Halloween Night

A Night Above
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     Danielle is a university student hurriedly trying to finish a lab before the class period runs out.  Normally, she’d have enough time to finish a science project, but there was something about this particular Halloween day that caused her and her peers to be distracted in the lab.  Some students were walking around in costume, while others treated the day as if it were any other. No matter the distractions, Danielle had just one last class period to put the finishing touches on her research project before it was handed in for a midterm grade.
     Sitting next to Danielle was her best friend and roommate, Jackie.  Both girls decided to attend the same university and be roommates because as the saying goes, “misery loves company,” or so they thought when they applied for college.  The nature of this particular class was more of an independent study that afforded students the freedom to work at their own pace. The fact that this was their midterm grade, their first grade, weighed heavily on both of them.
     They worked in tandem extremely well. Jackie was great at gathering the information while Danielle was impeccable at putting everything together in a coherent, organized manner.  With about 15 minutes left in class their professor announced they’d have an extra lab period to finish up their projects so everyone should relax and simply do their best work. Hearing this news, both girls looked at each other with a huge smile and sighed relief.
     The built up stress between Danielle’s shoulders instantly faded at the professor’s news and now she could relax. Jackie removed her lab coat and turned to Danielle to make a game plan for their next class.  As they were talking, their mutual friend, Mark, approached them. You could see he’d practiced this a hundred times in his head. With an unsure voice he asked, ”Hey, a bunch of us are getting together and are going downtown for Halloween, you guys wanna come?”
     Danielle welcomed the invitation and since they didn’t have any Halloween plans she thought this would be a great idea.  Just as she was about to answer Jackie grabbed her elbow and squeezed. With a pause, Danielle stammered, “Uhh-yeah, let me check a couple of things, but text me when you guys are leaving and I’ll let you know.  Here’s my number.”
     Mark copied Danielle’s number to his contacts and wasn’t all that surprised by Danielle’s push-back response. He knew it was a long shot to get a chance to go out with most beautifully intellectual girl he’d ever laid his eyes on.  It wasn’t a total loss; at least he had her number in his contacts. Mark thought it a good idea not to push any harder. “Ok great, well I have your number and I’ll let you know where we’ll be. Hope you can come.” Mark walked away and Danielle immediately spun around and glared at Jackie.  Danielle waited a couple of minutes until the lab cleared before she barked at Jackie,  “Wtf?”
     Jackie quickly turned her back, nervously placing her papers in her backpack, and turned to face her friend.  “Listen, yesterday we got an invitation to an exclusive Halloween party.  I didn’t want you to commit to Mark before I had a chance to share this with you.”  Danielle was caught totally off-guard by what Jackie had just said,  “Wait, what do you mean by an ‘exclusive Halloween party?”  Jackie took Danielle’s hand, “Let’s get out of here and I’ll show you.”
     The girls quickly made their way down the stairs and to the walking path.  Danielle couldn’t hold it in any longer, “Ok, tell me about this super private invitation!”  Jackie reached into her bag and retrieved an envelope. She showed it to Danielle and explained, “Yesterday, on the way to class, a guy was standing by the UCen (University Center) handing these out.”  Jackie handed Danielle the envelope. Looking at the outside it simply said, “You’re cordially invited.” She turned the envelope over and on the back corner was the number 213.
     Danielle stopped, “What do you mean some guy just handed these out to everyone?  How on earth does this make it a private invitation?”  Jackie took Danielle by the arm and pulled her over to a bench to get out of everyone’s way.  They sat and Jackie shared the story.  ”Danielle, yesterday when I saw that guy handing out envelopes, I thought he was giving them to everyone.”  Danielle replied, “yeah we went through that part already.”
     “No, no.  I mean I thought he was handing out invitations to everyone, but when I got to class I asked a guy sitting next to me about his envelope.”  Jackie turned to Danielle and stared deeply for a second, “he said his envelope was blank.” Danielle was unsure what Jackie was trying to tell her.  Jackie turned and squarely faced Danielle, ”Danielle, this is the only envelope that had any writing on it!”
     Danielle looked at Jackie and then back down at the envelope and she cautiously, almost nervously, opened the invitation.  The enclosed paper was folded in half, and immediately Danielle could feel that the heavy paper stock was expensive. The gold fancy lettering read: 

