
Vicky: You mean the Halloween parade that was the target of a massive demon attack? You’ve got a strange definition of “awesome.”
Tina: It was totally awesome. After being cooped up in the same few blocks of Boston for month after month, we could go out and play. Nobody called the Goon Squad on us. People said our makeup was amazing. Well, they didn’t know we weren’t wearing any, but still. Some college boys even flirted with us. Then, when those Harpies attacked, I got to save the day.
Vicky (raises eyebrow): Oh, really?
Tina: Okay, okay. I know now it was you who saved the day. Or the night. Whatever. But I did nail some of those Harpies. I thought that was pretty good for someone who never used a sword before.
Vicky: The sword you stole from me. You’re lucky you didn’t cut off some innocent bystander’s head.
Tina: Only that one. I’m kidding. Anyway, enough about the parade. When I was a kid, Halloween was always my favorite holiday. It was, like, a night when the rules didn’t matter. You could dress up and become whoever you wanted to be. You could run around the neighborhood after dark. And you know how parents are always saying, “Don’t take candy from strangers,” right? On Halloween you get to knock on strangers’ doors and demand candy from them.
Vicky: There is that. When I was a kid in Somerville, it was like a big neighborhood party. My parents were from Wales and they never understood what all the fuss was about, but they let us join in. We did have fun.
Tina: See? I don’t think we paranormals should reject Halloween. I think we should make it our own. Turn it into a big celebration of everything that’s non-human. Well, maybe not everything. Those Harpies were nasty.
Vicky: And they’re around all the time, not just at Halloween, which was my original point. Although it’s true my demon exterminating business picks up in October. I guess it’s the time of year when people are willing to believe such things might be real.
Tina: How many times do I have to tell you? Don’t say “demon exterminating,” say “demon slaying.” It’s so much cooler. Anyway, I’ve gotta go find Jenna. We need to start planning our costumes for this year.
Vicky: What are you going to be?
Tina: I’m thinking Zombie British Royalty. I can be Zombie Kate Middleton and Jenna can be Zombie Princess Beatrice. You know, the one who wore that crazy hat to the royal wedding. It’ll be awesome! (Leaves)
Vicky: You know, maybe I’ll have a Halloween party this year. I’ll make it come-as-you-are. Or maybe come-as-you’d-like-to-be. Tina’s right. We don’t have to let the norms define this holiday. We can make it our own.
DARKLANDS, the fourth novel in Nancy Holzner's Deadtown series, is now available. For information on Nancy and her books, visit her website. You can also find Nancy on Facebook and Twitter.
Nancy is giving away winner's choice of one of her books plus a zombie cupcake kit. This giveaway is open internationally and will end October 20th. Read event rules and guidelines before entering.
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