One Last Time

in #finishthestory5 years ago

@dirge's Start

The air was sticky and they’d been drinking for hours. It was late into the evening of the going away party for Ron and Jenni. They’d been good friends to Sean when he first arrived, but since then they’d grown distant. In fact, it had been awhile since Sean had hung out with anyone. He’d arrived to a room full of people he didn’t know, already well on their way to getting drunk.

“It’s so great to see you,” Jenni said, offering a hug. “Sean, oh man!”

Ron offered a handshake. “Hey man, good to see you one last time.”

“Thanks for the invite,” Sean replied. “And sorry to see you going.”

The room erupted with laughter. A man had slipped and fallen on his ass and he was rolling on the ground hollering away. “I’m gonna grab a cigarette,” Sean said.

“Oh wait!” Jenni grabbed his arm. “Let me introduce you to everyone!” She proceeded to bring him through the rooms of the townhome they rented for the night’s going away party. There was a Jack and a Royal and a Jeremy and a Kim and a Karen and more and Sean soon forgot all those names anyway. He finally got outside for a cigarette, his heart racing and his anxiety peaked.

“Fucking…” he mumbled to himself. “Too many fucking people in that space.”

“I know, right?”

The voice startled him. He peeked over and saw a girl sitting with pink dyed hair.

“Can I get one of those?”

“You know Jen and Ron?” Sean asked, offering her a cigarette.

“Sure,” the girl replied. “We met a few times at church.”

“Church?” Sean asked. “I’m incredulous. I didn’t know they were Christians.”

“Oh, it’s not that kind of church.” The girl took a drag on her cigarette and the presumed air of mystery she was attempting to paint annoyed him.

“Okay,” Sean said. “Well, then, what kind of church is it?”

The door to the porch opened and the music blared from inside. Ron came outside with a group of other party goers, all drunk and cheering.

“I’m telling you,” one of the guys was saying. “That girl’s totally into me. I’m going to go for it.”

“Do it!” Ron said. “We all believe in you man. Believe in yourself!” Then, turning to Sean. “We’re going for a swim!” Ron announced. He shouted it again, and the group cheered.

Sean glanced over to the girl, whose name he still didn’t know. She was smiling.

They trekked down the dirt road from the pension then through a dirt path. The ground was rocky, volcanic in some spots in that way typical to Jeju. Drunk, most of them stumbled. They passed by a fish farm, the ponds of which were covered in nets. Then a water treatment plant with rumbling generators inside its deep warehouse.

Then they reached a secret, secluded beach. The pink haired girl stripped down, an obsidian necklace dangling from her neck, glowing in the moonlight. She descended into the water.

“It warm and wonderful!” she said. “Come on.”

The group stripped down, and Sean saw many were wearing the same pendant. He began to strip as well, as the idea of warm ocean waters in such a hot night was intoxicating. He went into the water, swimming till it was deep enough to fully submerge.

When he came back up, he heard screaming.

My Ending

It frightened him at first until the splashes and screams died down and he heard Ron yell out, “Marco!”

“Polo!” a chorus of voices answered.

Sean sighed and floated further away from the group. He jerked up when something slid against his hand, but it was only the pink-haired girl.

“Aren’t you playing?”

“No,” he said as he gave a strong kick towards the shore.

With a couple more strokes he could easily stand and walk towards the rocks that hemmed in the small beach. A light splashing warned him that the girl was following. He climbed up and sat on a large rock several feet out from the shore. She sat next to him.

He stole a glance at her and saw that she was staring out at the others, her face calm and unbothered by his rudeness. He shrugged to himself.

From this small height, he could easily watch the game. There was plenty of drunken splashing but most people evaded Ron easily. Once or twice Ron almost caught Jenni, who wasn’t making as much of an effort to steer clear.

Sean’s attention had started to drift back to the girl sitting next to him when he noticed large splashes that didn’t seem to come from any of the partiers. They might have been breaking waves, but he thought he could also make out darker shadows just under the surface where they occurred.

“What the fuck…”

The pink-haired girl was watching too, an odd half-smile on her face. She sat silently until Sean drew in a deep breath. She clapped a strong hand over his mouth before he could call out a warning.

“Don’t spoil the game, Sean.”

He shoved her hand away but it was too late. Two of the dark forms flicked out and grabbed Ron and Jenni, like lizards’ tongues snapping up flies. It happened so quickly and neatly, Sean wasn’t sure of what he’d seen. There was no trace left but two frothy patches on the water’s surface.

A woman’s voice screamed in terror. Everyone else was quiet and still.

A man dove in after them and Sean held his breath, his fingers pressing into the rough edges of the rock. He knew he should jump in too and help, but fear and disbelief locked him in place.

A head and arm broke above the water.

“It is done!”

Everyone cheered except the woman who had screamed. She was crying. Sean could make out two obsidian pendants hanging from thin chains clutched in the man’s hand. He swam into shore with his arm held high. The rest followed. When the water was waist-high he stood up and tossed a glinting chain towards Sean.

