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“It’s a Spooky Month!”

The front door was already slammed against the wall before Skid had burst through, joining his best friend beneath the rays of the fair weather. The sun, combined with the bulky structure of the cumulus clouds huddled in the sky provided the air with a fair warmth, a cool breeze occasionally whipping against the excited pair’s costumes as they bobbed on the sidewalk. A short of laughter rippled through them as they crouched, their signature dance following them momentarily before they stopped.

Adventure awaited, such was proven by each daily adventure they would wrap themselves up in. And with today’s pleasant weather in between warm and cool, they were anticipating when the spooky atmosphere revealed itself little by little. And yet the dawn of their next spooky day of the month awaited their arrival, as it was not going to be complete without them experiencing what was prepared for them.

“Want some ice cream?” Skid prompted, and the reply of Pump was an exhilarated yes as they dashed down the street. It was only a matter of seconds before a familiar white ice cream truck pulled up next to them and they were standing still, the windows pulling down, and Frank popping out from behind.

“Hey, kids,” he began, resting an elbow through the van’s frame. “Want some ice cream?”

“Yes, please! Because it is a Spooky Month!” Pump exclaimed, his arms spread widely around him.

“So it is!” Frank chuckled, recreating their dance before bending back into the truck. He was quick to offer them their respective orange popsicle and bone-pale cone afterwards, Pump audibly voicing his gratitude with a cheerful thank you.

Skid’s head tilted slightly as he browsed through the peculiar banner hanging over the van, painted pink with hearts, roses, and colorful swirls of unfamiliar ice cream flavors. Beside those were clipart images of an older man with a pair of little kids. “Fathers’ Day sale?” he read the banner aloud, causing his partner and the seller to glance over towards him.

Pump browsed over the poster as well. “Oh yeah! I guess it’s a two-in-one celebration today then, could you believe that?” he hollered in realization, elbowing Skid as he continued devouring his popsicle. “Maybe we should try getting one of the specials afterwards! They look really delicious!”

“I’d love to try one!” Skid agreed eagerly, biting into the top of his lookalike, frozen treat. “Can we get one of those, Sir?”

Frank laughed, appeased by their constant enthusiasm. “Yes, of course you may. But I’m afraid all the others bought the individual popsicles and cones. We still have the full-flavored for-the-family buckets though, if you want to celebrate with your own families.”

“Ooh! I could get one of those!” Pump responded, waving a hand. “I have my whole family waiting at home, and I’m sure they’d love me to bring back some spooky souvenir from today’s spooky trip!”

“Won’t it melt before you get home?” Skid pointed out analytically.

Pump faltered, deflating. “Oh, you’re right. I’ll have to get it later then.” He finished his popsicle, the sticks somehow also vanishing before he whimpered out. “But they might run out of that later too! I won’t be able to give them anything if I don’t get something right now!” He pouted, the older of the pair tapping his chin thoughtfully before snapping his fingers.

“Aha! We can leave it at my house and come back for it later!” Skid suggested, shrugging one shoulder and clamping his best friend at the back with a hand. “I’m sure Mom won’t mind letting us leave it in the fridge for a bit!”

Pump lit up again. “Hey, that’s a good idea!” They turned towards Frank. “Sir! We’ll get a bucket please! Maybe the strawberry-chocolate one with all that swirling stuff!” He circled the air with a gloved finger indicatively.

“Right here, kids,” Frank said, offering them the preprepared pinkish bucket with all its cool-to-the-touch glory. Its bottom steamed from its shivering temperature, and the image on its cover only made the boys want to open it already and eat the whole thing for themselves. “Looks really good, doesn’t it?” Frank huffed at their drooling expressions. “Hmm…Won’t you boys need another one? I reckon your parents might want to try it too.” He was beckoning to Skid.

Skid shook his head respectfully with a bright smile. “No, Sir, it’s alright! I don’t think Mom would really like to, uh, err…Ah! But can I get anything small to take back for her as well? Even if it isn’t Fathers’ Day related?”

