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This Party Tip submitted by BizGirl - Aug 25th, 2008

    • Scary as Hell Ghost Stories 1

    • Fat Tuesday By Kelly Rudd

      Go Back to Scary as Hell Ghost Stories

      She squeezed the armrests, as if that might somehow allow her to control the big machine’s descent. The belly of the plane delivered its landing gear grudgingly and they touched down with one bounce, then another. With a deafening roar, the thrusters reversed and the huge albatross ate up the remaining tarmac. As the plane rolled safely up to the dock, Joelle breathed a long sigh of relief. Home free, she thought. Or maybe, “free of home” would be more accurate.
      “First time flying, dear?” The face of the old woman beside her had seen many a good year. “Shall I open up one of these little airsick bags for you?” Her voice held genuine concern.
      “No, thanks. I’m fine. Really.”
      “All right, dear. I don’t much care for flying myself. They really pack us in like sardines anymore, don’t they?”
      Joelle took note of her seatmate for the first time. Short hair formed a solid, gray helmet on her head. Little matching shoes and handbag spoke of a bygone era. Legs were sheathed in sturdy support hose even in this heat. A matronly suit tied the whole, proper package together. The bright suit jacket was her one hint at the flamboyant nature of her fellow traveler. Every conceivable color had been woven into the fine fabric and each gaudy one shouted for dominance. “Is New Orleans your final stop?”
      “Oh yes, dear. This is home. Has been for thirty-odd years. You’re just visiting, aren’t you.” It was a statement, not a question, and Joelle wondered why it was so obvious that she didn’t belong.
      “Uh huh. I’m here to cover Mardi Gras for my college newspaper. Kind of a what-I-did-on-Spring-Break report. I’m thinking of starting with the Zeus parade tomorrow.”
      “Oh my, that should be fun.” As she stood to exit, the old woman turned to Joelle and with a twinkle in her eye, said, “Get close enough to the floats to catch your own beads, dear.” And with that she was gone.
      Joelle laughed. She had certainly heard the stories. It was a hot topic of conversation at parties back home. A young man could see many naked breasts in the streets of Mardi Gras if he possessed the precious beads to barter with. Men concurred that it was a tradition made in heaven.
      This was Joelle’s first trip solo in her twenty-one years and she planned to make the most of the opportunity. There was so much of the world she wanted to experience. She would work her assignment tomorrow, but for the rest of today she was going to unwind and have a little fun.
      She stepped into the airport terminal with long, sure strides, her blond hair flowing. Heads turned and a huge grin split her face from ear to ear. Let the party begin - and she threw open the door.

      As he stepped outside the airport terminal, Ted breathed a sigh of relief. There hadn’t been anyone on his flight who knew him, so he wouldn’t be remembered. Still, he had the feeling someone was watching him. Dismissing it as nerves, he hailed a cab and climbed in. Spring Break is a long time coming when you’re a fourth year medical student. He had dissected so many cadavers that people were beginning to look like walking body parts to him. The months had been grueling and his class attrition rate was abnormally high this year. Not me, he thought, I won’t quit.
      New Orleans was its hot and muggy self. How he hated to sweat. Once he unpacked, he would treat himself to a shower first thing. He reached his hotel on the outskirts of the main celebration area downtown. That suited his plan best- part cost- cutting measure, part security. No one asked any questions here. Strategically, the hotel was in close proximity to the finest hotels, now packed to capacity with all the rich brats here for the Break. His hotel looked respectable on the outside, but the rooms were trashed on the inside. Lucky I’m only here for the one night, Ted observed, as he looked around. That is, if everything goes according to plan.
      After a long shower he carefully chose his outfit for the hunt, right down to his J.P. Todds. It was important to blend in. He had no trouble pouring on the charm. Classmates often took him along to bars back home because he made women feel at ease. His roommate said he was dangerously good at it - called him “Ted Bundy” as a joke. Ted smiled.
      Another hour or so of preparation in the room and he was ready. Passing by a mirror on the way out of the door, he saw the shadow of a women’s reflection over his right shoulder. He spun around, but no one was there. He really must take something for his nerves, he reasoned. He was drained emotionally, physically and financially. Unlike his fellow students, with trust funds and wealthy benefactors, he had to live on a budget and occupy cheap living quarters. He skipped what little social time could be skimmed from his medical school schedule for lack of money. His trip to New Orleans last year had lightened his financial load and allowed him to go on. He had a plan, almost foolproof. . . if he was careful. A fast $40,000 for this weekend meant the difference between more years of skimping, and starting out debt-free in his surgical residency next year.
      It was time to make his selection. So let the party begin - and he closed the door.

