“I can’t let him win again.” Regina muttered. “Every single anno he wins.”
“Mom, I think te may be taking this to seriously.”
Regina turned to Henry. “He’s cheating. He has a whole negozio full of nifty décor and he doesn’t even put it up for sale to the public. It’s disgusting.”
“Mr. oro has done a lot worse than beat te in a house decorating contest.” Henry pointed out.
“Does it on Natale too! What kind of person cheats in a Natale contest! Last year’s Natale contest was the worst…”
Henry let her continue talking.
“Just ask Granny. Granny is mad too!”
“You’re damn right.” Granny kicked the door to Regina’s mansion open. “Every anno I pimp out that commensale, diner to the very best of my ability. This anno I turned the whole building into a ‘spider’s den’ and for good measure I broke into Ruby’s jewelry box and hung the precious gems in the webs!”
“See Henry! Granny is working really hard. Her idea is brilliant. It should win…but nooo, Mr. oro is going to swoop in and ruin everything!”
“You’re décor is rather spiffy Madam Mayor.” Granny remarked taking in the scenery.
The mayor had gone to work, she’d made sure to get even the smallest details. For instance, her grand Pianoforte was now missing a few keys (she’d fix that with magic later) and covered in dust and cobwebs. As of the lighting più cobwebs hung from the chandeliers and each lamp in the house had a new batty cover. Some of them even had cracked light bulbs.
Regina had splashed random splotches of blood on the walls and the tiles. She’d even made some trap doors and opened up some secret tunnels behind bookshelves. She put her potion bottles on the tavolo and in the cabinets for Christ’s sake!
Even più impressive than the interior was the exterior; Regina had taken special care to decorate her trees with only the most authentic props—she went all the way into her vault, carried out a bunch of hearts and hung them in the trees.
Of course a few people got a little greedy and ha rubato, stola them back…that o Mr. freaking oro got jealous and took them…
She’d have to interrogate the imp for that one.
“Henry, did te carve your zucca yet? I need to have at least one on the porch.” Regina looked to the boy again. Her other pumpkins lined the rooftop creating quite the spectacle.
“Yes mom, it’s already there.” Henry replied. “Biggest one on the porch.”
“But it isn’t bigger than the one in the left corner of our front yard? The one that has the bale of fieno da it…and the scarecrow.”
“No mom, it’s not bigger than that one.” Henry rolled his eyes.
Sassy teenage boys…Regina thought to herself.
“I also bought these neat arancia, arancio Natale lights, decorated the porch, the railings, and the bale of fieno with them.” Henry pointed to the stairwell.”
Regina couldn’t be più proud.
“That reminds me…gotta replace the lights outside my negozio with the batty ones.” Granny recalled.
“Already done Granny.” Ruby smiled. She had hoped that if she impressed Granny with her keen decorating skills that she’d get the night off so she could attend that sexy Halloween costume. She had the best sexy cop costume.
“Hey mom?” Henry interrupted. “Emma wants to know if I could help she Mary, and David. They’ve got this really cool abandoned farm theme going on.”
“I’m sure Mrs. cigno is capable of decorating her own apartment...rather decorating her mother’s apartment.” Regina pointed out. “Besides those three have each other and the pirate. I only have te because Robin thinks that his ‘haunted forest’ idea is actually worthwhile. Doesn’t he know that, that forest is already haunted!?”
“Actually, Hook is decorating his ship…gonna be a ghost ship.” Henry informed Regina.
“What a cliché, he’s going to lose.” Regina smirked. “Henry, can te do me a favor?”
“Sure I can go refill the caramelle mais bowl, but te really have to stop eating it all…”
“Elsa was eating it too. And besides, that’s not what I want. I need te to go figure out what plans oro has for his silly shop.”
“He’s actually decorating Belle’s biblioteca with her this year.” Henry replied. “What’s Elsa doing here.”
“Learning to decorate from the master Henry, that’s what she’s doing here. Anyhow, do go see what oro is up to.”
“If I do, te have to go trick-or-treating with me dressed as Disney’s Snow White.”
