“There you go,” Pike said, smiling sweetly as she sat the hat securely on Vex’s head. Vex was dressed, head to toe in black, holding the flying broom loosely in her other hand. “Now you look like a real witch.”
“Oh, darling, I am a real witch.” She grinned at her reflection in the mirror and gave a twirl.
Pike laughed and climbed down the step ladder she’d been using. Vex had been worried that the hat would fly of and she’d lose it, so for tonight she’d asked Pike to help her secure it with clips in her hair. Pike was dressed in a long (for her) white dress with wide bell sleeves that fall down over her hands and a collar that came up her neck like a turtle neck. Vax has kindly done her hair into two round buns on the side of her head, the signature of a famous fictional heroine named Leia from a book series called Far Wars.
The door to Vex’s room opened a smidge and Keyleth’s bell like voice floated in. “Knock knock! Everybody decent?”
“Come on in, Kiki,” Pike called.
The door opened the rest of the way and Keyleth stepped inside with Percy trailing behind her, covering his eyes. Vex rolled her eyes. “Really darling, we’re all dressed. Though it’s not like you’ve never seen either of us naked before.”
Percy lowered his hand and Vex saw some golden makeup around his eyes, but whatever Keyleth had been painting was only half done. “Keyleth told me no one could see me until I was finished.”
Keyleth frowned and grabbed his hand, moving it back over his eyes. “Don’t show them yet, it’s not ready. Actually, that’s why we’re here, I ran out of gold paint after I did his arms and legs, do you have any makeup to finish his face?”
“Well, I don’t have any gold,” Pike said, rooting through her dresser. “I have some yellow and some glitter, you could put them together.”
Keyleth frowned but nodded. “Thank you so much, that’ll do. It won’t be perfect.”
“What exactly are you dressing as, dear?” Vex asked, walking over to get a closer look at Percy. He was dressed in clothes dyed gold with his arms and legs painted as Keyleth had said.
“Doty. I lost a bet with your brother and this was his punishment.”
Vex tossed her head back and laughed. “Oh, that’s priceless. Does Taryon know?”
“Of course not.”
Speaking of Vax, he peeked into the room a moment later while Keyleth and Pike discussed the merits of cornflower yellow versus sunshine yellow. “Keyleth,” he hissed. “Tary’s coming.” Keyleth squeaked and ran over to Percy, looking around for a place to hide him but she settled with throwing a loose sheet over him.
“Oh, this is lovely,” Percy mumbled.
“It’ll just be a moment. Vax, lure him away.”
Vax nodded and disappeared back around the corner. “There you are, Taryon. I need some advice for my outfit…” and then they heard nothing more.
Keyleth waited a tick, and then yanked the sheet off her friend, messing up his perfectly styled golden hair. “We need to hurry.” She took the cornflower eyeshadow and started spreading it across Percy’s face. It didn’t match the gold perfectly, but it didn’t look awful. She ended up putting the glitter all over his face, even the part painted gold, just to make it seem more cohesive. “There we are.”
Percy held up his hands stiffly. “Tary,” he said in monotone.
Vex smiled through a grimace. “That’s almost too good an imitation. Keyleth, darling, you’re not dressed yet. Do you need help getting ready?”
“Oh, no, I can do it in a pinch.” She waved her hands and her skin turned into a dark brown bark to match the dark brown dress she was wearing. With another wave of the hand she cast druidcraft and leaves and flowers sprouted from her hair. “I’m a tree!”
Vex laughed. “Oh, you make a lovely tree, dear, truly. Pike, what is Scanlan dressing as?”
“Oh, he wouldn’t tell me.”
“He wouldn’t tell you ? Really, that’s unlike him. He never keeps secrets from you.”
“He does when he thinks it’ll be funny.”
Vex hummed. “Yes, I suppose. Shall we go down to meet them then?”
The others nodded and they all started down to the living area in Vex’s house in Whitestone. Tary and Vax were sitting on the couch facing away from them when they came down but Vax looked up when he heard them, grinning when his eyes landed on Percy. “Ah, Tary, Doty’s arrived.”
“Doty,” Taryon started, not looking up from the too masks in his hand. “Get me a glass of water, would you?”
Percy rolled his eyes and met Vax’s smirk with an exasperated look. “I don’t have to actually obey him, do I?”
“That’s part of the costume.”
Tary finally looked up and his eyes widened as he watched Percy fetch him a glass of water. Tary was dressed like an adventurer. Not any specific adventurer, he was just wearing a rugged yet handsome outfit like the kind you’d see painted on the cover of adventure books. Honestly, none of them had expected him to be anything else. He told Vax that he had dressed in some version of this same costume every year since he was six years old.
Vax was sitting beside Tary but he stood when Percy came over with the water. “You look great, Doty,” he said, grinning. “Really.”
Percy glared at him. “Tary.”
Vex stepped up next to her brother and looked him over, still wearing his usual clothes. “Where's your costume, brother dearest?”
“Scanlan’s bringing it.”
Tary frowned. “What? You said you were trying to pick between these masks.” he held up the masks, both poorly and cheaply made.
“Oh, yeah, I lied.”
Scanlan ran into the room then, grinning from ear to ear. “Ready?” he asked, not paying any of the others many mind.
Vax grinned back and they both ran out the front door without another word. Keyleth frowned and scratched at the loose piece of bark on her arm until it fell off. “I have a bad feeling about that.”
There was a scream from outside and they all took off towards it, throwing open the big double doors and cramming through as a group. There was a velociraptor roaring at a pack of scared children in homemade costumes and a triceratops who destroyed Vex’s rose bushes with a single swipe of his tail.
Grog wandered up behind them, looking out the front door over all of their heads. He was wearing fluffy, brown woollen pants and a pair of shoes that made his feet look like giant hooves. In one hand he carried a book open to a page with a single penis drawn on it and in the other he carried a quill so small in his hands that he had already crushed it once and it was holding together by a tread. “What’s going on? Are we fighting?”
Vex ignored him and started marching towards the triceratops. “I’m going to kill whichever one of you is in there, I swear to god!”