Autumn held the entire Netherworld in its clutches, and on this day, feasts of gratitude for harvests, for friends, for loved ones were being held across the lands, seas, mountains, and below, in graves, in magma.
“Pucker,” Red Kelp, dryad, requested as she prepared the small makeup brush. Giddy and barely able to sit still, Penny P. Post, vampire, did as commanded. Red applied the lip paint delicately. Darker here, lighter there, a tiny masterpiece.
Penny’s wife, Zelda K. Arcadia, witch, finished her own makeup. More modestly designed, she had only needed a few minutes of Red Kelp’s expert attention at the start.
Completing, the dryad put away her tools and snapped shut her kit. The over-the-top dressed vampire and proper but moderately dressed witch clutched hands and giggled with excitement. “To the ball with you two flowers,” Red demanded as she tapped on a phone shaped like a large leaf, requesting a dragon to transport them to their party.
The dryad waved to her friends as they flew off. She closed their front door, secured the lock, and pulled a helmet over her horns. Mounting a small scooter, she was soon off.
Elsewhere: “Ash and gloom, these are the shadows of my doooooom,” sang Dime Store Halloween, one of the most popular bands in the Netherworld. The harvest concert rocked the amphitheater, countless ghosts and monsters howling in excitement as the act began.
Petal, orc, picked up May, goblin, and spun her around. May wrapped her arms around Petal’s neck and kissed her girlfriend as their spin came to a pause. The lead singer of Dime, catching the display, roared in delight as she finished the first song. “The next is dedicated to my whirlwinds there,” she announced, pointing. Petal and May screamed in excitement as the spotlight centered on them..
Across the realms, similar levels, though lower in volume, of excitement was expressed by Magma “Ham” Hamilton Flamingo, gorgon, and Petrus Caldron, lich, who slowly danced in the ruinous ballroom of their decaying mansion. Love ballads, centuries old, played in the air as the gorgon’s snake tail guided her skeletal husband around the room. Whispering memories to each other, the couple swayed in and sashayed out, elegant as the moonlight, soft as the velvet night. Theirs was a spectral holiday of memory and grace.
Another thousand miles away by dragon flight, a staff thumped against a hardwood floor. “Lady Penny and wife, Lady Zelda, of Autumn’s Lost Wood,” the herald announced. The jeweled pair entered the hallway, curtsying low to the queen of flowers, beribboned and adorned with autumnal blooms.
The queen smiled and nodded her head gracefully. Her escort, a storm of a woman well known to be more comfortable in a suit of armor than her suit of wool, bowed awkwardly in return. While Zelda seemed happy and intrigued by the opulent hall, the towers of sweets and treats, and the splendor of each partygoer’s finery, Penny nearly vibrated in joy. This was her element and she was enjoying every single detail.
And finally, a scooter pulled up to a swaying palm tree in Blissful Heart Lagoon. Red Kelp removed her helmet and put it into a small locker. She dove into the water, the lagoon’s magic allowing her to move and breathe as easily as a creature born of the sea instead of the forest. She swam down the twisting passageways and into the caves below the water’s surface.
“Kelpie!” a mermaid swam out of the aquatic kitchen. “Kelp Kelp Kelp!” Strawberry sang joyfully as she lunged into the dryad’s embrace. “Kelpie, you’re just in time, the feast will be ready in!” Kiss “fifteen!” kiss “minutes!”
After eating, the dryad and mermaid laid on the couch. A thick blanket and a tiny underwater volcano in a hearth helped ward off the season’s cooling currents. Attention alternated between holiday movies on a small pearl-shaped television, plucking at the remains of their feast, nodding off into small naps, additional desserts, a coffee table full of comic books and magazines, a few more bites, and more napping.
The mermaid toyed with her wife’s hair as the dryad put her head on her lap. “Are you happy we stayed home for Harvest Day, sweet roots?”
Red Kelp placed a long, soft kiss on her wife’s tail. Again, and again, and again across different scales to make a pattern. “Immensely,” she said.