Raven Rocks!, страница 1
Table of Contents
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In the ominous, flickering glow of the Titans Tower living room, Raven got ready.
It is time, she thought solemnly as she pulled on layers of material. I must don the ceremonial garb. Tonight, darkness shall creep over the land. Terror will walk the streets. Children will shriek in fear. Her eyes narrowed as she gathered her determination. Tonight we will face our greatest demons.
Now that she was in the appropriate dress, Raven stepped out of the shadows.
She wore a bright pink costume of the winged horse Sparkleface from her favorite TV show, Pretty, Pretty Pegasus. “Happy Halloween!” she cheered, and snapped her fingers.
In a flash of dark magic, Raven decorated the room for the creepy holiday. Black and orange streamers and plastic spiders festooned the room, along with dangling skeletons.
Her fellow Teen Titans barely reacted. They were sitting on the couch, watching TV. Cyborg shrugged his metallic shoulders. Beast Boy’s eyelids drooped. Starfire slumped deeper into the sofa. “Meh,” mumbled Robin.
“That’s it?” Raven protested. “Come on, guys. Halloween!” She hovered beside Starfire. “Look!” She gasped, holding out a tissue-paper ghost on a string. “A scary ghost! Wooo!”
“Your paper ghost is well made, Raven,” said Starfire, “but not scary.”
“Grr!” growled Raven. She jammed a glowing pumpkin carved like her demon father, Trigon, in front of Robin’s and Cyborg’s faces. “I’m a jack-o’-lantern!”
“What a waste of good produce,” said Robin.
Raven grimaced. “Who wants candy?” she asked hopefully. “We can get bags of it tonight!”
“If we want candy,” replied Cyborg, crossing his arms, “we’ll go buy some.”
Raven bobbed in front of Beast Boy, blocking his view. “I know for a fact you love costumes.”
Beast Boy smiled at her, gesturing at his uniform. “We wear costumes every day.”
“What’s going on, guys?” demanded Raven, putting her fists on her hips. “Halloween is our favorite holiday.”
Robin raised a single gloved finger. “Was our favorite holiday,” he corrected her.
“But every year we always have so much fun,” Raven argued.
Starfire shook her head. “Do you not remember last year, Raven?”
Last year, the Titans all had dressed in scary costumes and went out trick-or-treating in Jump City. When they returned to the Tower that evening, they all felt pukey.
“Why did I eat all that candy?” Robin groaned.
Cyborg clutched his tummy. He was at the breaking point.
Beast Boy was entirely the wrong shade of green. What had happened next was not pretty.…
Remembering that wretched event from last year, Cyborg, Starfire, Robin, and Beast Boy all felt a little ill again.
“That’s what happens when you eat the candy with the wrappers still on,” scolded Raven.
Starfire shook her head. “We are sorry, Raven, but there will be no hallowing this ween.”
“Why do you care so much anyway?” asked Robin.
Raven rose up from the floor, surrounded by a furious dark glow. “Because I’m half demon,” she thundered. “That’s like being a Pilgrim on Thanksgiving!” She let her powers subside. “You know, I like doing scary stuff with you guys.”
“We did, too,” explained Cyborg. “The best part of Halloween is being scared. It just doesn’t scare us anymore.”
“Yeah, I’m a grown man now, doing grown-man business,” agreed Beast Boy. “I don’t have time to be scared.”
Raven couldn’t believe her teammates were done with Halloween’s thrills and chills. She held a flashlight under her face to make herself look creepy. “Wooo…” she moaned ghoulishly. “Woooooo…”
Beast Boy, Robin, Starfire, and Cyborg stared at her. They blinked in unison.
“Woooo…” Raven tried again.
“Are you done?” asked Robin.
“Woo,” said Raven.
Her teammates focused back on the TV.
Raven sighed in frustration and headed to her room.
When she was alone in her private sanctum, Raven floated among her belongings, feeling cranky. “Don’t have time to get scared,” she groused. “What kind of people are they?”
