It was a few minutes past 8 pm, and Mike was rushing past the people on the street to get to the game on time. Today was his chance to win the baccarat.net game and he had sharpened his skills – the rules were complex, but he could do it. He had done harder things than winning a card game.
Half an hour later, he was knocking on Carol’s door. It was her turn to host the evening affair. And, of course, she had chosen the game she was best at. They had to stop allowing hosts to choose the games. “Hey!” Carol’s shrill voice interrupted his thinking as she swung the door open. She smiled at him and beckoned his entry into the dimly lit room.
There were six other people in the room – Ben, Carlos, Shirley, Ken, and two other girls he had never seen. Something felt off about them – Irene and Kayla. But Mike could only focus on how striking Irene looked despite the poor lighting. He quickly greeted everyone before focusing on this long-necked beauty whose dress was so long that he could barely see her shoes.
While he had a smile on his face, Mike’s heart was unsettled. If he lost this game, he would have to come clean to his business partner about the…… “Come here often?” Irene was talking to him, smiling sheepishly, as if she knew all too well that he was a core part of the friend’s group. He found himself giving in to the conversation, slowly losing sight of the gameplay as Carlos went over the baccarat rules.
Everyone was a few drinks in, and of course, Carol had to ensure the game was over on time as she was a stickler for rules. She quickly got everyone to sit around the dining table. The lighting was as dim as that in the living room – it was almost as if she was paying an ode to Halloween, which was a few days away. All that was lacking was some props.
With Carlos to his left and Irene to his right, Mike was unsure of his chances. Were they better than him? But before he could think more of it, there was a loud knock on the front door. Everyone looked at each other, wondering who the other guest could be. And before Carol could get up, thunder crackled in the distance despite the lack of rain.
Ben, ever the superstitious one, jumped out of his seat, causing laughter around the table. But even as Mike laughed, he felt uneasy – the room felt cold – something was not right. Carol laughed her way to the door and swung it open, only to find nothing! Everyone laughed. But when someone knocked on the kitchen door, everyone stood up.
“This is not cute anymore. Whoever is behind this should own up now!” Shirley was already moving away from the kitchen but could not decide if the living room was any safer. She seemed stuck in the middle. And as the thunder crackled again, someone knocked from inside the bedroom just as the lights went off.
Mike could have fainted – everything was spinning, and his heart was jumping out of his chest. And with everyone screaming and reaching for the living room door, he could tell that they were just as spooked. In the frenzy, something kicked him just as the lightning lit up the whole room. In that instant, he caught a clear glimpse of what lay underneath Irene’s flowing dress – nothing – it was as if she was floating in the room!
Defeated and confused, Mike could not tell if he was dreaming. He somehow managed to crawl into the corner of the dining room as the knocking on all doors grew louder. Kayla was next to him, and in the darkness punctuated by lightning, he could see Carlos standing next to Irene in the living room. “Ghosts,” he whispered. “Do not exist.”
Mike wanted to get to Carlos and save him but could barely move his legs. Fear had overcome him, and he was drifting in and out of consciousness. Who was knocking on the doors? Lightning lit the room again, and he could now see where everyone was. Shirley, Carol, and Ben had passed out on the dining room floor. And Ken was shaking as he pushed back against the kitchen door. They were overpowered. And he was sure that Irene was not much help either – she was not even truly human. It was up to him, Kayla, and Carlos to call for help. But he had to trust Kayla to go through with it.
Mustering strength, he got up and started heading toward Carlos to warn him. And just as he was about to get to him, he heard Ken scream. The door had swung open! Straining his eyes in the dark, he fixated on the dining area. He wanted to scream because he could not believe his eyes. “Kayla’s…..floating!” he wanted to shout. No words came out. Instead, he felt himself slowly falling to the ground, eyes losing focus, and consciousness leaving his body. In his last few seconds, he felt a cold waft spread through the room and heard Carlos shouting. Then it was dark.
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