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"If you're going to be a sinner, be the best sinner on the block." - Anton Szandor LaVey

I walked out into the middle of the room as the cotton candy finished dissolving inside my mouth. Bodies twisted, turned, and contorted all around me, brushing against me as we heated up the room. Their energy felt like it was seeping right into my skin…an interesting tingly feeling. Some were dancing or half-dancing or just floating around and making sounds with their mouths. Some were lying on the floor, feeling its velvetiness oh so lovingly. There was neon. There was paint. There was art. There was individuality.

They danced in the corners, they danced into rooms

They spun without speaking and spun away soon

They played with each other, addicted to games

You could call out to find them but no one had names

I made it through the mist to a door, which at first didn’t really seem to be much of a door at all. It was perfectly clear, transparent, except for the handle. Instead of bashing my head into it, as I imagined others doing in the back of my mind, I twisted the handle and went inside. This room contained quite a few small metal tower-like contraptions. Attached to these were tubes that blew smoke into the eager lungs of boys, girls, and others alike. What kind of smoke could it be? It was probably shisha: nicotine. I could take or leave it.

Set up around these were large blue-green plushy couches. They looked like they’d be fun to sit in and were set up in a large circle. Nearly twenty people were seated on this plushy circle of blueness, and now their number was nearer to twenty by one more. I sat down in between Simone and a random guy who I didn’t yet know. He looked a bit like me in some ways. He was tall, thin, pale, but his hair was longer than mine and much lighter…sort of a dirty-blonde Kurt Cobainy color.

I hoped that my sitting down between them wasn’t interrupting anything. Well… maybe I did, but I didn’t want to be thought of as that guy who everyone hates because he cock blocks people so that he can feel better about his impotence. That wasn’t me.

“Helloo, dearie!” Simone greeted me as I sat down. Sinking into the couch felt a bit like sinking into an alternate universe, one where everything was simply a little bit taller than it had been before.

“Dandy dandy, cotton candy, child!” S. had probably been eating it since we arrived.

“It seems that I’ve found the heart of the beast,” I replied to Simone.

“Maybe so.” She stared off into space. One of the tubes was passed to her. She inhaled the smoke and then passed it to me. I did the same. Yes, it was shisha. It was nice, but the effects were sort of mediocre. Simone seemed to be quite happily saturated in who knows what. I felt happy for her as I slid off of the couch and onto the floor. I began to inch my way around on the carpet to awkwardly eavesdrop on the circle’s conversations.

“…if you take your symbol and move it over here…”

“…how long do you think it will be before this kicks in?...”

“…how long do you think it will be before humanity reaches the next stage of evolution?...”

“Fifteen minutes.” I wondered which of the two latter questions this was the answer to. It could’ve been the answer to either of them. Thinking about humanity reaching the next stage of evolution in fifteen minutes made me burst out in maniacal laughter that was more than loud enough for them to hear.

“…what if this isn’t even the most advanced stage we have come to in our evolutionary path thus far, man? The Neanderthals didn’t fuck over the ozone or complain about nudity.” Sure, cavemen didn’t fuck the earth up as much as we did now, but I didn’t buy that a monkey-man could be more advanced than a human. These were only a few of the things I overheard in the first sixty seconds.

“When I was the CEO of three record labels…” Bullshit. That was hilarious, but stupid. I could tell from the sarcastic comments he received that everyone else agreed with me. Just then, there came a new addition to the circle.

“Okay everybody,” a female voice said. She quickly walked right into the middle of the floor, only a foot away from where I was sitting, with an air of incredible determination. “Repeat after me!” She sounded rather slurry when she said this. Perhaps she had acquired a little artificial boisterosity. But she continued on…“I am a free thinker! I think for myself! I form my own thoughts instead of just repeating what I hear!”

Well over half of the people in the room repeated what they had just heard. How absurd…I expected more from these people. I learned then or perhaps before then, that one should never set one’s expectations of others too high. Although I was let down by them, I was both pleased and entertained by her. I laughed so laughuously that my lack of sobriety was as apparent as hers. To my great surprise, the two of us were the only ones laughing. Many of the others were either confused or annoyed. I had the tiniest sliver of respect for the annoyed ones, but only because they weren’t still confused.

“You. You’re the best.” She half sat down, half fell on her ass beside me. She was wearing a long black dress that came down almost to her knees and then turned into lace near the bottom. I was splendiferous. I liked lace. I still do.

