This story is by Malik Atwair and was part of our 2022 Fall Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
The clock struck midnight, and Dority and I were ready. We went past our home town, through the woods and up the clifftop. All we could see was the sea breaking underneath us, the woods behind us and the moon shining. An hour had passed, and I wondered if the party was real. Dority was told that up the cliff top should be “THE” legendary haunted Halloween event. A Ghost story that spans centuries; perhaps it was all marketing hype to create intrigue. As that thought crossed my mind, I heard music playing in the distance.
“Can you hear that?” As Dority asked the question, the music was getting closer, and we heard what sounded like classical music.
We couldn’t see anything. Even with a full moon, it was as if the music was coming from thin air. It felt like it was getting closer. I was beginning to get scared, I wanted to go home, but Dority, the party animal, was getting excited.
“I feel it will be the best party ev-“.
A loud tire squeak interrupted her, and a black 1950 limo stopped next to us. Four men got out of the car wearing tuxedos and Bauta vulture masks. As they passed us, they bowed their heads, “ma’am”, and walked toward the cliff’s edge, with one of them holding a bag. As they arrived at the edge, he pulled out an object from the bag. Grabbing it from what looked like strings or black pieces of cloth, the bottom looked heavy; it had a round, oval shape, but it was hard to see correctly due to the silhouette. Something was dripping from the bottom of it. He stretched his hand out, holding the object and a floating pathway appeared. At the end of the pathway, a tall man wearing a white suit and goat mask stood in front of a door. They walked on the path towards the door, and as he opened it, he asked the four men if we were with them. They looked back at each other with a smile on their faces.
“Yes, ” they bowed down at the man by the door.
All of a sudden, Dority dragged me towards them. She seemed happy and excited, so I went along. We walked over the edge, slowly over the pathway, and as Dority dragged me, I saw a trail of dark red splattered paint on the path.
As I passed the tall man through the door, he looked down at me with his terrifying horned goat mask. Once I got inside the door, I was greeted by a dark narrow corridor only lit up by a few candles. The walls didn’t look like stone or wood I had ever seen. It seemed like the wall was stitched together. As I was about to touch it, I heard the door closing. I looked back at the door, and at that moment, something inside me told me that I would not be able to return. I heard her voice which snapped me out of my trance.
“Are you coming?” Dority asked, “Come on! This place is amazing.”
I turned around and saw her smiling and waving for me to go towards her. As I got closer to her, I had to cover my eyes. I couldn’t see a thing; it was so bright. As my eyes adjusted, I looked ahead and wow. It was a grand ballroom lit up by the most beautiful candlelights I had ever seen. The fire they were emitting was black but somehow lit up the entire place. It felt like I went to a king’s castle. There was what looked like a magical light strip of “glowing fish”, maybe, swimming on the ceiling. One “glowing fish” left the pack and swam down towards me. It swam around me, and I spun with it until it swam back up to the rest of the “glowing fish”.
I looked around, and a few people were already here, dancing and drinking, all wearing beautiful fancy dresses and tuxedos. Every person wore a Bauta animal mask. The men wore vultures, and the women wore horned owl masks. The waiters wore horned goat masks like the man from outside.
Dority grabbed my hand, and we walked with the four men to where everyone was dancing. The waiter handed us goblets filled with what looked like red wine but didn’t smell like wine. It tasted weird, unlike any alcohol I had ever drunk. In the distance, I wasn’t sure if I heard correctly; it sounded like a parliament of owls had hooted or attacked. Then people cheered and lifted their glasses in a circle. They all raised their cups, and as I lifted my cup in the air, “cheers!” we downed the drink. Then our glass filled up again with the same red liquid.
Dority’s voice cut through the noise “now, this is a party!”
As she grabbed my hand, we started dancing and drinking. Now and then, I hear the word “exire.” Each time we drank, I could swear I heard the sounds of animals in distress or attacking. Then our cups fill up shortly after. Perhaps the drink was getting to me.
I looked around at everyone dancing and looked up at the “glowing fish” dancing across the ceiling. I saw Dority dancing with the four men; they slowly got close to her. I heard the word again, “exire”. This time it was louder. It didn’t seem that anyone was talking to me. That’s when I realised how many people were at the party. I started to wonder how long we had been here. Even the “glowing fish” on the ceiling have suddenly increased from around ten since we arrived to hundreds.
I looked around and noticed Dority was physically touching and dancing with the four men. “EXIRE,” as the word loudly rushed through my body like a gust of wind. I looked back from where the voice came from, but no one was there. I started to get scared. I wanted to leave. Then I heard crows pecking behind me. I looked back at Dority; the four men’s faces had morphed with their masks and started pecking and eating out of Dority. I screamed, and everyone looked at us; they were all cheering. Dority wasn’t scared or in pain; she was enjoying it as they slowly killed her. I got scared and didn’t know what to do, so I ran away through the crowd as some tried to grab me. Does who didn’t try to catch me looked at me and laughed, holding their drinks in the air. As I tried to run through everyone, I saw more people with their faces morphed into their masks, eating those like me without a bauta mask. As I ran, I tripped over a dead body with its skin mostly eaten, and part of the skeleton was showing with maggots crawling out of the eye socket.
I stood up and ran towards where I thought the door was. I looked up, and thousands of glowing fish were on the ceiling. I could clearly hear animals eating and people cheering and drinking. Finally, I reached the corridor and at the end of it was the door. I ran, but it felt like I could never reach it. I ran as fast as possible, but the door wasn’t getting closer. Slowly behind me, I heard the candles turning off one by one until they all went off. Someone grabbed me and threw me into the wall as my body morphed into it. I finally understood what the walls were made of.
A news reporter is playing on TV “this is the email that I received; from what I understand, the location of where this event happens changes from person to person.”
Two young men are sitting on their laptops, looking at the email the news reporter is talking about.
“It has become a social media trend, hunting down the legendary haunted party. I would advise everyone listening not to attempt to find this party. People have been reported missing all over the country from abandoned houses, apartments even at sea. The only link the police could find is that they were all trying to find this legendary haunted party.”
They both looked at each other with a smile as they closed their laptops.
“I would advise everyone listening not to attempt to find this party.”