Raven glowered at her spell table, staring at her laboratory and casting equipment. Then she smiled, struck with an idea.
With a flick of her hand, Raven conjured up a creepy, ancient book. It groaned as she cracked it open, and ghostly howls echoed within her room as she flipped through its dusty pages.
“Maybe to get them into the Halloween spirit,” Raven said, “I need a little help from the Halloween Spirit.”
Raven clapped her hands and a hollow pumpkin popped into existence, floating in front of her. She opened it by its stem and began tossing in ingredients. “One witch’s eye,” she said, “a strand of spiderweb, and three candy corns—” Before Raven dropped in the sweets, she munched on one. “Two candy corns.”
As her makeshift cauldron bubbled and boiled, Raven intoned, “Azarath Metrion Zinthos!”
A wriggling, furiously howling entity with fiery eyes appeared and was sucked down into the pumpkin. Raven jammed the stemmed top shut, trapping the being inside.
The entirety of Titans Tower flashed. The Halloween Spirit was present.
Down in the living room, Robin was alone on the couch. Unblinking, he stared at the TV. A tissue-paper ghost slowly lowered down on a string and dangled beside his head.
Robin gave it a side-eyed glance. “Paper ghost!” he screeched in surprising terror.
Raven smiled. Her spirit-powered pumpkin floated behind her.
Starfire flew full-speed into the living room. “What is all the locomotion, Robin?” she cried. “Are you—” She spotted a plastic skeleton hanging nearby and screamed, falling backward with her eyes wide.
Alarmed, Cyborg and Beast Boy tumbled into the room.
Cyborg put his fists on his hips. “I hope there’s a good reason you’re all screaming.”
“Yeah,” added Beast Boy. “It’s really—”
Both of the guys’ eyes bugged out when they saw a robot zombie hand wiggle its fingers on the coffee table. They shrieked and dove onto the couch with Robin and Starfire, huddling with them in horror. The four terrified Titans pointed at various decorations, screaming at everything.
Watching her teammates lose their minds, Raven rubbed her hands together gleefully. “Finally,” she said, “it’s starting to feel like Halloween.” She shouted over the screaming, “Guys!”
Still huddled together, the other Titans peered up at Raven.
“Yeah?” asked Beast Boy, his voice shaking.
Raven turned on a flashlight underneath her chin. It lit up her face with spooky shadows. “Boo,” she said.
Her teammates shrieked in absolute terror. Beast Boy turned into a hedgehog. His spines shredded the top of his uniform.
Raven clicked off the flashlight. “Relax,” she said. “It’s just me.”
Starfire wiped her brow. “Oh, thank the goodness,” she said, breathing raggedly.
Beast Boy stood in front of Raven, showing her his bare green torso. “You scared me shirtless!”
“What’s going on?” a
“I thought so, too,” replied Cyborg. He spotted a fake arachnid on the couch and shuddered. “But every time I see a plastic spider I want to cry.”
Robin hugged himself in his own arms. “Why are we suddenly scared of everything?”
“Oh no!” squeaked Starfire. She peered at the Titans’ computer monitor, which was flashing softly. “We have the trouble.” She pulled up the exterior camera view of the front door.
A bunch of little kids in costumes skipped up the front walk. They held bags and plastic pumpkins.
“Oooh,” Raven whispered, making her voice spooky. “Trick-or-treaters.”
“What do they want?” shrieked Robin.
Raven stared at her teammates solemnly. “They want,” she moaned, “tricks or treats.”
“Nooo…” sobbed Beast Boy.
“Don’t let them in,” Cyborg gasped.
Robin pushed Starfire out of the way and gaped at the computer monitor. “Code red!” he barked. “I repeat: code red! Go into lockdown! Now!” He jammed his finger down on a button on the console.
The defenses around Titans Tower activated. Alarms blared. Metal gates slammed down over the windows. Spikes sprung out on all edges. Atop the front door, dozens of massive weapons took aim at the intruders.