Danielle Newton and Jacqueline Kennedy
You’re cordially invited to attend the
Hamilton Society’s 131st Annual Halloween Party
1700 Kensington Walkway Plaza
(Masquerade Required)

     Danielle turned the invitation over to read it again, this time wiping her fingers across the text.  “Jackie, what in the world is this?”  Jackie waited a second, “I honestly don’t know, Danielle.  Why do you think I waited until today to show you! It freaked the shit out of me.”  Danielle had a world of questions swirling in her head and she turned to Jackie to start the questioning.
     Turning detective with her eye for details, Danielle pummeled Jackie with questions, ”Ok, let’s go back to the guy handing out the invitations.  What did he look like and what was he wearing?” Jackie knew Danielle was going to ask all these detail oriented observations and this is why she held out saying a word.  She also knew that her answers weren’t going to be good enough for Danielle, but she tried her best to answer all of them. For the next 30 minutes the girls sat there discussing the invitation trying to make sense of everything.
     They both agreed they were definitely going to the Hamilton Society party.  Back in their dorm room they immediately got on online to find out more about this society.  Of course there was absolutely nothing written or mentioned about the event or the society. Nothing on Twitter, Instagram, Google, Facebook mentioned anything about the party.  Even the physical address was somewhat hard to find on Google Maps. The odd thing was that when they typed in the party address a completely different address appeared.  Nothing about this mysterious party could be verified and yet, the girls were still, super excited.  They said they’d Uber the ride and have the driver figure it out.  They were spinning in excitement trying to plan their outfits for tonight’s event.
     Danielle had only brought a couple of dresses from home up to the University.  She was a little worried she wasn’t going to have the right outfit. Standing in their cramped room, Danielle asked, “What do you think if I wear this sheer dress with sparkles?”  Jackie turned to see Danielle holding up the most beautiful dress ever.  She replied, “I remember when you bought that, you said someday this would be the perfect dress.”  Danielle spun around to make sure the length covered her just enough. Jackie was truly Danielle’s best friend,  “Girl, you’re stunning in anything you wear. That dress is beautiful and it’s perfect for tonight. You could wear a paper bag and still look amazing.”  Danielle laughed, “shut up,” and she threw a pillow at Jackie.
The girls went back and forth about what they should or shouldn’t wear to this secret event.  They decided on their best dresses and while Jackie rolled over laughing, she reminded Danielle, “I know you saw that gold embossed lettering on the invitation.  I’ll bet it was real gold!”
     As the girls were settling on heir outfits there was a knock at the door.  It was unusual to have their door closed in the first place, so a knock came as a surprise and both girls shot up and stared at one another.  Danielle spun around and told Jackie, “ Get the door!” Jackie half flung the door open only to find no one there. She stopped and poked her head first down one way and then the next.  Danielle chirped, “What’s that on the ground?” Jackie looked and saw a box with bow at her feet. Danielle was shocked, “Jackie, what in the hell is going on?”
     Jackie placed the box on Danielle’s bed and told her to open it.  Danielle paused, “There’s no way I’m opening that, what if it’s a..”  Jackie immediately interrupted, “what if it’s a bomb!”  Given there was a huge national news story of a bomber, Danielle knew saying that was in bad taste.  Danielle backed up, “I shouldn’t have said that, here give me the box.”  Jackie tossed it over and with a little apprehension she slowly undid the wrapping.  “Jackie, feel this bow.” The velvet bow felt as soft as cashmere. Both girls knew this box had something to do with tonight’s big event.
     With the top open, a sticker was fastened to tissue paper that read Harrods of London.  Danielle held up the sticker, “Jackie, look at this.”  Jackie’s eyes got huge when she saw the words Harrods of London.  Danielle froze, for inside the box were two very intricate masquerade masks.  She slowly revealed to Jackie two cranberry colored masks that were embedded with Swarovski crystals.  When Danielle held up the masks, they truly made the room sparkle. Both of them were seriously speechless by the delivery.  Jackie knew the questions would eventually come. Meanwhile. Danielle went through every inch of the mask admiring its detailed beauty.  “Jackie, who is doing this?” Both the girls were at a loss at who was responsible for this Halloween treat. They were in for a night of their lives.A Halloween night that was going to be full of tricks and treats.  

Stay tuned for more.  

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