When she came to a sudden halt in aisle three at Spooktacular Sam’s, Heidi LaRue spilled her large pumpkin latte all over her sheepskin boots. Where her boots stopped lay the body of Bartholomew Fink. The poor, dead man was curled around a decorative pumpkin-themed yard sign impaled through his chest. Heidi didn’t scream. Or maybe she did. She honestly couldn’t tell because Ghouls and Guise: The Spooktacular Sam’s Store Soundtrack was blasting over the loudspeakers.
She dialed 9-1-1. “Oh God, oh God, oh God.”
Heidi had come in fifteen minutes early for her afternoon shift at the discount Halloween store. Spooktacular Sam’s popped up in towns across the Midwest from August 15 to November 2, and everyone she knew grabbed a second shift. After five years as an associate, Heidi was now the assistant manager which came with a pay raise. She was saving the extra cash to put toward her wedding to Officer Christopher Larson—if they could decide on a date. Her future in-laws scared her more than the Halloween decorations at Spooktacular Sam’s. They invited themselves over for dinner again last night to badger Heidi about selecting a date to host the wedding. As the owners of Larson Farms, Wheatland’s premier wedding venue, her future in-laws offered to reserve the space for half price. This led Heidi to a tense argument with Christopher about family boundaries.