Frank lifted an eyebrow but didn’t ask for anything further. He grabbed a small container of cookies-and-cream ice cream and handed it over to the skeleton-costumed boy. “Here, a freebie for Lila. Hope you all enjoy your Spooky Month-Fathers’ Day hybrid!”

“Thank you, Sir!” The two boys waved at him as the truck drove off again, only being stopped a few wheel rotations later when a family of seven requested their own orders of ice cream. They were yet to learn that Frank was not as easily persuaded by outsiders, and would treat their cocky or coy attitudes with a cool disguise overlaying poison.

With a tug on Pump’s shoulder, Skid chirped, “Let’s go to my house!”


“Mom! We’re leaving ice cream in the fridge!” Skid called out as the door was opened, this time with more gentleness.

Lila raised her head from her drafting table, wordlessly acknowledging the two boys as they skipped through the house on the way to the kitchen. With a small hum, she pushed back her chair and went up to follow them, leaning against the wall as she watched them open the fridge’s freezer and slip one bucket and a smaller container into the apartment.

Skid had to climb on top of Pump for them to be at the proper height, but there was no hint of bother on any of their expressions as they did the task. This was all natural to them at this point—friendship did this to them (and the outcome of being invited into a brief history of rap battling using one microphone).

“Yours is the smaller one, and the bigger one is for Pump and his family,” Skid informed as he backed the containers into the freezer, shutting its respective door. “I think it’s important you know if you get hungry and decide to eat some. You might eat the wrong one, Mom! Better safe than sorry, even on a Spooky Month!”

Laughing, Lila rolled her eyes, crossed her arms. “Yeah, if I wasn’t careful. What’s so special about this specific Spooky Month, huh, Skid?”

“Oh, it’s—” He got off Pump, and as a unit they both shut the fridge door. “You know, Mom, it’s Fathers’ Day today, and Pump got this ice cream bucket so he could celebrate it with his family later.” He still said it with his normal grin, but the fact that his arms only fell to his sides offered a probable alternative, Pump thought slightly.

Exhaling, Lila took one peep at the calendar leaning against the wall before she lazily looked back at them. “And so it is Fathers’ Day,” she mused, then let herself chuckle into a soft smile aimed at them. “Well, then I guess it’s two times the celebration!” she said, tone upbeat. “I hope you kids have fun! If you excuse me for now, I’ve got some work I need to finish. Stay safe, you two!” She spun around, her limp locks of purple hair swaying as she walked back to her desk.

Pump raised an inquisitive finger. “Uh, Skid, is th—?”

Skid immediately grabbed Pump’s wrist, the action cutting off his sentence. “Let’s go to the mall!” Skid proposed gladly, and Pump left his thought behind, absentmindedly agreeing.


With the celebration of Fathers’ Day bellowing through their small town, it was no surprise to see the presentation of the mall. The main square was loaded with throngs of bodies, different people composed of children and their parents flooding through stores, lining up at restaurants, and taking pictures at the center. From balconies, decorations and banners were sprawled, chains of gold and pink fluttering down from the wide skylight occupying the ceiling. Music blasted through speakers, bops that resulted in bobbing heads and tapping feet, plus a chance for Skid and Pump to redo their Spooky Dance with it.

“Wow!” they blurted out. “A Spooky Month combined with Fathers’ Day is so cool!” Skid said. “They went all out this year!”

“And look!” Pump pointed, and on the center stage they could see the familiar faces of the infamous Dearest family, singing in harmony as their daughter bopped to the beat, her boyfriend gathered in the surrounding crowd with a tall, large red man next to him. They didn’t need to be facing Skid and Pump’s direction for identification—the boyfriend’s iconic red cap and cyan hair was telling enough.

“Oh, they sound fantastic!” Skid yelled over the noise, he and Pump dancing for a bit before he continued, “Let’s go over and say hi!”

