Reese Wyman – “The Dinner Party”

“Hello?” Caroline said in answer to the ring of her phone.

“Hi, this is Alicia,” the person on the other end of the phone answered.

“Oh, how have you been, Alicia? The last time we talked was probably three years ago, right after your thirtieth birthday,” Caroline exclaimed to her phone.

“Just dandy, Caroline. I haven’t seen you in a long time though and I think we’re overdue for some sort of get together. I was thinking about having you over for dinner, possibly tomorrow if you’re available?”

“Actually that works great for me,” Caroline responded.

“Awesome, so I’ll see you tomorrow night around six o’clock?

“Sure, I can make that work.”

“Oh, and bring some other friends with you. The more the merrier,” Alicia happily stated

“Ok, I have a couple that I’m really good friends with. Travis and Victoria, can I bring them along? They are both in their mid twenties, and they are very attached to each other. Such a nice couple.”  

“Yeah, they sound wonderful to me! Alrighty then, I’ll see you tomorrow, with Travis and Alicia.”

“This going to be a nice get together, bye!” Caroline said with glee.

“Definitely!” Alicia responded as she hung up the phone.

“And cut,” a director yelled from behind a megaphone, “Alright people let’s get this show started now that we have a backstory to show the viewers. Caroline, phone the surprise contestants. Make sure you remember their names from when we set up that barbecue so they don’t get suspicious in any way. The better the surprise, the better the reaction, and the more viewers.”

“Ok, will do,” Caroline responded.

“Victoria! Your phone is ringing. It says it’s Caroline,” Travis shouted to his girlfriend who was downstairs in their apartment.

Victoria was slightly confused by the name of the caller as she ascended the stairs to grab the phone from her boyfriend.

“Caroline?” She said in a confused state of mind, “Oh, yes. Now I remember her. We met her at someone’s barbecue party a week ago.”

“Better answer it then,” Travis said as he handed the phone to her.

“Hey Caroline. What’s up?” Victoria answered.

“Nothing much. But hey do you have any plans for tomorrow night at around six o’clock, per say?” Caroline said with a happy voice.

“No, why?” Victoria answered.

“Oh, one of my friends, Alicia, is having a little get together slash dinner party thing and I was wondering if you and Travis would like to come?”

“I don’t know. I mean going to a friend of friends dinner party? Sounds a little awkward,” Veronica replied.

“I don’t see why it would. It’s just a get together. Come on, please?” Caroline said in a begging voice.

“Hm . . Ok you got me. Sure, Travis and I have nothing better to do, might as well,” said Veronica with a little chuckle.

Caroline cheerfully said,“Yay! Can’t wait to see you there. Remember it’s tomorrow night at six and I’ll send you the address.”

“Ok, see you then,” Veronica said as she ended the phone call.

After Caroline had finished the call she texted Alicia saying that the dinner party was on and to be ready for the couple to come over that next day at 6 pm. Now, all they had to do was notify their team members that the unsuspecting couple would be entering the scene at about six o’ clock, and to have the cameras rolling. This might just become their episode yet.

Veronica still wasn’t so sure about how she felt going to someone’s house that she didn’t know. But she tucked that feeling away saying to herself that after all, it’s only a dinner party.

The next day had come and Veronica was reminding Travis that they had to go to Alicia’s house for dinner.

“Do we have to go,” Travis whined, “I’ve had a long week and I’m tired.”

Veronica  said in response ,“Oh, shush. You sound like a baby and I already said we’d be going. Besides, we don’t have anything planned for today and why not? Dinner Party! Yay.”

“Yeah, I guess. But it’s odd I have to say. Going to this person’s house that we’ve never met,” he replied.

The day had passed and it was time for Veronica and Travis to head over to Alicia’s house. The couple hopped in their car and drove to the address Caroline had given them. After about half an hour, they finally reached Alicia’s house. They hopped out of the car and went to knock on the front door. They both had the odd feeling of entering the stranger’s house. But they were greeted by a smiling face.

“Hi, my name is Alicia. It’s so wonderful to finally meet you two,” said the warm, friendly face of a woman.

Veronica entered the house with no more thoughts about going in with that strange feeling. But Travis, on the other hand, was dragging his feet from the car to the front door until he reached the front door where Caroline ushered him into the house. The first thing Veronica did was compliment Alicia’s house. She had dove right into their trap but Travis hadn’t. He was still unhappy about the situation and sat quietly only adding to the girls’ conversation every once in a while.

Time had passed and the three girls had been sipping on wine for the last hour, enjoying themselves. Travis observed the girls having a jolly time since he didn’t want to be there and he was noticing some strange things about Alicia. The way she talked, the way she held her wine glass, and the way she looked. He knew something was very different about this person. Alicia’s acting skills were usually superb when it came to rolls like this and she was instructed to act oddly and this was her best way of showing that. He just couldn’t fit the pieces together quite yet that they were going to the victims to a show of epic surprises. Little did he also know that everything was being recorded. That his sour face would soon be seen by at least a hundred thousand people.

As more time passed Travis couldn’t help but think that the night would never end as he watched his girlfriend talk and talk. He finally decided to say something as they finished their dessert around the dining room table.

“Umm, Veronica?” Travis said in a quit voice.

“Yeah?” She replied as she turned his direction for the first that night, finally acknowledging him.

