I stare at the fire in front of me, a line of dark orange covers the shinning yellow center and together the colors dance at a pace set by the refreshing night breeze. My mind is becoming lost in the moves of the flames, but I'm suddenly dragged back to Earth by the nags of Michele, one of the few friends that decided to accompany me to the woods in the middle of the night to have some fun, along with Kasey and Peter.
"I don't mean to be a party pooper, but this is pathetic, are we going to stare at the fire all night or are we going to have real fun?"
"She's right" Peter affirms "Time to party! Look what I got" He casts a bottle of wine out of his pocket.
"Are you crazy?!" Kasey shouts "I'm not touching that crap, we're only sixteen for Christ sake!" She's obviously afraid of cops showing up and taking her on custody or something.
"Luckily I didn't ask you to, bitch" He replies, his voice sounds already under the alcohol effects.
"Hey, leave her alone" I say, not taking my eyes off the fire.
"Whatever" Peter rolls his eyes, unwilling to argue.
"Okay, time for horror stories, who wants to begin?" Michele asks, her eyes full of expectation.
"Pass! I'm not helping spread a stupid fake tale" My male friend is behaving like a real douche tonight, and the party girl doesn't let it go unnoticed.
"You're too an asshole to tell a good story anyway" She snaps, very proud of herself "Do you want to start, Keith?"
Me? Why would she pick me? I barely speak and now she wants me to tell a story, well, I suppose I could. I know a very good one after all, but I'm not sure if they can handle it. Her eyes keep glued to me while she waits for an answer, I brush a small wave of cold sweat that covers my forehead with my sleeve and redirect my view from the dying flames to her blue irises.
"Sure, but just keep in mind that what I'm about to tell is not what you expect to hear at normal campfires, this is a fucked up story that may traumatize you"
"Just cut the crap, Keith Patrickson, we're not children" Kasey intervenes. Big words for somebody that almost peed herself when the wine came out of Pete's inner pocket.
"Alright, but once I start I don't want any interruptions okay?" I say in a warning tone.
"Okay" The three voices almost shout unison.
"For this to work I need you to close your eyes and relax"
"Oh hell no! This is just a trick, I won't close my eyes like an idiot so he can punch me in the face" Peter lets me know, his breath raged and his voice full of pride.
"C'mon dude! I promise you this isn't a trick, if you want you don't have to close your eyes, but I warn you it will make the story less exciting" Boy, he can be a baby sometimes.
"Hum, fine, I'll close them, but now I warn you no funny business"
"Yeah" I reassure him and clearing my throat I prepare to start. "Remember, no interruptions and all of you keep your eyes close until I say 'THE END' regardless how terrified you are"
"Just start with the fucking story, this is taking hours!" Michele seems upset, I really don't understand this people.
"Imagine you're walking home from work, since it's only a few miles away, and the sky above is black as ebony. You always do this, but tonight is different, tonight you have the feeling that something is not right, you shrug it off thinking it must be just paranoia.
Nothing in the night seems strange, the moon and the stars shine the same way they did yesterday and somehow that makes you feel safer, and a little silly for worrying for no reason. After a few more steps you start to see shadows drawn across the street, you try to remain calm but your pace becomes faster.
The faster you walk the closer the shadows seems to get and fear starts to invade your body. Your mind fills with murder and rape cases you've seen on television and listened on the radio. 'Calm down, it's just your imagination' you tell yourself but somehow you know that's not absolutely true.
The shadows disappear and you sigh with relief, another time feeling silly for worrying. The sidewalk below your feet becomes a corner and as you turn to the left something that feels like a bat hits the back of your head, the last thing you feel is the pain of your body crashing against the hard floor before you lose consciousness.
When you wake up you feel something keeping you from standing up, and the cool grass refreshes your now heated skin, that's when you realize you're completely naked and as the only place in the city with grass this fresh is Newton Park you're probably there.
Your eyes now focus on the man seated on your stomach, with a hand holding a knife that points at your throat and with the other keeping your mouth shut. 'Hello, Sweetheart, wanna play?' He asks you. That phrase, you recognize it, you just heard on TV there's a serial killer that escaped prison and he assaults young women and men asking them if they want to play. You then remember all that he does to them and how what covers his knife handle looks like leather but it's actually skin he took from his victims' intimate parts.
This body your mind is locked in starts to shiver, and thick streams of tears slide from your perplexed eyes. 'Shhhh' The man tells you in a very calm tone 'Just Answer the question, do you wanna play?' His pitch black eyes stare at you intensely, there isn't visible life in them and you just give the safest answer you can think of. 'Y-Yes, I want to play' you say stuttering. 'I knew you would be good' The Player, how everybody calls him, answers and the thought of him knowing you disgusts you.
He makes you promise to keep your mouth shut and withdraws the hand that covered it, but the knife is still close enough so you can feel the steel against your skin. The stranger uses his free hand to slide a finger inside your rear, the embarrassment couldn't be bigger, and just as you're adjusting the feeling of an alien element his finger is replaced by an excited member.
The pounding is so rough and uncontrollable that makes you bleed significantly, you can't see it but you know it, and it feels like a thousand razor blades tearing your insides and leaving traces of pain all over the place. As the punishment gets faster and unbearable he finds his release, but the bleeding is making you feel dizzy and disoriented, you just want to die and escape this agony 'cause it would be impossible for you to live with this shame, with this feeling of dirtiness all over your body.
Even though you've never believed in religion, you start to pray for the forgiveness of your sins and to go to heaven. The man, almost reading your thoughts, tells you something barely audible 'Don't worry, I'll follow you to paradise' he repeats over and over until he lifts his knife and stars to stab your chest repeatedly. You feel how your life is taken away from you with every slash, but you're okay with it, the end is coming and is exactly what you want. 20 stabs is what you manage to count before your eyes finally close and you find your release. THE END"
Everybody starts to open their eyes and look at me disappointingly.
"It's that all? You really exaggerated the thrill of the story, you know?" Kasey is the first to talk, as always.
"Yeah, that wasn't scary at all" Michele confirms.
"Whatever" I say, I really thought the story was scary.
"We should get going, anyway" Finally Peter's being reasonable.
We all nod in agreement and he throws a bucket of water to the fire, killing the now peaceful movements. Everybody stands up and let him lead the way through a small path that we have to pass in a single file to get to the road, where we left the car parked. I'm the last in the file and Kasey is in front of me, so I suddenly ask her to stop.
"What?" She asks me.
"Just wait" I tell her.
The other two keep walking and I wait a little until they're far enough. I cover her mouth with one hand and getting my knife with a handle of "leather" I let it rest in her throat with the other.
"Hello, Kasey, wanna play?" I ask her in the calmest tone I can manage.