They made their way through the crowds, the less compacted areas deemed much easier to surpass. But approaching the stage, people were more thrusted together, their chaotic movements only causing more difficulty for the two short kids as they tried to make their way to the stage. Thick arms and large bodies knocked the two backwards, sometimes squeezing them and getting their lungs coughing from impacts. It didn’t help trying to converse politely either, as the numerous strangers only dismissed them to continue watching, others with blinding cameras whose flashes sent surprising explosions of white across the kids’ eyes.

They tried stacking Skid on top of Pump again at one point, but the rough movements of the crowd was easy to sway their balance. Pump’s inability to see and his position by everyone’s legs only toppled them more, resulting in landings on the floor that would’ve made Lila ground them (at least Skid) for the horribly foul idea. 

“It’s no good—there are too many people here,” Pump huffed, rearranging his askew pumpkin-shaped headdress as he stepped back from the busy bodies. “Maybe we should come back when the song’s done.” There was a beep from his pocket.

Skid was still in the middle of squeezing past a large man with glasses, but gave in with a stubborn exhale. His foul mood was immediate to shift as he started scanning the mall for other options. “Maybe going to the toy store would be better for now? Or try to get a new video game? Or the DVD shop too! Or we could just wait here for the song to be done so we could say hi, but that’s a bit boring.” He focused on coming up with better suggestions, backing up against a post.

Maybe they could just wait—singing definitely takes a lot of energy, and if they were lucky, the family could be done soon. But there were too many enjoyable things they could be doing to pass the time, so there was no point in just sitting there to wait! It was a Spooky Month-Fathers’ Day hybrid, as Frank called it! They shouldn’t be tired from things they couldn’t do, but tired after all the activities they could!

These activities…They were just slow to come at that moment.

There was a moment of silence, and noticing this Skid turned towards Pump, registering that uncharacteristic lack of response. “Pump?”

“Huh? Oh! Sorry, I just got a text from Susie,” Pump apologized; he was doing that weird blue-eyed thing, but Skid decided to let that observation slide again. “She’s asking when I could come home to celebrate Fathers’ Day with them.” A message beep. “Oh, and a Spooky Month, she added.” He perked up. “Wait! How about you join us? It can help pass the time while the song’s not done yet!”

A rush of excitement returned. “Yeah! I’d be thrilled to come!” Skid concurred, pleased with the idea more than his original choices. “Can we go now?”

“Hah-hah! I’m asking her!” Pump hollered, his thumbs tapping against the screen of his orange-cased phone. As they quietly waited for a reply, they checked the stage again, the ending of a song drawing closer, but so did the process to begin another. A chime rang from Pump’s phone, and he glanced down at his sister’s message, reading through it. “Ooh…”

“Ooh? Like, Oo ga-booga?” Skid guessed, trying to sneak a peek at the phone screen.

But Pump was quick to swipe the message off before Skid could see anything. “That’s funny, heh…Doesn’t seem like the best time to,” Pump admitted with an uncertain chuckle. “Although I’m sure she might like to have you over, I’m not too sure on the…timing.” He contemplated if the word was acceptable enough, a good substitute for the true sentence behind the euphemism.

Skid’s face fell from partial disappointment. “Timing? What do you mean?”

“Ehh, dunno, but anyway.” He pocketed his phone, then gave Skid a reassuring smile. “How about while waiting, we go to the toy store, like you said? Or the DVD store? I think they released a lot of new spooky movies last month, but we got busy because school gave us tests and homework.” He stuck out his tongue in disgust. “Math sucks.”

Skid nodded eagerly, the former situation seemingly having melted away. “Alright! DVD store it is then!” Skid echoed, and the two of them left the main square of the mall.

Inside the DVD store, there were relatively fewer people, but if there were any crowds, they were lining the gaming isles. Skid and Pump limited themselves for now with movies, discovering a handful of intriguing new titles with interesting plots. With the budget they were sharing, they were upset that they couldn’t buy all their findings but could only get about three, at best. After a few conversations and considerations, they had decided on their top three and left the other twelve back at the shelves.