“Uh, can I talk to you else where? Just a second? Please?” He had to beg her just for a small conversation.

“Sure. Be right back girls,” she said with a smile to her new “besties”.

Travis walked around toward the front door so the host and Caroline wouldn’t hear them. Little did they know that there were camera’s and microphones all throughout the house.

“Honey, I see that you’re having a good time, but I want to go home. Not only that but don’t you think Alicia is a little weird. I mean did you see the way she was holding that wine glass and the way she talks. She only talks about herself. Have you not noticed that? She holds it like a sippy cup for babies! Now that’s weird and-,” He tried to continue but Veronica interrupted.

“Travis, she’s super fun and quirky. Oh, she’s just a good person. Why do you question that? Not every person in this world is out to get you. Now, if you don’t mind I’m gonna go back to my wonderful new friends,” she said hastily only wanting the conversation to end faster so she could leave.

Veronica gave him one last look and an eye roll as she turned around to join her “friends”. She was clearly annoyed by his eagerness to leave. Travis finally decided enough was enough and thought up a devious escape plan. Sneak around the corner, hide between the two bookshelves by the front door, then quietly open and run out the door. He was counting down in his head. Three, two, one! Go!

He took a quick peak around the corner and saw Veronica, Caroline, and Alicia, now standing in the kitchen, but still chatting with each other. He saw they were still deep in conversation, somehow. He wondered as he watched how long they could talk. It had already been several hours. So he noticed they were distracted and made a swift jump across the open hallway and squished himself between the two book shelves. Travis thought Success!

“What is he doing?” Alicia said.

“Beats me,” Veronica replied.

“Hey, Travis! What are you doing?” Caroline said with a laugh.

“Shoot!” Travis said under his breath.

“Are you trying to leave? Come on over and join the conversation,” Alicia exclaimed from across the room.

Travis was rubbing his head in hands as he stood there in between the two bookshelves, slightly humiliated. But he noticed something peculiar as his eyes met the floor. A red wire tapped to the ground that ran underneath both bookshelves, through the kitchen, and around the corner. He thought to himself, well, it’s probably just a phone wire or some bad electric work as he stepped out into the full view of the three girls.

“I think we should be going now, girls. It’s been a fun time but really,” he responded.

“What? No. You’re staying. If I were you I would stay,” Alicia shouted.

Travis was thinking about what she said, “if I were you I would stay.” What exactly did she mean by that?

He responded in a slightly nervous voice, “No, Veronica and I should really be going. Right Veronica? Yeah, let’s go.”

“Okay, Travis. I see that it’s almost eleven o’clock now. So sure, we can head out. We’ve had a wonderful time, so I guess we’ll see you around?” Veronica said as she started to collect her things.

“Finally,” he muttered.

“Oh no no no. Nope. Not gonna happen,” Alicia abruptly shouted, “You two can’t leave now. The fun has only begun,” Alicia said through a smirk.

Caroline had slowly started to back away from Alicia towards Travis and Veronica with a troubled face.

“Crap, Crap, Crap!” Caroline whispered to the couple, “Did I forget to mention Alicia has um a couple different personalities?”

“Um yeah, Caroline, you forgot to mention that piece of information! And may I ask what personality she has switched to now?” He said.

A concerned Travis whispered back as they watched Alicia standing there in the kitchen with an unpleasant look on her face that gave the trio even more fright.

“Well,” Caroline said, “the only other personality is the, the, th- . . .” She trailed off in a shaky voice.

“Spit it out Caroline! She’s staring at us like a crazy lady,” Travis said shaking Caroline by the shoulders.

“The murderer!” Caroline said in a scared whisper.

Veronica turned around to the front door, conveniently right behind them. But Alicia had locked it on there way in. This led to them eventually understanding that Alicia had been switching between personalities since they got there.

“What do we do?” Veronica screamed in panic.

“Run!” Travis responded.

The three ran like chickens with there heads cut off. Aimlessly in the house they didn’t know how to escape with a murderer on the loose. Travis and Veronica ran and ran. They could hear their hearts pounding in their chests and, not a single other sound.

“Oh no! We’ve lost Caroline.” Veronica whispered to Travis as they sat hidden behind closet doors.

Then suddenly Alicia’s voice rang through the house saying,“I’m coming to get you.”

The couple whimpered in fear thinking all hope of surviving this murderous dinner party host was lost. Travis looked all around the closet they were in and noticed that strange red wire again tapped to the floor and disappeared under a door hidden by coats. Out of curiosity Travis picked the wire and gave it a tug from under the door and heard some stuff crash and fall over.

“What was that?” Veronica whispered while trembling.

Travis shrugged his shoulders.

“I’m going to open the door, Okay?” He said.

“No! Why? Alicia might be in there or something.

“We really have no other option,” He sighed.

Travis opened the door to see cameras, lights, a camera crew, and Caroline. In the back of the room they had just discovered said in big letters “Gotcha!” On a banner. Then right next to that said “A Reality TV Show”. Veronica and Travis looked at everything and everyone with big eyes and their jaws dropped to the floor in disbelief. Veronica saw Alicia behind Caroline and fainted out of stress of running from a so called murderer. Travis stood there still dumbfounded.

“Gotcha!” everyone in the room shouted unanimously.

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