Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Tea Party

Once there was a little girl named Cynthia Shelly. Brown hair, green eyes, beautiful smile. She loved having tea parties. With her friends, with her family members, with her dolls and teddy bears, with her imaginary friends.
One day, in the month of April, when Cynthia was nine years old, something odd happened:
She died.
Oh it wasn't anything violent, mind. She wasn't chopped into pieces by a lunatic, drowned, strangled or otherwise killed in any other horrible way.
She died of pneumonia. She always had delicate health, poor Cynthia. And the poor fool, just a few days before her death, the maid had found her in the cold, cold basement, having a tea party with her imaginary friends.
"Freezing cold it was", The maid, a Mrs. Brown, had been heard saying. "No wonder the poor little lady got a chill. And always so delicate too! Died of the fever, she did."


Soon afterwards, the disappearances began. In a week, all three of Cynthia's best friends; Judy Finch, Carla Smith and Jill Tucker, disappeared. Then, other girls of the same age went missing too. In all, seven girls, all of them about the same age as Cynthia, disappeared. 
The townspeople searched frantically, but no trace could be found.

It was Micah, the baker's boy, who noticed it. Each day, Mrs.Shelly would go to a different bakery, and buy cake and cookies. One fine Friday, when the silent, smiling Mrs. Shelly had bought two pounds of cake and six packets of cookies from his father's bakery, Micah's curiosity was completely piqued.

He decided to follow her to her house and see how she managed to eat all that cake herself.
She closed the door after her. 
Micah waited five minutes.
Indecision hung heavy on him. But curiosity won.
He climbed the steps. The door was unlocked.
Heart thumping, he entered the house.

Everything was covered with a layer of dust, like no one had bothered to clean for a long time. He heard Mrs.Shelly's lilting voice in the basement. Again, curiosity and terror competed for control.
Micah was a very curious boy.
He slowly, carefully, descended the steps to the basement.

First, the smell hit him. A mixture of sweetness and horrible decay and perfume.
Then he saw the girls.
A large table stood in the middle of the basement. And on the chairs surrounding it, were the missing girls.
Their corpses had been carefully, artfully arranged, sitting in the chairs for a ghastly tea party. Their clothes were bright, their faces rotting to pieces. 
On the table in front of them were teacups filled with steaming hot tea, and plates served with large slices of the cake Mrs. Shelly had just bought from the bakery.

A small radio played cheerful, happy music in the corner.

He saw Mrs. Shelly near the head of the table. 
Cynthia was seated at the head of the table. Or what remained of her, at least.
Dressed in a bright gown of dandelion yellow, there were blue ribbons tied in the brown thatch that was her hair. Her green eyes were nothing but lightless stones, oozing slime.
Mrs. Shelly was crooning to her daughter's corpse, serving her the largest slice of cake.

Micah tried unsuccessfully to hold back his scream. Mrs. Shelly turned towards him. There was madness in her green eyes.
"Cynthia must have her tea party." She hissed. 
She continued talking, as if to the air, "My poor little girl was so lonely, so I brought home all her little friends!" A ghastly smile appeared on her face, and she kissed Cynthia's cheek. The tea cups steamed merrily.
Micah started backing up the stairs.
"Now she can have all the tea parties she wants!" Shelly crooned. Suddenly she seemed to notice that Micah was moving back up the stairs.
"Cynthia must have her tea party!", she screamed and ran towards boy.

Micah fled up the stairs, screaming in terror. Shelly caught hold of his ankle, but he kicked and twisted free. He threw open the door and ran out into the street, the crazed woman behind him.

"HELP!" he screamed, "She's a murderer! She killed all the girls! HELP!"
He fell. Mrs. Shelly was upon him- she bent down to gouge out his eyes- and then somebody pulled her back. A large group of people had gathered in the street. Four of them somehow managed to hold her, trying to restrain her.
In broken, terrified sentences, Micah told them what he had seen in the house. A wail of anguish went up from the crowd. The group of people moved towards the Shelly house.

"NOOO!" Mrs Shelly screamed, "NO ONE SHALL DISTURB THE TEA PARTY!"
When the people crossed the threshold, she gave an animal howl and broke free of her captors. Screaming in a horrible, horrible voice, she tore out her throat with her own hands.
The people gasped in horror.



* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

  
There was great mourning in the town. The girls' bodies were carried out. Mothers cursed Mrs Shelly as a demon. That night, the Shelly house was burned down. 

No one could explain one thing though.

When the group of people had gone down to the basement, the cups had been empty, and the slices of cake were gone as well.



Part Two: Superstitions

8 comments :

  1. If you don't write a sequel to this, I'm gonna kill you!

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  2. Leave me like. "whaaaaaaaat!!!" at the end of the story.

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  3. Replies
    1. There's a second part. I've added the link at the bottom of the story.

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  4. Love this. Gripping story in the same vein as Poe and Edward Gorey. Superbly chilling stuff!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks 😄 Tea Party and Messenger are my personal favorites.

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