The pink-haired girl caught it while Sean remained frozen. She beamed at him and held the pendant out on her open palm in offering.

“Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Church. We welcome you.”

This story was written for @bananafish's 56th Finish the Story Contest, at a time when I should have been clearing up the kitchen.

Image by Josh Sorenson.


Happy to see you back.. now I remember, you are that one that writes well! 😜 Joking, I remember your story about my Fasnachat prompt. Here I loved how you slowly displayed the horror of the sacrifice, with a truly elegant touch. Write more with us wtf! 😂

Fasnachat was a great prompt. I'm planning on writing more here! I got out of the habit when the writing that pays the bills needed more attention.

I don't know what I would do if I happened to be in the middle of some 'church'. It's too scary to me. You don't know what to expect from these people so I understand that he remained frozen and just watched the scene.

I wonder if he would accept that pendant or not..

Very good dark story :) Thank you for sharing and have a nice day1

Yeah, I'm pretty sure freezing up is how I'd respond to anything like this in real life.

hi @sidequest nice story!
an innocent start, old friends who meet again ... and then BANG! the disaster !! I like these stories, I imagine that having a pendant means entering a cult, which is a topic that makes me feel very scared at the same time !! but is it a case that his friends die? and what will he do ?????? tell me there is a sequel !!! :-))
congratulation for the curie vote

Thanks! Hopefully he won't get sucked in too deep (no pun intended).

I was stunned, I do not know what happened, what kind of religion is that? I HAVE MANY DOUBTS, I want answers: ((tell me there will be second part ...

I have doubts too! And also need answers, even though I wrote it. I'll have to see about continuing it...

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Hi sidequest,

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Thanks you guys! And thanks for all the time you put in to this.

nice writeup, something that we see in hollywood, friends meeting and then going through something weird together. I am still digesting what I read, dirge throws great prompts. I followed his last one, he is amazing and you are too. Amzazing write folks. COngrats on your curie :)

Thanks so much. I agree, dirge's prompts are great!

Dirge is one of the best (horror) writers here. We're lucky he's with us - f3nix

I am sorry, but just out of curiosity, do you have another account in the name of @sarez.

Coincidentally or not the story and the characters resembles to the one I read last week for the same story telling. Check this link

I clearly remembers the names and the hero in the end Sean is hitting hid forehead in the rock and the end of the story with the girl.

I searched all over my comments to pick the link to read it again that both are having the same plot. And even that was too shortlisted by @curie..

Any how this story too looks good.

They really don't have the same plot, the scene set is different (one in the waters, one from a rock) the pink-haired girl survives, this Sean doesn't have traumas from the past persecuting him and not even he forgot to take some drugs. The crowd survives, there's a sacrifice ritual... And so on. It's a different story. I just say this because envisaging plagiarism or even a double identity is not nice at all. Especially when we have two different stories. I'm curious, where exactly and possibly for Bananafish sake did you see similarities? Even the style and lexicon are different. Sarez and sidequest are known different steemians and the @curie manual selection process is pretty deep and scrupolous.

My apologies, all i was remembering was the name of Sean, the pretty girl, the sea and the other incidents happened there. Then I really thought how come this story again as I am not that familiar with those banana story episodes.

Anyhow is it OK to edit that part of my comment.? Let me know.

No problem @angelro. I understood after that probably you weren't familiar with the contest and you didn't get that the prompt is the same for everyone. Sorry but I'm very protective with the folks of my community. Why don't you join us and write with us :-) Yes you can edit it, there's no problem for me.. - f3nix apologies once more, Honestly I came across many times this finish my story blog, I did not give due care because story writing was never my cup of tea. My only relation with stories are to enjoy those. And just for information (and not as a justification) as I read those stories it really caught into my senses as I really liked it and that was the reason I really got confused when I gone through the second story'. Sorry again and I will edit it for sure.

But what I want to convey you (@banana fish) now is that your question

Why don't you join us and write with us

put a spark deep in my heart. I was a confused lot and thought for minutes (not hours) and just made few lines not seriously though. Then I checked that respective post of yours and saw only few hours left for the deadline to reach. Then my question was like "Whether to write or not,' especially I saw it required.minimum 500 words then it looked like as really a race against time, and in life I always enjoyed such challenges and I completed a story just like an preparing an Instant noodle.

I posted it there for your consideration, hope you will go through it and get me some opinion on my first and probably last attempt ...

Thank you

No, I'm not sarez, but the start of the our stories are the same because it's a contest where we all use the same beginning (written by someone else, this week it's dirge) and then finish the story however we want. Here's a link to the contest page:

I understood only after why he got confused!

Excellent. Happy to have you in the contest!

Yeah, I'm going to go now. See ya -

What were those shadow things? I'm not getting in the water until you tell me.

Jeez, people catch one glimpse of shadowy tentacles and they get all squicky about going in to the deep, dark water where anything can come up from below to grab you...

Jaws music intensifies

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