Halloween on 17th Street/17番街のハロウィン

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a tale for the Halloween2018 contest

ハロウィンコンテスト2018出場作品

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As night fell over Daleport, 17th Street came alive. Orange lights flickered on in the mouths of grinning pumpkins. Animatronic zombies and witches moaned and cackled. Red and yellow leaves rustled as the brisk October breeze set them dancing between the feet of trick-or-treaters, roaming the street in search of candy. And in one house, four little girls were getting ready to join them.

デールポートに夜のとばりが降りると、17番街は活気付いた。ニヤニヤ笑いのカボチャの口の中でオレンジの明かりが揺らめく。アニマトロニックのゾンビと魔女が呻き、ゲラゲラと笑った。お菓子を求めて街をうろつく子供達の足元を爽やかな十月の風が吹き抜け、赤や黄色の葉っぱを踊らせてカサカサと音を立てた。そしてとある家では、四人の小さな少女たちがそれに加わる準備をしていた。


"So cute!" Iris exclaimed, snapping pictures of the four younger girls in their adorable Halloween costumes. Sigurrós smiled. Iris had helped her sew the little paper bats onto her droopy black hat, but she'd made the rest of the witch costume by herself.

「とっても可愛い!」と叫んで、アイリスは可愛らしいハロウィンの衣装に身を包んだ四人の若い少女たちの写真を撮った。シガーロスは微笑んだ。アイリスが黒いとんがり帽子に紙のコウモリを縫い付けるのを手伝ったものの、魔女の衣装の残りは全部彼女が自分で作った。

"We're not cute!" Stella exclaimed, crossing her arms indignantly. "We're supposed to be scary!" Stella had painted her face green, and she was wearing big black sunglasses with tilted lenses that made her look like an alien. Iris knelt down and ruffled Stella's hair.

「可愛くないわ!」と、ステラは憤然と腕を組んで叫んだ。「私たちはこわいのよ!」ステラは顔を緑色に塗り、レンズの傾いだ大きくて黒いサングラスをかけて宇宙人の仮装をしていた。アイリスは跪いてステラの髪をくしゃくしゃにした。

"And you're the scariest little alien in all of Daleport." Stella giggled and pulled away.

「そしてあなたはデールポートで一番怖い小さな宇宙人ね。」ステラはクスクスと笑って立ち去った。

"Why aren't you dressed up?" Fiona said, scowling from beneath a line of stitches painted on her forehead. She was dressed as some variation of Frankenstein's monster.

「どうしておめかししないの?」フィオナ は額の縫い目のペイントの下で顔をしかめながら言った。彼女はある種のフランケンシュタインの怪物の仮装をしていた。

"Oh," Iris laughed, "I'm a little too old for all that. Remember, I'm just chaperoning you four."

「あら、」アイリスは笑った。🚩「今日は子どもが主役の日だもの。覚えておいて、私はただの引率なのよ。」🚩

Sigurrós didn't ever want to get too old for Halloween. Cindy shared that sentiment.

シガーロスはこれから先ハロウィーンには歳をとりすぎるなんてことが起こらなければいいと願った。シンディも同じ意見だった。

"I never wanna grow up! Halloween is the best!" She jumped happily, the cardboard torso of her robot costume rattling. Iris only smiled.

「大人になりたくない! ハロウィンは最高よ!」ロボットの仮装の段ボールでできた胴体をごとごと鳴らして、彼女は幸せそうに飛び跳ねた。アイリスはただ笑うだけだった。

"…yes, I know." Sigurrós's mommy walked into the foyer, where the girls were waiting. She finished her phone call, then spoke to Iris.

「…ええ、わかってる。」シガーロスのママが少女たちの待つ玄関に歩いて入って来た。ママは電話を切って、それからアイリスに話しかけた。

"So you've got my number?"

「じゃ、私の番号はわかる?」

"Yes, Ms. Stefánsdóttir."

「ええ、ステファンドティールさん。」

"And her father's?"

「それから、夫の方は?」

"Yes."

「そちらも。」

"Okay. Now remember, I want them all back home by eight. And don't let them eat all their candy tonight."

