It was October Thirty First, and the annual Haunted Mansion Halloween Party was going great. I was floating around, saying hello to friends old and new. I was a little anxious, as I always was in those types of social situations, but so far I had been able to keep it together. Moving through the crowd, I caught the eye of our DJ (and my personal friend,) Rick Astley. He smiled and waved at me, and I waved back. I was glad he agreed to do this, but I wished he would accept some sort of payment.
"Ricky, Come on, I gotta give you SOMETHING."
But Rick wouldn't hear of it. "Lu, we've been friends for years, I'm not gonna charge you for this sort of thing."
Even when I insisted, he still wouldn't budge. I eventually gave in, of course, but I still felt pretty guilty.
I snapped back to reality as the door to the mansion opened. I tried to see who it was, but they were too short to get a good look at through the other partygoers. I could see heads turn and smile at the newcomer, everyone greeting them with friendly hellos. Whoever they were, they seemed to be popular. It couldn't be Mario, I had seen him go upstairs with that Stanley guy. Sonic maybe? It's possible, but unlikely. I would have heard him enter. Last year he smashed the door clean off.
Curiosity piqued, I floated through the crowd and tried to get a better look. After about half a minute of maneuvering, I finally got a clear line of sight on the newcomer. He was a skeleton in a plain white shirt and a cornflower blue hoodie. His boney legs were covered by black athletic shorts, and he had pink slippers that looked like they hadn't seen a lot of action. All in all, he looked like he had rolled out of bed and grabbed the first thing available. He turned in my direction, and I could see he had Groucho Glasses stuck to his face with tape. We caught each other's eyes and I looked away, not wanting to look like I was staring. But when I turned my head, I found him standing directly in front of me.
"heya." He said, like apparent teleportation was perfectly normal. I looked back at where he was just a moment before, and sure enough, no skeleton. I looked back at him, lost for words. One of the eyebrows on his Groucho Glasses arked a little. Wait wha- "what's the matter?" he said. "never seen a skeleton with a nose and facial hair before?"
I nervously laughed, not wanting to show how honestly freaked out this whole situation made me feel. "Di-Did you just teleport?"
The points of light in the skeleton's eye sockets sparkled. "teleport? nah, i just took a shortcut."
I didn't really know how to respond to that, so I just stayed quiet. Luckily, he kept talking.
"i'm sans. sans the skeleton. i would shake your hand, but i have the feeling that it wouldn't really connect."
I laughed a little and hurriedly introduced myself. "I'm Luigi. Luigi the um... the ghost."
Sans looked me up and down. "luigi, eh? yeah, i think i've heard of you. my bro thinks you're really cool."
"R-really?" I said, surprised. "Not my brother?"
"nah" he responded. "says you're underappreciated."
"Oh. Well, uh... Tell him thanks."
"yeah, no prob. so you uh... organized this spooky little shindig?"
"Heh... Uh... Yeah, this is my place."
"yeah? all yours? how much of it do you even use?"
We kept talking for a while. People would say hi to Sans as they passed him. I knew enough of them that I was starting to wonder how I hadn't met sans before now.
"So many people seem to know you. I'm surprised we haven't met already."
"i haven't been around too long, and from what you've told me you don't get out a lot do ya?"
I got a little flustered at that. It was true, I didn't get out much. I only really ever went out when Mario something, and I wasn't of much use to him as a ghost.
"W-well..." I started, but Sans cut me off.
"hey, it's alright but. i don't either."
We both laughed a little. The conversation was starting to feel a little more comfortable.
After a while, the party started to wind down. Sans pulled out his phone and checked the time.
"ah, sorry, i gotta go."
"Oh, uh.. No worries. I'll see you again soon?"
"yeah, definitely. gimme a ring if you wanna meet up." He turned away, walking over to the front door. "see ya, polterguy."
I floated there for a few seconds as I watched the door close behind him. Sighing, I turned away to find Rick approaching me.
"Hey, Lu," he said, smiling.
My nerves immediately relaxed. Here was someone I actually knew how to talk to. Someone I didn't have to figure out. Someone safe.
"Hey, Rick. Are you taking off too?"
"Yeah, I am," he said, gesturing to the people wheeling his equipment out of the building.
"Sorry we didn't get the chance to hang out tonight," I said, rubbing the back of my neck "and thanks again."
"Hey, anytime." He smiled, pulling on his coat. "And don't worry about not getting to hang out. Make it up to me with lunch tomorrow?"
"Sure," I replied. It would probably be good for me to get out of the house. "usual place?"
"Sounds like a plan." Rick said, smiling.
Rick left, and it wasn't long after that the house was empty aside from me. I floated up to the master bedroom. I don't sleep anymore, but it was still a comforting space to be in. I sat, by which I mean I hovered, on the edge of the bed and contemplated the events of the last few hours. I pulled out my phone to text Rick about lunch plans, when I noticed something weird:
A new number in my contact.
I smiled a little.
It was sans's.
I couldn't figure him out. Still can't, really. But the memories we'd make after that night would make up for it.
They'd make up for it a thousand times over.