“Well, you have to admit it Zara – you know how to throw one hell of a birthday party!”
Zara grinned as her work colleague made his way over to the drinks table. It was her twenty fifth birthday, and with the help of her two housemates she had been able to have the party she really wanted to have, right there on their own home. The theme had been announced as leather and denim – and all the guests had lived up to that invite.
The dark haired birthday girl was wearing a green silk strapless top, denim jeans and knee length matt black leather boots with a stiletto heel. But what she was wearing wasn’t the really important thing now – what was important was that everybody else was having fun!
Looking around the room, she could see her two housemates. The fair haired Mandy was dancing with two of the boys, wearing a white short sleeved top over a black boob tube, the requisite jeans and tight black leather boots that had a row of buttons up the outside, while brown haired Tammy was also wearing jeans and knee length black leather boots, her pair a darker sheen with block heels, and a dark grey sleeveless top. She was talking with some of her work colleagues, while the music was playing in the background.
All in all, it was proving to be a memorable party, even if she didn’t recognise everyone that was there. They had agreed to invite people from all their social circles, however, so in itself that was no great surprise.
“Hey – want to dance?”
“Sure,” Zara said as Ken from the office took her hand, and they got up, moving to the music as the party went on around them...
It was close to midnight when Zara saw Mandy heading up the stairs, looking as fresh as she had several hours earlier, and then started to say goodbye to some of the partygoers as they went on their way.
“Hey yourself,” she said to Tammy a short while later, “have you seen Mandy?”
“Nope – I saw her go up the stairs, but that’s all. Why?”
“Not sure – just thought she’d have come back down. Maybe she’s bumped into someone,” she said as she went into the kitchen, clearing some things away as she heard Tammy showing out some of the last guests.
As she put the last of the empty bottles into a bag, she heard the front door open and close one more time, and then footsteps before she thought she heard Tammy gasp.
“Hey – you all right in there,” she said as she came in, only to see Tammy asleep on a chair. As she walked over to wake her, however, Zara was grabbed from behind, and she felt suddenly drowsy, as her eyes started to close...
Zara slowly opened her eyes, and sat herself up, putting her arms round her body as she stated to shiver. The room was quiet, dark, and quite empty apart from her.
“What happened,” she said quietly to herself as she stood up, and checked the room. Everything looked as if it was in place, and yet the room felt so cold, as if someone had left the freezer door open.
“Hey – anyone here,” she called out, but there was a deathly silence as she made her way back into the kitchen. Again, there was nobody there, but the door was locked, and everything seemed to be in place – until she tried to turn the light on, and there was no power.
“Fuse – I’ll fix it when it’s light,” she said to herself as she went into the front room again, and headed to the staircase. As she approached it, however, she saw a soft pulsing light coming from the door that led to the cellar.
“Hey – is anyone down there,” she said as she opened the door and walked down, seeing the soft green light from what appeared to be a bulb in the ceiling. As she reached the bottom, she picked up a green crystal, looking at it before she dropped it on the floor, stunned by the sight of a crystal statue sitting in a chair.
It looked like Tammy – at least it seemed to be wearing clothes that looked like Tammy, but the statue was made of a dark green crystal, which reflected the light that was coming down from the ceiling. She was sat in a wooden rocking chair, her arms resting on the wooden arms, her feet together on the crosspiece, and her green crystal face showed a look of complete surprise.
“They even got her hairstyle right,” Zara said quietly as she put her hand on the head of the statue, and stroked it down. The last thing she expected was for the eyes of the statue to open, and for her to see the same clear blue eyes of Tammy staring back at her.
“What the hell...”
“Hlpmmmsrrr,” she heard a female voice mumble as the statue slowly started to rock to and fro, Zara packing away and running up the stairs as she slammed the door shut behind her.
