Chapter One - The Invitation
Rolling out of bed, blearily I made my way to the mailbox. Bills, ads, and an invitation; I wonder who it's from? Opening up the gold lined envelope I pulled the invitation out, grazing my fingers seductively over the embossing on the outside. This is not like any invitation I'd ever received.
You are cordially invited to:
The Master's Ball
10:00pm until ???
My driver will pick you up precisely at 9:30 pm
You must come alone
Demi-mask provided at the door, must be worn
Please fill out RSVP form and return in the envelope provided
Drayton Manor…hmmm. That's the Old Manor on the hill on the outskirts of town. Been there forever… Didn't know anyone still lived there. Wonder who this Drayton character is. I don't ever recall seeing any sign of life at the manor for quite a while. No matter, it's a party and I do love a good party!
Pulling out the return envelope and the watermarked RSVP form, I took it back into the house I filled it out. I didn't see any writing on the RSVP form but it did have just a spot for my name and the date at the bottom. It seemed strange but I signed and dated it anyway and slid it back into the return envelope and put it in the mailbox for the next day's pickup.
Strolling slowly back up the path to the house I wondered about this Drayton character. Who is he? How long has he lived there? I'll have to find out. That and many other questions crowded my mind demanding answers. Getting ready for work, I finished up the last of the morning chores before heading out the door and into the working world.
Finally the day had ended and I'd made it home, spent some time relaxing with my cats while curling up with a good book. The time flew by and before I knew it my eyes grew heavy. I readied myself for bed and lay down. I tossed and turned finally falling asleep.
(research on Drayton here…how old, how long he's lived there,
what does he do, character sketch. Rumor has it…)
The long awaited day had finally arrived. Expectantly, I readied myself for the evening's festivities. Sweeping my long, raven hair up into an up-do, I left a few whispering ringlets to frame my face and neck.
I stepped back from the full-length mirror to assess the image that stared back at me. I spun around watching the dress flare out and to see how I looked.
I ran my hands over my body front and back feeling my curves and
smoothing the dress. I stepped outside and pulled the door
closed, locking it behind me.
It was a cool, crisp October evening. The autumn breeze fingered the ringlets in my hair lightly messaging my neck. Dressed to the nines, in a beautiful fuscia, halter-neck corset style party dress I waited patiently and a bit apprehensively for the Limousine to arrive.
As the invitation stated, precisely at 9:30 pm, the black, 10-seat, millennium shaped, Lincoln limousine pulled into my drive.
At least I'm going in style, never been in a Limo before.
An older, stately looking gentleman stepped out of the driver's side presenting his hand to me. "I am your driver. Your invitation please."
As requested, I handed it to him, my hand shaking as I placed it in his palm.
His eyebrow quirked and his mouth twisted in a sinister grin. "You are shaking my dear." He paused to read it. "A little fear is good for the soul. Makes life more exciting. This way, Alexi," he said as he opened the door, and ushered me in.
I wondered silently why he said such a thing but brushed it off. He must just be trying to make conversation and put me at ease. It didn't work though. Not exactly what I would say to try to put someone at ease.
He grasped my arm and steadied me as I lowered myself into the backseat. It was quite a sight, unlike anything I'd ever seen before. My jaw dropped. It was exquisite.
Wow! What a sight, the marble bar, mirrored ceiling, twin tvs and dvds, stereo system, fibre optic lighting and a soft leather interior.
This Drayton character has exceptional taste for sure. But I
wonder how he came to invite me? I don't even know him. Maybe
it's one of those 'getting to know your community' parties.
Donning a half-smile, my chauffeur said, "The Master's been waiting for you."
"The Master?" I choked. "He can't be serious. He doesn't really
expect people to use that title when addressing him does he?
Master Drayton? A bit medieval if you ask me."
"Yes, Alexi. He is to be addressed as Master Drayton," he breathed in a low hiss.
The butterflies in my stomach had turned into bats. "Waiting for me? Why?" I really wasn't sure that I wanted to know the answer. This was all beginning to sound a little strange but then again it was Halloween. This could all be part of creating the atmosphere - part of the show - a way to set the mood.
"You will soon see." With that declaration, he closed the door and returned to the driver's seat. The dvd player powered on and a welcome message played on the screen.
A gentleman with a soft but commanding voice appeared with a demi-mask covering his face. "Welcome Alexi. I am Master Drayton the owner of Drayton manor and the host for this evening's festivities." The camera panned out showing the eerily decorated room for the evening's party. "Welcome to the party room of the manor." He gestured with a flourish backing off to the side and opening his body to the room. "This promises to be the best party yet. I'm certain it will be a party you will never forget."
He continued to line out the activities for the evening taking me on a virtual tour of the party room. The welcome video ended and the player switched off. Coming out of my trance I heard a chorus:
Let's play master and servant
Let's play master and servant
It's a lot like life
And that's what's appealing
If you despise that throwaway feeling
For disposable fun
Then this is the one
Domination's the name of the game
In bed or in life
They're both just the same
Except in one you're fulfilled
At the end of the day…
Never heard this one before. Odd taste in music. What kind of song is that? I wondered. Why did he choose this song? He must really be getting into his character for the evening. My friends will never believe this. This is all so surreal already and I haven't even made it to the party yet. This promises to be one hell of a great party!