Sally's in Labor, Jack's in the human world...who could possibly help in a situation like this?
velvet black sky studded with stars, thin ribbons of clouds, and a white disk of a moon. A
hunter's moon. Jack was more than ready. He was about to get to work when he noticed Lock,
Shock, and Barrel huddling together. He decided to give them some last minute guidance.
"Good luck you three!" Jack said. He knelt down so he could speak to them more easily.
"Make me proud tonight. Use your talents and remember what I've taught you. Give honest
scares. One more thing, don't pick on those smaller than you, right?"
"Right Jack!" They would say whatever he wanted to hear so that he would stop lecturing
them. Jack stood and then vanished into the howling night wind. Lock, Shock and Barrel stood
together for a moment looking about when they saw another group of Halloweeners that had not
yet set out. A tiny winged demon, a cyclops, and a mummy. Brave facades aside, Lock, Shock
and Barrel had never been in this world before and they were a little intimidated. It was huge and
confusing. Those others had at least been here before. Lock approached them.
"Hey! We're about to get to work. We thought maybe you three would want to go with
The winged demon spoke up:
"No thanks. You guys are always getting into trouble."
"Yeah. We don't want Jack mad at us," the mummy said with a shiver.
Shock entered the conversation.
"Fine! We don't need to go with you, but you'll be sorry when we win all the prizes."
"Yeah!" was Barrel's contribution.
The cyclops and the others backed away. Shock looked at the boys.
"We don't need them!" she said indignantly.
"I KNOW that!" Lock snapped. "I just thought we could help 'em out, that's all.
And they went.
Back in Halloweentown, a thin, plain-looking man walked through the heavy iron gates.
He was lead by a pair of translucent spirits. They had roused him from his bed in Christmastown
and lead him...here. Dr.Frost, despite his name, was a warm, gentle man who felt completely out
of his element in Halloweentown. He felt like he would never get used to this place. Ghastly
creatures everywhere, twisted buildings...it was such a far, far, cry from Christmastown. Now,
according to the ghostly messenger, tonight was the night. Jack's wife would give birth. Upon
reaching the door of the mansion the ghost floated away. A pull of the door bell met with no
response. Dr.Frost gingerly opened the door and stepped inside.
"Hello? It's Dr.Frost. Are you okay, Sally?" He followed the two flights of stairs up to the
bedroom. Sally was curled on the bed in a quilt. She looked up and smiled with relief.
"Hello Sally," he spoke softly. "You'll be just fine, try to relax." The doctor glanced
around the room and then asked:
"Where is Jack?"
"Jack is away tonight. It's Halloween, Doctor. He won't be back until almost
dawn." Sally sounded heartbroken and Dr.Frost wished he could help. He was a little
apprehensive as well. He was alone in Halloweentown with the welfare of the Pumpkin King's
spouse and offspring squarely in his hands. Dr.Frost remembered how protective Jack could be.
The Doctor did his best to comfort Sally and inside he was praying that nothing would go wrong.
After a brief silence he smiled and said:
"Well, it looks like Jack will come home a daddy this Halloween."
Sally frowned. Fresh tears flowed from her eyes.
"Jack wants to be here so much, Doctor. I want him here. I don't know if I can do this
alone. Can you slow it down?" she asked hopefully. Dr. Frost looked doubtful.
"Are you sure Jack won't be home until dawn?" he asked. She nodded. Dr.Frost
checked his pocket watch. Hours to go before dawn...
"We'll see, but I don't know if you can wait that long. To be honest Sally, there are
elements of your anatomy that I just don't understand, but this seems by the books as anything
I've known. If it's time, then there is no waiting."
Sally bit her lip and sighed heavily. She would try to hold on until morning. This Doctor was
wonderful, and he wouldn't let anything happen to her or the baby. Still, she couldn't bear not
having Jack . He had been willing to miss Halloween for this after all. They had never imagined
he wouldn't be there. She had been in Jack's arms when the child was conceived, it only seemed
right to be there when the child was born. Her eyes filled up with tears. She did her best to hold
it in but a sob escaped. Dr.Frost looked up from his bag with a start.
