Erica walked over to the desk, her high heeled wedding shoes clicking on the marble floor. She was about to peer over the desk when a figure jumped out from behind it.
Erica couldn't remember ever screaming in fear before. As soon as she did it, she felt stupid.
"Sorry." She tried to laugh, even though her heart was still pounding. The person in front of her was dressed in the most realistic costume she'd ever seen. His face was weirdly ashen, and one of his eyeballs was hanging from its socket like a paddleball on a string. His clothes were tattered and ragged and, as Erica peered at him trying to figure out whether it was Jim from accounts or Kevin from custodial under the makeup, the man held up a severed arm.
A severed arm with grey hair, a gold Timex watch, and the ragged remains of a security uniform hanging from what had once been the shoulder.
This time, Erica screamed and wasn't embarrassed about it. As she watched, the man in the costume bent down and took the arm in his mouth. He seemed about to take a bite out of it when suddenly Erica heard a deep, authoritative voice say something she couldn't understand.
Erica turned around. When she'd left the office to go home and change, Erica's boss, Matthew Okawa, had been sitting at his desk finishing the last of his weekly report before heading home. She hadn't expected to see him at the party; she certainly hadn't expected to see him shirtless, his face and well sculpted chest covered in white makeup and what looked like a grass hula skirt around his hips.
Matthew said something again. The man with the arm dropped it to the ground and lurched unsteadily away, collapsing near the potted plants and twitching on the ground for a moment before growing still.
"What's going on?" Erica knew she had to look behind the desk, but she couldn't bring herself to do it. "We need to call the police."
"There is nothing they can do." Matthew's voice was sympathetic but sure. "There is nothing anyone can do."
"It has begun," the vampire said.
Erica turned around to look at them.
"Did I miss an email? Is this some kind of party game I don't know about?" She tried to sound cheerful about the whole thing, but she read her emails diligently. If she'd missed something, it was because someone hadn't sent it to her.
Before anyone answered, there was a loud bang from the direction of the revolving door. Erica looked over to see at least a dozen people, in costumes identical to the man who'd collapsed on the floor, trying to force the door to rotate. It was locked, and it wouldn't budge. As Erica watched, the figures began to pound on the door. They grew increasingly frantic until finally, with an ear-piercing wail, one of them smashed through the plate glass window on the other side.