“Raymann! Good to see ya!”
Raymond grinned and bumped Thomas’s extended fist with his own. “Sup Tommy. Sorry for being so late.”
“Hey, no worries man! Ain’t no rush over here!”
Thomas clapped a hand around Raymond’s shoulder and led him into the large drawing room. The party was already in full swing. Several clusters of people were spread out around the room, drinks in hand. There was a group in the center several shots into an intense drinking game.
“You’re the odd one out, bud!”
Raymond laughed as Thomas handed him a glass. He downed it one long gulp, ready to mingle with the crowd.
Thomas called for attention and the whole room went silent.
“Alright, guys. Raymond’s here!”
Several drunken cheers erupted in response.
“Now the night can really begin!”
Everyone cheered again, but their voices sounded really far away to Raymond’s ears. He was smiling, but couldn’t feel any sensation in his face. Thomas smiled back at him, but there was no warmth to his smile.
“Let’s get him ready!” he yelled. Several hands grabbed Raymond, pulling him toward a large door at the back of the room. They were chanting, but he couldn’t understand them. It was a language he had never heard before. They led him through the door into a darkened room that smelled vaguely of smoke and rotting eggs. He was placed on a stone table on his back and tied down.
Through his blurring vision, he saw Thomas approach, holding a jeweled dagger. Everyone was looking down at him now, smiling identical cold smiles.
“It’s party time, Raymond…” were the last words he heard before the dagger pierced his throat.