"I'll do something for the pain. I don't know if it will work, but I can try."
"That isn't why I'm crying," said Sally. "Thank you, though. I've got to try and
"You have a little time yet, but not hours Sally. Maybe Jack will come home early."
Sally knew that was unlikely. As the doctor prepared, she prayed for a Halloween miracle.
Lock, Shock, and Barrel were having problems. They kept trying to scare these humans
but nobody seemed even slightly afraid of them. They were professional trick-or-treaters after
all, so they began by knocking on doors in a small suburban community.
"Trick-or-Treat!" they shouted.
An old lady looked at them for a moment and then exclaimed:
"Oh my gracious! Just look at the three of you! Why you are just precious! Bill! Bill,
come out here and see these cute kids!" Bill grunted from in front of the television.
"He's just not in the spirit," said the old woman. "Here's some candy." She gave them each a few
pieces and patted their heads, then she quickly shut the door. They didn't even have time for a
trick! They were speechless.
"She wasn't scared at all!!" wailed Barrel. "She thought we were, eeech! CUTE! That was
the tenth house. What now?"
"Let's egg all the houses we've been to so far!" suggested Shock. There was a ripple of
approval. Lock was excitedly digging in his pockets for eggs.
"Yes! Eggs!...except Jack patted me down and took the rotten eggs before we even left
"Well what then?" Shock pouted.
As they argued, a small group of kids trooped up the sidewalk. They were about twelve years
old, two boys and a girl. They were dressed like pirates and laughing happily about some party.
"Let's try them!" Barrel pointed to the group. Lock, Shock, and Barrel ran ahead and
blocked the pirate trio's path. They made their scariest faces. They shrieked. They tried their
best. The kids stared for a moment, then they laughed. They laughed!
"Okay..." said the girl.
"Geez, there are some freaky little kids in this neighborhood," said one boy
shaking his head.
"Very impressive," added the other boy. Still laughing, they continued on their way.
"You know what I think?" asked Shock.
"WHO CARES?" retorted her cohorts. Shock answered anyway.
"These Humans are expecting us tonight. We can't even be sneaky 'cause they all know
we're coming. Maybe we could come back another night..."
"I hate to say this," Lock admitted, "but -ugh- you're...right. Unless we get really mean."
Shock shook her head.
"Jack'll catch us."
"Aw, shut up about Jack." Lock was frustrated.
"I'll bet we could scare...them!" Barrel pointed to a pair of small children
dressed as ghosts.
"Oh, they're tiny kids. Too easy!" said Lock.
"But their bags are sure full of candy," Shock observed.
"Well Jack always says, 'No little kids,'" reminded Lock.
Shock looked accusingly at her brother.
"Now you care what Jack says?"
Barrel was giggling.
"Lookit all their candy! We could get it all!"
Lock stewed for a moment, then decided.
"Okay, forget Jack! Besides, no one is as tall as he is, so isn't he always picking on
Barrel and Shock agreed and the three strolled over to the children. To their delight, they were
slightly taller than the false ghosts.
"Hi!" Shock said. "It looks like you two have lots of candy."
The little boys exchanged nervous glances and one squeaked a weak:
"Uh-huh." They tried to walk away but Barrel stepped in front of them.
"Where do ya think you're going?"
The ghosts backed up- and bumped into Lock. They were surrounded.
"Are you gonna eat all that candy? You shouldn't you know," said Lock.
"W-why?" stammered one of the boys. Shock knew her cue:
"Oh, you don't know what happens if you eat too much candy on
Halloween? Your stomach gets REALLY sore. Then...it starts to turn inside-out!"
"Inside-out? Your stomach?" The second boy had grown pale.
"Oh yes!" she continued. "But you're lucky if it stops there, soon all your insides
are turning inside-out. The next thing you know, all the stuff inside ya is outside and your skin's
inside, and boy does that hurt!"
One boy began to cry and he dropped his bag. Barrel retrieved it.