They approached the cashier cheerily, pleased with minimal lines opposite to those at the main square. Skid was the one who placed the three sets on the counter as the bored man picked them up, scanned the barcodes, and studied them briefly.

“Aren’t you too young to be watching these?” he lamely asked, his bored voice almost seeping energy out of the boys. A reminiscent moment, one easily dealt with before.

“We’re old enough!” Skid promised, hands planted proudly on his waist. “And we did our math! We have enough for all of them…! Right, Pump?” he safely inquired, but Pump was too busy checking his phone again to notice.

The cashier merely blinked, sighed, then slid the movies into the readied white shopping bags. He wordlessly took the money from Skid and let his cashier plan the change before handing it to Skid and slipping the receipt into the bag. “Happy Fathers’ Day, kids,” he monotonously greeted, making the occasion sound more hollow than merry.

“Thanks, Sir!” Skid replied, saluting happily. “And have a pleasant Spooky Month as well!” The man raised a brow, but Skid was already alerting Pump of their successful purchases before they left the store. Only when they were out did they notice that the Dearest Family were no longer on the stage, instead the music having preprepared tracks playing on loop. Yet Skid focused more on Pump than that as the younger pocketed his phone again, the two pausing outside the DVD store. “Is something wrong?” Skid prompted, slightly hiding his worry.

“Sis wants me back home,” Pump confessed, a little ashamed about sharing that. “Says that I shouldn’t stay much longer so I can celebrate the occasion with Dad.”

“Okay…” Skid said in understanding, voice saddening. “If you need to go, it’s okay! We can celebrate more of this Spooky Month and even Fathers’ Day tomorrow! Or later today if you finish early!”

“Yeah, we really should! I don’t want to miss even one day of playing with you during a month like this!” Pump said, hands animatedly fisted. “For the meantime, celebrate with your mother or with our other friends if you want to.”

“Uh-huh!” Skid faced towards the stage. “Anyone would be fine, really.”

He meant that, since Skid was the type of kid who would treat anyone as a friend, as long as this anyone didn’t come out from behind mysterious doors in haunted mansions to taunt him or his best friend. Pump was also aware of this, a little more aware in all honesty, and it made him wonder if there was a specific “anyone” Skid might have had in mind when he said that. 

Because given circumstances, Pump had a person in mind. But letting it slide, he just said, “I’ll tell you more about Dad’s party later, okay? Also I’ll have to get the ice cream from your house.”

“Oh yeah! Alright, no problem with that!” Skid hollered, flashing a thumbs up.

And with that, the two exchanged one last Spooky Dance before Pump ran ahead towards the mall exit.


Luckily for Skid, he was able to find the opportunity to interact with Boyfriend and Girlfriend when they were separated from their parents, but the exchanges were brief. As expected from them, they were at the mall to celebrate Fathers’ Day (more than this Spooky Month, quite frankly) with their dads, but with Daddy Dearest and Mommy Mearest having high celebrity statuses, the right amount of bonding time was limited. The couple were only able to come together that moment due to parental conversations, which Skid claimed was the best timing for his interaction.

Naturally, they also asked where Pump was, and it was easy to tell them that he had gone back home to celebrate Fathers’ Day with his family. And when asking what Skid was doing in the mall without any other company, he broke out the infamous Spooky Month phrase. Though Skid saw the surprise on both Boyfriend and Girlfriend’s expressions, they congratulated Skid for another successful day from this Spooky Month, reiterating the two-in-one adjective again, as Skid had been hearing throughout the day.

Upon separation, Skid was back to zero, pacing through the floors of the mall, wondering what he could do next. There was a difference between celebrating a Spooky Month with Pump, and there was also a difference in celebrating two special occasions within the same day. And yet as he thought earlier, the flow of activity came slow, and with so many other people celebrating too, resources were first-come, first-serve.

