Halloween would always remind Jennifer of the twin scents of cinnamon and latex.
She transferred to Laverstone High in the autumn of her sixteenth birthday, when the leaves on the apple trees in the orchard had become mottled and littered the grass with their yellow-red carpet and the horse chestnuts rained fruits into the sweaty fists of eager boys.
The Halloween Ball brought a flux of excitement into the lives of the students. Fancy dress and, thanks to the idea of one of the older girls, a faux new year's party in honour of the few pagans under-represented on the school council. Jennifer had become friends with one and was considering abandoning Christianity in favour of the more exciting Wicca – they were excused assembly and choir practice!
When the ball came – on Friday the 30th since the caretaker refused to open the building on a Saturday – she dressed as a gothic witch (black lace and pewter crosses) and pushed her way through the throng at the punch bowl to find herself pressed against an Upper Sixth girl dressed in a latex catsuit and carrying a multi-tailed whip.
"Sorry," she said, gluing her eyes to the floor instead of the very short shirt and trying to back away, but Lucy Waterman smiled and placed the tip of the whip under Jennifer's chin, raising her face until their eyes met. "Don't be," she replied, drawing closer, her ruby lips opening. She tasted of cinnamon.
Mr 'History' Parkes gave them both detention.