“It had to be a trick of the light,” she said to herself as she walked up the stairs. Perhaps Mandy was in her bed, and would be awake enough to talk. Zara hugged herself, not seeing the mist that was starting to form at the bottom of the stairs, as she reached the top and walked to her friend’s room.
“Hey Mandy,” she said as she opened the door, “You got a minute?”
The room was lit by a single candle in a stand – something she had never seen before in Mandy’s room, but that wasn’t what caught her eye. What did was the life-size red statue that was lying on Mandy’s bed, the crystal arms crossed. She barely noticed the red crystal next to it.
Zara walked over, looking at the attention to detail in the clothing, the way her hair just sat on her shoulders, and the shape of the lips as she saw the slight mist going in and out...
She stared, the horror growing as she saw the crystal seem to form over the lips, but not before she heard the faint sound of Mandy saying “help me...” before the crystal covered them over.
“Oh my god,” she croaked as she stepped back and went out of the room. As she glanced to her side, she saw what she thought at first was two of the party guests, but they were a blue crystal statue, their lips locked permanently together, a blue crystal in the boy’s hand.
“What the hell is going on here,” she said as she ran to her room, and picked up the telephone handset, wanting to dial.
That was when she noticed the clear crystal that was attached to the handset, and she slowly put the handset down – staring at the crystals that had started to form on the palm of her hand.
“What the hell is going on,” she said as she watched the crystal spreading, covering her hand as she reached over and dried to brush the clear coating away. To her horror, she could now see the crystal growing over her other hand as well, and spreading up her arm.
“What’s happening to me,” she called out, screaming as she felt the heaviness increasing in her limbs, and she sat down on the bed, resting her hands on her legs before she suddenly realised what she was doing, and raised them again.
It was too late, however, as she saw her blue jeans slowly start to cover with the crystal, at the same time as a great lethargy started to overtake her. “No...No I’ve got to run,” she said as she stood up, the crystal expanding more rapidly as she fell to the floor, and then onto her back.
It was like a hard sheath covering her body, as she stared, struck mute as her arms froze, and the crystal seemed to flow up her chest, and then covered her chest. IT then to spread over her chin, her eyes wide open as she began to see two figures appear as if out of thin air.
“Soon – let the crystal cover her and the metamorphosis begin,” the other voice said, “and the she will be one of us.”
“Please, don’t do this to mmmmm,” Zara said as the crystal covered her mouth and she closed her eyes, praying that whatever was going to happen, it would be quick and painless.
She felt the crystal covering her hair and eyes, the sheath hardening as she seemed to descend into a warm pool of darkness...
Zara opened her eyes, feeling as if she could not move an inch. She wondered what had happened for a few moments, wondering why it was so dark, and why it felt as if she was held by some sort of sheath.
“HMMGGDDNNNNNNN” The memory of what had happened came fresh to her mind as she wriggled round, but to her surprise she did not feel or here a hard substance scratching – instead, she felt that she could not move her arms, but had no idea why.
“Hey – we got another one in here.”
“Whhstthrr,” she called out, only to yelp as her eyes were uncovered, and she saw a police officer standing over her. She tried to move, to speak, but something was preventing her.
What that something was became clear as she was lifted to her feet, and she saw herself in the long mirror of her wardrobe. She was covered in white tape, covering her from her feet to just below her nose, making her like a mummy. Glancing to the left, she saw another officer holding a strip of white tape, and she could see the hair from her eyebrows on the sticky surface.
“We got robbed,” Tammy said as she and Mandy appeared. “I was forced into the cellar and taped to an old rocking chair with green tape. I saw you stumble in, and then out...”
“Me too,” Mandy said, “except I was taped up like you on my bed. You looked as if you were dreaming or something, then you stumbled out, and I heard them catch you.”
“A young couple – they must have slipped in as party guests. Let them cut you free, and then I can make some coffee. They used some sort of drug to knock us out – I guess you got less of it than us.”
Zara nodded as she saw the medical team come in, and felt the safety scissors as they started to cut the tape away...