Today, I have a guest author, Celesta Thiessen. Celesta writes a variety of fantasy and science fiction for various age groups. She’s written a Halloween story for us from her popular children’s series, Nightcat.
Halloween at Kitty Castle
“Halloween’s coming up soon,” said Princess Keziah. She was eight years old and one of the triplets of Kitty Castle. Kitty Castle was a very old castle at the heart of Kitty Kingdom.
Keziah, her two sisters, her two brothers, and her parents were eating supper around a large wooden table in their beautiful dining room. It was nice being all together again. Their parents had just recently returned from a long quest to find a way to defeat the dragons.
“I’ve been meaning to talk to you about Halloween,” said her mother. The queen looked at her children sadly. “There’s only enough candy left for each of you to have one piece.”
“The dragons burned up all the sugar beet crops. So there is no sugar in the entire kingdom. Candy can’t be made without sugar. Halloween will have to be cancelled this year,” said her father, the king.
“Oh, no!” said Princess Celesta. “Not cancelled! Halloween’s my favorites holiday!”
“There’s nothing else to do,” said her mother. “You can’t have Halloween without candy.”
“We could give out cat treats,” suggested David. Everyone around the table laughed. “What’s so funny? All the cats would love to go trick-or-treating with their owners.” David was the youngest of the children. He was only five years old.
The princesses giggled again. “But I wanted to go trick-or-treating, riding on Charcoal,” said Keziah, “and I already decided what I’m going to be. A princess!” Everyone laughed.
“I made my costume already,” said Priscilla. “I’m going to be a cat. We can’t just cancel Halloween!”
Richard leaned over and whispered to his brother and sisters, “Don’t worry. We’ll think of something.” Richard was their older brother. He was eleven.
At the end of the meal, the queen gave each of the children a different treat. “This is all the candy that’s left in the whole kingdom. Try to enjoy it, children. You deserve to have it after the good work you did, saving the kingdom from the dragons.”
“I get a mini candy cane?” asked David. “Seriously? That’s not a Halloween treat!”
“I’ll eat it if you don’t want it,” said Richard.
“Oh, that’s ok. I’m not complaining. I like candy canes!” David grabbed his candy as Richard reached for it.
Later that evening, the children went out to look at their garden in the courtyard. Nightcat joined them, after eating his supper in the kitchen with the other cats. Nightcat was a good, magical creature. He looked like a giant silver cat with huge wings. Nightcat was as big as a tiger!
“Isn’t it weird how, even though it’s late fall, almost winter, the plants in our garden are still green and still produce producing fruit and vegetables?” said Celesta.
“It must be the magic water that’s under Kitty Castle,” said Keziah.
“I wonder if anything would grow in this garden since it’s…well…magical!” said David.
“What are you saying?” asked Keziah.
“I said, ‘I wonder if anything would grow in this garden?” said David.
“I mean, what do you mean!” said Keziah.
“Oh, I was just wondering…what if I plant my candy cane in the garden? Do you think a candy cane tree would grow? Because, then, we could still have Halloween.”
“I think it would!” said Keziah. “I’m going to plant my candy too!”
“That won’t work!” said Richard. “Don’t waste your candy by burying it in the dirt! There’s no such thing as a candy tree!”
“Nightcat, will candy plants grow if we plant our candies?” asked Priscilla.
“I’m not a garden expert,” said Nightcat. “I don’t know.”
“I want everyone to have candy, not just me,” said David.
“But what if it doesn’t work?” said Priscilla. “Then no one will get candy…and I really like candy.”
“Maybe it’s worth the risk,” said Celesta. “It would be sorta selfish for us to eat candy when no one else can have any.”
“And, if it does work, we can have lots of candy instead of just one!” said David. The other children laughed.
Keziah dug in the dirt with her hand and dropped her pink bubble gum into the hole. Then she buried it. “There. Now by morning, we’ll have a pink bubble gum tree that makes bubble fruits!”
“Are you sure about this?” asked Priscilla.
“We have to try,” said Keziah.
