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October 2020 Contest Winner: His Goddess Wore a Rabbit's Mask

Yong Luodeng knew that he didn’t have time for this.

It was Halloween, for heavens’ sakes, and he was a broke college student in his final year. He was supposed to be studying for midterms, not messing around with the occult or the supernatural. At least, that was what his parents would have said.

It was only once, Luodeng had told himself. Perhaps, if this succeeded, then he wouldn’t have to worry about midterms anymore. He wouldn’t have to worry about anything anymore.

Already, he could see trick-or-treaters outside on the sidewalk, ghosts, vampires, pumpkins, pretending to be monsters only for tonight. Wrong neighborhood, kids, he wanted to say. The houses here were rundown and bare of decorations. Not many would have candy to spare.

The other students in the share house had wanted to put up some pumpkins, at least, and Luodeng had been tasked with finding some fake spider webs or other seasonal decor from the attic. Luodeng’s family didn’t celebrate Halloween, but seeing as he was on his own, and the others didn’t pay attention to him, he went.

He hadn’t been up in the attic before, because he had never had the time nor felt the need to explore, but as he climbed up the creaky old wooden steps, he started to wonder what he would find. Hidden treasure, maybe? But he had laughed at himself. This wasn’t a fairy tale. He was just a broke college student who needed more sleep.

As he pushed open the splintery trapdoor, he was immediately showered with dust, and he coughed heavily. There had better not be any spiders up here…

But after an hour of sifting through all the junk that was up there, he only found spiders and no Halloween decorations. Absolute waste of an afternoon. He could have been studying for midterms instead of messing around.

But there was one thing…one thing which caught his eye.

Had it been because it was Halloween related? Or had it been the golden edges on it that were probably made of real gold? Either way, Luodeng picked it up, and examined it carefully.

He couldn’t tell just exactly what it was supposed to be; was it a mirror? But only a small portion of it had a mirror on it, and it was barely enough to reflect someone’s face; when he held it up he could only see one of his fatigued eyes. There was a ribbon tied to one end, so perhaps it was an ornament of some sorts? A Christmas ornament? But no, it was too large to hang upon a Christmas tree…

But turning it over, he found a poem inscribed on the back. Perhaps this would give some clue as to what this was…

On All Hallows’ Eve when the sun dies,

Only with blood will you open your eyes,

Bring all your wishes, desires, and more,

Only then will this new life be mine.