Party of the Heart
By Tim Stebbins
“Beep, beep, beep, beep,” whined the unappreciated alarm clock. Jared’s hand came slamming down on top of it silencing the infuriating sound. He sat up in bed rubbing the sleep from his eyes.
“Why did I go out last night?” he asked himself out loud burying his head into his hands. Jared then opened the drawer of his night stand and pulled out a bottle of aspirin. He slowly dragged his six foot tall stiff body out of his bed in nothing but his boxers, he made his way down the hall quietly, trying to reach the bathroom before having to deal with any of his family members. Mission failure as he ran directly into his 17 year old sister Amanda. She seemed so much smaller in comparison to his larger frame being roughly five foot tall and very petite. She had long raven black hair with one side of her head shaved, piercing blues eyes, and thick black eye lashes that she abused to get her way whenever possible. She dressed as some might call Goth, but she didn’t like to label herself more of a free spirit in that regard she just really liked the Smokey eyed look and the black lip stick. Despite the rash attitude she always seemed to give Jared, she loved him more than anyone else in the family and he felt the same about her. Since the day she came home from the hospital he was always overprotective of her, they were each other’s world even though they would never admit it to anyone.
“Oh my god Jared, put on some pants,” screamed Amanda. “No one wants to see that.”
“Give it a rest Amanda. I don’t even remember coming home last night, my head hurts and I’m just trying to get to the bathroom…” he pauses to look further down the hall to see Amanda’s best friend Charlie poking her head out of Amanda’s room. “Also sis, Charlie over there seems to like what she’s seeing.” He concluded while giving a little wink to Charlie still unmoved from around the door.
Amanda turned to see her cherry red best friend biting her lip in embracement, just gawking at her brother. “Gross Charlie!” Amanda yelled while chasing Charlie back in the room, slamming her door behind her. Charlie was short for Charlene but she couldn’t stand being called that. She felt like that was some old ladies name and being only fifteen she didn’t want to be viewed as an “old lady”. Amanda had first met Charlie in math class at their high school first semester last year and they hit it off. She was a little taller than Amanda but pretty much looked identical besides the opposite side of her head being shaved (it was a friend thing).
Jared just giggled to himself and proceeded to the bathroom. He pops a few pills still in his hand trying to ease his headache, splashes some water on his face and looks at himself in the mirror. Jared began to flex his muscles or what he thought he had in a typical magazine style. Jared was no body builder but he wasn’t close to being scrawny. He was athletic but not really that bulky in comparison to his age group, he had medium length brown hair, green eyes, and stubble forming along his chin. He didn’t like facial hair but he didn’t like looking like a baby either. He had a tattoo on his left arm of a dragon that was breathing fire that was drawn by his best friend Kyle. Kyle was about five and a half feet tall and really skinny. Blonde hair, blue eyes, and just very skinny and they had been the best of friends since grade school. Kyle was a little older then Jared but not by much, only by a year.
After a long hot shower Jared wrapped a towel around his waist and started towards his room. This time when he entered the hall way Amanda was standing there. Just looking at him in disgust.
“Umm, Hi Amanda,” Jared said waving at her so as to knocking her out of the intensive stare, “you ok?’
She just looked at him for a few more seconds. Then she grinned at him and in a shy soft voice asked, “I’m fine, but can you just put some damn clothes on? I have a friend over. Anyway yeah, I just worry about mom when she goes on these far away trips. Oh, speaking of mom she made us breakfast burritos before she took off for Seattle this morning. Would you like me to warm one up for you?”
“Thank you Sis, but no. I’ll warm mine up at Kyle’s. We have a few errands to run before we can have this party tonight and I’m already running late, so I need to get over to his place. I love that he turned twenty one this year.” He answered
“O yeah your big Valentine’s day party is tonight. I forgot. Why can’t I just stay here, I don’t want to stay at Charlie’s. She could stay here and you know, we could just come to your party…” She added. Looking at him with puppy dog eyes batting the dreaded eyelashes.
“I ‘m sorry but the party is for a few people only. Just Kyle, Jose, and the girls. Not to mention you are too young to be at this kind of party. You and Charlie are only seventeen and mom would kill me. We will be drinking amongst other things, also I am crossing my fingers that it gets hot and heavy tonight,” he said while jokingly thrusting his hips in the air.
“Umm gross. I thought you gave up on Susan? And…and… Kyle will be here please,” she said in a disappointed tone over a swooning sigh.
“Yeah I did for a few days but she called me up the other night and said she was only playing hard to get. She didn’t want me to give up; so she asked if I would like to hang out sometime. So I told her about mom going to Seattle for the next two days and she took the bait. Now tonight I’ll set the hook and she will be mine! I can’t wait.” he said “Have a good day puke stain. I shall see you tomorrow and hopefully I will have gotten laid by then.” he ended with a wink right before shutting the door to his room leaving his sister in the hallway by herself. After he got dressed in his typical black jeans, t-shirt and hoodie, while shaking the rest of last night’s hangover off, he left for Kyle’s.
