Bud Lights, Ketchup, and Cereal Killers

Submitted into Contest #21 in response to: Write a short story about a work Christmas party that goes... awry. ... view prompt


Holiday Funny Thriller

"Alright guys, I got the beers so we can turn this sad, pathetic joint into–what the hell?"

I frown as I look around the darkened room. No one's in sight. I glance at my watch. 4:30. I'm right on time, so where the hell is everybody? I didn't get the time wrong, did I? I whip out my phone, swipe right past the news alert about a serial killer on the loose and to the office feed where all events are posted. Yep, the party is scheduled for 4:30 exactly. So where the hell is everybody?

Then I think back to what I saw on my phone a few moments earlier. I turn it back on, wanting to make sure I'd read it right. Yep, it says that Tonya was bringing beer.

Damn it, Tonya! That's my job! I'm the beer girl, not you! I'm the one that saves the day from this otherwise boring-as-hell work Christmas party with oh-so-glorious Budweisers! Thanks for stealing the spotlight, you red-haired bitch!

Okay, okay, I suppose that went a little too far. After all, her hair's more auburn than red.

I sigh as I flick the lights on, not able to bear the dark a second more. The second I do, I scream.

"Tonya!" I shriek.

I pick the bottle up from the coffee table with shaky hands. "Where are the Budweisers? All I see are Bud Lights. Tonya, what the hell did you do?!"

I then notice a body lying on the ground beside the table. I kneel down and see that it's Kyle. I poke him.

"How many of those things did you drink?" I mutter when he doesn't respond. I then see he's covered in ketchup. "Seriously, man, this is why you drink Budweisers, not Bud Lites. They make you do crazy shit like make love with ketchup bottles, or whatever the hell you've done here." He still doesn't respond. "Damn it, you're really out cold. And you smell like shit." A fly lands on his face. "See what I mean? You're attracting flies."

I sigh as I rise to my feet. Seriously, where is everybody? Are they banging each other in the bathrooms or something?

Don't be ridiculous, I think to myself. Why the hell would they be making out in the restrooms when closets are much better places? I then grin and my cheeks flush red as I remember one time when–

Suddenly, I hear something. It sounds like someone moaning. And the sound’s coming from the boss’s room.

“Hey, Christie, will you shut the hell up?! No offense, but you’re gonna make me barf!”

“Who the hell is that?” I hear a guy’s voice from inside the room.

Then another one says, “Well, I’ll be damned. It’s a newcomer to the…party we’ve got going on here.”

I knock on the door. “Hey, Christie, how many guys you got in there?”

“Don’t tell me: she’s a blonde, isn’t she?” I hear the first guy hiss to the other with a snicker.

I scowl. “My hair is a luscious chocolate brown, thank you very much!”

I hear them howl with laughter. “Alright, I’m opening the door right this minute!” I declare as I go to open the door. I hesitate, though, fear grasping my heart and stilling my hand.

What if Christie’s naked?

I shudder as the unpleasant image flashes through my mind. I then shake my head. What a ridiculous thought. The old bitch wouldn’t get naked for anyone. Except for her shower, of course. I shudder. Poor shower.

I open the door. Christie’s sprawled over the desk, her hands and feet tied together. She’s got a gag in her mouth, and there are tears sliding down her cheeks. Her eyes widen with hope at the sight of me, and she tries to talk, but the sound is muffled.

There are two men, one on each side. They each have a knife in hand. And they’re both staring at me like they’re hungry. Or maybe thirsty.

“Hey, don’t worry, Christie,” I say. “I’ve come to save you.” Christie closes her eyes and seems to be sending up a prayer to God. A bit exaggerated, but whatever. I pull out one of the bottles and wave it in the air. “I’ve got the good stuff right here – definitely not the shit Tonya brought.” Christie opens her eyes and looks at me like I’ve just said the sky is green and the grass is blue. “Okay, I know it sounds stupid. Bud Light’s not really shit, but you gotta admit it’s real close.”

I turn to the guys and toss them each a beer. “You stay quiet with the three-way fling you’ve got going on here, and I won’t fill the room with bile. Now, be careful boys. She’s not exactly a spring chicken anymore.”

I hear them burst into giggles right as I slam the door shut. Shaking my head in disgust at the scene I’m sure is about to play out, I get the hell away from that room. “Just don’t get naked,” I muttered, silently sending up a prayer to the big guy above.

Suddenly, I feel something strike the back of my head. I gasp as a jolt of fear runs through me. I turn just as a small shape falls to the ground with a thud. I make it out as a cat just before it bolts away from me and out the door.

“What the hell is a cat doing in here?” I mumble. “And where did it even come from?”

I look up and see that one of the tiles of the ceiling has been removed. I grab a nearby chair and place it directly below the opening before clambering up into the space above because suddenly, I’m an explorer now.

