Sunday, May 4, 2014


    Linda felt uncomfortable at the party, even with the beautiful gardens and sparkling glass house. She knew that dark secrets were the underlying the reason for the party.

     The music stopped. The dance was over.
     Todd led her off the dance floor, grasping her hand tightly in his. Hayden was blocking their way. He was standing at the edge of the dance floor, glaring at them as they drew near. However, as soon as they reached him, he abruptly turned around and marched away.
     Todd escorted her to the refreshment table. There were salads, sliced meats, fish dishes, soups, arrays of fruits and vegetables, and a large display of desserts. She wasn’t the least bit hungry, but smiled as he filled their plates. They sat down at a table for two beside one of the tall windows overlooking the sweeping gardens.
     Linda gazed out at the paved walkways, softly lit by torches and the soothing light from the full moon. The gardens were filled with rows of bushes, many of which were colorfully spotted with red roses. Dainty white metal benches were scattered throughout the meandering walkways that zigzagged through the lines of bushes.
     The most beautiful spot in the garden was the large fountain, where water spouted from a mermaid’s mouth down her half-human limbs. On the surface the mermaid appeared to be just a statue, permanently posed in her position. But her eyes revealed a whole other story: a story of hope of one day returning to the ocean. A profound sadness was reflected in her frozen expression.
     Party guests were slowly escaping the loud music to be outside in the moonlight. Linda wanted to be strolling with Todd through the peaceful gardens—just as carefree as the other guests— without her usual fears or anxieties about unexplained disappearances and creeping shadows.
     This scene is so romantic, so why do I feel afraid? Why can’t I relax and enjoy the music and the company? She knew the answer: it was because her friends were being terrorized. The party and the gardens appeared peaceful, but the perpetrator was probably here tonight plotting his next move—just like the rose bushes which were beautiful to admire, but had sharp thorns that drew blood.