Close Encounter of the Spooky Kind by 


I don't own the boys, but if I did I'd run away with them.

MCAT story inspired by a Muse 7 Halloween Challenge, and I wrote it for a little Halloween fun.

Thanks Sue for the awesome collage.

"I don’t know how the hell I let you talk me into this."  Chris squirmed as Caitlyn adjusted his collar. "I said I’d take you to your friend’s Halloween party, but you neglected to tell me it was supposed to be in costume."

"You make a dashing Count Dracula." Cait smiled. "If you’re really good, I might even let you bite my neck."

Chris grinned wolfishly at her, flashing his fake fangs. "We could just stay here and forget the party."

" Oh no you don’t, Chris Larabee. You promised you’d take me, and you’re not getting out of it that easily." Cait argued. "Max and Walter have all the kids at Vin’s house for a party and you have no excuse."

"Fine, shall we go, Countess?"

"My pleasure," she took his arm and they walked out to the Ram.

Once they were on the road, his mood lightened. "Did I tell you, you’re a beautiful Countess?"

"No, but I thank you for noticing …" Caitlyn stopped when Chris cursed.

"Damnit, I know I had a full tank of gas." The truck stalled and he let it coast to the side of the road. They had not even made it to the main highway yet, so he wasn’t worried about blocking traffic, but it was annoying. It was pitch dark, most of the others had plans for the evening, and anyway he looked at it they were going to be stuck here for a while.

"You’re really of out gas?" Cait asked. "I thought only teenagers pulled that routine."

Chris reached into the glove box for a flashlight. "I have better methods for getting you alone, and my idea of a romantic setting is not to be stuck on the side of the road, in the dead of night wearing a Dracula costume."  Shaking the light, he could not get it to work. "Hell, I know I had new batteries…" He sighed and pulled his cell out of his pocket. "I’ll have to call on of the boys and ask them to bring enough gas to get us to a station.

"Do what you need to and don’t worry. If we miss the party, I’ll live."

Ezra and Barbara had left earlier for dinner with Josiah and Mallory, somewhere on the other side of Denver, so he knew they weren’t home. He tried Buck, Nathan, and JD, with no luck. No one was answering. Finally he called the Tanner home, and Max picked up. Chris could hear all the Wild Bunch children in the background. "Max, I hate to call in the middle of the party, but I need to speak to one of my brothers."

"None of them are here right now. Vin and Kelli took off for their night at the cabin, Buck and Inez went on a food run for me, and JD is out in the stables with Walter, something about one of the mares, I think. Nathan and Rain took some of the older children out trick or treating in an area they knew was safe. It’s just me, Sally and the babies here."

"It’s okay. I’ll try to catch Buck on his cell. Hug my kids for me. "He hung up and redialed Buck’s cell number only to receive a busy signal." Damn. You’d think in a family this size I could reach someone."

Cait sat quietly while Chris tried Buck’s number again. When he got another busy signal, she suggested, "We’re not that far from the ranch. I don’t mind walking back, if you don’t."

Chris thought about it, and after considering his options, he decided it was what they had to do. "Okay, if you’re sure."

"I am." She smiled. "Besides, I have Count Dracula to protect me."

After locking up the truck, they started the trek back to the Larabee 7. It was dark, and the ditches were full of water, but sticking to the road Chris was sure they’d have a smooth walk.

Suddenly Cait grabbed his arm. "Did you hear that?"

"No, I didn’t hear anything." Wrapping his arm around her waist, Chris chuckled. "You’re not afraid of the dark are you?"

"Not really but…there it is again. Tell me you heard it." A rustling noise in the brush on the right side of the road drew their attention.  

"It’s probably just a rabbit. We have a few running around.…" A louder sound from the left side of the road startled them, when something darted across. A black cat screeched as it disappeared into the woods. "Damn cat," Chris mumbled.

An owl few low over their heads, and Cait screamed when it crossed in front of her.

"Easy," Chris drew her closer when she shuddered. "It’s Halloween, it’s dark, and we’re letting ourselves get carried away".

She took a deep breath and nodded. "You’re right."

Silently they walked for another five minutes. Chris stopped and cocked his head to listen. He heard what sound like thunder, however, the rain they had earlier today was supposed to be gone. The noise was low to the ground, moving fast, and coming closer. "Cait, get behind me," he whispered.

"What is it, Chris?"

" Just get behind me, move over to the ditch, and stay there," he ordered.

Looking down the road, he saw a horse galloping toward them. He couldn’t make out the rider, but whoever it was, apparently was wearing a long tailed coat that was flapping behind him. The horse was rapidly approaching them, and the rider was laying low over the horse’s neck.  Chris reached for his gun, before remembering he wasn’t wearing it. However, his hand became tangled in his Dracula cape. He was shaking it to get loose when he looked up, and saw that the horse was coming closer.  Just before the unknown rider reached his position, appearing to be headed straight for him, Chris lunged for the ditch, which was full of water. Intending to land on his feet, his costume did not cooperated. His boot twisted, propelling him forward, and in spite of his efforts to avoid it, he landed in the middle of the water and mud.  It was then that he realized Caitlyn wasn’t there beside him.

"Cait," he yelled. "Where are you?" Chris was attempting to climb out of the ditch, the weight of his cape making it difficult.

Instead of her soft voice, he heard laughter. The horseman had stopped, and dismounted. Vin walked toward him, and offered him a hand. "You’re all wet, Cowboy."

"Yeah, and he dances pretty good, too." Buck stepped out of the shadow, pleased that their spooky conspiracy had been successful.  

"Hey Dracula," JD stepped forward carrying a black cat.

Ezra, Josiah, and Nathan joined them, all wearing big grins. It was becoming clear that he had been had.

Chris looked at Caitlyn, who was also smiling. "Happy Halloween, Larabee."

"Aw, hell."

The End
Close Encounter of the Spooky Kind by