As Rebeccah watched her friends head home for the evening she felt good about the little white lie that made it happen. She had told many variations of the story over the past 5 years and always felt a little thrill of victory when it worked to break up the party earlier than normal. It wasn't that she didn't like her friends to stay out late or have a good time, not at all, she just wanted to protect them.
The Hawaii story was true. Right up to the part where she went back to the party. She actually did leave early and then go back but she had made it all the way back to her room. She was brushing her teeth and thinking about her friends still all having fun in the party room while she was all alone in her's. She was too amped to get to sleep so she might as well go back for another round or two right?
The door to the party room hadn't completely closed and was unlatched when she returned. Pushing open the door she looked in to the room to see her friends...
And this is where her world stopped making sense.
Lying on couches and passed out in chairs the whole party was out cold. And standing over each of them was...well...a thing. Tall, skinny, spindly arms and legs, with round heads and giant black glassy eyes. And out of each of those heads was a long semi-transparent spike that was now firmly planted in the head of each friend still at the party. She could see liquid moving up the spikes in to the aliens... It had to be aliens right? Or bugs? It couldn't be bugs. Surely bugs this size would have caused some sort of mass hysteria. Rebeccah stifled an hysterical giggle as she thought about complaining to housekeeping.
Slowly backing out of the room she tried to decide what to do. Then she heard the sound. The slurping. The same sound as drinking a particularly thick milkshake. But it wasn't milkshakes. It was people. Her friends. Her knees gave way and she slid down the wall in the hallway. Knowing she should scream or run or anything other than wait there for her turn. But she was shaking so hard she couldn't move. Her voice was lost. Her breathing was too shallow. She was going to pass out.
The door to the room opened and Rebeccah thought she would scream.
"Hey! What are you doing out here? The party's inside! I'm grabbing some more ice, head on in!" No alien. No giant bug. Just James. With an empty ice bucket. Awake, laughing, oblivious.
Rebeccah slowly stood up and looked in to the room. Her friends were all drinking and laughing. No creatures. No one passed out. Just a party.
She headed back to her room again. Obviously she had had too much too drink. That was all. She had passed out in the hallway and hallucinated everything. She laid down on the bed and tried to get to sleep but as soon as she closed her eyes she could picture the scene again and worse hear it. Slurp...slurp...slurp...
She just made it to the bathroom in time. And that's where she spent the next few hours. Terrified. She tried everything she could to convince herself it hadn't been real. But the details were too clear. There was no moment where she thought, this is where I blacked out. It had happened; she knew it. When the alarm went off to catch the shuttle bus she couldn't do it. Fear kept her rooted to the spot. She did miss the eclipse and the sunrise. That part was true. The group of friends she had been partying with had missed it as well. They were all too hungover to get up.
They were all too hungover. She wasn't.
If she had had enough to drink that she passed out and hallucinated in the hallway why wasn't she hungover? She had been vomiting all night, but that was the reaction to the sound, not the alcohol. But still, she should have been hungover. Dehydrated. Headache. Nausea. Where was her hangover?
The rest of the weekend was a blur. She had forced herself to get out of the room and go to the wedding. To act as normal as possible. She didn't have anything to drink though. The thought of it turned her stomach. Every time she saw someone who had been in that room she could see the being, the bug, the alien thing drinking from them. People started to ask if she felt well. No, no she really didn't. She called it a night early.
Once she was back on the mainland she tried again to forget. To convince herself that it had just been a nightmare. Maybe none of it had happened at all. Then one day she found herself searching the internet for "common drunk hallucinations" and "are there aliens among us" after the third search, the one where she Googled, "drinking life from people" her screen went dark and her computer shut down. When it restarted there was nothing there but the C:\>_ prompt. Then a message. "Stop searching. They are always watching." Then the computer shut down again.
She might have screamed.