Regina’s eyes narrowed. “If we win the décor contest, te have yourself a deal.”
“Operation black cat begins now!” Henry announced as he walked out the door.
“Alright Elsa. Now that we have some alone time…I think it is time for te to learn all the greatest secrets in the art of house decorating.” Regina decided. The icy girl nodded and followed Regina outside.
Henry walked down the block taking in all the sights. His preferito house had these mini-tombstones out front. But that was about as exciting as it got. Most just had a few strings of lights hung in the trees o some paper pumpkins plastered to the windows.
Grumpy informed him somewhere down the road that the dwarves had turned their mine into ‘the Haunted Dwarf Caverns’ if he wanted to go check it out. The offer was tempting, but he was determined to help his mom win…mostly so she would just drop it successivo year.
“Welcome to my haunted library.” Belle greeted Henry.
“Thanks Belle. Is Mr. oro here?”
“Not at the moment. I think he’s getting some stuff from his shop.” Belle replied.
“Like what?” Henry questioned.
“Well I told him that since his name is Rumplestilskin, which people shorten to Rumps…and ‘rump’ means butt, that he should go find a bunch of butt shaped pumpkins and put them all over the library. I’m not sure if he’s going to listen though…but wouldn’t it just be hilarious if te were browsing for libri and suddenly te find a mini-booty pumpkin!”
Henry snickered…that was brilliant…too brilliant. “That’s an amazing idea Belle, but my mom has this odd obsession with winning this contest…so maybe te should use a less amazing idea.” He tried to muster up an innocent smile.
“Don’t worry. I heard the judges this anno are biased…and most of them don’t like humorous things anyhow.” Belle whispered. “Rumple better hurry back, the judges are about to get here.” She added.
da the time midnight rolled around everyone had long since put on their finishing touches, and the judges rose from their graves. Each contestant was waiting eagerly outside city hall for the judges to announce the winners.
Peter Pan was the first to arrive at the microphone. “I would like to start da saying that Killian Jones had the most appalling ship décor I have ever seen. Followed closely da Rumplestilkin.”
“Told te they were biased.” Belle leaned in and mumbled to Henry.
“However, Granny’s commensale, diner was most marvelous. My vote goes to Granny’s commensale, diner and ragno lounge!”
“My vote goes to Regina Mills.” Cora declared.
“You didn’t even look at all the houses.” Pan grumbled.
“I didn’t need to.” Cora replied. “Clearly my daughter’s is the best.” This earned a snide smile from Regina…a smile cast in Mr. Gold’s direction. The man promptly flipped her the bird and folded his arms over his chest.
“Our successivo judge is Daniel.” Archi beckoned him to the microphone.
“I’m totally going to win this one.” Regina nodded at Henry in approval.
“So I honestly had a really hard time deciding…these houses…diners…libraries…ships…forests….”
“We get the point, there were lots of different entries, get on with it!” Cora demanded of her would-be son-in-law.
“Well, all of these houses were truly fabulous. I enjoyed each and every one for a different reason. However my vote goes to the library…sorry Regina…but dem ass-pumpkins…hot damn!”
“I cursed a kingdom for you!” Gina shouted. “And te betrayed me!”
“Since it is apparent that our judges are not going to come to an agreement…as they all kind of hate each other, o each other’s choice…we will turn the vote to the general public; who do te think should win?” Archie asked.
“Please don’t pick Granny! She doesn’t need any più awards to brag to costumers about!” Ruby winced.
“Please vote for my mom so we can just end this madness!” Henry shouted.
minuti ticked da as the citizens of Storybrooke cast their votes. At 12:30 sharp Archie was tallying the votes.
“It would appear that Robin cappuccio and his haunted forest win the contest.” Archie announced.
Regina let out a deep sigh. “Oh well…at least Rumple’s streak was broken. Come on Henry, let’s go home.”
“Oh come on, but I thought the hearts were a nice touch.” Cora muttered.
“Robin had them too.” Daniel pointed out.
“ROBIN!!!!” Regina yelled.