Dani asked me to write a scary story – something that could be told around a campfire. Give it a read and then tell me how I did in the comments.
Shortly after college, when I was working and single and felt like I had the world at my feet, with money to spare and time to enjoy, I was the King of Halloween parties. (How I later morphed into a lowly Jester is a different story altogether). I planned out sets for when I stepped behind the decks to spin records for my guests. There were themed drinks to accompany the decorations that adorned the inside and outside of the house. I even had space set aside to get away from the music and commotion where party-goers could relax and read their preference of magic books or play with a Ouija Board or learn how to use a voodoo doll…
It was the third year of these epic parties where my world began to unravel.
An open door policy meant that strangers would often find their way into the festivities, along with irate neighbors from time to time as well, and I got used to looking up from the spinning records into a sea of faces I didn’t recognize. So, it wasn’t alarming on that 3rd anniversary, with my pulse pounding in time to the blistering pace of the high energy music, to make eye contact with an unknown guest. It was, in hindsight, odd for me to be so captivated for their green eyes that I nearly missed by drop point for the next track.
I shook my head to refocus my concentration and salvaged the transition, and then spent the rest of my set purposefully engrossed in the art of mixing so I would avoid making any other mistakes. But, then, as I handed control of the music over to the next dj, and grabbed a much needed drink, I went in search of the guest with mesmerizing eyes. Interestingly enough, however, I couldn’t remember anything about how they’d been dressed. I could only remember the luminescent light green orbs.
From the kitchen and back across the living room turned dance floor, to the spillover family room where people mingled and away from the thumping beats, and then up the stairs to the lounge where guests were nervously and excitedly watching the Ouija Board answer whatever question they had asked of the spirits within. I made my way through the entire house and did not find who I was looking for. Disappointed, but not overly concerned, again because of the open door policy, I made my way downstairs across the dance floor again to step through the sliding glass door and soak in the chill of the night for a few minutes.
I was gazing at the stars when movement by the brick fence across the yard caught my attention. I snapped my head down and my eyes were immediately caught in her gaze again. Without a second thought, or perhaps even a first one, I stepped away from the door, the lights, and the music, and into the darkness to say hello. “Are you enjoying the party,” I asked while I was still a few feet away.
The lack of immediate response didn’t faze me. Why would it? She didn’t know me and I didn’t know her. She was at my party, sure, but she’d left it, just as I had to find some solace or comfort, perhaps, in the quiet and dark backyard. If I’d been her I likely wouldn’t have answered quickly either, as I assessed whether the person approaching me was drunk, or an idiot, or a threat. So, I stopped before getting in what I would have considered her personal space.
“What’s your name?”
Her voice purred, low, sultry and every bit as captivating as her eyes, which I still hadn’t looked away from. Not wanting her to think I was staring at her, I tried to break away and look at the stars again, but found that I was unable to. A slight bit of panic settled in then, but the liquid from the nearly empty cup in my hand had slowed things down for me and I didn’t realize how much trouble I was in.
“Matticus. Or DJ Matticus. Or Matt. Or George, even. I’ll answer to a lot of different names. What’s yours?”
Her eyes narrowed from the large pools of green reflecting the moon to greedy slits about to devour my soul. I tried to retreat, back to the light and music and the party where I would find safety in numbers, but my feet wouldn’t respond to my urgent commands. She slunk away from the shadow she’d been hiding in and I caught a glimpse of a cat costume and a sudden fire burning behind her eyes before she was on me. Without actually touching me, she wrapped her arms around my neck and leaned in close to my left ear.
Her purring voice whispered dark secrets. After the first one I dropped my drink cup. After the second, I fell to my knees. After the third, my hands joined my knees in the dirt. Somehow she moved each time I did without losing her own balance and without ever contacting me. The fourth secret sent me twisting onto my back, prone on the hard-packed ground next to the fence, the whole expansive of sky played out in front of me. But, the stars and the moon swirled together in a whirlpool of light that seemed to suck me skyward. Until, with the fifth secret, my eyes closed in blessed unconsciousness.
I woke in a hospital, with handcuffs keeping me chained to the bed, and no memory of what had happened, of what I had done. The secrets, however, I remembered then and still do all these years later. I used one of them to get myself out of trouble with the law. I used therapy to try and ease myself back into society. I used hair dye to change my color back to what it should have been because I was too young for it to be all white.
I stopped throwing Halloween parties. I no longer have an open door policy.
And, for the most part, I lead a perfectly normal life.
But, if you ever seen me whispering to myself, with a far-off look and my head tilted towards the sky, I would advise you to stay away from me. I would advise you not to make eye contact. I would advise you to not lean in closer to try and hear what I’m saying.
*whisper whisper whisper*