      Joelle stopped downstairs at the hotel bar before heading out into the streets crowded with partiers. It was intoxicating. She paused to take it all in. She had pulled on a slim pair of embroidered jeans that showed off her toned abs. The little halter-top with its black-diamond sequins had been a birthday gift from her kid sister, Layne. Too wild for home, but here she felt conservative.
      She closed her eyes and breathed it all in. The spicy smell of Cajun cooking filled her nostrils and her taste buds watered automatically in response. A band billing themselves Beausoleil offered up live jazz over the din of the crowd. Standing at the bar entrance, Joelle noticed someone waving at her from the black table. There was a party going on and a tall brunette broke from the center of the action and headed straight toward her. “Jo, what are you doing here? I thought you had to go visit your parents over break.” Sarah lived two floors down in Joelle’s sorority house at school. They had spent countless hours together on projects and at house parties these past few months.
      “Last minute thing, Sarah. I whined so much my editor came through and funded me. Told her I’d make it worth her while.”
      “Well, you are in the right place girl, ‘cuz we all arrived yesterday and this place is going off! Come, I’ll introduce you to some hotties we picked up.”
      After hearing twelve new names she knew she would never remember, Joelle found a drink in her hand that seemed to have appeared out of nowhere. She’d barely finished it when the glass was whisked away and a fresh one provided. Well, she mused, I said I wanted fun, so best not complain when it’s forthcoming. The group was mobilized and Joelle found herself moving along with them. She was in the street, still clutching her unfinished drink. I’ll return the glass to the hotel later, she thought with a twinge of guilt.
      Like liquid mercury, the group flowed from bar to bar. The mandatory stop at Pat O’Brien’s Pub saw a round of Hurricanes downed with raucous toasts to youth and the gods of Mardi Gras. She declined a Cyclone but several imbibed as one more parade marched by on Bourbon Street. By this time Joelle had acquired six strings of beads and was feeling slightly dizzy. She made it to one more hotel bar before she detoured to the ladies lounge and sat down. Her stomach was rolling and she remembered she hadn’t eaten a thing since the paltry bag of peanuts on the flight.
      Pulling herself upright, she found a sink and splashed cold water on her neck and wrists. Her reflection in the mirror appeared bloated and she speculated that she may have discovered a new shade of green for science. She must remember to call her mother when she got back to her hotel and tell her that she loved her. Tomorrow she would pick up a souvenir for Layne commemorating Mardi Gras. What did that mean again?
      Oh, yes - Fat Tuesday. Well, that seemed to fit.

