Once upon a time, there was a small town called Bellington. Bellington was like most of your other small towns. It had people bustling to and fro, stores of all shapes and sizes, and small huts strewn here and there all through the streets.
However, Bellington was known by all for one thing, and one thing only. It was the home of the famous Bellington Halloween ball.
Every year, the richest man in town, Edward Hawksworth, threw a Halloween costume ball. People would come from throughout the land to attend.
But of all the people in all the land, nobody enjoyed this party more than Emily Picard. Emily was like most other women in the town, except for the fact that she almost obsessed over Hawksworth's ball.
She hadn't missed the ball in over 19 years. She had first went with her parents when she was 3 years old, and had loved it ever since.
She went to extremes in order to make sure everything was perfect for the party. She had a costume hand-made for her every year by the local tailor. She then would test it out for a week before hand in order to make sure it was comfortable enough.
She even went through the trouble of hiring a taxi to arrive at her house every year at exactly 7:38, seeing as this was the best time to depart in order to get to the party at exactly 8:20. This would give her ten minutes to chat with everybody until the party started at 8:30.
However, this year was different. At 7:00, she recieved a call from her cab. It had broken down, and would be unable to pick her up. She couldn't stand missing the ball, so she figured if she walked, she would still arive before 8:45.
She set off at about 7:10. She was wearing her costume for that year, which had happened to be a witch. She had been walking about 30 minutes when she saw a man ahead of her.
He was wearing a dark black cloak, and was holding a large scythe. He seemed to almost float across the sidewalk, past the houses. He stared blankly into the distance.
Emily ran up to the man. "Hello." She said innocently, "I'm Emily. Who are you?"
"Richard..." The man said gruffly, continuing to stare into the distance.
"Well..." Emily said, trying to start a conversation, "Are you going to the Halloween party, too?"
"Yes..." Richard replied, "I haven't missed it for 19 years..."
"Me either!" Emily siad excitedly, "So, who are you going as?"
"What?" The man asked, stopping abruptly and staring at Emily.
"Who are you going as? What's your costume?"
"Oh... I'm Death" The man said quietly, resuming his original pace beside Emily.
"Oh, I see..." Emily said, "So Death, can you tell me what time I'm going to die?" She was hoping the strange man would start to lighten up if she could start up a joke.
The man pulled up his sleeve and looked at the shiny golden watch he was wearing, continuing to walk all the while. "Well," He answered, "It's about 7:40 right now... So I'd say about five minutes..." He started laughing slyly.
Emily joined in, happy the man was playing along.
The next day police found Emily's body laying across a small street about 47 minutes away from her house on foot. She had been hit by a car and died the previous night. After investigating further, they had found that the driver of the car was 24-year-old Richard Crow. They quickly arrested Crow, who had claimed he stayed in his house all night.
After a three day long trial, Crow was placed in jail, where he was killed by a fellow inmate the next week.
After the events of that Halloween weekend, Bellington returned to normal. The people bustled to and fro, the shops continued to do business, and the houses remained unchanged. That had been the first year Emily Picard missed the famous Bellington Halloween ball.