I grunt as I reach back into my jean pocket and pull out one of those tiny flashlights that only cost a few bucks. I click it on and immediately jump at the sight of a Santa Claus doll sitting against the wall. Its glass eyes stare back at me like they’re evil or something.

I then notice that the wall behind it is covered with ketchup scribbling. To be more specific, they consist of a single phrase repeated over and over again: “Dolls are scary”.

“Okay, good, dolls are scary,” I say, relieved that I had been reassured of this fact. Don’t know how that helps me though.

Suddenly, the light goes out. I stare at my flashlight in disbelief. “What the hell?! I just bought you yesterday!”

Then I hear something. It sounds like metal scraping against wood. Clearly the wind.

I scoot backwards, shaking my ass around a bit to get out of the restrictive space and nearly tumble to the ground below. Somewhere in the distance, I hear someone play a rushed violin note at the highest pitch possible. One of my feet then finds the chair before I can fall a few meters down, and I lower myself into it.

I step down and notice one of the men standing a short distance away, his knife covered in ketchup. His eyes are widened and crossed, and his mouth is gaping in an open grin, his face giving off a Nicolas Cage vibe. His face is eerily lit by some invisible light source.

“You had some of that Bud Light, didn’t you?”

“What?” the guy asks, confused, as the weird-ass look is gone in an instant.

I gesture to his face, and understanding dawns on his face. “Oh, that. I was taken over by a demon for a second, but then he left. I’m not a teenager, and I’m still a virgin…so yeah.”

“Makes sense. Still, Tonya’s a bitch for buying that beer.”

“And Tonya is…?”


“Oh, her. Yeah, we got her first.”

“Whoa, Christie’s not the only one you hit up? You’re gonna have to go on the naughty list. With me.”

“Are you seriously flirting with me? You don’t even know my name.”

“I think so. You’re hot, and all the other guys are passed out drunk.”

“Yeah…that’s what they are.”

“So you wanna make out?”

“Wow, have you always been a good judge of character?”

“Oh, yeah. Just the other day, I passed this homeless guy in this really nice suit. It felt so good to give him a thousand bucks. Warms the heart and soul, you know?”

“While keeping the brain icy cold,” he mutters.

“Anyway, does the closet sound good?”

“How about the basement instead?”

“Wasn’t it blocked off because of sewage problems or whatever?”

“Yeah, but I really wanna do this in a creepy-ass, dark-as-night basement.”


“I have weird fetishes,” he replies as he takes my hand. “After all, what’d you expect from a cereal killer?”

“Did Grape Nuts turn you?”

He turns and looks at me like I just called him a serial killer by mistake. “The only thing you’ve got going for you is your looks.”


“Alright, Hilton.”

“Wait, you know my last name?”

“God help me.”

Then the door opens to Christie’s room, and the other guy steps out. He’s covered in ketchup. “You have the basement fetish, and your pal has the ketchup fetish?” Just like everyone else? I add silently.

“You’re only the final girl because you showed up late,” the guy covered in ketchup says.

“Final girl? You mean you’ve banged everyone else?”

“Look, cops are gonna be here in a few, so you might wanna hurry up with her.”

“They’re cops. We’ve got all the time in the world.” He then turns to me. “Hey, do you wanna forget the basement and just reenact the shower scene from Psycho?”

I grin. “Sure. Sounds steamy.” And man, was I up for steamy!

“Someone’s gonna be in the newspaper tomorrow,” the other guy says.

And it turns out he was right.


Sakura Hilton, aged thirty-eight years and twenty years too late to blame her unbelievably stupid decisions on being a dumb teenager, showed up to her work Christmas party, only to find the place dark and quiet, a detail that for some reason did not concern her in the slightest. Somehow, she never noticed that her coworkers and boss had all been murdered. Or perhaps we’re all wrong, and they’re really covered in ketchup and have been passed out drunk for the past two weeks. Anyway, she actually came face-to-face with the serial killers responsible for the massacre, and the only reason she didn’t die was because a spaceship full of aliens hailing from the planet behind the popularity of horror movie sequels happened to crash into the building. What exactly happened, no one knows, but we can expect it was a bunch of dumb deus ex machina shit. Anyway, the killers were taken care of, and Hilton survived only because of sheer dumb luck. God, did this really happen? It sounds like a B horror movie, or maybe something even worse. So, yeah, apparently this shit’s real. I’m going to have some vodka later tonight. Or maybe I’ll just kill myself with Bud Light. Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas to one and all who wanna die like me rather than live in a world where dumb shit like this happens. Enjoy the holidays like I won't.

I spit my coffee out onto the floor after reading the whole thing again. Holy shit! That stuff wasn't ketchup?!

December 28, 2019 03:33

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