「オーケー。八時までには家に帰って来て欲しいの、忘れないでね。それと、その子達が今夜中にお菓子を全部食べてしまわないように気をつけて。」

"Aw," Fiona whined.

「えぇっ、」フィオナは不満の声をあげた。

"She's right," Iris said, wagging a finger. "You've gotta take good care of your pearly whites."

「彼女が正しいわよ、」指を振りながらアイリスが言った。「歯は大事にしなきゃ。」

Mommy smiled. "Thanks again, Iris. I tried to tell them tonight was a bad time, but you know how they can be." Iris nodded

ママは微笑んだ。「本当にありがとう、アイリス。今日は都合が悪いって伝えようとはしたんだけど、ほら、わかるでしょ?」アイリスはうなずいた。

"It's no problem at all, Ms. S. Besides, now I can take pictures of all the cool decorations!"

「まったく問題ありませんよ、ステファンドティールさん。それに、ステキなデコレーションを全部写真に撮ることができますし!」

"That's the spirit." Mommy patted Iris on the shoulder, then knelt down to talk to Sigurrós.

「その心意気に感謝するわ」ママはアイリスの肩を叩いてから、膝をついてシガーロスに話しかけた。

"Do you remember the rules we talked about?"

「話し合ったルールは覚えてる?」

Sigurrós nodded. "Don't wander off, don't take candy from strangers, and don't eat taffy, because I could choke."

シガーロスはうなずいた。「歩き回らないこと、知らない人からお菓子をもらわないこと、それから喉に詰まらせるかもしれないから、タフィーを食べないこと。」

Mommy nodded. "That's right. Now, do you remember the last one?"

ママはうなずいた。「正解。じゃあ、最後の一つは覚えてる?」

Sigurrós thought for a second. "Stay away from Mr. Clef's house."

シガーロスはちょっと考えた。「クレフさんの家には近づかないこと。」

"That's right. Mr. Clef is a bad, bad man." Then she stood up and turned to Iris.

「その通り。クレフさんは悪い、わるーい人よ。」それから彼女は立ち上がりアイリスに向き直った。

"And that goes for you, too. That man is dangerous."

「そしてあなたもよ、アイリス。あの男は危険だわ。」

"Don't worry, Ms. S. I know." She'd heard the stories, the ones that Sigurrós wasn't old enough to hear yet.

「心配しないでください、ステファンドティールさん。わかってますよ。」彼女はシガーロスが聞くには早すぎるとある話を知っていた。

"Can we go now?" Cindy asked impatiently.

「もう行ってもいい?」シンディはイライラして言った。

Mommy smiled. "Yes, honey, you can go." She kissed Sigurrós on the forehead, and then they left.

ママは微笑んだ。「ええ、かわいい子、行っていいわ。」彼女はシガーロスの額にキスして、子供達の前からいなくなった。


After Mommy drove away, Iris and the herd of 8-year olds set off down 17th Street. All the people that lived there were very nice, and they gave out lots of candy. The first house they stopped at belonged to Mr. Bright. He came to the door in a monkey mask, carrying big bags of candy corn in both hands. Then they went next door to Mr. Kondraki's house. He greeted them with a "howdy" because he was dressed like a cowboy. After he gave the girls their candy, they stuck around for a while so Iris and Mr. Kondraki could talk about photography. They didn't mind, because they got to play with Crow (an old stray dog that lived nearby) while they waited.

ママが車に乗って行ってしまってから、アイリスと8歳の群れは17番街へ向かった。そこに住んでいる人たちはみんなとってもいい人で、たくさんお菓子をくれた。最初に立ち寄ったのはブライトさんの家だった。彼はキャンディコーンの大きな袋を両手に抱え、猿のお面をつけて戸口にやって来た。それから彼女たちはお隣のコンドラキさんの家に行った。彼はカウボーイの格好をしていたので、"howdy"とあいさつした。あれが少女たちにお菓子をあげた後、アイリスとコンドラキさんが写真について話せつように彼女たちはしばらくそこにいた。待っている間クロウ(近所に住む年老いた野良犬)と遊ぶことができたので、彼女たちは気にしなかった。

Iris was the best chaperone ever. She stopped at every house to take pictures of the decorations while the girls went to the door. She even helped carry Fiona's candy when her arms got tired. But when the girls came back from Mr. Iceberg's house, Iris was not smiling. She was on the phone with her boyfriend.