Seeing the hi-tech cannons pointed at them, the trick-or-treaters fled.
“We’ve secured the perimeter,” Robin declared. “Now we have to secure the interior!” He raised a gloved fist. “Titans, go!”
In a blur, Robin, Starfire, Cyborg, and Beast Boy zoomed around the inside of their headquarters, ripping down all the Halloween decorations. They shredded the paper ghosts, dismembered the skeletons, smashed plastic bugs and bats, and tossed zombie parts into the garbage. When all the creepy stuff was destroyed, they focused on Raven’s glowing pumpkin.
“Oh no! Stop, guys!” cried Raven. “Not the pumpkin!” She lunged to block her teammates, but she had reacted too late.
Starfire and Cyborg obliterated it with blasts of violent energy.
With a chilling howl, the Halloween Spirit rose up from the smashed gourd. Now released from its prison, it expanded in fury, filling the living room.
The Teen Titans—including Raven—tumbled backward in shock and horror.
Shrieking in rage, the powerful specter swooped around the room and then shot out of the Tower, heading toward Jump City across the harbor.
Raven shook her head in dismay. “You guys just released the Halloween Spirit.”
“The what?” asked Beast Boy.
“The Halloween Spirit,” replied Raven. “Behold!” With a flourish of her hand, she conjured up her spell book in front of her.
Her teammates gasped in fear at the sudden appearance.
Raven rolled her eyes. “It’s just a book,” she said. “Relax.”
Raven read from her ancient tome, “‘Since the dawn of time, the Halloween Spirit terrorized the land, feeding on the fear of children.’” When she flipped the page, the scary illustration of the specter made her teammates cringe and whimper.
“Get it together,” she scolded her friends. Raven kept reading. “‘Finally, the people had enough. They would fight fear with fear, and the Halloween Spirit was banished. From their victory, our Halloween traditions were born.’”
She closed the heavy covers of the book, and it vanished in a poof.
“We can stop it again!” explained Raven. “But we’re going to need three things: costumes, jack-o’-lanterns, and candy. Let’s do it.”
As funky music blasted through the Tower, the Teen Titans ran around pulling together costumes and getting dressed up. By the time the song ended, they were ready for Halloween. They lined up in the living room.
Raven inspected her costumed friends. Robin was dressed as a vampire. Cyborg was a pirate. Beast Boy wore a red demon costume. Starfire was a fairy princess, complete with a tiara.
Raven nodded. “You guys look…spooktacular.”
Starfire looked at Robin. Robin looked at Cyborg. Cyborg looked at Beast Boy. Beast Boy looked at Starfire. They all yelped, scared by one another’s costumes.
Raven pulled out an armful of chunky pumpkins. She tossed them at her teammates, who cowered away in fear. “Carve them!” demanded Raven.
On command, Robin flipped into the air and attacked his pumpkin with a blizzard of karate chops and kicks.
Starfire blasted a pumpkin with a flash of sizzling power from her eyes.
Cyborg aimed the laser in his mechanical arm at a pumpkin, cutting it up with hot light.
Beast Boy transformed into a cat and slashed his pumpkin with sharp claws.
The carved pumpkins fell into an orderly line across from the Titans. Raven examined their creations.
Robin’s jack-o’-lantern had a traditional design, with a gap-toothed grin. “Classic,” Raven declared.
Starfire’s pumpkin had an evil smile and pointy eyebrows. “Scary,” said Raven.
Beast Boy’s design was a bit haphazard, with off-center eyes. “Competent,” said Raven.
Cyborg’s pumpkin had an intricately carved baby face. Raven smiled at it. “Aw, cute.”
Then Raven hovered in front of the pumpkins, opening her arms. “What do you guys think?” she asked.
They all blinked at the pumpkins. Then they shrieked in horror at their scary handiwork.
Raven nodded, pleased. “Now we just need candy. Lots of it.”
“Where are we going to get candy at this hour?” asked Cyborg.