Her shoes were black pseudo-leather flats that buckled together, and underneath those were white knee-high socks that came up right to the place where her dress ended. Near the top of them, in big bold black lettering, were the words ‘EAT SHIT’. I think I liked those socks more than any other socks that I’ve ever gazed upon since. Around her light tan neck was a cameo of the skeleton of a small frog.

“Ribbit. I’m a fuckin’ frog.” God damn it. She was here? Where was she? Where was Veia?

“Leave me alone.” I said it out loud.

“Well then… stupid asshole.” She pushed me down with all of her might. Damn, she was getting better every second.

“No…” I said. “Not you; a ghost. I’m rather haunted, you see.”

“Oh,” she responded. “Well I’m sorry I toppled you then…but I guess hauntings do happen, don’t they? I suppose I’m haunted too. It gets a bit more obnoxiously distracting every time I venture into a cemetery.”

I was a bit confused. Did it get more haunting because of the undead, or because of memories made? Maybe she liked that I was a bit confused. Yes, of course she did. She stopped talking for a moment to play with a bird shaped comb that was stuck into her bright blue hair. It was almost as bright blue as her bright blue lipstick. Bright blue…once more, for emphasis…it was really quite nice. She had my attention.

“Ready?” She asked.


“We’re going to play a game.” This sounded intriguing. “A game with people pieces,” she went on. “Henri!” A pudgy little man got off of one of the couches and waddled over to us. “I am the queen of the thirteenth floor of Obscurité! I command thee to take off my left shoe, then my left sock along with it! After you’ve done this you must suck my toes and suck them well.” What the hell? This was certainly entertaining. Would he do it? Yes…yes he would. And he did, right there in front of everyone.

“Henri is rather fond of me, and he’s tripping his fat little ass off right now. He’ll do whatever I say. Aren’t I mean?” She seemed to be overjoyed. “But see, I’m an architect of reality just like you. Kiss, kiss…now it’s your turn. Outdo me.” So mind control was the game? Child’s play...

“Henri!” I screamed loudly. I heard S. say his name too. That was odd. The people around us seemed to be slowly taking interest in us. Henri looked up at me, still sucking away on her pinky toe. This was great. “Who do you think she is?” I asked him, gesturing toward her.

“Scéléra,” he said while taking the toe out of his mouth. Hmm, what an interesting name.

“I’m already one up on you,” I said. “I know your name.”

“That might not be my name. I could’ve just told him that was my name for fun.” She certainly could have…but she didn’t, and it was. I looked back at Henri.

“Wrong. She’s not Scéléra. You’ve been sucking on the toes of an imposter. This person here bound and gagged Scéléra and now she’s hidden on a different floor.” Henri’s face froze in shock, while Scéléra’s formed a crooked smile. Damn, she was right. He really was tripping his fat little ass off.

“And you’re not looking so good, friend,” I continued. “She laced her toes with poison and you’ve just sucked it all off. You’re going to die now. It’s going to be slow and painful, painfully slow. You might as well just go hara-kiri in the bathroom.” I could almost taste the sheer panic as it coursed through his veins. In what seemed like merely a second, Henri rose to his feet. He quickly spun in a full circle three times, with an insane look in his eyes. It seemed that I had broken him. Oops. He bolted out of the room. I could only imagine where he was going.

“What the fuck, man?” At least two of the people sitting on the couches said. Did they think that I cared if they didn’t approve of me? I really hoped that wasn’t the case. Scéléra was staring at me now with her big bright green eyes. She hadn’t said anything yet. I hoped that her stare wasn’t one of disapproval. Enough of those kinds of stares were boring into me already.

“God damn, you’ve won.” She said it with a smile so I assumed that she wasn’t angry with me for sending her fat slaveboy frantically dashing out of the room.

“What do I win?”

“A stalker.” She jumped toward me and shoved me again, only this time it was followed by a kiss underneath a bright blue curtain of hair. She bit down on my lip until I was sure that it was bleeding…but bleeding very pleasurably, so I did the same to her. We had an audience now, but we had had one ever since Henri came into the picture. Somehow we had become the party’s unpaid entertainment. We should have charged them a fee.

Before we could consider offering them some smut, Trix frenziedly darted into the room. By this point the cotton candy ticket was affecting my brain, and Trix looked a bit like the ‘next stage of human evolution’ that the others speculated about. To disregard the social expectation of being either masculine or feminine seemed like a progressive act indeed.

“The party is over, everyone.” Trix seemed to be filled with terror. “Someone has jumped from the balcony!”

