She ran through the cemetery, heedless of the branches and brambles catching her costume. It was Halloween night, and her favorite night of the year. She was done with her costume anyway, she just hadn't wanted to take the time to change.
She dropped her bag of candy as she knelt by the headstones, flushed and breathless from running, but smiling from ear-to-ear.
"Are you here? Am I too late?"
She felt the familiar icy kiss on her cheek, spectral arms wrapping her in an ethereal embrace. "No, sweetie," a faint voice echoed softly in her ear, "we have plenty of time."
She felt another join the embrace, and a second frozen kiss. A deeper, yet still faint, voice whispered to her. "We've been waiting all year for you."
Tears ran freely down her cheeks, and she made no effort to wipe them away. This was the night she was happiest. The night when the veil between the worlds was thin, and the land of the living shared space with the land of the dead. A time to be with them, and truly talk with them, rather than just talking at their headstones.
She told them all about school, and how she was doing. She talked about the friends she'd made. Not many, but they were good friends. She talked a little about the Home, but not too much. On this night, if she tried real hard, she could sometimes pretend she didn't have to live there. She could pretend she still lived in her own home... with them.
All too soon, the night was ended. The sky brightened in the east, and the spectral arms began to fade to mist. Her tears began again and she told them she loved them. They told her they loved her too, and that they would see her again next year. One more quick discarnate embrace, two light chilly kisses she barely felt, a final whisper of a goodbye, and she was alone.
Again. For another year.
She heard the bells of the Home's church calling the faithful to services and she rose from where she'd knelt all night. She hefted her dew-soaked pillowcase full of candy and blew a kiss at the headstones.
Then, slinging the bag over her shoulder, she started down the hill toward town, while the brilliant morning sun rose behind her, burning away the last tendrils of mist.