アイリスは今まででいちばんの引率者だった。少女たちが家々を訪問する間、彼女はどの家でも立ち止まり飾り付けの写真を撮った。彼女はまたフィオナの腕が疲れた時にお菓子を運ぶのを手伝ってくれもした。しかし少女たちがアイスバーグさんの家から戻って来た時、アイリスは笑ってはいなかった。彼女はボーイフレンドと電話をしていた。

"Look, Abe…" She was cut off by Abe's harsh voice, although Sigurrós couldn't understand what he was saying. She'd never met Abe but she'd heard about him, a big high schooler with lots of tattoos. He sounded scary.

「ほら、エイブ……」シガーロスには何を行っているのかはわからなかったが、彼女はエイブの厳しい声に遮られた。彼女はエイブにあったことはないが、タトゥーをたくさん入れた大柄な高校生だと言う彼の噂は聞いていた。彼は怖そうだった。

"I'm watching the kids! I can't just abandon them for some stupid rave."

「私は子どもたちの面倒を見てるの! そんなバカみたいなレイブのためにこの子たちを見捨てるわけにはいかないわ。」

Abe's reply was loud and angry. Iris winced. Then, very quietly, she answered. "Fine. But if they get hurt Ms. S is gonna kill me." Abe just laughed. Then he said something else.

エイブの返答は大きく怒っていた。アイリスはたじろいだ。それから、とても静かに、彼女は答えた。「いいわ。でももし彼女たちが怪我をしたら、ステファンドティールさんは私を殺すでしょうね。」エイブは笑っただけだった。それから彼は何か別のことを言った。

"Yeah, I love you too." That was the first time Sigurrós had seen someone frown when they said it. Then she hung up.

「ええ、私も愛してるわ。」シガーロスは誰かがそれを言う時に眉をひそめたのを初めて見た。それから彼女は電話を切った。

"What's wrong?" Sigurrós asked.

「どうしたの?」シガーロスは尋ねた。

Iris sighed. "Abe wants me to come to some party with him. Cade is gonna watch you while I'm gone."

アイリスはため息をついた。「エイブが私に一緒にパーティーに来て欲しいんですって。ケイドが私の代わりに来るわ。」

Stella frowned. "But you're our chaperone."

ステラは顔をしかめた。「でもあなたが私たちの保護者でしょう。」

"Yeah, I know. But Abe's my boyfriend, so I…" she trailed off.

「ええ、わかってる。でもエイブは私のボーイフレンドで、だから私……」彼女は言い淀んだ。

Sigurrós didn't ever want a boyfriend, not if they made you as sad as Iris was right now. Sigurrós hugged her to make her feel better, and the other girls piled on too. It made Iris laugh, but her eyes were still sad as they continued down the street to Mr. Gear's house. He had a robot costume like Stella’s, and he gave her his hat (a tinfoil cap with long antennae on top) when she said she liked it.

🚩たとえそれがちょうど今アイリスがそうであるように自分を悲しませるもので無いとしても、シガーロスはボーイフレンドを望んではいなかった。🚩シガーロスは彼女を慰めるためにハグをして、他の少女たちもそれに続いた。それでアイリスは笑ったが、彼女らがギアーズさんの家に向かって通りを下り始めたときもまだ彼女の目は悲しみをたたえたままだった。彼はステラと同じようにロボットの仮装をしていて、彼女がそれを気に入ったと言うと帽子(てっぺんに長いアンテナのついたアルミホイルのキャップ)をくれた。

They stopped in front of Old Man Williams's House because someone had thrown toilet paper all over it and spray-painted "KAOZ" on the front door. Iris took a whole bunch of pictures, laughing the whole time, but her laughter stopped when Abe pulled up next to them in his big black truck. He leaned out the window and hollered at Iris.