The answer was obvious. They headed into Jump City and went door to door, trick-or-treating!
The Teen Titans had collected bags of candy. They gave one another high fives.
But soon the Halloween Spirit rose above Jump City, using its mystical powers to awaken monsters. Skeletons, zombies, vampires, ghouls, and other lumbering beasts crawled out of the earth. The monsters shook off their dirt and wandered the streets, terrifying trick-or-treaters and chasing the screaming citizens through the city.
The Teen Titans watched the rampage, their eyes wide with horror.
“What were we thinking?” cried Robin, trembling. “We’re too scared to fight that thing!”
“I’m too scared to even look at you!” Beast Boy told Cyborg, shielding his eyes.
“I’m too scared to even look at you!” Cyborg replied. He peeked at Beast Boy and shrieked.
Raven heaved a deep sigh. “The only reason you’re scared is because I cast a spell to put you back in the Halloween spirit,” she admitted.
“Why would you do that?” asked Starfire.
“Because Halloween was the one day of the year we all looked forward to,” explained Raven. “Pumpkin carving, trick or treating, haunted houses. I was just trying to get all that back.” She bowed her head, feeling sorry. “Instead, I ruined Halloween.”
Robin put his hand on Raven’s shoulder. “Are you kidding?” he asked. “Even though I’ve had to change my pants three times, we’ve had a blast doing Halloween stuff with you.”
“Yeah,” agreed Beast Boy. “I guess we just forgot how much fun being scared could be.”
“It’s like being a little kid again!” added Cyborg.
Raven peered up at her friends. “Really?” she asked.
Raven’s teammates gathered around her, nodding and smiling.
Raven held up a fist. “Then let’s take down the Halloween Spirit.”
Robin, Beast Boy, Cyborg, and Starfire reacted in terror, shrinking back and cowering.
“Oh no,” Robin whimpered. “Weren’t you listening to us? We’re way too scared for that.”
“Don’t worry,” said Raven. “You just need a little extra pep in your step to help you overcome that fear.” She held up her overflowing bag of candy. “Eat it,” she instructed.
The Teen Titans gobbled down as much candy as they could. At least they remembered to unwrap the treats this year!
Cyborg flexed his muscular arm. “I’ve got so much energy!” he announced.
“I feel like my heart’s on fire!” declared Beast Boy.
Robin put his fists on his hips. “Me too!”
Starfire raised her hands in the air and screamed in jubilation.
Raven passed around bowls of garden vegetables. “Now eat a salad to balance it out,” she said.
The Teen Titans stood eating their salads with forks.
“This also gives me energy,” said Cyborg. His mechanical eye glowed brightly.
Beast Boy crunched and swallowed. “These croutons are wonderful.”
“Mmm,” murmured Robin. “Nutritious.”
Starfire waved her hands in the air and hollered in sheer exuberance.
The Halloween Spirit’s monsters continued to terrorize Jump City.
Raven gathered her teammates together in a huddle. “Now the only way to get to the Halloween Spirit is to use our costumes to scare a path to it,” she explained. “Teen Titans, go!”
The heroes leaped into action. They jumped out at monsters, surprising them from behind walls, benches, and mailboxes.
“Boo!” shouted Robin, ambushing a vampire. It turned to dust.
“Booyah!” Cyborg hollered at a zombie. It fell to pieces.
Beast Boy sprang up at a ghoul and hollered, “Booo!” It faded out of existence.
Starfire surprised a skeleton with an alien noise that sounded somewhat like boo. Its bones collapsed in a heap.
Soon the Teen Titans had defeated all the monsters. They reached the Halloween Spirit. It loomed above Jump City, its eyes glowing with terrifying fire.
The Titans trembled in front of it, too scared to attack.
“Jack-o’-lanterns,” said Raven. She clapped. In a flash, carved pumpkins appeared in each Titan’s hands.
“Light them up!” shouted Raven. She clapped again, and all the jack-o’-lanterns glowed brighter and brighter.