Michael North exited his Bentley as the valet held the door. “Careful with my sleigh,” he told the elf. “It’s brand new.”
Chuckling at his own wit, Michael strode across the parking area and adjusted his crown. He was pleased to see the BMWs and Mercedes in attendance. His “sleigh” would be in good company tonight.
“Hey, your highness!”
Michael turned to see his lawyer dressed like a vampire. “Great costume, Tom!”
“Thanks and backatcha. This fireman here is my tax accountant and golf buddy, Jerry.”
Michael shook hands with Jerry, and the three men ambled down the spookily decorated path, ready for Halloween.
“Mike, congrats on your spectacular success,” Jerry said. “My kids loved your movie. We saw it twice, in fact.”
“See it again!” Michael laughed and swept his purple cape up the marble steps toward the double doors.
“Welcome to Jack’s Haunted House!” chimed two scantily clad “kittens” as the men entered the foyer. “I’m Ashley and this is Olivia. We hope you have a shockingly good time tonight!”
“Meow!” Olivia purred. “Let us know if you need anything.”
Michael ogled both kittens for a few seconds, but now that he’d come up in the world, he wouldn’t bother with them. Far more interesting women would be here tonight, and they would be better suited for him. He smiled as he glanced around the opulent house–nice, but he’d buy a fancier one soon. It was good to be the king!
“Isn’t this fabulous?” Jerry said. “Let’s get a drink!”
Ashley escorted them to the bar where they met up with their host and accepted glasses of champagne.
“To our star writer!” toasted Jack, the host and director of Michael’s hit movie.
“Any new million dollar screenplays in the works?” Tom asked Michael. “Pitch ’em here. We’re all friends!”
He shrugged. “I’m kicking around a few ideas. Waiting for the muse to kiss me again. Can’t rush these things, ya know.”
“Well, The Dragon Princess was incredible,” Jerry said. “Sales are still phenomenal overseas too. Just do a sequel. People love sequels!”
“Fantastic idea.” Michael nodded.
Jack rolled his eyes. “Like he hasn’t already thought of that. Right?”
“Of course!” Michael grinned. “Excuse me a mo.”
He gazed at himself in the bathroom mirror, fixing the golden collar of his robe and making sure his hair was just so. To his left, the frosted shower door slid open.
Out stepped the angel of death.
“Haha,” Michael said. “Jack sure spared no expense for this party.”
“I’m not here for the party,” came a vaguely familiar female voice behind the garish makeup. “I’m here for you, Michael.”
She walked slowly toward him. “Remember me? Heather Sand? We lived together for three years and you stole my screenplay, The Dragon Princess. Then you dumped me after you sold it. Now you have a mega hit and I have nothing. Oh wait. That’s not true. I have this.” She reached into her costume and pulled out a knife.
Michael began to sweat. “Um… Heather? This all a huge misunderstanding. I lost your number. Can you believe it? I wanted to share my success with you, honey.”
The angel laughed. But not a happy laugh. No, Michael was sure it was a mean and mocking laugh. He babbled on. “Look, they want a sequel and you should write it. We could make tens of millions. I mean, you could! It would be all yours!”
As the angel came closer, Michael ran out of words. But he never really had that many since he was never a real writer, only a rotten, lying, cheating thief. But it was too late now to apologize as the knife plunged into his throat.
Ashley and Olivia scampered down the hall toward the bathroom. “So annoyed that this tail keeps coming loose,” Ashley said. “How much longer do we have to stay at this ridiculous party anyway?”
“Only two hours till midnight,” Olivia said. “And a grand each! That’ll sure help us out for the rest of the semester.”
Ashley opened the door. “I can’t wait until we have our degrees and don’t have to do these stupid… oh, gosh. Sorry! The door was unlocked.”
“Great addition to your costume, Mr. North!” Olivia said. “It looks so realistic.”
The kittens glanced at each other. “Maybe he needs help up,” Ashley whispered. “He is a bit tubby.”
They bent down next to the fallen king. “Is he breathing?” Olivia asked.
Then they screamed.