“I agree,” said Celesta. “I’m going to plant my candy too.”
David kicked a hole in the dirt with his shoe. Then he dropped his candy cane in and kicked a small mound of mud over top of it. “I sure hope it grows lots of candy canes and mint leaves too!”
“I love chocolate. I really hope this works!” Celesta planted her small chocolate in a bare patch in the garden.
“Ok, I’m going to do it too,” said Priscilla. She made a hole with her hand and dropped her small piece of red licorice into the dirt. Then she covered it with the loose soil. “There. I did it.”
“You’re right, Celesta,” said Richard. “I don’t want to be selfish. We should try to get more candy so we can share with everyone. Even if it doesn’t work, at least we will have tried.” Richard planted his purple lollipop. “I guess we’ll see what happens when we wake up in the morning.”
Early the next morning, David’s voice rang though the castle. “Let’s go check our garden!”
Keziah leapt out of her room. “I’m right behind you!”
The children hurried out of their rooms and down the stairs. They opened the heavy door to the courtyard.
“I see some new plants have grown!” cried Priscilla. The children rushed over to the garden.
“But there’s no candy on these new plants!” cried David.
“Oh, no!” said Celesta.
“I was right,” said Richard. “There’s no such thing as a candy tree.”
“Now Halloween will have to be cancelled after all,” said Priscilla. The children looked sadly at the garden.
“But we could still dress up,” said Keziah.
“Good idea!” said Celesta. “We could still have fun. We could have a dress-up party.”
“And Daisy could bake a cake,” suggested Priscilla.
“A party with no candy,” said David sadly.
“Planting our treats was a really nice idea,” said Richard. “I think it was good that we tried.”
The children went inside and had breakfast.
“Daisy,” said Celesta, “ could you make a cake for our dress-up party later?”
“Do you children like raspberry cake? I could make you a nice cake with sweet raspberries from the garden.”
“That would be great!” said Priscilla.
As they climbed the stairs to their library, for school time with their tutor, the children still felt sad. It just wouldn’t be the same, having no Halloween this year.
“We could invite our cousins over for the dress-up party,” suggested Keziah.
“That’s a great idea!” said Celesta.
“And we could make invitations!” said Priscilla.
“Let’s ask our tutor, Mr. Raymond, if we can do it for our art project today,” said Richard.
Mr. Raymond thought it was a great idea. “I think I shall dress up as a cat for the party,” he said.
David giggled. “That makes sense since…you know.” The other children giggled, too.
“Good choice,” said Priscilla to Mr. Raymond.
That afternoon, when the invitations were decorated, the children called Nightcat.
“Please take these to our cousins’ house,” said Celesta.
“We want to invite Mary, Conrad, and Florence to our party,” said Priscilla.
“What kind of party are we having?” asked Nightcat.
“A dress-up party!” Keziah said.
“Nightcat, you get to be my horse for the party,” said David.
“Do you have a horse costume for me?”
“Of course, My Horse!” said David, grinning and laughing.
Nightcat tried to whinny like a horse. The children giggled.
“I’ll go deliver the invitations. I have a feeling that we are going to have a lot of fun this evening.” Nightcat took the invitations and left for their cousins’ house.
The princes and princesses had an early supper so that they would have time to get ready for the party. After they were finished eating, they all sat around the table a little longer.
“It’s too bad you had to cancel Halloween,” said Priscilla.
“Yes,” said her mother. “But we’ll be able to have Halloween next year, once the farmers grow more sugar beets.”
“It’s too bad no candy trees grew in the garden,” said David.
“Maybe we should go and see how those new plants are doing,” Keziah suggested.
The children got up from the table and walked out of the kitchen. Richard led the way and opened the door to the courtyard. They could hardly believe the sight that met their eyes. There, There right in front of them was a bubble gum tree with different colored bubble gum fruits on it. Next to it was a candy cane bush covered with multicolored candy canes. Over to the left, there was lollipop bush with lollipops and suckers hanging from it. To the right was a chocolate tree, with large chocolate fruit and, beside it, was a licorice bush with rainbow colored licorice hanging from the ends of its branches.
