The letter came in the mail on Halloween morning. It was addressed to me. I was surprised at first. I was a seventeen year old kid, living at home, in my last year of high school with a short list of people I could call friends. Simply put, I didn't get much mail. My first thought when I got the letter was that it was one of those phony college letters. You know the ones that promise you this “amazing scholarship” because of your “academic decree” but in doing a little research you realize the scholarship only covers like a tiny fraction of the stupid amount of money it takes to go to their stupid school. Those letters always ended up in the trash, but this letter seemed different. First of all, it was addressed to an “Honorable Sir Colin William Benting”. My name sure was Colin William Benting but I had never been addressed as a sir and even more an honorable one. Intrigued by the address I ripped the letter open. The body was short and blunt. It read.
Dear Sir Benting,
You have been invited to attend the 3080th annual Limbo’s Halloween Bash. The bash will take place under the oak tree in the Memorial Park Graveyard. Please come dressed in your most fashionable costume. The party will begin at midnight exactly. Not one minute before nor one after. Those who are late will not be allowed entrance. It will be a pleasure to make your acquaintance.
I was pretty confused at first. I had no idea who Prince Minos was and had never heard of “Limbo’s Halloween Bash” before. I considered asking my parents about it but decided against it. My heart was set on going and my parents would never let me stay out that late. My plan was to sneak out my window late at night and walk to the graveyard. It was only about a ten minute walk from my house. It would be cold and certainly scary but I wasnt the type to get invited to parties often. And by that I mean never. Me and my friends were not considered cool by any high school standards. We were all socially awkward in our own ways and each fostered loves for whatever sci-fi or fantasy thing that we had decided upon dedicating our conversations to. Recently we hadn't been close as usual. Mostly due to the passing of our friend Zack. Our friend group all throughout high school had been the four of us. Me, Liam, Ethan, and Zack. We weren't the best at the social part of high school but we had each other and that made it the best. Zack passed away from cancer about two months ago. Our friend group hasn't talked much since. We sit together at lunch but it's not the same. Zack was the best. He was so funny and happy. He had, what I had dubbed the rarest personality type in the world, the “cool nerd.” He was smart and warm and bubbly but also the biggest nerd I knew. He would talk your ear off about star wars theories or stay up late playing League of Legends with you. He was the only person who could best me in sci-fi trivia. Whether it was Orson Scott Card, Kurt Vonnegut, Issac Asimov, or even my favorite author of all time Douglas Adams, he knew more. And that was saying something because Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy was practically my bible. He was popular too. Really popular. Everybody loved Zack. He was even elected our class president. He got invited to all sorts of parties and tempted to join cooler friend groups but he always knew what he wanted. He would decline party offers and come play D&D with his friends instead. He was the most genuine person I've ever known. He was my best friend. The moment I finished reading the letter I received a call from Ethan. Ethan and me hadn't been talking much as of late so I figured it must be something important. I hit the answer button on my phone and put it up to my ear.
“Whats up Ethan”
“Colin!” Ethan screamed, he was let's say a bit on the louder side of the personality spectrum. I whipped the phone down as Ethan's voice rattled my eardrum then quickly back up.
“Jesus Ethan my phone speaker is a fraction of a millimeter from my ear”
“Sorry Colin but I just got the weirdest thing in the mail” He continued talking in his usual boisterous manner so I lowered my phone down a couple of inches.
“What?” I responded. I figured I knew what he was going to say next.
“This weird letter, and like it was addressed to me as a Sir and it invited me to this Halloween party in the graveyard”
“Was it from Prince Minos?” I asked
“Yeah, how'd you know?” Ethan shouted.
“I got the same letter”
“Do you know anything about this dude or his party?”
“Only what was in the letter”
“Okay I'm coming over right now”
“Do you think Liam-
“Already on it” and with that Ethan hung up. Sending me a text a few moments later saying “We’ll be there soon.” I had no idea what to think. My first thought was that every kid got the letter but then it would have to be in the news or something. Maybe Mr. Richmond the psychology teacher had arranged this. He was one teacher we were all close with. Other than that I was stumped. I was so excited to see my friends again. We hadn't hung out like this in a while. I grabbed the letter and inspected it further while I waited. Ethan and Liam arrived in their usual manner arguing about some theory about the Avengers. Liam kept on saying “well in the comics” and Ethan kept on shouting “I don't care about the freaking comics.” When they saw me on the porch they both said “hi” and we hurried up to my room. We all layed our letters out on the bed. They looked the same. Other than the names the details were exactly copied. I had first thought they were handwritten but seeing how similar they looked made me think they were typed in some old style font. We all were stumped. I explained my theories and they explained their similar ones, but none of us knew what the party could possibly be. “Maybe we just got lucky” although improbable was the most sound theory we could come up with. It was soon made clear that no one else we knew had got the letter. With our expectations completely and utterly endless, we waited until midnight. When it finally got close to midnight we were fully geared up. We had our favorite costumes on. In past Halloweens, we had really gone all out. Liam was in his full body spider man suit with working web-shooters that really was dental floss. Ethan was decked out in his Anakin Jedi costume which he insisted on wearing every year (even though we tried to convince him otherwise) and I was Indiana Jones. Not my best costume, but I thought it fitted the adventure element of the whole situation perfectly. Then, at 11:30 pm exactly, Spiderman, Anakin, and Indiana Jones escaped out of my window. The walk to the graveyard was a breeze. We wouldn't admit it but the costumes made us feel invincible. When we got to the graveyard it looked as it always had which was strange because there was supposed to be a party in twenty minutes. We eventually found the oak tree which wasn't hard because it was the only tree in the graveyard. Apart from a few bushes, a fence, and some grass, it was the only thing other than stones in the graveyard. I had to admit I was getting nervous. We were alone in the middle of a graveyard on Halloween with no weapons other than Ethan’s webs. I wasn't too confident in their actual combat ability. Ten minutes later and still nothing. I started to think it was all a prank. That some stupid kids had baited us with a party only to embarrass us by putting us in a graveyard in our silly costumes. I started to think we were such losers. I laid down by the tree. I started to wish Zack was there. He would have known it was a prank. We probably just would have watched a horror movie or played D&D or video games but instead, we were freezing our asses off without him. It was now one minute before the “party” was supposed to begin. We had all given up hope when the strangest thing happened. The tree behind us started making all these strange sounds. Grunting and heaving breathing. We started to get scared until finally the section of the tree in front of us opened up like a door and out stepped a man. He was dressed as a classic butler. He wasted no time in greeting us.
“Greetings esteemed guests I am here to welcome you to Limbo’s Halloween Bash!” He said waving his arms grandly as if showing off some amazing assortment splendor.
We all glanced around, underwhelmed. Our faces must have shown our disappointment as the butler quickly corrected himself.
“Oh, my apologies I have forgotten the most important part.” He then pulled out a triple barrel shotgun and shot all of us dead. Only we weren’t dead we were still standing but we were slightly transparent and one look at the ground told us what had happened. We were ghosts. Before we could scream in horror. The butler appeared in front of us transparent too next to his body as well.
"Don’t worry we will be all resurrected after the party, now, ahem.” He cleared his throat. “Welcome to Limbo”s Halloween bash” But we had already seen. The most glorious party unfolded before in front of us in a snap. It was clear what it was to all of us. A ghost party. The simple graveyard had been transformed into a mass of people and music and even decked out with huge rollercoasters. Ghosts chatted and danced while wearing the coolest costumes we had ever said in our lives.
“Oh and I believe there is somebody here who wants to meet you”
We turned and saw Zack leaning against the tree. I felt a tear drop down my cheek. This would be the best Halloween party ever.