Monday, October 13, 2003

Life of the Party - Fiction

Jake McDaniels pulled the heavy wool cloak over his head, and fastened the antler buttons up his broad chest. He grabbed his brush, and pulled it through his wavy blonde hair watching each stroke in the mirror. Thinking that the cloak was going to be messing up his hair all night, he slipped his brush into the ample pockets.

Jake hated parties. It wasn’t so much the party aspect, or the chance to meet with friends and have some fun. After all, during normal gatherings he was usually the life of the party. He didn’t like the direction that parties always seemed to head. As the night goes on, people tended to have way too much alcohol, and they start to show their otherwise suppressed emotions. Normal people by day, the nightlife of a party would bring out their ugly sides.

The women get blubbery, and start to cry at the drop of a hat about this boy or that, and why they have not found someone as good as him. Never mind that they would be obnoxious and snooty to most of the boys at school. They would not remember the outpouring of their souls when the night had passed, or at least that’s what they would claim

Men, on the other hand, would start to become fearless. Most think they have become the world’s greatest comedians, and tell all of the jokes that were never funny in the day time. Vocabularies would degrade, and cussing, and yelling over the music would begin. Almost certainly there will be a fight, and someone would go home embarrassed, or sometimes even in an ambulance.

Musing why he even decided to go to this party, Jake knew that at a costume party he could be someone different. He didn’t have to be the football hero under his mask and cloak. In fact, he enjoyed the idea of making everyone at the party wonder exactly who he was. It always wigged out the girls, and he loved the idea of being the mysterious one.

In the light of day, when it wasn’t October 31st, Jake always felt like he was on the spot. As if he had to perform for his friends and maintain the image they always demanded of him. The costume party was the perfect place to see how people live out of the limelight. It felt good, and Jake was sitting on a couch watching others maintain their status in the social ladder when he caught her eye across the room.

She was a vision. Not in a storybook romance sort of way, but in the sense that he was drawn to her gaze immediately. The room between him and her seemed to go out of focus, as his eyes honed in on hers. Normally, Jake would have been worried being caught just fixated on a woman, but he could not bring himself to look away.

His head was spinning, and it felt as though he was coming down with something, but the sensation was only coming from his peripheral vision, the gaze into her eyes was sharp and steady.

The edge of her lips raised slowly into the cutest little smirk he had ever seen. Without breaking the gaze, her eyelids closed slightly to increase the effect that she was flattered by his attention.

Just then, a group of people wandered between the two, and the connection was lost. When the group moved on, and he could once again regain his view of the far side of the room, she was gone.

Jake’s skin became clammy, and deep inside he began to panic. Where the heck did she go? His eyes darted back and forth across the room searching for any sign that she was there. Anyone near him could not tell there was anything different occurring inside of him.

He didn’t want to come to this stupid party, and he shouldn’t be wearing this dumb costume. At least then maybe she would recognize him and he could use his athletic prowess to snare this awesome woman.

Suddenly a hand was on his shoulder, a drunken boy was trying to guess who he was. He was joking with his friends and they were all making guesses as to Jakes identity. Jake wanted no part of it, he was on a mission, a mission to find this mysterious woman and at least let her know that he was a football hero, maybe then he would have a chance.

It must have been an hour, or at least it seemed that long to Jake, when he finally spotted her out in the back yard, near some trees, staring into the water of a pond. The moon was full and high in the sky. It’s bright light casting a beautiful silvery glow on everything outside.

As he was watching her, she glanced sideways, just over her left shoulder, and reconnected that compelling gaze. Jake’s legs went weak, and he once again began to sweat. Why was he acting like some giddy school boy, he was the star of the football team, and not prone to be awkward when it came to women. She was somehow different.

There was not the usual fresh and innocent look that most girls had that was his age. Something about her was different, more seasoned. Perhaps she was a world traveler, an exchange student maybe, which would explain why he has never seen her at school before.

Was she wearing a costume? He didn’t notice it before, because he was so transfixed on her eyes. Her dress looked like it was dark purple from what he could tell in the glow of the moon, and she was wearing a dark choker necklace with some sort of stone in the center. Her make up was applied to give her a very pale appearance, and she had jet black hair. It was the usual female vampire look, but she really pulled it off great!

Jake had to meet this woman before she disappeared again. As he started toward her she turned in the direction of her gaze and faced him square. The pond was still, and as he got closer Jake could see the reflection of the surrounding trees on the surface of the pond. His eyes looked at her once again, and this time there was no coyness from either of them. Jake knew he was approaching her purposefully, and she had to know his course was for her alone.

Not a word was spoken as he got close to her, and she reached up and pulled his mask off, and down his hood, revealing for the first time that night who he really was. Did she know him? If she did, there was no reaction from her.

The lady in purple took his hands into hers after what seemed like forever, and Jake leaned down as she turned her head and he kissed her long and hard. His tongue darted in and around her mouth as he tasted her, and enjoyed it completely. He felt the sharp vampire teeth of her costume, and it excited him even more knowing that she was just as unknown to him as he hoped he was to her.

He pulled her away just a bit, and once again stared into her eyes. Not wanting to ruin the moment with words, he took in her features so that he might remember them forever should she depart after this night was over. Even under her pale makeup, her skin was smooth and looked like the surface of a china doll. Her eyes were a dark brown, almost black in this light, but he could see little features within them that intrigued him even more. She was exotic and beautiful, mysterious and passionate, yet they have never spoken.

She felt cold and he knew that the dress she was wearing did not have the ability to warm her up adequately. He wrapped his arms around her to warm her, and her lips once again met his with another kiss of longing and need.

Jake was lost. His mind was completely drawn into pleasing this woman, and to keep her warm and safe on this cool night in the garden. Their kissing subsided as he maintained his embrace, and she held him tightly as well. He began kissing her neck, and nibbling on her ear, afraid to break the bond, or to even speak and destroy the spell of the moment.

He felt her kissing his neck, and breathing heavily in his ear. She was enjoying this as much as he was, and he was completely, and utterly hers. Was it the passion of the moment, the beer he had drank earlier, or the sickness he thought he was coming down with earlier? He wasn’t sure, but he was once again getting light-headed.

Instead of warming his new found love up, he seemed to be getting colder. Oh God, what a time to be getting sick. It was just like the fates to do something as cruel as this. He held on to her tightly hoping the sensation would once again pass.

As he stood there clinging to her, and enjoying her attention, Jake lowered his eyes once again to the surface of the pond. That was odd he thought. It looked like he was just standing there by himself with his arms in the air. His eyelids became heavy as the cold seemed to sink into his bones. Was he dreaming this? Was he hallucinating?

The mysterious women in purple relaxed her hold on Jake, and let his lifeless body slide slowly to the ground. She looked once again at the party going on in the house across the yard, gave a slight smile, then turned and walked into the trees.

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