When his beat up old Ford truck pulled up, Kyle was already waiting outside. Jumping up and down to greet him.
“Dude let’s do this!!!” he exclaimed with a childlike enthusiasm. He jumped through the passenger window of the truck like he was Bo Duke and pointed in front of him as if to demand the truck to move. In shock Jared just stared at him. Kyle was wearing cargo shorts and a Slayer t-shirt.
“Are you serious?” Jared said puzzled at the mid-February attire.
“What? You’re judging me, Mr. I wear the same thing every day.” He said facetiously, “Naw, Bro I have clothes in my bag to change into. Don’t worry I won’t soil your night. I’d never hear the end of cockblocking you.” Jared just shook his head and rolled his eyes.
They left and went to the liquor store, picking up a few items like a bottle of vodka, whiskey, and rum, a few six packs along with some wine. When they had got back to Jared’s house Amanda and her friend were already gone so they began preparing for the party right away. Like cleaning, getting the place full of candles and mood setters, just about anything a man can do when he is trying to get some. Jose showed up first and brought the requested food and snacks. He was a short Hispanic man that Jared knew for a few years now. Shortly after that the ladies began to arrive. First was Jade, she was a tall, nerdy, dark skinned women and was Jose’s girlfriend. She had a thing for short Mexicans. Then Jody and Susan arrived at the same time. Jody was a punk rocker with multi colored hair, she was tall and beautiful and Kyle’s girlfriend for almost six years. Then there was Susan, Susan was new to the group. She met Jared on a ski trip earlier in the year. They had been talking almost every day since the trip but she never seemed to want to meet up until tonight. She was an average looking rocker chick, wearing a tight slipknot shirt, a choker, blonde hair and tight jeans and to Jared this girl was his perfect dream.
The night started off slow. They all had casual conversations about future goals and re living past experiences. There was a little bit of dancing, dirty card games, and tons of alcohol. Buy the middle of the night things started getting interesting. Everyone was making out and a lot of heavy petting was at play. Jose played it cool and stayed sober enough to drive, so that he could leave early with Jade and finish their night off alone. After Jose left Kyle and Jody realized they were hammered and couldn’t keep their hands off each other. With the heated moment the two snuck away and went upstairs into Amanda’s room to do bad things. While they slipped away abandoning Susan and Jared while they were in the kitchen getting snacks and drinks, trying to fool Jared into thinking they had just left. Not falling for it and Jared being too determine to get some he made Susan a few more drinks until they forgot all about the two in Amanda’s room. Then eventually convinced Susan to head up to his room where they fooled around for a bit then it happened, they had passionate sex.
After a few hours of exploring one another’s naked bodies, they laid there cuddling each other. Suddenly out of nowhere there was a blood curdling scream that rang throughout the house. It sounded like someone was trying to say something but was too muffled to translate. Jared shot up into a sitting position while Susan just laid there frozen.
“W..w..w..what was that?” Susan asked doubting if she had heard the same thing Jared had.
“I don’t know? Maybe Amanda came home and found Kyle naked in her bed” he said with a chuckle trying to convince himself and Susan it was nothing serious. There was another scream and this time it was understandable.
“Help me!!!!! Susan, Jared, HELP!!!!!!”
Jared jumped out of bed still in his boxers and ran down the hall to Amanda’s room. When he flew open the door he couldn’t believe his eyes. Jody was covered in blood and just standing in the middle of the room. On his sisters bed lay Kyle. His throat was slashed. Jared stared at Kyle’s open lifeless eyes. He didn’t know what to do, he was just frozen by his best friend’s lifeless body. When Susan entered the room she let out a high pitched scream that snapped Jared back into reality.
“What the hell is this?” Jared snapped at Jody.
“I don’t know. We snuck up here last night, had sex and then we blacked out. As far as I knew we were both asleep. I heard the door slam and thought it was Amanda coming home. So I rolled over to wake him up and he was like this. Oh my god!” Jody began to cry hysterically.
“You mean to tell me whom ever did this is still in the house? You heard them slam the………”
The sound of shattering glass filled the whole house.
“That came from the Kitchen. I’m going to kill this sick fuck.” Jared said with rage in his eyes, “Stay here!”
Jared grabbed a baseball bat from his closet and slowly made his way down the staircase and into the kitchen. The floor was cover in a thick dark red liquid, it was blood. Glass was scattered about the floor from someone throwing dishes from the cabinets. Jared surveyed the room with his eyes until his whole world came crashing down. There lying on the counter was his little sister. Her throat was slit, but she wasn’t dead. She laid there blinking at him, gargling her blood every time she grasped for air. Jared dropped the bat then slipped across the blood soaked floor to wrap his arms around Amanda. He began to cry. He could see her life slipping away as her blood washed over his legs. Then she was gone. Hypnotized by her lifeless doll like eyes, he couldn’t look away. Adrenaline started to fill his veins, He knew he needed to get out and to get help. He got up and headed for the back door but it was jammed shut. Like someone boarded it up from the outside. He then ran to the front door, the door knob was completely missing and again it seemed to also be boarded from the outside.