🚩彼女らがウィリアムズじいさんの家の前で立ち止まったのは、誰かがそこの全体にトイレットペーパーを投げ捨てて、玄関扉に"KAOZ"とスプレーしたからだった。🚩アイリスはずっと笑いながら沢山の写真を撮ったが、エイブが大きな黒いトラックを彼女らの隣に停めた時、彼女の笑いは止んでしまった。彼は窓から身を乗り出してアイリスに向かって叫んだ。

"Hey baby! You goin' somewhere?" Iris rolled her eyes and walked over to him. Abe was just as scary as Sigurrós had heard; his head was shaved, and his muscled arms were covered in tattoos of snakes and lizards. She wondered why somebody as nice as Iris would be friends with somebody like that.

「よう、ベイビー! どこかに行くのかい?」アイリスは目を丸くして、彼の方へ歩いていった。エイブはシガーロスが聞いていた通りに恐ろしかった──頭は剃られ、筋肉隆々の腕は蛇と蜥蜴の刺青で覆われていた。彼女はアイリスのような素敵な人がどうしてあんな人と仲良くなったのかと不思議に思った。

When Iris got to the truck, Abe's brother Cade got out of the passenger side and circled around to meet her. Unlike his brother, Cade was thin and scrawny. He was also much nicer than Abe. Although he'd never babysat Sigurrós before, he had come over to visit with Iris a few of the times that she had.

アイリスがトラックに乗り込むと、エイブの兄弟であるケイドが助手席側から降りて🚩彼女に会いに回った🚩。彼の兄弟と違って、彼は🚩細くやせていた🚩。彼はエイブよりずっと親切だった。彼がこれまでシガーロスの子守に来たことは一度もなかったが、何度かアイリスに会いに来たことがあった。

Iris went over the rules with Cade, then got into Abe's truck. She waved at Sigurrós as Abe drove off, and she waved back.

アイリスはケイドと共にルールを確認し、それからエイブのトラックに乗った。エイブが走り去るとき彼女はシガーロスに手を振り、彼女は手を振り返した。

"Uh, hey," Cade said, approaching the kids. He wasn't a natural with kids like Iris; he always seemed kind of nervous around them.

「ええと、やあ、」とケイドは言って、子供達に近づいた。彼は子供達に対してアイリスほど自然ではなかった──彼はいつも彼女たちの周囲について少し神経質なようだった。

"Hi Cade!" Cindy said. Then she headed off down the street. The other girls followed, Cade trailing after.

「こんにちは、ケイド!」とシンディが言った。それから彼女は通りを歩いていった。他の女の子たちも後に続いて、ケイドがその後を追った。


They hit up several more houses with Cade. He didn't really say much, other than to tell the girls to slow down if they ran too far ahead. He usually stayed on the sidewalk while the girls went to the door, shifting his weight awkwardly. Sigurrós thought he was probably embarrassed to be out trick-or-treating with a bunch of little kids. He still came to Ms. Rights's door, though, once he saw her costume. Ms. Rights said she was a nurse, but she didn't look like any nurse Sigurrós had ever seen. Cade really liked her costume though, for some reason, and he kept talking to her even after they got their candy.

彼女たちはさらに数軒の家にケイドと一緒に回った。彼はせいぜい彼女たちが先に行きすぎるとスピードを落とすように言うくらいで、他はあまり言わなかった。彼女たちがドアのところに行く間、彼はいつも歩道にいて、ぎこちなく重心を移動させていた。シガーロスは彼は多分小さな子供たちの群れと一緒にトリックオアトリートして回るのが恥ずかしいのだろうと思った。それでも、しかし、ライツさんの衣装を見ると彼は彼女の家の玄関まで来た。ライツさんは自分は看護師なのだと言ったが、彼女はシガーロスが見たことのあるどの看護師にも似て見えなかった。どうしてかケイドは彼女の衣装をとても気に入って、子供達がお菓子をもらった後も彼は彼女と喋っていた。

"Come on, Cade!" Fiona pleaded, tugging at his pants leg. He sighed, then looked around.

「いい加減にしてよ、ケイド!」フィオナは彼のズボンの足を引きながら訴えた。彼はため息をついて、あたりを見回した。

"Uh, just go over to Mr. King's house."

「あー、キングさんの家に行きましょう。」

"But Iris said…" Stella started, but Sigurrós elbowed her. Cade was slowing them down, and she wasn't too young to have a rebellious streak.