He did manage to view a bunch of familiar faces as he went through the mall, such as the threesome group of Roy, Ross, and Robert, but even they were separated, spending more time with their respective families. Even Roy, who would normally strike at either bright or dull moments, hadn’t even noticed that Skid was there, with his family being the source of his focus’s direction.

For all encounters however, he did slide up to them with a warm greeting of “Happy Fathers’ Day-Spooky Month hybrid!”, and often he’d be welcomed with a few returning Spooky Dances from fathers, sons, and daughters alike, even mannequins at shop windows and mimers paid to grab attention. Perhaps it was charm, friendliness, and an interpersonal personality that made Skid as well-known as he could be, but without Pump it wasn’t the same. Or maybe, as Skid would prefer, everyone truly did love a Spooky Month the same way he and Pump did.

Oh, and Fathers’ Day, of course.

Dang, even a two-in-one wasn’t the same as a regular Spooky Month.

But he was happy for everyone who was given the chance to celebrate both, doing the Spooky Dance with their fathers, before presumably planning to end their days watching a horror movie at home with the whole family. How wholesome was that sight to imagine! Even for Pump, Skid could see it happening, thus why he wasn’t sure anymore if he were going to get the opportunity to still play with Pump before the day officially ended. It was a saddening thought, but it was a worthy sacrifice. At least Pump enjoyed both halves of the day.

And there was always tomorrow too! Skid wondered how much longer until tomorrow came.

“Hey, loser.”

Skid jumped at the voice, and was even more surprised when he finally saw Roy standing behind him, his knuckles pressed casually to his waist. A smug smirk lit his face into a menacing state, and Skid was about to comment on how Roy would make an excellent Spooky Month mascot under this specific lighting before Roy said, “He never came back with the milk, did he?”

The sentence only made Skid’s mind blank, and he had to process the idiom for a few seconds until he decided it probably wasn’t one. “I like milk!” he chided, raising the DVD bag wholeheartedly. “Are you suggesting what I think you’re suggesting? I should buy some milk for home! I’d love extras for my morning cereal!”

Roy’s face tightened, forehead wrinkling in unhidden frustration. “I’m not talking about literal milk, you idiot. I’m referring to your dad. Heh, never there for you and your mother, is he? Must be sad celebrating your silly Fathers’ Day-Spooky Month hybrid when you have no one else to celebrate it with. Even your best friend couldn’t celebrate your favorite occasion with you because he has someone you don’t.” He started to snicker, then it burst into cackling, shoulders shuddering from his own joke, breath hitching.

Skid didn’t tense up, remaining standing there with a curious, unfazed look in his eyes. “Wait, I don’t get it,” he admitted.

Roy stopped laughing. “Huh?”

“I know Dad isn’t here, but I’m not really sad,” Skid claimed, grinning innocently up at Roy. “Because it’s a Spooky Month too! And that’s what matters to me. Even if there are two celebrations today, doesn’t mean I need to give them both equal attention, right? More on the one I could give attention to because it suits me better?”

Roy’s amusement dipped, and a frown began creasing his face again. “Excu—what? What the hell are you talking about, you weirdo?”

“Hmm…” Skid forced his small mind to come up with a good comparison, shutting his eyes as he rubbed his temples. When something slowly started to come to him, he spoke slowly. “I guess it’s like when two people share the same birthday, but don’t know each other. Sometimes you just don’t go all out on celebrating the birthday of the person you don’t know, but focus on the one you do know. But even if you barely know them, you’re still as supportive as can be anyway? Maybe greeting them on social media, like Susie might do to her a...ac...What’s the word?” 

(Acquaintances). 

“Er, something like that? I’m trying my best here!” He gave Roy a wide, toothy grin, giving up on finding the word. 

Roy’s throat bobbed, words caught there from his disbelief.

