Dean stood in the wide doorway of the large country kitchen, aghast at the scene before him. In all his years as a hunter, he’d never seen anything like it, and he’d seen a lot of bizarre things.
Jaw flapping helplessly, he finally found his voice.
“Un-freakin’-believable! I’m gone for only two days to take care of a little, run-of-the-mill, ghost haunting, possession, and poltergeist problem, and I come back to find my very own brother has been possessed by Betty Crocker!”
“Cool it, Dean. It’s all good.” Sonny, founder and owner of Sonny’s Home for Boys, clapped his former resident on the shoulder and ducked under his arm to make his way into the kitchen. “Mellow out. When I knew you were comin’, me and the boys I got now decided to make things a little fun for the holiday. It’s one of their favorites.”
“Uh, yeah, Dean.” Sam straightened from the table he was hovering over and dusted a powdery white substance from his hands onto the soiled, full apron he was wearing. “The boys have been decorating the barn to make it into a haunted house and they invited some of their friends from school for the party tonight.”
Dean slowly closed his eyes, dropped his head and let out a loud, exasperated sigh. “And what is that white stuff all over you?”
Embarrassed, Sam cleared his throat. “Powdered sugar,” he mumbled. “Maybe some flour.”
“Powdered sugar and flour,” Dean repeated. “For what?”
“Pumpkin rolls, Dean!” Sonny grinned wide, his whole face lighting up, and thumped Sam on the back. “I love those things, and Sam found a stone ground, non-GMO, unbleached flour to make them out of. It’s what’s in all the baked goods!”
“And most of them are gluten free,” Sam added.
“Gluten free!?!” Dean exclaimed. “I’m tellin’ you right now, they’re gonna suck.” He paced around the kitchen taking in the smorgasbord of orange, black, white, and purple bedecked healthful goodies. “What about these? Did you use real frosting on them?” He pointed accusingly at a large tray filled with what looked like chocolate cupcakes topped with tiny cracked headstones, smiling bats, and miniature crosses with “R.I.P.” embossed on them.
Quickly tucking his hair behind his ears, Sam shook his head. “No. Real frosting, as you refer to it, is full of hydrogenated fats, and—”
“It’s cream cheese icing—made with cream cheese and real butter from the grass-fed cows down the road.” Sonny proudly crossed his arms over his chest. “We did use vegan-safe powdered sugar even though the other stuff is animal products.”
Dean continued his suspicious examination in a halting trip around the kitchen. “What the hell are these?” He shook his hands at a tray of softball-sized jack-o-lanterns.
“Oranges.” Sonny smirked. “Think of them as virgin Jello shots for the kids. They’re cute.”
Dean’s face screwed up into a baffled mask. “What? They have Jello in them?”
“Oh, God. What fresh hell is this?”
Darting around the heavily laden table to protect his creations, Sam pushed Dean away as he bent over to sniff at them. “They’re made with a cruelty-free gelatin substitute. I scooped out the orange segments and squeezed fresh juice. The pulp and stuff went into the compost bin. Afterwards, we can put the rinds in there, too.”
“I thought the only evil Jello was the green one.” Dean graced him with one of his goofy grins.
“It’s not evil, it’s just …” Sam rolled his eyes and huffed. “The gelatin is made from Agar.”
“Which is …?” Dean cocked his head to the side and extended his hand, urging his brother to finish.
Gulping so hard his Adam’s apple seemed to convulse, Sam mumbled as fast as he could, “Cookedandpressedalgae.”
Dean cupped a hand around his ear and leaned forward. “What was that again?”
Sam’s shoulders dropped in defeat and he stared guiltily up at the white tin ceiling. “Cooked and pressed algae.”
“Algae.” Eyes growing wide, Dean gawked at his brother in disbelief. “And you’re gonna feed that to the kids?” He twisted around with a challenging glare at his old mentor. “Sonny, you gotta be kiddin’ me. My little brother has finally gone bat-shit bonkers, and you’re gonna sit back and let him poison the kids? Whatever happened to good ol’ Halloween treats like BB Bats and popcorn balls?”
“High fructose corn syrup,” Sam hissed.
“Dean! Dean!” Sonny laughed, sauntering toward him. “It’s gonna be all right. The kids’ll love it! They’ve been excited for days. They made costumes, and they got some righteous games to play, too. Like Shoot the Bullet at the Zombie. It’s like Pin the Tail on the Donkey but—”
“Yeah, yeah, I get it.” Dean shook his head and propped his hands on his hips. “As long as they don’t try to play Bloody Mary or break out a Ouija board.”
“Try not to be a drag, Dean. No Ouija boards on the premises.” Sonny gave him an affectionate punch on the arm. “Halloween only comes once a year. We’re just makin’ it a little healthier for ‘em, and it’ll keep ‘em at the house so they don’t go out there and play any tricks. Which is what got some of them sent here to begin with. Remember?”
“Yeah, I do.” Cocking one eyebrow, the elder Winchester sighed. “Well, Sonny, with a gig like ours, every day is Halloween, and there aren’t so many treats.”
Pleased they were going to show Sonny’s charges, and their friends, a good time, the men all smiled at each other.
Until one of the white-iced ghost-shaped cookies drifted lazily into the air above the table and started spinning.
Sam’s eyes flew open and then narrowed. “Dean! The salt’s in the cupboard next to the stove.”
Never taking his eyes from the haunted confection, Dean backed toward the range. “I hope it isn’t salt-free salt. That might not work on a non-vegan Casper.”
~O~ The End ~O~