「でも、アイリスは言ったわ……」とステラは話し始めたが、シガーロスが彼女を肘で小突いて止めた。🚩ケイドは彼らの速度を落としていたし、彼女は反抗期を持つには若すぎなかった。🚩

"Okay!" Sigurrós hastily agreed, crossing the street with a delighted Cindy, an impatient Fiona, and a bewildered Stella in tow. Once they reached the other side of 17th Street (and made sure Cade wasn't looking), Sigurrós took a sharp left away from Mr. King's house.

「オッケー!」シガーロスはあわてて同意し、喜ぶシンディ、せっかちなフィオナ、狼狽えるステラを引き連れて通りを横切った。17番街の反対側に着くと、(もちろんケイドが見ていないことを確認してから)シガーロスはキングさんの家から急に左折した。

"Sigurrós!" Stella protested.

「シガーロス!」ステラは抗議した。

"I don't wanna go to Mr. King's house," she replied. "He only gives ever gives us apples."

「私キングさんの家には行きたくないわ、」彼女は応えた。「あの人リンゴしかくれないもん。」

"Yeah," Cindy agreed. "We want candy!"

「そうね、」と、シンディが同意した。「私達キャンディが欲しいわ!」

But that's not what Sigurrós had in mind. She walked right past Old Man Aktus's house and stopped in front of the only one without any decorations. The house with "2317" on its mailbox. The house that belonged to Mr. Clef.

でも本当は、シガーロス別のことを考えていた。彼女は🚩アクタス翁🚩の家のそばを通り過ぎ、十七番街でたったひとつ、装飾が一つもない家の前で止まった。郵便受けには「2317」とあった。これこそが、クレフ氏の家だった。

Mr. Clef's house was dark and shuttered. If not for the Buick rusting in the driveway, there'd be no way to tell if he were even home.

クレフ氏の家は暗く、🚩シャッターに遮られて家の中は見えなかった。🚩もし玄関前に錆びたビュイックが駐められていなかったら、彼が家にいるかどうかも全くわからなかっただろう。

"Sigurrós!" Stella called, louder this time. "Your mom said to stay away from Mr. Clef!"

「シガーロス!」今度はもっと大きな声で、ステラが呼んだ。「ママは近づくなって言ってたでしょ!」

"Yeah!" Fiona agreed, "He's a bad man!"

「そうよ!」フィオナも加勢した。「わるーい人だって言ってた!」

Sigurrós shook her head. "I don't think he's bad. I bet he's just sad and lonely because no one ever talks to him." Sigurrós had no real grounds for that assumption, but she was usually right about most things. She felt confident that all Mr. Clef needed to stop being so creepy was a friend. That's why she started walking down the cracked sidewalk to his front door. She made it several feet before she noticed that none of the other little girls had followed her. She turned around, hands on her hips.

シガーロスは首を振った。「私、彼が悪い人だとは思わないわ。誰にも話しかけてもらえないなんて、きっと悲しくて寂しいに決まってる。」シガーロスの憶測にはなんの根拠もなかったが、どんな物事についても大抵彼女は正しかった。友達さえできればクレフ氏も気味悪くなくなると彼女は確信していた。そういうわけで彼女は玄関口までのヒビの入った歩道を歩いて行った。

"Come on!" she huffed.

"No way," Stella said, "We'll get in trouble." She crossed her arms defiantly.

"That house looks scary," Fiona said. the faded red paint on the shutters reminded her a little bit too much of blood.

"Cindy?" Sigurrós asked. Cindy looked nervously at Stella and Fiona on either side, then back to Sigurrós.

"Fiona's right, this place is creepy."

"Fine! I'll go by myself." Sigurrós stuck out her chin and stomped off.

"I'm telling!" Stella yelled after her, but Sigurrós didn't care. As she got closer she did see what Fiona meant, though; the shuttered windows made her feel like something was peeking out between the slats, watching her. But Sigguros wasn't a chicken, and she wasn't about to let Fiona get the best of her.

She almost looked back to her friends just to make sure they were still there, but Sigurrós was very brave and didn't need to. Instead, she walked up the short flight of stairs to the porch and knocked on the wooden door.

There were several seconds of tense silence, during which Sigurrós let herself hope he wasn't home after all, but then she heard a click as a chain was unlatched. It was followed by six more, and finally the click of a deadbolt as Mr. Clef opened the door.

