Fandom: Jeremiah (TV Series)
Character: Marcus, Rose
Disclaimer: of course, I don't own Jeremiah nor the characters - just borrowing them for some fun
Lost in thoughts Marcus hurried through the long, cold halls of the Mountain. He had just had a meeting with Lee and Jeremiah, there were problems again with some dashing around the country gangs who harassed the people in Brownsdale. Nothing serious so far but he knew he should better step in before it got out of control.
Suddenly he noticed her, a little girl, crouching under one of the steel stairs, knees pulled up, her arms tightly clasped around. He stopped, watching her and a slight unsureness sneaked into his mind. A feeling he had learned to fight, if you tried to build something new out of a dying world you couldn't afford weakness and unsureness.
He wished Erin would be here, she would know what to do, what to say, Erin had a way with children, they loved her like they were scared of Marcus. Suddenly, the girl lifted her head, wide, brown-green eyes stared at him. And he recognized her.
"You are Rose," he said.
The daughter of Smith. Usually, she did live at a children's home nearby the Mountain.
"Do you know when my Dad will come back?"
Her voice was low and slightly shaking. He shook the head. If he had known that she would come here today for a visit, maybe he would have sent someone else on the mission.
"I'm sorry, no. He is looking for some food at a town some miles away."
This was just half the truth, but it was all he would tell her.
"Do you think ... the ghosts will hurt him?"
"Ghosts," he repeated.
"Sister Mary says, it's the night where the ghosts come back."
Suddenly he did remember what she was talking about. October 31th. Halloween. No one here had thought about this, it was just cold, rainy day like others. Not for Rose, though. The little girl looked so worried and Marcus could feel anger rising up. Why did someone scare children with horror stories when the world around was already cruel and unpredictable enough?
He bent down and reached out to her.
"I get it, you are talking about Halloween. But don't worry, your Dad is safe out there, as ever. I'm sure you did get something wrong."
"There are no ghosts?"
"When I was as old as you are now, oh yes, there were a lot. Children liked to dress up, as clowns, cowboys, fairies ... and ghosts. We all loved to go from door to door, trick and treating."
The look in her eyes had changed, still a bit mistrusting but curious too.
"Trick and treating? What's that," she wanted to know.
"An old tradition. All the houses were decorated with lights and pumpkins and we knocked at every door, calling: Knock, knock, trick or treat, give me something good to eat. We received many candies ... "
Marcus chuckled at the memory.
"... and next day we all had stomach pains. But this was almost part of the fun.
Just like the pranks. Sometimes we did a little prank despite people were giving us treats ... just because it was so much fun."
He noticed the slight smile on Rose's face and thought about the old times and all the wonderful traditions she would never get to know. Until another idea crossed his mind. He grabbed for Rose's hand.
"Come on," he said.
"Come on out there. Let's go to my room, I'm sure we will find some old bedclothes, so we can dress up as ghosts. Then we will go into the cafeteria, spooking Erin. Let's find out if she has some good treats for us ... or if we need to play her a trick first."
Rose's eyes widened.
"But ... my dad says I must not disturb you. Because you are busy with saving the world," she protested.
"The world will have to wait until tomorrow," he said.
"Today is Halloween."