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Dead Man Walking on New Year's

Short Story, YA, Drama, Action, Suspense

The music is loud, the place is messy, but hey, you're having fun. The fact that you snuck in to Marco's New Year's party makes it even better! While you're not "That Unpopular Guy," you weren't popular enough to be formally invited. Of course, that didn't stop you. Besides, it's either this or spending New Year's at home alone watching Let's Plays on YouTube. Your parents are at a friend's party and your own friends are busy with family.

Speaking of friends, there's a white door across the bustling dancefloor/living room. Beside the door reads "Tarot Readings" with an arrow pointing to it. Your friend Anna appears to have been hired to do readings at the party. Sure, you were a little annoyed that she left you alone for "work" on this very night. But seeing the small clusters of people around the door waiting for their turn, you can't say you blame her. It's the best job she's had, according to her.

Besides, you know that if you do get caught by Marco and his jock friends, she'll vouch for you. That's what makes Anna such a good friend! You're not worried. You're well-liked enough that classmates who know that you weren't invited haven't squealed. Hell, Marco's best bro Connor even high-fived you a few minutes ago. You've got nothing to worry about.

"Hey, Imeda!"

You spin your head to see… Christy, Marco's girlfriend. She has blue highlights in her hair and a tiger print dress. She side-steps a dancing couple to get closer.

"I didn't expect to see you here!" She makes sure to yell over the music and chatter so you could hear her.

"Just checking on my friend, Anna!" You yell back, jabbing your thumb to Anna's door. She looks over and then nods back to you. "Did you and Marco get your fortunes read yet!?"

"Uh, no!" She shakes her head. "We… aren't going out any more!" She edges to the room with the big, widescreen TV and food table. You notice this and step after her and away from the crowd and music.

"Jeez, that sucks, Christy," you reply in a more indoor voice now that the both of you are in the vacant TV room. "That's a bad start to the new year. What happened?" You don't usually pry, but Anna is still hurting from a bad break up before Christmas last year. It seems like you're still on "Super Sensitive Friend" mode.

"Oh." Christy waved her hand around, as though searching for the right words. "I just don't really love him like that anymore… and then we… kinda had a fight. I think he's cheating on me, anyway. We ended things upstairs an hour ago." She scans the chips and dip on the table, while you continue to lean on the wall adjacent. Were you here when that happened? Then again, you've spent your time in the living room and never went upstairs, since Marco was up there.

"Is Marco still up there?"

"Yeah, I remember Jason dragging him away to play on one of his game systems to chill out, or something."

"Oh, okay."

The two of you stand there in silence—an awkward silence, even with the music in the background. Christy takes a disposable plate by the table's edge and fills it with the chips and dip. She sits down to eat, sighing now and then. You decide to get a plate of chips yourself. Anything to make this a little less awkward and give you a reason to stay and offer company. The crunching of the chips didn't help as much as you first thought and soon the both of you had empty plates.

"Wanna sneak upstairs?" Christy suggests.

"What? Why?"

"Marco has some old Disney movies in the closet. I wanna watch one of them. C'mon." She leaves the plate on the table and walks towards the stairs, stopping to look back at you.

With a sigh, you follow her up the stairs, the music covering your steps. You really don't want to get entangled in a love fight, so you keep a few steps behind her. Upstairs, she leads you through the vacant hallway to a closet at the end. Just as she was about to touch the door, the door beside it begins to open. You grab her shoulders and pull her back, coming face-to-face with Marco. Shit.

"What are you two doing?" His thick eyebrows furrow.

"We're going to watch a movie," Christy states. "Together."

And that's when Marco comes after you.

"Who the fuck do you think you are?!"

"I'm not the guy who wants your girl, that's for sure!"

"Bullshit!" He tackles you and begins to strangle you. You try to pry off his hands, but fail, only choking and sputtering, the music now a vice for any actual help. No one is doing anything. Survival instincts pound around your mind, with one sticking out: "Play dead."

You let your eyes spin back into your head and keep them shut as your hands fall back and go limp.

"Marco, stop!" Christy's voice breaks through your mind and helps you keep consciousness.

"Dude, I think you killed him," one of his spectator friends says.

"I'll check his pulse," another says and you feel a hand around your arm where your vein most certainly is not. "I can't feel a pulse!" Yeah, no shit.

"We have to put him in the closet for now," Christy announces. "We'll deal with him after the party, when no one's around."

"What? No I-" Camera clicks.

"You'll what?" Christy responds. "Any of you talks, I share these photos."

Bitch.

Thus, you get thrown into the closet, but keep conscious and escape soon after out the window from the room over. No one is outside and you climb down from the porch. As you run, a plan begins to form.

'Christy. You used me for your little love spat and blackmailed your 'boyfriend' into hiding my corpse. Watch out, girl, 'cause I'm not the only Dead Man Walking this new year.'

The End?

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