“Anyway, I’ll have to go! I must buy some milk before I get back home! Maybe stop for some candy on the way, then I’ll be spending this Spooky Month with Mom. I know now if there’s someone I can spend the day with, it’s her.” He started off again, waving at the taller male. “Bye, Roy! Happy Fathers’ Day this Spooky Month! We’ll be seeing each other again soon!”

Leaving Roy where he still stood dumbfounded, Skid happily threaded towards the grocery store’s direction, planning on getting the milk that “his father never came back with,” or something along those lines, as Roy had put it.


When Skid returned back home, he didn’t only have three new DVDs and a bag heavy with milk cartons, but candies in his pocket and a lollipop in his mouth. He gave an energetic cry of “I’m home!” to alert Lila of his return, but he didn’t wait for a reply as he let himself inside the house, racing through the place to toss the DVDs on the couch and lay the milk cartons on the kitchen table. 

Lila came towards him after a bit as he was in the midst of arranging the cartons, his mother startling a little at the sight. “That’s a lot of milk,” she commented.

“Yeah, Roy gave me the idea to get some extras,” Skid answered. As he turned towards her, he was immediately able to tell she looked a little tired, ragged, as if work had been a stress and a headache throughout the day. Messy hair, pale skin, bags under her eyes, it was shameful that while everyone else was celebrating, she was here having to work herself rotten just for the success of herself and her son. “Hey, Mom, have you eaten your ice cream?” Skid asked, hopeful for a reassuring sign from her.

“Oh, no I haven’t.” Lila gave him a tired smile. “Sorry, it slipped my mind. I’ll eat it later.”

“No, I think now’s a great time to eat it!” Skid recommended, opening up the fridge again. But without Pump there to hoist him up from the ground, the difficulty made itself known to him, and he gave his mother a bashful titter. Her smile grew—though still tired, it was better than when he first saw her. She opened up the freezer and pulled the ice cream out, handing it to Skid before she shut the door.

“By the way, Pump managed to get back his bucket earlier today,” Lila informed him. Aw, even her voice sounded tired. Skid really hoped she hadn’t tired herself up this much on a two-occasioned day.

“That’s great!” Skid said as he reached towards her, letting her take the ice cream from him. “You should eat that now! Then I can prepare one of the movies me and Pump got so we could watch it together! Come on, Mom!” He was already dashing towards the living room, and though Lila was about to open her mouth to protest, she sighed.

It didn’t take long to place the movie in the player, nor did it take too long to prepare snacks and two glasses of milk. Forced to succumb to her son’s invite, Lila had decided to pause from hours-long constants of her work to relax for a little, just as Skid wanted. And settling beside him on the couch as he pressed the remote, she felt the instant embrace of relaxation as the movie began.

The specific gory imagery was nothing new to the eyes of Skid and Lila, but they enjoyed the movie with what it was. A nice cast of characters, pleasing both in appearance and personality, that added to the flavor of the movie’s main plot. Vampires and demons, with a healthy amount of appropriate enough scenes that Lila permitted, allowed it to be better enjoyed by the pair as it went on. 

Maybe it was true on Roy’s part that Skid felt a little sad about not having Pump here to watch with them, but he promised himself of a next time. At least then, there would be intense dramatic irony when Pump encounters scenes that Skid already knew, heartbreak over characters Skid knew were going to die.

But the joy all came back to the movie as a whole—at least the next time they saw each other, Skid knew that there was at least one of the three purchases that promised Pump’s approval. And one of the best qualities of what made a Spooky Month so great was being able to celebrate it with all its spooky fun and deathly glory. He vouched for that fact.

And he couldn’t wait for that to come through tomorrow.

“Skid, if I may ask,” Lila started, picking up her glass, “why milk? We have enough milk for at least three months now.”

“Ah! It’s related to something Roy said to me, Mom,” Skid revealed, unwrapping a piece of candy before tossing it into his mouth. How much he loved the candy from Kevin’s store. “It’s related to Fathers’ Day, about how ‘he never came back with milk,’ or something like that. It made me think of milk, so I got some.”

