The mail carrier had come early that day, and Melissa rushed out to see what he’d brought. There was a shiny looking envelope hand-lettered in magenta Candle Mustard — their signature font.

“Oh, God,” she mumbled. “Not another damn Sublimity Party.”

Sure enough, it was. And for that coming Saturday, no less.

“Crap! I’m so sick of these stupid things!”

Melissa had been to several that year, and they all ended up the same. What a waste of a Saturday night.

It never entered her mind not to go. That just wasn’t done. As far as Melissa knew, no one in the history of Sublime Township had ever declined an invitation. If you were invited, you went.

Saturday rolled around and Melissa wore the usual little black dress, her mother’s pearls, and a pair of black heels. It never occurred to her to wear anything different. Besides, she didn’t want to be conspicuous. It was always better to blend in at these events.

Melissa arrived at the Party at the appointed time. There were a few new faces this time. She wondered where they’d come from, but didn’t care enough to find out. What did it matter?

The band was the same as always, Carp & the Diems. Melissa, like most Sublime natives, knew the band’s playlist by heart. Right now they were playing Moon River, next would be Come Fly With Me.

Soon, the waiters came around with their precariously balanced trays of champagne glasses. Each of the guests took one, drank it in one gulp and replaced the empty glass on the waiter’s tray.

The guests then lined up with their backs against the wall. Next the blindfolds came out. Each guest took one and tied it around their heads. Everyone knew the drill.

No one knew whom the executioner would be, whom he or she would choose, or when the single shot would be fired. Sometimes it took three minutes, other times the wait-time was a half hour or more.

The last thing the “winner” would hear was Carp & the Diems  playing That’s Life.


SusanWritesPrecise/ Susan Marie Shuman


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