It was one of those silent, boring Wednesday evenings when all the Ronin Warriors gathered in the living room and absolutely ignored each other. Just as a way to remind themselves how they could only stand to be in such a close proximity with one another before losing their minds and becoming bloodthirsty fiends.

    Ryo was sitting at one end of the sofa, reading a sports magazine with White Blaze curled up at his feet. Cye was playing an Atari game with Kento (Yar’s Revenge II, and he was doing quite poorly) while Rowen was amusing himself with the laptop he had recently gotten for his birthday. Sage was . . . out doing Sage things, that’s what everyone supposed. He always disappeared on weekday nights and usually didn’t come home until after dark.

    On weekends he didn’t come home at all.

    This particular night it was growing rather late and Ryo was getting ready to call it quits when who should come waltzing through the door but Sage. He sauntered into the den and all activity stopped: Ryo dropped his magazine and his jaw, Cye and Kento dropped their joysticks and Rowen’s fingers hovered above the keypad, all eyes riveted at the sight.

    Sage was dressed, which was not unusual in itself, but it was how he was dressed that was so shocking. Shiny. Red. That summed it up. Starting from the bottom and working the our way up, a pair of red stiletto heels were on his feet. Slinky black hose and garter were stretched over the long and slender legs, all the way up to meet a skirt that was incredibly, sacrilegiously short. It was bright red vinyl and was so tight it looked practically painted on. Five whole inches of bare midriff was visible before interrupted by a sleeveless vinyl jacket with a metal zipper that went all the way up the front. His bare arms were covered with black fishnet hose and he wore spiked cuffs on his wrists.

    Everything from the neck up was the only thing vaguely familiar, but only vaguely. Tacky blue eye shadow. Cheap red lipstick. Thick, clumpy mascara. Hideous blush. Dangling gold hoop earrings. Hair fried and teased up into what we know as “big hair of the 80s”, and streaked with pink, purple and blue. Sparkles were all over the place.

    Sage sighed and dropped a large Hefty bag on the floor, bending over to remove the high heels with a groan.

    “Oh, my God, guys, you would not believe the business I did tonight. I don’t think I’ve worked the streets this hard in years.” He laughed in an exhausted way and stood back up, tossing his multi-colored hair. Everyone was too shocked to speak, so Sage spoke for them.

    “I don’t know how I’m supposed to make a decent night’s living wearing these shoes. Let me tell you, if you ever have to dress in drag do NOT forget to powder your feet or you’ll be blistering up all the next-”

    “Sage,” Ryo found his voice. “How . . . wh-why are you dressed like a hooker?”

    The blond blinked and looked down. “Oh, you mean this old thing? Well, first I’ve got to tell you about how I did five entire neighborhoods tonight-”

    “WHAT!?” everyone shouted in unison.

    “ -and I got plenty of sweet stuff in the sack.”

    White Blaze perked his ears up and stared at Sage, who continued with his tale.

    “After ten minutes I got tired — you know I haven’t done this in months — but then I just went next door and got some from three people at one time. Whew!” Sage smiled and shook his head. “It was a blast. I’m sure the kids heard the moaning and groaning, but they didn’t mind. Although, the prettier you are the harder it is to get the good stuff. It seems like such a competition tonight; the uglier you are the more you get. Well, when you’re working for free I guess it’s a wonder if you get anything-”

    “SAGE!” Rowen yelled, and the blond was silent.

    “ Yeah, what?”

    “How . . . how couldja be so sleazy an’ still live with ya’self?”

    “ Tch.” Sage rolled his eyes and suddenly became a valley girl. “Like, look at how I’m dressed and don’t let the clue hit you too hard.”

    Cye muttered, “Sage, I knew you were easy, but five neighborhoods? That’s madness!”

    “Well, the more you go around, the more you get. It certainly satisfied my sweet tooth.”

    “Sage, buddy,” Kento said sadly, “I can understand the drag and the sleazin’ . . . but you practically shagged the entire town, dude.”

    Sage’s eyes went wide. “What? No I didn’t! What are you thinking?”

    The four normal people glanced at each other. “Why else would you screw five neighborhoods?”

    Sage’s stared at them for a few second, then bent down and picked up the Hefty bag, dumping its contents all over the floor. Candy was stacked up a foot deep.

    “Becaaaaause,” Sage growled, “ it is October thirty-first, All Hallow’s Eve, otherwise known as Halloween. That is why, gentlemen.”

    You could hear the gears turning over in everyone’s minds as they suddenly realized the truth. Rowen looked at the date on his computer and said, “He’s right. Halloween’s tonight. Duh.”

    Ryo jumped up and stepped on White Blaze’s tail but was too excited to hear the cat roar in pain.

    “WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR!?” he cried. “Sage, put your shoes back on. Cye, find us some spandex. WE’RE GOING TRICK ‘R TREATING!”

    Rowen smirked. “We’ve already got the trick, Ryo.” He pointed at Sage, who put his hand on his hips.

    “That’s PRICK.”

    “Trick, prick, chick with a di-”

    “Ooookay,” Cye interrupted. “I think I’ll go find some polyester now.”

    Kento grinned. “Hey, I just thought of something really scary I could dress up as.”

    “What’s that?”

    “Sage’s mother.”

    “ Oooh, hear that, Sage? He just insulted your mum.”

    “So what? Kento insulted his mother by being born.”



    “Hey, Sage. I dare ya to moon those kids over there.”

    “What will you give me if I do?”


    “Sounds good to me.”

    And two full moons shown brightly on the trick-or-treaters that year.