      Ted stopped at the nearest vendor on !potty mouth! Street and bought a handful of the requisite beads for Mardi Gras revelry. It was pathetic how easily a woman would bare her breasts for a rope of two-dollar beads. The world was going to hell. He walked the street for several hours looking for his opportunity. The French Quarter drew him and he ended up in a bar on Bourbon Street.
      One street looked like the next to him. He was getting impatient. Midnight was approaching and he’d met his contact two hours ago. He only had three more hours until things would wind down for the day. That would mean another night of hunting and that doubled the danger for him.
      He felt a weight on his shoulder and looked down to see a tiny, manicured hand resting there. When he turned to see the owner, no one was there.
      Just then a leggy blond with long flowing hair walked out of the ladies lounge and he knew she was the one. He fingered the bottle of pills in his coat pocket and slipped across the lobby to intercept his prey. “Good evening. You look like you could use a friend.” Joelle looked up and eyed the handsome stranger as he fell in step beside her.
      “Do I know you?” she asked.
      “Name’s Ted. Your friends couldn’t wait,” he ventured. “They said to bring you along and catch up with them at the Delta Queen.” Jo vaguely remembered one of the group mentioning meeting up at the Delta Queen Riverboat for a little gambling. So much for her new “best friends.”
      “Thanks anyway, but I feel pretty vile and I’d rather go back to my room.”
      “Would you like a cup of coffee first?” Ted suggested. “It’s not far to the hotel but you look pretty shaky.”
      Jo did a quick assessment and decided he looked respectable. “Yes actually, that sounds good. My name is Joelle, by the way. My friends call me Jo.” Ted steered her past the crowds and into the bar. He ordered two coffees. As he passed her cup over to her he dropped the rufie in unnoticed. “I don’t usually drink much so this whole Mardi Gras thing is a bit overwhelming,” offered Joelle. She felt a bit foolish and vowed to be only an observer tomorrow. “I think once in a lifetime may be plenty for me.”
      Ted felt a twinge of conscience when she spoke. Oh well, too late now. He laughed an easy laugh and continued. “You look better already. I’ll walk you to your door now if you’d like. It’s still pretty wild out there and you shouldn’t be alone.”
      “Now is good.” Joelle replied, and offered up her hotel name on !potty mouth! Street. Heading out into the packed streets, Ted took her elbow and guided her north toward her trendy hotel. She was beginning to stumble and he picked up the pace, judging the time he had left to operate. Passing her hotel, he half-carried her the next block to where his cut-rate hotel stood waiting. No one noticed.
      The lobby was deserted and Ted pushed the elevator button for the forth floor. He carried her over the threshold of his room. Joelle was asleep in his arms. He stripped off her clothing and laid her in the tub of cold water. He added the buckets of ice from the chests he had prepared earlier. Passing the bathroom mirror, he gasped, as a petite, brunette woman stared sadly back at him. He recognized her from last years’ Mardi Gras. “I didn’t mean for it to turn out that way!” he said. “You were supposed to call!” She disappeared from his vision. Forcing himself to focus, he drew out his scalpels and vowed this would be the last time. He went to work.

      There was a car filled with her sister, her mother, herself and a brunette woman she did not recognize. The woman said her name was Dawn. They drove along, arguing over the road to take. Joelle was sure they were on the wrong road when abruptly the asphalt ended and the car vaulted into the abyss. The water was speeding toward them and the car landed flat then started to sink. Water was everywhere. It was so cold. They had to get out. “Quick! Open the door! Open the window!” she screamed. Strands of seaweed and the pressure of the water were pulling her down. She couldn’t escape the ropes of the seat belts. Suddenly, Dawn was beside her, cutting away the ties that bound her.
      Joelle jerked upward into consciousness and the room settled into vision. Thank God, it was just a dream, she thought, and her muscles relaxed. Struggling to sit up she realized she was in a bathtub, and the water was indeed very, very cold. But the chill went down her bones when she saw the medical tubing attached to drips and inserted into her veins. Her vision was beginning to focus; her comprehension was not. Grasping for a towel, the tubes stopped her short and she bumped a table set up next to the bathtub. A telephone was the first thing she touched. Propped up on the phone was a note. Joelle reached for it with shaking hands, and in a barely audible voice read, “Call 911. Your kidneys have been removed. You need immediate assistance.”
      Dawn handed her the phone.

      Go Back to Scary as Hell Ghost Stories

    • Tags: halloween scary ghost stories hell
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