Life Before Breakfast - By Brian Law

She peered at the old worn road marker, turned to him and said, “I think this is it.” There was some uncharacteristic doubt in her voice as she reached over, put her hand on his right forearm and squeezed.


He took a deep breath and turned into the narrow lane that led uphill into the darkness of the surrounding trees. The only light was from their car’s headlights and he quickly felt that they might be making a mistake. But she shook her head and told him to keep going, but to watch for wildlife. 


Since moving from Boston to a small town in the hills of rural North Carolina recently, they had tried to fit in with the locals, but without much success until things changed last Sunday. At church they had met a young couple who seemed friendly and who invited them to their home for a small get together. “It’s just a group of friends who get together each week at a different house,” they were told.  “Just some finger food, some drinks, and great conversation. Oh, and wear your dancing shoes!”


As he inched his way up the lane, he could hear music filtering through the woods from up ahead. She heard it too and as they navigated a turn they both could see the house up ahead, well lit, with the silhouettes of party goers outlined against the window coverings. A half dozen cars were parked nearby and they assumed they were probably the last to arrive.


He stopped well short of the driveway, turned off the headlights, and turned to look at her. “You still want to go in? Last chance to back out,” he said, hoping she’d tell him to turn around and head home.


“Let’s do it,” she urged as she told him to go ahead and park the car with the others. As he did, she kept her gaze fixed on the silhouettes. There was just something about their movements that bothered her  . . . but she let it go as he parked the car and they both got out.


There was a short path to the front steps and as they approached, she stopped him and pointed to a sign next to a stand post. 


They both moved closer and together read the sign. “Put one on and come on in,” it read. In a box on the stand post were two masks, both black molded leather with cloth ties. Pirate masks, she thought.


“OOh,” she said, showing some relief for the first time, “This is starting to look like something I can get into.” She reached in and grabbed hers and put it on, giggling a bit. “Go ahead. This will be fun,” she urged as she handed him the other one.


Following her lead, he removed his glasses and put on the mask. As he did, he stared back at her, and for some mysterious reason, felt urges he’d suppressed for years. “Yeah, okay, let’s go in,” he replied, grasping her hand in his and heading for the front steps. They both bounded up towards the front door, willfully abandoning their previous reluctance.


No one answered the door, but that probably was because the music was loud and it was clear the party was in full swing. Smiling broadly, they went in, stood together just inside the door and were immediately amazed at what they saw before them.


The unclothed group of couples turned their heads as one towards the newcomers, the music softly pulsing in the background. 


The two they had met at Church earlier in the week stood up, shameless in their nakedness, and beckoned, “You’ve brought your sister. Good. Welcome to our community!”


She turned towards her brother, squeezed his hand again, smiled seductively, and then began to unbutton her blouse.



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