wow, you guys! i can’t believe i’m actually doing this. in lieu of doing NaNoWriMo this year, i have committed to writing (and posting!) a 500-1,000ish word story or part of a story every Sunday. slacker that i am, i just knocked this one out, um, like right now so there has been pretty much not a stitch of editing involved. i used one of the prompts i found here. total pressure, but it was actually fun! enjoy and have a great week!
I sat in the taxi fidgeting the tulle under my gown and thinking I’d rather be at home in my flannel pajamas instead of going to this stupid Halloween party. It had been an exhausting week and I was totally not feeling social. Aren’t we like way too old for costume parties, anyway?
And why on earth had I agreed to go as Glinda the Good Witch and Dorothy from Wizard of Oz? Oh. Right. Because this ridiculous puke-pink bridesmaid’s dress was still in my closet a year and a half after Kirsten’s wedding, and I thought it would make a good costume. God, I hate this dress. But I did have to admit I looked pretty hot in it as a blonde. This wig was something else. And the sparkly fake eyelashes were a total find. But still. Audrey so owed me one. She and Jason had better hook up tonight, get married and live happily ever after. I’m totally over playing wingman on this one. But there I was.
As the cab headed downtown toward her apartment, I stared out the window trying to force myself into a better mood. I just had to last a couple hours. It would be fine. Ugh. As I stared, I noticed how weird it was that there was hardly anyone out. The streets seemed darker than usual and the wind had kicked up. It was really kind of creepy. Perfect for Halloween, I thought. My phone buzzed with a text.
where aaaaare you?
almost there. come down in 5.
I put my phone back in my bag and looked back out the window. No, really, where was everyone?
When we pulled up to Audrey’s apartment building, she was waiting on the front porch. She jumped up and down clapping and made a beeline for the car. I had to admit, she did look adorbs as Dorothy. She even brought Newman with her to play Toto. That was a disaster waiting to happen. I love Newman, but he’s a total spaz.
As she opened the cab door, a giant gust of wind flew in beside her, rustling her dress and sending my long blonde curls flying across my face and tangling one in those eyelashes.
“Woosh! Hi, honey! OMG, you look SO presh!” Audrey said setting Newman down in between us and closing the door.
She gave the driver the address to Brody’s place up by Emory and started rattling off the details about the party that she’d heard so far. Jason was there with Patrick dressed as Gilligan and the Skipper. Trent and Gina were back together, dressed as Kimye and being as annoying as ever. There were at least threee slutty Elsas and a couple Ebola doctors in HAZMAT suits. Too soon? I thought.
I looked out the window again, noticing that this part of town seemed pretty deserted, too. No one walking, barely any cars . . . “Is this weird, Audrey? There’s like no one on the street.” I was starting to get a little concerned.
Audrey looked out. “Meh. Whatevs. Everyone’s probably just inside somewhere having fun!”
As she started back in rattling off the news of the evening, I suddenly became aware of the radio. “Shhh! Listen!”
Audrey stopped midsentence, and with the backseat silent, we both could hear an instrumental version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow gently floating from the car speakers. “Noooooo!” she squealed. “This is too perfect! It’s a sign — we’re gonna have an awesome night!” Newman yapped in agreement.
When we arrived at Brody’s, the warm light and shadows of people mingling inside were practically the first sign of life I’d seen the entire evening so far. The house was decorated to the nines with an elaborate cemetery set up in the large front yard. The fake sounds of ghoulish screams, rattling chains and crashing thunder, intermingled perfectly with the real wind, which was actually now starting to howl.
We collected all our props from the cab and headed toward the back, where it sounded like the real party was happening. I literally had to hold on to my hair (and crown) to keep it from blowing off the top of my head. Audrey was fighting her dress to keep the wind from whipping it up around her waist. Newman wasn’t happy about being jostled around and was becoming super agitated, yapping and squirming around. It felt like we had walked for miles. Was this house always this far off the street?
Leaves swirled all around us as we made our way through the dark toward the light and music on the other side of the tall fence. Suddenly, the gate flew open, crashing against the fence with a loud thwack! We picked up our pace, holding tight to our costumes. There was so much hair in my face, I could barely see what was in front of me, but it looked like there were a lot more HAZMAT suits in there than Audrey had originally reported. Weird.
We were almost there when Newman gave one final annoyed yap, leapt out of his basket and took off. “Oh, shit!” we both screamed and ran after him. He scurried through the open gate, into the party. And we raced in behind him. Under the twinkling party lights, a hundred HAZMAT suits turned to see what all the commotion was about. I was so confused, but kept going, trying to stay focused on where Newman was headed and how to catch him. But what a weird scene.
I pushed through the crowd, moving as fast as I could without getting caught up in my dress. The tulle scratched at my knees and the straps dangled down around my shoulders. Newman finally stopped, thank god, and I was almost at him when I felt something pull on my ankle and then went flying. At that exact moment, all the lights that had been twinkling above the patio went black. Power cord. Shit. And then I hit the ground with a thud.
Several of the HAZMAT suits hovered over me. And then everything really did go dark. My head felt heavy and swirly as I struggled to make sense of the complete blackness. And from somewhere deep inside my brain, a soft, comforting voice started repeating “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home . . .” And then the buzzing started. I tried to will my brain awake (alive?). What was happening?
Then I suddenly bolted up. There were no HAZMATs, no wind, no Newman. I was on my sofa in my flannel pajamas with The Wizard of Oz credits rolling on the television. Wow, how long was I out? I checked my phone. Midnight. There was a text from Audrey: u missed a great party, girl!