The weather was something frightening. Only in Wonderland do they issue a flood watch and expect up to three feet of snow at the same time. Oh well, "'Tis a silly place," you know. It was Saturday night and my day of work before having three days off. After battling the wet and icy roads I felt an overwhelming comforting feeling. As I pushed open the front door my mind was blissfully focused on some hot food, cold vodka, and a warm blanket. Hatter had other plans for me I soon discovered.
As the door swung open six pairs of eyes stared back at me like deer in headlights. The look I got from many of them was of confusion and surprise. They know who I am and know I live there so I can only guess this look equated to a child caught doing something they know is wrong. Like the parent in this scenario I felt a little worried by the stare down and instantly knew the small bottle of vodka I'd been fantasizing about would not be enough to get me trough whatever it is I just walked in on.
"Hi, Rabbit!," Hatter was the first to greet me in is usually cheerful voice, "Want to play Murder?"
Now, If you are picturing this playing out like an indie horror movie shot in the woods of some state park by kids who know WAY too much about Charles Manson then I'm sure you are in good company. I want you to hit the pause button for just a moment, though. I'd like to think a sane person would of responded with a polite, "No Thanks," before calmly exiting then driving a safe distance away before calling the cops. But If we were sane people there would be no story, would there? In my case I smiled back at the anticipating group of people and replied, "Of course I do!" I then ran up stairs to change clothes while hatter explained the rules of Murder to the few who have never played.
Playing murder is very simple. The scene plays out in a dark house where a group of friends are hiding from the mad-man among them. Unsure of who is the sadistic assassin they hide, listening to the sounds of their friends' final screams until they can identify who the murder is. The game ends when someone yells out the correct identity of the murder or when everyone is dead. Since we are kind of fond of one another no one will actually be killed. Instead three taps from the killer and you are considered dead.
So we cut off all the light and exited the house. We all drew slips of paper from a hat that will tell us what our roll is. Most everyone has a blank piece of paper but mine had a big capital M in the center showing me that I am to play the murderer.
Now I had to be as inconspicuous as possible. The best thing the murder can do is enter the house first or last. First allows you to hear when everyone else enters so you knew where they are hiding. Entering the house last means you don't have to hide, you can take your time and move around freely. I decided to try and divert any suspicion from myself and enter third or fourth. Once inside I moved to a corner in the living room that is easy to get in and out of but not too obvious. One of Hatter's friends, Two of Hearts, comes in and hides between the couch and coffee table beside me.
"She will be easy," I tell myself, embracing my character.
A voice pierces through the darkness, "Last one in," and the game begins. The poor girl lying on the floor beside me didn't stand a chance. She screamed loudly as I reached for her but the cries were futile. Hearing the scream of his girl, Ace came in. At first I thought he was trying to investigate her screams but I soon realized he was just trying to scare her because she started screaming again. I couldn't have dead bodies screaming and giving away my position! I killed him and he fell forward on top of Two of Hearts. Just as I turned around I saw Hatter lunging towards me with some bizarre battle cry.
"AAAHHH," He screamed. Ina panic I flung my fist towards him connect with his jaw and he went down. I gave him a few good taps to make sure he was dead but didn't stop to make sure he was actually ok.
I didn't have any time to wonder if her was hurt because Alice's voice piped up, "Rabbit is the..."
I must shut her up! Tap tap tap and she goes down without being able to properly identify me. I feel victorious for a moment. Four dead bodies around me and the house fell quiet. I knew there were two more out there so I stopped to listen intently for the sounds of life. Unfortunately all I heard was the faint distant sound of music. I don't know if many people realize just how creepy Billie Holiday is until you are in a pitch dark house and all you can hear is, "The very thought of you, I forget to do, those ordinary things, that everyone..."
I start wandering from room to room but my eyes were having trouble adjusting to the complete absence of light. I began to get nervous because I can't seem to find my other two victims. Passing by the dining room I caught the faint glimpse of fleshy white skin. Having already explored this room twice already I was skeptical. Maybe my eyes were just playing tricks on me so I approached slowly. Within a foot of what I was now sure was an arm I reached out to make my attack when a male voice cracked.
"Rabbit is the murder!!"
I am frozen in place for a half second as all the dead come back to life and the lights turn on.
After inspecting Hatter's jaw we determined he has suffered no serious injury. In fact he seemed far too amused to be hurt. With everyone still in tact we ventured out of the house again. This time my slip of paper was blank. I remembered being thankful for this because I am far better at survival then killing.
One of the first people in, I headed fora a corner in the kitchen where I know I am sure to see my attacker before they see me. It wasn't long before I heard someone else rustling around and banging the oven door, slamming counters, and knocking stuff over. I imagined someone was trying to hide in the oven and that made me laugh, giving away my position.
"Don't go dying on me, Rabbit," Ace said in a hushed voice.
"Don't go killing me," I replied.
The house fell silent again save for the distant sound of music. What was really only ten minutes felt more like an hour with the anticipation growing and silence crushing in on the kitchen walls. After a while I heard that familiar cheerful tone:
"Watcha doin, Alice?" Hatter inquired, standing right outside the kitchen doorway.
Mustering up as innocent a voice she could, "Looking for a hiding place," Alice offered. She might of fooled a common stranger with her faux sinlessness. Recognizing the quiver of uncertainty in her voice I knew what Hatter said to be true:
"Alice is the Murderer!"
We all breathed a sigh of relief and I exited my hiding spot while flicking on the kitchen light. Seeing movement I looked up to discover Ace crammed into the one foot space between the top of the fridge and ceiling. All I could do was chuckle at the absurdity as two people helped wriggle him free.
We played several more rounds of the game but it quickly digressed from Murder to "Who can make Two of Hearts scream the most?" The poor girl got attacked by moans, growls, creepy laughs, and even full left over Halloween costumes. Her screams were so shrill our neighbors must of realized in that moment that the people living in our house are not stable. I'm surprised no one called the police but then again this is only week one.