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Worst Party Ever
So, once upon a time, I was really, really into writing fiction. All I wanted to do was write books, buuuuut life got in the way, writer's block is a bitch, and I could just never find the time.
But over the last couple of days, when I sat down to write, I was able to put pen to paper (...Or I guess, fingers to keys?) and actually put out a little bit of work. So this is the first chapter of a book that I don't have a name for yet.
Let me know what you think!
Chapter One. Worst. Party. Ever.
Hi folks, my name is Tyler Daniels and I haven’t eaten or slept in days. It’s funny, thousands of people die every single day but the impact of losing just one person can be devastating. It can change the entire atmosphere of a small town like Chestertown. Founded in 1706, the historic town of Chestertown, Maryland has a population of five thousand people. The town is supposedly famous because back before the advent of modern transportation, George Washington would stop for the night, and that marked the last exciting thing to happen until two Christmases ago when the local Santa was arrested for public intoxication. At least it had been, until tonight.
Tonight was Adam Dantone’s birthday party, and to be completely honest, I did not want to go. There were 100 things I would have rather done instead of go to that jock asshole’s birthday party. I was binging a TV show, and even though I’d watched it a million times, it was getting to my favorite part. There was a video game I found at the local pawn shop that I used to play every day as a kid that was calling my name. And despite what my drunk of a father told me, I just knew that somewhere in the backyard, a pirate had buried his treasure. Instead, I was going to the birthday party of a dude I didn’t even like.
Adam Dantone was one of those kids who had too much going for him. His parents were wealthy, he was good looking, talented, and just smart enough to be dangerous. When we were both young, we were close, really close even. In fact, we were probably best friends until puberty handed him a full house and I was stuck with snake eyes and bad acne. We were still cordial, but he always gave me this condescending look that let me know that we were not equals in his eyes.
Anyway, every single year, his birthday party was the most happenin’ shindig in town, or whatever the kids say these days. If you weren’t there, you were square, and while I was content being any kind of rectangle, my girlfriend wasn’t.
Ashley Wilson and I had been together, on and off, for about a year and a half, and as my friends constantly reminded me, she was way out of my league. She was tall, blonde, tan, and the most conventionally beautiful girl you’ve ever seen. She looked like she should be lying across the hood of a sports car or biting provocatively into a cheeseburger, and for whatever reason, she was dating me.
I shouldn’t undersell myself. I’m not Adam Dantone, but I do okay. I’m just about six feet tall, I’ve got long stupidly curly brown hair, and while I wouldn’t say I’m hot, I’ve brushed my teeth twice a day without breaking a single mirror with my face. I’m on the football team, I have a band, and I manage to pick out my own clothes each morning. I have a job at the local grocery store, I go to the gym every day, and tonight, I was going to win the boyfriend of the year award.
Ashley told me that I didn’t have to go to Adam’s party. She said she understood that it wasn’t my crowd and that she was probably only going to be there long enough to be seen, and then it was home to Netflix and a good night’s sleep. At first, I was thrilled, and I was just going to stay home and play video games with my best friend, Luke. But then I realized that she had given me an incredible opportunity. She had given me the opportunity to surprise her.
Immediately the hopeless romantic in me kicked into gear, and I began planning. Prom was right around the corner, and while it was pretty much a given that we were going together, I hadn’t asked yet. With the change I had scraped together from the day job, I had bought her a promise ring that I was going to give her when the time was right, whatever that means. I thought the premise was stupid but in her own “subtle” way, she had let me know she wanted one. So my plan was simple.
Text her and pretend I was going to bed early. Park down the road from Adam’s house. Sneak up and into the party, surprise her with the ring, ask her to prom, and wreap the reward. It was a foolproof plan… Or so I thought.
The first part was easy. I suspected that she didn’t want to text me the whole time she was at the party anyway, and she seemed unphased my uncharacteristic sleepiness. I managed to find Adam’s house without getting lost more than a couple of times. I tried to find somewhere to park, preferably close to Ashley’s car, but she had parked right in front of the house and I couldn’t risk it.
So instead, I managed to find a small dirt road down the hill from Adam’s stupid mcmansion, so that nobody would see my car and tip Ashley off. I even carefully climbed the side of the hill without getting my Nike’s too dirty.
It wasn’t until I got to the party that I started to feel like something was wrong. While my friends… acquaintances seemed surprised to see me, it wasn’t a good kind of surprise. They looked like they had seen a ghost. They looked at me like I was missing a tooth or someone had shaved one of my eyebrows off. I wandered around, looking for Ashley, until I found Eric, the quarterback of the football team.
“Hey Eric, have you seen Ash around?” I inquired.
I couldn’t help but notice his eyes quickly and frantically dart to the top of the staircase, towards where the bedrooms were.
“Uh… No, I haven’t seen her. I didn’t think she was coming” he said, rather unconvincingly. It was around this time that the butterflies in my stomach turned to wasps as I began to put together the pieces of an uncomfortable puzzle. The people around Eric gave me confused, almost pitying looks, and my heart sank.
Breathing heavily, I nodded slowly and turned towards the door. Every eye in the room was on me, so I knew my next steps would have to be fast. I stepped once in the direction of the exit, planted hard, and then broke for the stairs. I heard a concerned murmuring and someone shouted, but I was too quick. I was halfway up the stairs before anyone knew what was happening.