“OH MY GOD, NO” Jody screamed.
“Oh No,” he thought to himself. While tending to his sister he forgot about the other two girls in the house. He quickly turned to the stair case behind him just in time to see Jody. She came stumbling down the stairs holding her stomach. Blood was fiercely flowing from a wound. She collapsed as she reached the bottom of the stairs. She looked up at Jared with the look of death and despair already upon her face.
“Jared……run…..” she fell face first bouncing her head off the hardwood floor. Blood slowly expanded in a circle around her body. Jared ran over to her and flipped her over onto her back so he could try and control the bleeding but it was too late, she was gone. His focus now shifted to the top of the stairs. Engulfed in terror he slowly crept up each stare, fear growing inside with every step like an over filled balloon just waiting to pop.
“What is going on?” he kept asking himself. Tears running down his face. When he reached the top of the stairs he felt his heart sink.
“No! How could this be? She isn’t even supposed to be here!” Jared said to himself in dis-belief. His Mother’s lifeless body was sitting in the door way of his sister’s room covered in blood and a gash in her neck. He dropped to his knees, he was weeping uncontrollably now. Then he noticed that his mom’s corpse appeared to be pointing towards his bedroom with her already cold dead hand. Gathering up the courage and strength, he got to his feet and went into his room. The room was dark, it felt cold, and like death itself lived there. He took a few steps into the room when everything went black.
Jared felt a huge throbbing pain in the back of his head as he opened his eyes. The pain was quickly replaced by fear as he realized he was bound to a chair and gagged. He couldn’t see anything except the floor, that’s when he noticed that surrounding him were the dead bodies of all of his friends and family. Jose, Jade, Jody, Kyle, his sister, and his mom with all of their throats slashed. He began to panic as cold sweat started pouring down his fore head. His heart beating faster and faster.
“You know I didn’t want it to come to this.” A strange women’s voice said behind Jared’s head, “all I wanted was for you to see me! To notice me and want me!”
Jared struggled to see who it was but he couldn’t turn his head far enough.
“But you don’t look at me, you don’t see me. WHY?! What do I have to do? I kept asking myself that, I kept asking what I don’t have, WHY AM I INVISABLE?……. I figured it out now, I figured out how to make you love me, to make you want me.”
A maniacal chuckle filled his ears. Then from behind him Susan stepped into view. He couldn’t see her face but could see that she was covered in blood. Something didn’t seem right. She turned to face him and his blood went cold, for it wasn’t Susan at all. It was someone wearing Susan’s face. Like a Halloween mask. The women straddled him as she sat on his lap. She slammed her lips into his and stuck her tongue down his throat. He could only taste the rusty penny taste of the blood as Susan’s loose skin shuffled between his and the deranged women’s lips. Jared gagged and then vomited on himself when she pulled away. She got off his lap and started circling him like a crazed tiger.
“Aww I thought this is what you wanted, WHY AM I NEVER GOOD ENOUGH?! WHY IS THIS LOOSE SLUT WHAT YOU WANT?!” the crazy lady grabbed Susan’s small tufts of hair still attached to the skin and ripped off the Susan mask. Jared couldn’t believe his eyes. In front of him stood sweet little Charlie but she had the look of innocence in her eyes and was replaced with a detached insanity a madness lurking inside her.
“Why don’t you love me, why don’t you want me? I thought we had something the other night? When I snuck into your room last night and we had sex, yeah you were drunk but you knew it was me, you said my name. You knew what it meant! You told me you loved me!” she screamed at him. Jared had no idea what she was talking about. What did he do last night? Why is this happening? He was confused and scared. He tried to speak but the gag made it impossible.
“No, no more words you get to listen to me now. You know you love me, you know you want me, you wink at me, and you’re always flirting with me! Am I just your toy? Am I just something to tease and play with then throw away?” Charlie eyes filled with tears of frustration. She left his view for a few seconds. When she came back she was dragging the lifeless corpse of Susan. Only blood and torn muscle remained where her face used to be.
“Is this what you want? Do you want her body on you? Is this what sexy is to you? AHHHHHHHH!!!!!” she let out a banshee scream and began to wildly stab the lifeless Susan repeatedly in front of Jared. Jared threw up again. He couldn’t believe his eyes, sweet loveable Charlie, how could this be, what happen to her? He started to feel ashamed for never noticing her but she was just a kid, and his sister’s best friend. He could have never looked at her the way she wanted him to. This couldn’t be real, this had to be a nightmare. He was just about to see how wrong he was.
“If I can’t have you no one will!” she said as she stood over him. She took the large kitchen knife she held in her hand and slowly grazed the point of it over his face and neck until it was right above his heart. She slowly pushed the blade into him. He could feel the cold steel separating his skin as it moved deeper inside. He knew this was the end. She watched as the life slipped from his eyes. She stood there for what seemed like an hour just rubbing her fingers across his lifeless lips till the color started to drain away. Then she pulled a gun out of the waist band of her pants and put it to her head.
“Happy Valentine’s day……I loved you”………BANG.