This story is about a starry-eyed romantic named Mark Riley and his obsession with a girl named Natalie Stewart. And a love machine named (name removed) and my love affair with cheap beer. Also, a children’s game called, “Bloody Mary.”
Mark has been secretly in love with Natalie since they were toddlers, and it wasn’t until high school that Mark realized he had no ability to speak to women. She was one of our closest friends, and usually Mark could carry on a normal conversation. But whenever he got the inclination to impress her, he started sputtering out random disconnected words and struggling not to drool.
Mark: So, this guy rode up on a motorcycle like a total jerk and-
Natalie: Ooh, I love motorcycle guys.
Mark: I… Yeah… me too. I… the guy… motorcycle… on a ramp… I had to…
Me: Dude, what’s going on with your mouth?
Ryan: Yeah, you’re drooling a lot. Like way more than should be possible.
Mark: What? No, I just drank a lot of water.
Natalie: You’re sweating a lot too.
Mark: It’s really hot out here.
Ryan: It’s January. And this is Ohio.
Mark: Yeah, but-
Me: Did you expect us to agree that it was hot?
Mark: I feel dizzy…
(He then passed out in the snow and we went inside to play video games until he woke up.)
So anyway, Mark came to me one day and asked me how he could talk to girls effectively, because I’m a world-renowned heartbreaker and lady-charmer. Seriously, there isn’t a girl alive who can resist my charms… Maybe I should post a picture of myself shirtless… Actually, if you’re a girl, and 7 out of 10 or higher, send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll send you… a p-mail… and by p-mail… I mean a picture of my junk. And I don’t want to be that guy… but no fatties…. Actually, fatties are okay, but the 7 out of 10 rule still applies… I think I’m getting off-topic.
So Mark came to me for advice. I had observed them since we were kids and I knew exactly what he needed to do. The problem was that he needed to show her he was a confident, fearless alpha male. He needed to become like me.
So I explained my plan to him.
Me: We should get drunk and play Bloody Mary.
Mark: What are you talking about? What does that have to do with talking to girls?
Me: Talk about what now?
Mark: I asked you how to talk to women because of your intense sexual prowess rivaled only by the legendary Casanova.
Me: Oh right… Well… the Bloody Mary thing could still work… Yeah, sure. Okay, we get really drunk, and that will numb your sense of fear. Then we play Bloody Mary with Natalie and she’ll see how fearless and cool you are.
Mark: Ha, Natalie? What makes you think I was talking about her?
Me: You’re drooling again.
Me: And sweating.
Me: You should see a doctor or something. That can’t be normal.
So one night, Mark, Ryan and I went to Natalie’s house to play Bloody Mary. I had gotten a twelve pack of cheap beer from the old guy who used to be the janitor at Chesterville Elementary before it closed. Good guy. There was, however, one small flaw in my plan that I hadn’t foreseen. I can drink a twelve-pack by myself really quickly.
We were in Natalie’s bathroom preparing. For those of you who don’t know, the ritual goes like this: You stand in front of a mirror, lock the door, and turn off all the lights. The darker, the better. You chant the name, ‘Bloody Mary’ 3 times. The legend is that Bloody Mary appears in the mirror and murders you. So obviously all kids should try this. After I explained the ritual to them, we turned off the lights.
Fun Fact: When you have a blood alcohol level of .17, and you’re suddenly thrust into complete darkness, head injuries become exponentially more likely.
The lights went out and I somehow ended up in the bathtub.
“What was that?” I heard Ryan ask.
“I fell into the tub,” I said. Or… I think that’s what I said.
“Are you okay?” Natalie asked me.
That’s when I saw the woman in the mirror. She was covered in bloodstains on her long white dress. Her hair was patchy and knotted.
“Look out!” I tried to shout, but the words wouldn’t form.
They must have all been looking toward the bathtub, so I was the only one who knew the danger we were in. But then Natalie screamed (or it could have been Mark. He’s been known to scream like a girl when he’s in the dark,) and the adrenaline rush sobered me up long enough to get to my feet.
“Everyone on the ground!” I shouted, and probably because of the natural leadership ability that they sensed in my voice, they complied. I leapt toward the door and felt myself collide with a body that shouldn’t have been there. We hit the door, but it didn’t open. Still locked.
“Someone go for the light!” I shouted. Mary slid her sharp fingernails down my forehead slowly, and they were like razors. She shrieked into my ear, and I threw out a hand for the light switch. My fingers fumbled across the flat wall for what felt like minutes, before I found the switch and the lights went on.
I stumbled into the door, nothing between myself and it. The bloody lady had vanished.
My friends were still on the floor, looking frightened.
“Don’t worry,” I said, heroically.
“(Name removed),” Natalie said. Although she didn’t actually say the words ‘name removed.’ She said my name. “You’re so brave. If you hadn’t been here to save us…” I put a finger to her lips.
“Shh,” I said, in a totally sexy way. “You’re safe now. That’s all that matters.”
So that’s the story of how Mark and Natalie finally… oh wait… Well, it’s the story of how I saved my friends from certain death with my ability to be awesome in any situation.
Once again, you can now email me at HauntedChesterville@gmail.com with anything you’d like to say.