“Ha!” I said a bit too loudly. It seemed that I never could produce the “correct” emotion for a situation. Maybe I was autistic or something. Scéléra put her hand over my mouth to keep me from attracting unwanted reactions, though her smile was hardly hidden.

“Aha, look what we’ve done.” I knew as soon as S. whispered it.

“Yes, you’ve definitely won,” Scéléra whispered. I could see it all in my mind, just exactly the way it had happened.

My god, Henri thought in his jimbly-jumbled mental state. The immaculate Scéléra has been taken, and now I’ve been killed too. I’ve been poisoned…death by toe sucking, how pitiful…

If he knew that his death was actually caused by believing stupidity, he might have thought it was even more pathetic. With the poison in mind he ran back into the dark dancy-trance room. He flew past Trix, who happened to be in a dark corner of the dark room with Fawn. She was up against the wall; Trix had a dick after all, and was fairly strong. But tripping panicking Henri wasn’t quite aware of the fact that the two didn’t want visitors at the moment.

“Poison! I’ve been poisoned!” He screamed as he nearly knocked the two of them to the floor, ricocheting off of both of them and the wall. This was very upsetting to Trix and Fawn. They were about to enjoy the ever so coveted trip-gasm and become permanently linked in a fifth dimensional climax sort of way. Maybe ‘soul-gasm’ was a better word for it.

Henri prevented it, or at least postponed it. An angered Trix followed him out through one of the sliding glass doors that led out to the balcony. As they both entered the cool night air, or rather the smoky weed and tobacco scented balcony air, Trix made their sexual frustration known.

“Do you have any idea what you have infringed upon, sir?” Henri didn’t care. He was about to suffer a long and agonizing death, or so he believed. The balcony was right there. Either way he was fucked, but he could go quickly and almost painlessly if he were to simply hurdle over the side of the ledge.

“Are you fucking deaf, bubble butt?” Trix angrily howled. Henri looked back in a paranoid psychosis. He was face to face with none other than Medusa, the terrifying gorgon of mythology, and she stared him into a statue.

“Not today, gorgon!” Henri shakily screamed. Good god, Trix thought. This dumb fat-ass soul-gasm stopper has over-eaten the cotton candy tonight. Imagine that. “Not today, poison-toe doppelganger fiend!” The feeling of inevitable death began to overtake poor Henri.

He hopped right off of the side of the building, like a pole-vaulter without a pole. Thirteen stories. Falling…falling…his arms outstretched. He was at peace…unafraid. Nothing could poison him ever again. Nothing could ever hurt him or get in his way now, except for the cold and unforgiving concrete. Splat.

Okay, so Henri was dead. Did I kill him? Sort of, maybe…but it wasn’t really prosecutable so it didn’t matter. He was clearly tripping dick. With the extreme level of stigma that ‘tripping dick’ held amongst the media and Christians, who dominated the hell out of America, the incident would assuredly be attributed to the drugs. However, some of the people at the party seemed to be sending me some hostile vibes.

“It’s time to leave, dear. Come with me,” Scéléra picked up on this as well.

“Henri.” The name came out of Trix’s lips.

“He thought he was poisoned!” I heard someone say as I stood to my feet. Just then, it occurred to me that I was rather ‘cotton-candied’ myself. A few people were staring at me, but they looked less like people and more like starving malnourished zombies. I held onto Scéléra’s hand and we made it back into the dark room.

Most of the people here were heading toward the exit, except for the few who were still having far too good of a time to let a suicide kill their highs. Hell, I probably would have stayed too if I wasn’t so paranoid. The dark room suddenly got much, much darker. Had the electricity been cut off? I could still see Scéléra, but only vaguely. She looked TV staticky. Little glowing creatures appeared out of nowhere and illuminated little pieces of the room. They were bugs, cicadas probably, accompanied by a few glowing frogs. Fuck it, not the frogs again.

“No more frogs, please,” I said to no one in particular.

“What?” A voice echoed through the void…but whose was it? Scéléra? Veia?

“See how the hands of death can be unseen?” This sounded like Shadowshade, only a bit distorted and unsteady. “Sometimes they aren’t really hands at all, but are sounds, thoughts, words…I can speak death. You have spoken death on this night. Ha-ha…Death Speaker.’

A pair of strange yellow-green eyes flashed through the darkness… Shadowshade? They soon melted away as if they had been made of wax. Then there was Henri, lifeless and cold. Blood pooled around his head and bathed the sidewalk. He had been killed by an idea, a simple string of sentences. Life is so fragile…so easily destroyed.

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