It was dark inside Mr. Clef's house, so dark that Sigurrós wondered how he could have even see his way to the door in the first place. He wore a big hat, tilted forward so that another grown-up wouldn't have been able to see his face. But Sigurrós was half his height, level with his slightly bulging belly. She peeked up under the hat and saw that Mr. Clef's eyes were mismatched like Fiona's. She smiled as sweetly as she could, but Mr. Clef only frowned.

"What do you want?" he grumbled.

"Trick or treat!" she said, trying to hold the smile.

Clef's eyes glided up to the other three girls, still huddled on the sidewalk, then back down to her. "So, you thought it'd be fun to come bother old Mr. Clef? Did your little friends dare you to do this?"

"N-no!" she stammered. "They're just scared, because of what people say about you."

"And what do people say about me?" Sigurrós swallowed nervously, but kept going. She wasn't a chicken.

"That you're a bad man. That you do bad things to people."

Clef laughed, but it wasn't a warm laugh. It was cold and dead.

"What kind of bad things?" He crouched down to eye level, and she could smell his breath. It was almost overpoweringly minty, but there was something else underneath it. Something very wrong.

"M-Mommy wouldn't say." Sigurrós was suddenly afraid that her mommy had been right, and that Mr. Clef was going to hurt her. But she wasn't going to let Mr. Clef know that. "But I don't believe it!"

"Is that so?" When Mr. Clef smiled, he had too many teeth. Like a shark.

"Uh-huh. I…don't think you're a bad man."

"You don't?"

"N-nope. I think you're just lonely."

Mr. Clef sat there for a second, then laughed. His belly wobbled like the bowl of green Jello Sigurrós's mommy had put in the fridge that morning. Sigurrós was suddenly worried that she would never see that Jello again.

"So let me get this straight," he said. "You believe everybody's good at heart. That some nice words and a hug are the only difference between me and you."

Sigurrós sort of did, but the way Mr. Clef said it made it sound stupid.

"Yeah, I can see it in your face. Well, here's a lesson for ya."

Sigurrós gasped as something sharp jabbed her in the stomach. It was freezing cold, but the blood now soaking her shirt was all too warm.

"You can change a lot of things, Sigurrós. You're a very special girl. You can give yourself parents, you can put us all in stupid costumes, you could probably even kill that damn lizard if you wanted. But no matter what you do, there's one thing you can never change. There will always be evil in this world." Then he leaned in so close that his long, red nose touched her own. She finally identified the other smell behind the mint: it was the rancid stink of dead bodies.

"And there will always be me."


Then, with the sound of a thousand broken ukelele strings, reality snapped back. 239 was back in her hospital bed, unconscious but unharmed. Dr. Clef tucked the knife back into his pocket and breathed a sigh of relief. For the third year in a row, he had successfully reversed a VK-Class Reality Restructuring event brought on by 239's coma dreams. He didn't know what idiot first told her about Halloween (probably the same dumbass that inadvertently created Santa Claus), but something about it had stuck with her. Even through her perpetual coma, Sigurrós' childlike dreams of trick-or-treating were dangerous. More dangerous than anyone could know for sure, more than anyone else would ever believe. The O5 Council and the Ethics Committee never remembered the contortions of reality that Sigurrós forced them through. No, only Dr. Clef was burdened with that knowledge.

"Burdened" was a relative term, of course; Dr. Clef knew what 447 did to dead bodies, after all. That's why he still managed to whistle the Munsters theme as he made his way out of 239's containment chamber. He'd already missed the party, but he could still watch the sunrise.

Fifteen minutes later, Clef and Kondraki sat together on the roof of Site-17, shooting the pumpkins lined up atop the exterior wall. They didn't talk all that much, usually just when one of them was reloading. As Kondraki finished off the first clip of All Saint's Day, he turned to Alto.

"So what were you up to last night? You missed the party again."

"Oh, you know. The usual."

Kondraki laughed, and it wasn't too long before Clef joined in. The sun shone upon the world, and the god that ruled it was not a cheerful eight-year-old who just wanted to go trick-or-treating.

Not anymore.

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出典: Halloween on 17th Street
著者: KothardarastrixKothardarastrix

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