"You don't want this, do ya? I mean, look at me!" He pulled off his mask to reveal the
skull underneath. The boy shrieked.
This was more like it! The second boy was trembling but he tried not to cry. He spoke up:
"Y-you're lying! I ate all my candy last year and I was fine!"
"Then you were lucky! I'll bet you dropped a little bit and didn't really eat it all,
because if you had..." Lock shook his head sadly. "You'd better watch out tonight, though."
"So..." asked Shock. "You wanna share that?" She took hold of the boy's candy bag.
The three were so busy attempting to extricate candy from the little ghost's grasp that
they took no notice of the immensely tall figure slipping towards them. It wasn't until the smaller
ghost began screaming hysterically that they saw Jack. Lock and Shock saw him first. Barrel
noticed the two boys' faces paralyzed with terror and exclaimed:
"Wow! Check out how scared they are! We're great!"
"WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU DOING?!" Jack roared.
"Jack!" Barrel yelped. He quickly tried to hide the incriminating candy
behind his back.
"Wait Jack! We couldn't scare anyone else! We tried!" Lock pleaded. Shock took over:
"These two walked by and we just -"
"Scared the candy off 'em!" finished Barrel. Lock hit him on the head.
Jack was beside himself.
"These two aren't ready for that! And you can't steal candy!! What do you think
Halloween's all about, anyway?!" He knelt down by the little boys. "Sorry. Here is your candy.
Why don't you go and get some more? You two are fantastic little ghosts!"
The boys gathered their wits and walked slowly past Jack. They didn't take their eyes off
of him until they were safely out of reach, then they ran away so fast their feet barely hit the
ground. Lock knew a good idea when he saw it...
"Just a misunderstanding Jack, sorry. Bye now."
"Only our first try, bye-bye!" said Shock.
"Later, Jack!" Barrel backed away.
"WAIT," commanded Jack. "You are to return to town
immediately. Obviously you are not ready to come out here."
The trio protested vehemently, but to no avail. They finally gave in and headed home.
Jack groaned and returned to work. Those three were not going to be allowed anywhere
near his precious child.
"What a night! What a Halloween!" The Mayor leaned over the cauldron watching the
vampires at work. It would be another tight competition between them and the leeches.
Lock, Shock, and Barrel walked dejectedly into town, arguing all the way.
"It's all your fault, you two!" snapped Shock.
"Shut up!" Lock growled.
"Yeah, ya dumb girl!" added Barrel.
"I wouldn't talk if I were you Barrel, there's no chance of scaring
anyone with you along, you fat baby," Lock lashed out at his brother. The Mayor noticed the
"Why are you back here already? I thought I was rid of you for the night."
Lock answered smugly:
"No such luck, Mayor. You wanna play with us? This town is way too quiet tonight."
"I have no time to play," said the Mayor as he stared into the cauldron. "I've been
planning Jack's triumphant return bash and he probably won't even attend. He'll walk right
through the square and disappear into his house. I so miss the old days."
"Why would he be in there? Sally'll be at the party, right?" asked Lock.
"No chance boy," sighed the Mayor. "She's having that baby as we speak so I'd say
she's engaged for the evening." Lock, Shock and barrel looked at each other in amazement. Now
this was an event! How could it benefit them? That was the question.
"She having it right now? For real?" Shock pressed.
"Yes! Yes! I don't think she's had it yet but...that doctor is here and everything!"
The Mayor was now reminded of how bad things were turning out for him this holiday. How
could his party be a success without Jack? Jack could be so selfish sometimes. The Mayor
returned to surveying the cauldron. The terrible trio sat down on some stones near the well. They
were puzzling over something to do when Shock spoke up.
"I've got an idea."
Lock and Barrel were disinterested, but as always she kept talking.
"Listen! This place is really boring with no one here. We'd have more fun in the Human
World for a while right?"
"Right!" Lock and Barrel answered.
"Well, Jack wants real bad to see his baby born. He wasn't even gonna go out
tonight, but he thought he had time."
"So?" Barrel interrupted. "SO WHAT?"
