Writersverse #6

You may be wondering what is Writersverse? It is the name of the writing group I am a part of which speed writes every Thursday. Like the Spider-verse, each of us are given the same topics, (i.e. Spider-man) but then are given just a short amount of time to come up with our own original stories centered on the topics.

Story #6

Time limit: 1 hour

Genre: Horror

Theme: Bumbling

Prompt which must be in the story: Button

Jerimiah von Gorath had a gleam in his eye as he straightened and dusted off his blood-red suit jacket.

Tonight was the night.

The night the culmination of all his hard work was about to pay off.

He had been scheming and planning for months, preparing himself and his home for the biggest party this side of Romana had ever seen.

Everything had been accounted for, the lights, music; the food.

Gorath grinned, He was ready.

Gathering himself up to his full height, he draped himself in a long black cloak and headed out to the ballroom.  

Thunder pealed out as if to sound a warning, but within Gorath’s mansion the noise was drowned out by merrymaking. 

People from all over Romana had come to see what kind of party the strange Jerimiah von Gorath might throw. He was renowned for being an eclectic introvert who collected the strangest fancies which bordered on the macabre. His collection was so vast and wide, it was whispered that the very king himself had made a deal with von Gorath for a very secretive piece.

   These rumors and the hypnotic pulse and sway of the live music added a fevered atmosphere to the party. This fever seemed to grab hold of the guests and send them spinning and twisting to the dark waltz music for hours on end.

Save one soul.

His name was Miland Helsing, and he was the youngest of five brothers belonging to the proper Helsing family in Romana.

He had been prompted by his father to attend the party under the pretenses that he must uphold the Helsing family name. For where there is public attention, there must be a Helsing.

Miland hated parties, and this one was turning out to be no different. He always felt awkward milling around the general public with their fancy dresses and steam pressed suits.

Pulling at his collar, Miland watched the dancing masses sway to and fro as if hypnotically guided by the music.

At one point, Miland attempted to move out of the way of a couple of dancers, but ended up tripping over the edge of the blood-red carpet and dumping a drink he was holding.

As a butler dressed in a pitch black suit ran over to clean the mess up, Miland tried to make himself disappear into the background, yet he only succeeded in backing into a rather large painting of Jerimiah von Gorath nearly knocking it off the wall.

After a while, Miland bemoaned the loss of his drink, the large room was very hot and stuffy. Miland decided that if he maneuvered around the edges of the room, he could get back to where the drinks were served.

As he slowly worked his way around the room, Miland dodged dancers and social interaction.

He was about halfway to his destination when Miland stepped out of the way of a server rushing by carrying a platter of finger foods.

As he stepped out onto the dance floor, a woman dressed in a frilly pearl white dress crashed into him, knocking both of them on the floor.

Winded and stunned, Miland watched the woman pick herself up, glare at him, and then waltz away again.

Miland grumbled and drew himself up off of the ground, as he brushed himself off and backed up to the wall again. As he checked himself over, he noticed that one of his ornate golden buttons had fallen off his vest.

Miland groaned and looked over at the ground where he fallen. His mother would feed him to the dogs if he lost that button or ruined his vest. The vest had been passed down from his great grandfather Van Helsing, and those buttons were priceless heirlooms. She had insisted he wear it tonight as a way of “honoring the Helsing name.”

As he scanned the floor, Miland could not see the button. Although, he did notice the woman who had crashed into him in the pearl white dress spin past taking hands with a new partner who was dressed in a velvet blue suit.

Miland saw a small flash of gold detach itself from the woman’s dress and skitter across the carpet into the mass of dancing bodies.

Fearing his mother’s wrath more than his social anxiety, Miland started towards the button.

He had made it all of three steps before the music came to a halt and Miland lost sight of the button under the fabric of numerous skirts.

            Jerimiah von Gorath took his place upon the highest point of his balcony. He overlooked his guests, all looking up at him; waiting.

            Inwardly, von Gorath evilly grinned. They had no clue what was about to happen next, what carnage was about to ensue.  

            As he raised his hands to give a rousing speech and death notice to all his guests, a shrill scream sounded out among the guests.

            The guests murmured, and looked around in surprise. As a woman began yelling at a rather unfortunate young man who had found his golden button underneath her dress.

            More shouting ensued and a fistfight broke out between the woman’s accompanying date and the poor unsuspecting Helsing.

            As the butlers jumped in to stop the fighting, Miland seeing that he was outnumbered and very embarrassed, attempted to flee across the room back to the shadowy corners. Yet in his haste, Miland tripped over the large red carpet again, falling into even more dancers which caused even more shouting.

            Soon, people were yelling, pushing, and shoving each other all over the room as Miland desperately tried to escape the fists swinging at him. As he finally made it to the back wall, Miland rested, his fists clenched and shaking.

            People pointed and yelled in the direction towards Miland guiding the very angry dancing partner right to him. Miland’s mind began to panic and he decided to flee for the door.      

            Shoving and pushing, Miland’s frantic escape started an almost domino-like reaction with people falling into other people who in turn fell into the tables, food, and worst of all, the standing open flame lamps placed around the room.

            That big red carpet, which had tripped Miland up many times that night, was now on fire in several places.

            People began to scream even more and panic.

            As Miland rushed for the door, so did many other guests.

Jerimiah von Gorath watched semi-stunned at the chaos which was ensuing on his ballroom floor. As the fire began on the carpet, he ordered his butlers to put it out as quickly as possible, but the Helsing luck had already fallen upon von Gorath.

As the fire began to rage out of control, many of the panicked guests decided that the staircase to von Gorath’s balcony may be a way of escaping the incoming flames.

While the people rushed the stairs, von Gorath was shoved backward off of the balcony with a cry.

That night, the whole town watched the mansion of Jerimiah von Gorath burn to the ground and its proprietor was never heard from again.  

All because of a lost golden button.


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