Lila didn’t respond to that, only slumping and sinking into the couch further. “I see. Did he…Did he say anything else after that?”

Skid pursed his lips. “A few more things, yeah. But I don’t think anything was wrong with any of them. I just told him that as long as I’m celebrating a Spooky Month as well, then there’s nothing to be sad about, even when we aren’t celebrating Fathers’ Day the same way everyone else is. Because a Spooky Month makes me happy enough!” He glanced at his mother expectantly. “Right?” he squeaked, eager for confirmation.

Unreadable, Lila turned her attention back to the movie, back plopped comfortably against the backrest. “Yeah, I guess so. As long as you have nothing ruining your day, then celebrate however you want to.” She winked at him. “Better for you, it’s another Spooky Month, a twin month if I might say. So enjoy that. Don’t let what isn’t here ruin your fun.”

“Yeah!” Skid exclaimed determinedly, eyes sparkling. Then he settled down again, his posture outlining a bittersweet aura. “But really, I’m very glad Pump and everyone else are celebrating happily with their dads. Seeing them like that makes this spooky day ten times better, and a Spooky Month is all about the spooky things and the fun.” He gulped down some of his milk, rubbing the spot above his upper lip before he set the empty glass on the table. “So this is nice. Even if it’s just you and me, right, Mom?”

Lila hummed a shallow laugh, placing her hand on top of her son’s head and rubbing it tenderly. “Yeah. Right, Skid.”

They continued the movie, more moving images flashing until the ending scene eventually arrived, and the names of the production team came crossing through the screen.

Knock-knock-knock!

“Huh?” They paused the movie, Lila getting up from the couch with Skid at her heels as she approached the door. “Who is it?” she called out, placing a hand on the knob, waiting for the answer.

“It’s Pump! Hi, Skid!” The enthusiastic reply came, and a wide smile broke into Skid’s face.

“Pump!” Skid was the one who opened the door wide open, even more jovial to see Pump standing there at the front porch, waving without an ounce of fatigue. “You here to celebrate the rest of this spooky day?” Skid asked, then peered over Pump’s shoulder to see a wrinkled man in a wheelchair. “Wait, you brought your grandpa over?” Skid voiced out in alarm, Lila’s mouth shaping into a small O out of recognition.

“Yup!” Pump said, siding with his grandfather and holding onto the handles of the chair. “Because my parents felt bad that you couldn’t celebrate Fathers’ Day the same way, and since Grandpa wanted to take a stroll outside the house, we all decided that Grandpa and I would come over here! Because like Lila can be a mom to me, my parents are also second parents for you, right? So we wanted to make this occasion better-known for you.”

“Seriously? That’s so sweet!” Skid laughed as he pulled his best friend in a thankful hug, Pump laughing in satisfaction. “I owe you one for this, bud!”

Pump continued to laugh. “Nah-nah! Don’t mention it!” As they pulled away from each other, he said, “So! Can we watch one of those three movies? I’ve been really looking forward to seeing one of them before the day ends!” He gestured above them, where the previously blue sky with its thick clouds had become a dark sky with a full moon, black clouds drifting ever so slightly, hiding any twinkling signs. Perfect for a Spooky Month movie night. 

“Absolutely!” Skid already knew which movie—hopefully, Lila didn’t mind a replay of the film they had just literally reached the credits of. “After all, it isn’t Spooky Month without a scary movie—” he gestured towards Pump’s grandfather “—nor Fathers’ Day without a father.”

“Two in one!” Pump cheered. “A Fathers’ Day-Spooky Month hybrid?”

“A Fathers’ Day-Spooky Month hybrid?” Pump’s grandfather gasped, then began darting his arms in his chair—a form of the Spooky Dance without having to get up from his seat and break his ribs like last time’s jinxed situation.

“Yeah!” Skid and Pump followed suit.

And Lila watched at the doorway, genuinely smiling at the sight before her. “Well, what are we waiting for? Come on in, everyone. We have candies and milk.”