"So...if Sally is getting ready to have the baby...and we go get Jack and tell
him...then he'll rush back home and we can stay out there! He'll be so excited he won't notice!
...Or if he does he won't care. Great?"
The boys were silent for a few minutes. They didn't know what to say. It really was a great idea!
"But wait," Lock said. "What if she's already had the baby? Jack'll be sad he missed it,
and we'll still be in trouble."
"Well, I'll find out!" said Shock and she trotted away and up the steps of the Skellington
mansion. She slipped inside to the first stair landing.
"Are ya busy Sally? It's Shock.", she hollared. The doctor's voice answered:
"Uh, 'Shock' is it? Sally is a little busy now."
Shock cut to the chase.
"Is there a baby yet?"
"No. Soon though." Shock could hear Sally faintly and she sounded hurt.
"Is Sally okay?" Shock asked.
"Well, she's hurting but she'll be okay."
Shock ran out the door.
"Okay boys, let's go!"
Oblivious to the activities back home, Jack was in top Halloween form. He followed
close behind a young man who was on his way home after an evening of partying. The man
walked the darkened empty street and then cut down an alley. Jack trailed him. A perfect
victim. He didn't show a shiver of fear for being all alone in the dark on Halloween Night.
As the man sauntered towards the end of the allyway, Jack made his move. He crept out and
uttered a low hissing gasp. The man stopped and turned. Jack stretched upwards towering over
him. He made his most fearsome face and shrieked. The man's flesh turned as white as Jack's
bones. He staggered backwards. Jack laughed maniacally and stared down at his prey who was
now seated on the asphalt. This was what Jack lived for! This was what he waited all year for!
This was child's play for a fearsome, virile, boneman who was not only truly terrifying, but who
had effortlessly impregnated his mate with the spawn of all things horrific! This... this... this was absolutely no time for Lock, Shock,
and Barrel to be running towards him yelling:
"JACK, JACK, HEY JACK!!!"
The man crawled backwards and cowered against the side of a dumpster.
"Don't you go anywhere yet!" hissed Jack. "You better stay right there." Jack turned to the
"Didn't I tell you to go home?"
"Never interrupt me at work!"
"Never! It's Sacred!"
"We know, but listen!"
"What do you three have against me? Are
you trying to make me kill you?" Jack looked back at the man who now appeared terrified,
confused, and fascinated in about equal parts. "Can you believe this?" Jack asked him. "I
mean..I like them, but... I can only take so much! Like on my wedding night when they knocked
on my door looking for a cup of sugar and a cookie sheet!"
"We tried to make cookies that night," Barrel explained sheepishly.
"Wait Jack! Please!" said Shock. "We have really important news! Sally's having
the baby! Now!"
Jack's fearsome expression melted and his eye sockets widened.
"My baby? Right now? Are you sure?"
"Yes! That doctor told me. And Sally was crying, I heard her."
"My Sally... Oh gosh! My poor little baby doll! I've got to go. I need to be
Jack turned to the man and said calmly:
"If you'll excuse me my wife is having my baby and I've got to go right now. But I'll remember
you. We'll finish this next year, okay? Goodnight." Jack then noticed the trio slipping away.
"No you don't! You're coming back to town."
"But Jack!" they wailed.
The four of them hurried back to Halloweentown. The man sat still for a few moments, and then
slowly, slowly, he stood up and continued home. As he walked he thought to himself :
"I will never, never, drink on Halloween again...ever."
"Well this is it, Sally," said the doctor. "It's now. You've gotta do this, no more waiting."
Sally knew he was right. She really hadn't expected this much pain. It felt like she would never
survive this. Suddenly the front door slammed. Sally could hear Jack's frantic footsteps hitting
about every fifth or sixth step.
"Sally! I'm home!"
He rushed in and almost tripped over Zero. He knelt down.
"I'm here Baby doll, and you'll never guess who I have to thank for it."
"I don't think I've ever seen such perfect timing!" said the much relieved doctor.
"Sally? Are you ready?"
Jack took her hand and Sally nodded.
Zero returned to his basket. His mistress was in good hands now.