Chapter 21. The Final Party

It was a reckless and foolish decision, but I did it anyways.

I went to Count Straud’s dinner party. You know, the vampire who wanted to jealously kill me six months ago.

I was only there to see my ex-roommate Zell, who, for unknown reasons, had moved back in with his abusive master. I didn’t understand why, but I had a bad gut feeling about it.

Zell was greeting guests at the door, and he threw his head back with a stilted laugh when he saw me. “Benji, I thought I told you to shove off!” But there was something weird about his voice, and his eyes were dead and hollow.

“Zell,” I began. “Can we, like, talk? It’s been six months since I last saw you, and I feel like I never got the chance to-“

Zell brusquely interrupted me. “-seriously Benji, get ou-“

But then he doubled over before he could finish his thought.

I looked at the ground, my heart sinking. “Right, sorry. I get it, you don’t want to see me, but I just really wanted to- uh, Zell?” Zell was staring at me blankly.

“I just…” I paused. “I owe you an apology. To start, I should’ve never run out on you like th-“

“Actually, you leaving was the best thing that ever happened to me!” Zell suddenly shouted. “Because it meant I never had to see your ugly face again!”

“What?” I said, my voice cracking. It felt like the life had suddenly drained out of me.

“Things are so much better without you, Benji,” Zell kept yelling. “You’re awkward, you’re boring, and you make everyone around you uncomfortable all the time. I’m glad I never have to deal with you or your depressing anxiety ever again!”

“Zell,” I barely managed to whisper. “Is that really what you think of me?”

But he only laughed.

Zell had every right to be mad, but this one cut deep.

There was one weird feeling I couldn’t shake, though. I’d never heard Zell yell like that before- like he was a whole different person. So even though Zell made it clear he never wanted to see me again, I was resolved to stay at the party until I got some answers. Or at least some kind of closure.

“Caleb,” I said to our former neighbor. “Does something about Zell seem off to you? He was yelling at me earlier.”

But he only shrugged. “If I recall correctly, you abandoned him in a trailer in the middle of the desert, didn’t you? I’d be pissed off if I were him.”

So maybe Zell really did hate me. Where was he, anyways? I couldn’t see him, but I heard faint retching coming from behind a closed door somewhere…

Zell was heaving in the bathroom, hand clamped to his mouth, panicking.

“Oh… god… what did I…” he stammered to himself. “What… did I say… to Benji?” His mind was a fog and he wasn’t thinking straight. But for a brief moment, he had a lucid thought, and he stumbled out to find the Count.

“Vlad…” Zell rasped. “You promised… not to go after Benji…”

“And I haven’t,” The Count curled his lips into a sneer. “I didn’t go after Benji, Benji came to us. And you’re the one saying those hateful things to him.”

“No, stop…” Zell said weakly. “I know… it’s you…”

The Count pulled Zell aside onto the love seat.

“My sweet Zell,” he said. “You know I’m doing all this for you-“

“-don’t.. touch me… Vlad…”

The Count exhaled sharply. “All right Zell, this is what will happen. Benji is not to leave the party tonight, and you will help me trap him here, until I figure out the best way to aptly punish and dispose of him…”

“…no… I won’t…”

“Oh, but you will, child. You will hold Benji captive.” And his eyes glowed a demonic blue as they bored into Zell’s. He waved his claws, and Zell fell to his knees.

“Yes, master.”

I mulled over the night’s events in my mind.

Every time I tried to talk to Zell, he would either tell me to go away or yell insults. Whether or not I deserved it, it wasn’t like my ex-roommate to yell at people. I decided, I didn’t care what anyone else thought. I knew something was wrong with Zell.

But perhaps my realization came too late,

-because suddenly everything went black.

“Oh Ze-ell,” called out the Count in an almost giddy tone. “Lock him up.”

6 thoughts on “Chapter 21. The Final Party

  1. Uh-oh, I feel another one coming on. That’s right, it’s a


    benji: it was a dark and stormy night, and disco was dead
    zell: go on, now go
    zell: walk out the door
    benji: oh my god, was disco here in our hearts the whole time?!
    zell: just turn around now ’cause you’re not welcome anymore
    zell: btw sorta off-topic but can you like
    zell: see game-mechanic swirlies?
    zell: like on the off-chance?
    benji: what are you talking about
    zell: i’ll take that as a ‘no’
    zell: chalk this one up to dramatic irony then
    bigfoot: gurl haaay
    benji: whoa, that was foreboding. but not foreboding enough for me to have any intuition about danger! party! whee!
    caleb: leave me out of this
    caleb: but like
    caleb: you deserved that
    caleb: but like
    caleb: i don’t care
    caleb: i really don’t
    caleb: stop involving meeeee
    caleb: but also like
    caleb: knock knock
    benji: okay, who’s there
    caleb: the consequences of your own actions
    benji: the consequences of my own actions wh—
    caleb: seriously this has nothing to do with me. gah
    zell: bleughh… that’s the last afternoon taco bell-eating contest i ever attend
    vlad: and now, 5 more hours of camila cabello hits
    zell: i know those were your swirlies, i know your swirlies
    vlad: no, no, no, no, no, listen to this
    vlad: havana, oh na na
    zell: playing the same three chords over and over isn’t going to bring me back
    vlad: but it’s the daddy yankee remix version
    zell: i will not let latin pop distract me from the issue at hand
    vlad: what about this ominous loveseat
    zell: i have been LIVING in this house. i have gotten used to the weird little couch wearing a german spike helmet
    vlad: oh, look what day it is. it’s your turn to take out the trash
    zell: no
    vlad: yes
    vlad: eat swirlies bitch
    vlad: that’s what you get for wearing those tails with those gloves
    bird skull: omg she did not
    benji: oh hi zell
    zell: your mom smells like feet
    benji: yeah, but it’s not like you to bring it up
    zell: and your mustache is like dollar-store carpet
    benji: bruh
    zell: begone! no one could love a dark-past’d vampire such as myself
    benji: ok that one was kinda normal
    benji: but still with the volume up to 11
    benji: i wonder if like—
    vlad: blazow. GREEN
    benji: derriere up. sleep-twerk it
    vlad: brown shoes with a black tux, i s2g you people are the real monsters
    caleb, with a mouth full of Movie Night popcorn: i hate being in the middle of all this

    Liked by 2 people

    1. For my sanity, it might behoove you to stop. I read this three times already and cried every single time. I may have to read it again tomorrow. (zell: i will survive but can’t you see i’m trying to help you with stayin’ alive??) (Yep, I forgot about Sim-with-bigfoot-costume-as-party-outfit; I was hoping selective attention would save me here, but alas.) (My day has been more than sparkled and my funny bone more than tickled, thank you <3)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Will do—slow down, that is. Because my friends and spouse are growing concerned about me walking around the house yelling “I will not let Latin pop distract me from the issue at hand!” and “Eat swirlies, bitch!”

        (Whether Bigfoot was intentional or not, I have a strong suspicion you wanted someone to notice Benji’s shoes…)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. No! The cliffhanger! The count seems to have the upper hand here. I don’t know what to expect (Caleb helping? Zell coming to his senses, Benji not truly being affected!?) but hopefully this really is the count’s final party. He tormented others for long enough.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s