Thursday, October 29, 2009

Midnight Swim - #FridayFlash

Marsha was having a blast at the Halloween party. She and her friend, Sue, had pre-arranged a signal if either one needed to be rescued but it didn’t look like they’d need it. The music thrummed in her soul, the booze flowed freely and the costumes were fabulous. Marsha felt like a million dollars here.

When Sue had suggested crashing the exclusive party of the hottest horror film director in town, Marsha was sure they’d be thrown out at the door. Instead, the director himself greeted them, warmly ushering them inside.

His vampire costume was to die for, probably costing thousands of dollars for the authenticity. Everybody here sparkled in their expensive clothing, although not all were in costume. Marsha’s little devil getup was cheap, but it made the most of her assets. In the dark, no one would know it didn’t have a designer label. Come Monday, when she put her waitress uniform back on, she’d have some awesome memories of this night.

“Would you care to dance?”

The sexy voice belonged to someone in a death costume. As Marsha melted into his arms, she tried to think of which star he might be. The voice wasn’t familiar, but so many actors modulated their speech.

After a while, they drifted out to the balcony, overlooking the Hollywood hills. Marsha felt a bit tipsy, drinking more than she normally would. The night sky opened before them with a thousand stars, the air vibrated with promise.

“Do you choose to be with me?”

The voice whispered in her ear, inviting her to share his exciting life. Why not? Marsha thought. If I don’t like him tomorrow I’ll just tell him I’m a waitress. That ought to send him running. She giggled at the image of death fleeing from her.

“Sure.” It came out a bit slurred but understandable.

“Why don’t we go for a swim.”

An Olympic-sized pool sat directly below the balcony. Marsha had been so busy gazing at the stars that she hadn’t noticed it before.

“Okay.” She turned to go find a way downstairs, but death picked her up and threw her over the railing.

Marsha broke the surface, sputtering and glad to have survived the fall. Death floated next to her, not a smudge in his make-up.

“Is your make-up waterproof?” She gazed into the blackest eyes she’d ever seen. He hadn’t looked this scary earlier.

“My dear, I’m not wearing a costume. Are you ready for your swim?”

Marsha’s confusion quickly progressed to terror as she sank endlessly, deeper than the pool’s depth. When she broke the surface again, she stared into the eyes of the ferryman.

The police ruled Marsha’s death accidental, a broken neck as she fell over the railing and hit the concrete walk in the garden below. Someone reported seeing her just minutes before it happened, standing alone and swaying to the music. It was determined that she was a gatecrasher, nobody worthy of a headline. The party played on.

©2009 Laura Eno