Curtis rang the doorbell and admired his neighbors elaborate Halloween decorations while he waited on someone to answer the door. He was new to the neighborhood, having just moved into town a few weeks ago, and his neighbors, The Martin’s, had welcomed him to the neighborhood by coming over to his house and bringing him a bottle of wine as they introduced themselves. Although The Martin’s were white, Curtis thought they were cool people, so he’d happily accepted their invite to their Halloween party.
“Hey, neighbor, come on in,” Thomas Martin said as he opened the door.
“Where’s your costume?” Curtis asked as he entered the home. He wasn’t big on dressing up in corny costumes, so he’d simply dressed in all black, threw on his leather jacket, and went as his television idol, Richard Roundtree, also known as Shaft.
“Oh, I don’t do the costume thing, I leave that to the wife. Now Sherry, she really gets into dressing up and all that.”
“Yeah, I feel you. Here, I brought you guys a bottle of wine for the festivities.”
“Thanks, that’s very nice of you,” Thomas said as they walked into the living room.
The party was actually a small get-together, about seven of The Martins’ close friends. For the next two hours, they ate, played games, and told ghost stories.
Around ten o’clock, all the guests except Curtis said their good-nights. Since he lived right next door and didn’t have to work the next morning, he wasn’t in a big rush to go home.
“Would you like some wine?” Sherry asked him.
“No thanks, I’m not much of a wine drinker.”
“How about some more punch then?”
“Sure, that will be fine.”
“Coming right up.”
Sherry disappeared into the kitchen while Curtis and Thomas sat in the living room and watched TV. A minute later, she came back into the room, carrying a pitcher of red punch and a glass. She poured Curtis a glass then went and sat beside her husband.
“So, how are you liking it here now that you’re all settled in?” Sherry asked Curtis as he sipped his drink.
“I love it here. Everyone I’ve met has been really nice, especially you guys.’
“That’s great,” Sherry said.
The three of them sat and talked and snacked on the rest of the party food for another hour. During that time, Curtis drank three more glasses of punch.
“Well, I’ve had a good time hanging out with you guy’s but I think I’d better head home.”
“What’s the rush?” Thomas asked.
“No rush, I’m just…not feeling well all of a sudden. My head is throbbing,” Curtis said as he massaged his temples. He attempted to stand, but his legs, suddenly weak and heavy, gave out from under him and he fell back down on the couch. His vision was blurry and the room seemed to be spinning.
“You alright, buddy?” Thomas asked him.
Curtis felt sleepy and could barely keep his eyes open.
“Just go to sleep, you’ll feel better when you wake up,” he heard Sherry say as his eyes closed.
Curtis opened his eyes and wished he’d stayed asleep. He had a migraine and he felt like he needed to vomit. The last thing he remembered was falling asleep on his neighbor’s couch. He attempted to sit up, but his body was restrained. With his eyes barely open, he realized that he was no longer lying on the couch, instead he was on some kind of table and his arms and feet were tied down.
“What the hell?” he said.
“Oh look, he’s awake,” he heard Thomas say.
Curtis looked around the room. He wasn’t in Thomas and Sherry’s living room anymore, that was for sure. Unable to sit up, Curtis let his eyes peruse the dimly lit room. Was that a skull he was looking at? His eyes had to be playing tricks on him. He opened his eyes as wide as he could and not only was he looking at a skull, he saw other human bones piled in a corner of the room. The distinct smell of rotting meat assaulted his nostrils and only made the nauseous feeling worse.
“Where am I?” he said out loud.
“In our basement,” Thomas said matter-of-factly appearing to stand beside him.
“Why am I in your basement and why am I tied up and what the hell was in that punch, man?” Curtis asked.
“Ooh, honey, I can hardly wait to taste him. My mouth is watering,” Sherry said. “And I know just which part of him I plan on eating first,” she said as she ran her hand over Curtis’ crotch.”
What the fuck, Curtis wondered.
“You naughty little thing,” Thomas said winking at his wife.
“Yo, is this some kind of joke, cause I ain’t laughing,” Curtis said, attempting to sit up again. “Why the hell am I tied up?”
“He’s getting impatient, and so am I,” Sherry told Thomas.
“Yeah, I’m getting pretty hungry myself.”
Curtis watched as Thomas walked over to a wall that had an assortment of knives, axes, and other tools hanging on shelves. Thomas reached for an ax with a wooden handle and a shiny, silver blade.
“Oh honey, don’t forget the duct tape for his mouth. The last one screamed so loud, he gave me a headache and I couldn’t enjoy him like I wanted to.”
“Of course, dear.” Thomas removed a roll of duct tape from a drawer, then walked back over to the table Curtis was lying on. He tore off a piece of the tape and pressed it firmly over Curtis’ mouth.
“Now, I promise to make this quick so you won’t feel any pain, ok,” Thomas said.
Curtis, realizing what was about to happen, tried to scream, but the tape over his mouth muffled the sound. His eyes widened as Thomas raised the ax over his head and brought it down hard over his neck. Curtis was never seen or heard from again.