Time crept by that Friday. He knew he had to attend the party later that evening with his wife. It was his worst nightmare coming true. He tried to tell her and anyone else that would listen that he was NOT a social person. The phone on his desk rang, bringing him out of his deepening gloom.
"Hello. Jack speaking."
A voice quite unlike any he had heard before, dripping with menace and dread, stated "Your world will be destroyed tonight. You will die."
"Who is this? What game are you trying to play?" he attempted to ask, but the line was already switching back to dial tone. Looking down at the caller id display on the office phone, he saw 'ID BLOCKED' flashing at him.
Thinking that his friends were playing a joke, he shrugged it off and continued his day.
Later that evening, he prepared for the party, dressing in his rented 70's pimp costume. When he had arrived home from work, there had been a message on the voice mail from his wife. She had told him that she would have to meet him at the party, because she hadn't picked up her costume from the rental shop. 'Great' he thought 'not only do I have to go, I have to go alone. I should just stay home.'
2 hours later, he got into the car and drove across town to his wife's boss's house. Walking to the door, he recalled the call from that morning. He jerked around looking into the shadows. There was nothing, yet he remained agitated.
Before he could knock on the door, it jumped open and a man in a Dracula costume jumped out and welcomed him to the party. He felt foolish with his fears and tried to put on the happy face for the party.
Walking in was an experience. People in varied states of undress greeted his eyes. His wife hadn't told him anything about the party, and he turned back to the doorman and asked, "What is going on here? My wife didn't tell me what kind of party this was."
"Oh. Well. First of all, who is your wife?" the man asked, slightly confused.
"I am sorry, I am Jack Saunders. My wife is Sara."
"Sara? Oh... Jack. I am sorry, I didn't recognize you. I am to take you to the sitting room." the man said hurried, and taking Jack's elbow led him around the main body of guests to the sitting room.
Confused and upset, Jack was deposited in the room and left alone. 'Not even offered a drink' he thought 'What is going on? Half naked people, a doorman that shoves me in here, and still no wife.'
Looking around the room, he saw a curtain that looked to be on the wrong wall. He thought that was where the wall was. He got up and walked over towards it, just to take a peek.
Sliding a finger between the curtains, he peered around its corner. It was a two-way mirror. He could see the main party. 'Wow, I can see everything.' He noticed that the festivities were well underway. People were walking around in their costumes, chatting with others and having a merry old time. Yet, there was still no sign of his wife.
"Ahem" came a voice behind him. Jack turned around quickly, embarrassed at being caught watching the others. He looked to see his wife's boss, Steve Avery. Jack had met Steve on 2 other occasions; both were dinners for her company.
"Good to see you Jack." Steve started "I am sorry your wife isn't here just yet. I had you brought in here for a special show. I hope you will enjoy it. In 5 minutes watch through those curtains again. You won't be disappointed."
"Uh... sure Steve. What is going on tonight? My wife just said a costume party. I wasn't aware of the "theme"." Jack tried to explain, lamely.
Steve laughed "Don't worry Jack. You are dressed perfectly fine. The others chose to get a little wild tonight. I need to see to some of the arrangements. If you would like a drink or a snack, I can have some brought in to you."
"Thank you Steve, would it be possible to get a beer?"
"No problem. The man who brought you in here, will bring it in. Shouldn't be more than a minute. When the show starts, just slide those curtains open and sit back and relax." Steve told him, and excused himself out of the room.
Starting to relax, Jack sat on the love seat in front of the curtain. Within a minute, the doorman came in and gave Jack a Samuel Adams, then vanished out the door again. When the appointed time came, Jack got up and slipped open the curtains. In the short time since he had last looked, there was a great change in the room. The furniture had been placed back along the walls, and a large bed now dominated the center of the room. Thinking that this was another joke, he chuckled and sat back down.
Sipping his beer, he watched the scene unfold before him. People were surrounding the bed, seated and standing. Two large men carried a person in, wrapped head to toe in a white sheet. At the foot of the bed, the figure was placed gently on their knees and remained there with their head bowed down. The two men took up guard positions on either side of the person, with their arms crossed.
The sounds from the main room were suddenly heard in the room Jack was sitting in. Looking up he saw small speakers, hanging just above the curtains. He started to notice that the main room's inhabitants were looking on the situation with a gleam. There was a hunger in the looks from behind the masks, which was not reassuring to Jack.
Next to the love seat, the phone started to ring. Out of reflex, Jack picked it up.
"I told you that your world would be destroyed tonight. Watch as it unfolds."
"God damn it!" Jack swore, instantly afraid. He wanted out of there, NOW!
Running to the door, he found it locked. Pounding on it, he couldn't hear the hits. It was an eerie silence. Walking to the window, he found it was plate glass that had no opening. Scanning the room, he saw no exit or vent in which to escape from this trap. Reluctantly, his eyes were drawn back to the scene unfolding in the main room.
Steve walked into the main room. The murmurs and background noises ceased quickly. He looked straight at Jack, smiled, and turned back to the others gathered with him.
"My friends. It has been a wonderful year for our company. Here we are 2 months from the end of the year, and we are already 75 percent ahead of projected sales. On top of that, our family has been growing steadily." Steve started.
'Family? What is he talking about' was the thought that flashed in Jack's mind, while the sinking feeling grew in his stomach.
"We have a new person that wishes to join us. We all know her, and have partaken of her charms sometime in the last 5 years."
'Five years? That's how long Sara... Oh No!' Jack felt the bottom drop from his world; Like an elevator, dropping, with it's cables cut.