I knew which room was Adam’s from sleepovers as a kid, and I didn’t stop sprinting until I got there. From behind the door, I heard giggling and whispers. I hoped I was about to make an ass out of myself. I hoped that I had let my imagination get the better of me and that everything was fine. I made it to the top of the stairs in seconds flat, but it took a lifetime for my hand to reach the doorknob. I took a deep breath and threw the door open.
In that moment, I world collapsed. Adam was lying, naked in his bed, and he wasn’t alone. I couldn’t see her face right away, but I knew he was with Ashley. I stood there, frozen, and I couldn’t breathe. Quickly, they saw me and tried to cover up, but it was too late.
“Fuck, Tyler!” she shouted, trying to cover herself up, but I didn’t hear her. My hand was glued to the doorknob, and the site of them together was burned into my eyes. She frantically spoke, crying and staring at everything in the room but me, but I heard none of it. I looked over at Adam, and while his lips were frowning, his eyes were smiling. That same, superior, condescending smile.
I looked around the room aimlessly. The way his bed was propped against the corner, the ornate rug on his floor, the lamp shaped like a football, all the pictures of his friends and family along the walls.
Suddenly, time caught up with me, and I knew I needed to escape. I nodded and took several short breaths before slamming the door and trotting down the stairs. The party fell silent and every eye in the building was on me but I didn’t meet anyone’s gaze. I just tried to keep my eyes open and my mouth shut. I fought every single tear that was climbing over my eyeballs.
I made it to the door and I broke into a sprint down the street. I ran faster than I’d ever run on the football field and I didn’t slow down until I couldn’t see another car. I ran until my legs gave out and I was dry heaving, and then I let go. I tried to fight the tears, but I couldn’t anymore. I started sobbing, and I realized I couldn’t breathe. I started to hyperventilate and eventually, my breathing slowed. I took long, labored breaths, and decided it was time to go home.
Standing up, I realized I had no Idea where I was. I knew I was on a dirt road, and I knew which way Adam’s was, but I’d never been down this far. Through the trees, I saw some dim lights, so I assumed that was the party. I took a deep breath, wiped my face off, and made my way into the woods. I walked for what felt like hours before I came to a strange realization.
The lights weren’t from Adam’s party. Instead, they were dim lanterns, hanging from a broken down shed. Vines were growing around the building and cobwebs were all over the place. There was something irresistible about the shed. Like a log floating down the river, I knew it wasn’t safe but I wanted to put a foot on it. I tried to pull myself away, but I just couldn’t. I couldn’t take my eyes off the building and without trying to, I began walking towards it. Before I knew it, I was at the door again, and for the second time that night, my hand was on the doorknob, terrified and thrilled about what could be on the other side.
I took a deep breath and opened the door, but I wasn’t prepared for what was on the other side. The room was nearly identical to Adam’s bedroom. The bed was in the same place, the carpet on the floor looked the same, and there were picture frames where he kept his pictures. Except, everything looked melted. The bed was missing a leg, the rug looked burned, and the football lamp cracked. Across the room, there was a photo, and out of a morbid curiosity, I crept towards it. It was covered in dust or soot so I licked my fingers and wiped it off to reveal myself.
It was a mirror. With the light peeking through the open door, I was just barely able to make out my own reflection. Then my heart stopped as I realized I wasn’t alone. In the mirror, I saw a shadowy figure standing in the open doorway. I spun around to see something truly terrifying.
In the doorway was a man, but he looked unnatural. He was tall but impossibly skinny, as if he wasn’t a man at all but a coat rack supporting a heavy jacket. His sleeves were so long and baggy that they dragged along the floor like wings. My eyes eventually made his way up to his face and that’s when I saw it. He didn’t have a face. Instead, it looked like he was wearing some kind of bird mask with a long, sharp beak.
That’s then the beak opened, revealing long, razor sharp teeth, and it made a horrible sound. It sounded like a woman screaming and nails on a chalkboard all at once. It screeched and flew towards me. I couldn’t be sure if it actually flew or if it just ran quickly, but all I saw was his beak screaming towards me. I stumbled and fell, and before I knew it, it was on top of me.
Suddenly I felt a quick, screaming pain in my side, and when I looked down, I saw with horror that some kind of long, dark blade had poked through the long sleeves and impaled me. It screeched in my face and I got a whiff of it’s putrid breath. It smelled like rotten death, and if I hadn’t already emptied my stomach earlier, that would’ve been enough. The creature screamed in my face as it twisted the blade through me.
And then, just as suddenly as it had appeared, it was gone, tearing off into the night.
The strange thing about dying is that it’s nothing like the movies. In the movies, it’s quick, painless, and the character is instantly on to the next great adventure. Maybe that’s how death is for some people, but that’s not how it was for me. I got stabbed, it hurt, a lot incidentally, and then I was cold. I lay there in the woods, gasping, trying to put pressure on my stomach as blood and god knows what else seeped out. I tried to reach for my phone, but my arms were so heavy, so weak. Eventually, my eyes grew heavy, and the intense pain started to subside, the pounding in my head getting louder and louder. After a lifetime that felt like less than a minute, I gave in to the pressure and drifted off.
It’s funny, thousands of people die every single day but the impact of losing just one person can be devastating, especially when that person is you. Bleeding out in that shed, I thought my adventure was over. I thought that my dreams and goals had gone up in smoke and that my last thoughts would be of my half-naked girlfriend giggling underneath another boy’s sheets. I thought my adventure was over, but in all reality, it was only just beginning.