“Candy!” cried David. “Lots of candy!” The children started picking the candy and dropping it into a nearby wagon.
“It looks like we can have Halloween after all!” cried Priscilla.
“But our parents already cancelled it,” said Richard. “It’s too late.”
“What’s too late?” asked Conrad, strolling into the courtyard with Mary and Florence. Their cousins were all dressed up for the party. Mary and Florence were dressed up as cats. Conrad was a dragon.
“What’s that?!” asked Florence, pointing at the candy plants in the garden.
“It’s candy!” cried David.
“But it’s too late to have Halloween. None of the kids from the village will come trick-or-treating because they’ve already been told it was cancelled,” said Mary. Mary was their oldest cousin. She was twelve.
“We can deliver the candy instead!” said Keziah. “The Nightcats can pull wagons and we can take candy to every house in the kingdom! It will be like Halloween backwards!”
“Reverse trick-or-treating!” said Celesta.
“That’s a great idea!” said Priscilla.
“We’ll come with you!” said Florence. “It’s going to be so much fun!”
The children finished picking enough candy to fill all three of their wagons. Then the triplets and their brothers went to their rooms to get dressed. They were ready quickly because they had planned their costumes ahead of time. Celesta and Priscilla were dressed up as cats, too. Richard was dressed as a farmer.
“What are you dressed up as?” Conrad asked Keziah.
“Me! I’m dressed up as myself, the way I looked when I rode Nightcat and saved the kingdom from the dragons. Charcoal will be playing the role of Nightcat this evening.”
The cousins giggled.
“Nightcat!” yelled David, as he came down the stairs in his costume.
“I’m ready,” said Nightcat, landing on the stairs beside him. Nightcat was dressed up as a brown horse. “Neigh, neigh!” said Nightcat.
“Good horse,” said David, patting Nightcat on the head.
Charcoal landed beside Keziah. They all walked together to the heavy front doors of the castle.
“I asked our parents and they thought that it was a great idea for us to give out the candy,” said Richard. “It will be safe because our nightcats will protect us.” Richard pushed the big door open. It was dark outside.
“I’m glad the dragons are gone,” said Priscilla. “It’s nice to see the stars and not feel scared.”
The children walked out into the night, and Mist landed beside Celesta. Richard and Mary attached the wagons full of candies to the big cats. Then they started on their night adventure. They split up. Keziah, Florence and Mary went in one group with Charcoal. David, Priscilla and Conrad went in Nightcat’s group, and Celesta and Richard went with Mist.
They went door to door, delivering the candy to surprised and excited children. At each house, they yelled trick-or-treat and, when the people inside opened the door to explain that they had no candy, the children gave candy to them! Everyone was so happy. It took a long time to get to all the houses in the whole kingdom. It was almost dawn before the royal children and their cousins saw the castle again. They met outside before going in.
“Let’s trick-or-treat at the castle!” said David.
The children laughed and nodded in agreement. They gathered together just outside the big door.
Keziah said, “1, 2, 3…”
“Trick-or-treat!” all the children shouted.
Mr. Raymond opened the door. He was wearing an orange cat costume and had black whiskers painted on his face. He really did look quite the sight with his gold-rimmed glasses. The children laughed again when they saw what he was wearing.
When the tutor saw the children, his eyes lit up with joy. “Children! There you are! I’ve been waiting for the dress-up party!”
“And, guess what, Mr. Raymond, we have candy! There’s lots left over!” said David. “It’s time to party!”
So they all went into the great ballroom which Daisy and Mr. Raymond had decorated. They played games, danced around, and ate raspberry cake and candy. Daisy and their parents got out of bed and joined them. They wore cat costumes too.
“This was the best Halloween we’ve ever had at Kitty Castle!” said Keziah, and everyone agreed!
Celesta Thiessen and her ten-year-old daughter Keziah are the authors of the Kitty Castle series. These beginning chapter books were written for children in Grades One to Four. The Kitty Castle series is available on amazon.com and as an iOS app.