It’s my birthday again.
My roommate, Joey, had practically assaulted me in order to put a stupid cardboard party hat on my head. I stood in front of the mirror, staring at it. The hat stuck out like a goddamn sore thumb compared to the rest of my look. My clothes are black, black, and you guessed it, black. I leaned in, examining my face in the mirror. I supposed it was about time to change my lip piercing to something less subtle. The stud always sort of got boring after a while, but for some reason, I always put that one in. Sighing, I figured it didn’t matter. I had work to do today. It was the only way that I could earn more time.
“Hey, Beth, where you going?” I heard Joey call out to me as I went out to the living room and started pulling on my heavy leather boots.
“It’s your birthday! Don’t work!”
“Too bad.” I grabbed my keys, wallet, and phone off the table by the door, and replaced them with the garishly childish party hat. “I’ll be back.”
The door slammed behind me as I left, cutting off whatever request Joey attempted to make as I went out the door. I barely heard it, but I knew what he wanted before the sentence was halfway out of his mouth. I made a beeline out of the apartment complex and headed down to my beat up, dusty red car. It was perfectly inconspicious, especially for this part of town. Everyone’s cars are beat up and dusty. The best way to stick out would be to have a clean car that was made in the past three years. Hell, an even better way would be to drive a car that didn’t have a dent in it.
My supplies were in the glovebox. I popped it open as soon as I shut the driver’s side door. Mask, gun, gloves, cleaning supplies, a can of yellow spraypaint, a few baggies of various drugs, lighter, and a battered moleskine journal. First, I grabbed the journal, flipping to the most recent page.
3 years, 6 months, 15 days, 23 minutes, 45 seconds.
3 years, 1 month, 14 days, 22 minutes, 12 seconds.
4 years, 6 months, 4 days, 12 minutes, 56 seconds.
1 year, 1 month, 5 days, 17 minutes, 31 seconds.
5 months, 1 day, 20 minutes, 9 seconds.
6 years, 6 days, 15 minutes, 18 seconds.
2 months, 10 days, 14 hours, 34 minutes, 7 seconds.
Shit. Gotta do something that if I’m gonna go to New York in the fall to visit an old friend of mine. I tossed the journal back into the glovebox and stared at the rest of the contents for a moment as I tried to decide what would buy me enough time to be able to take my little trip. It was only for a few days. Joey would live without me. Making up my mind, I closed the glovebox and stuck my keys in the ignition, ready to go. The car choked to life, and I backed out of the driveway, my destination in mind.
The local high school. Grabbing my mask, I pulled it on over my face before I grabbed the gloves and a can of spraypaint. It was time to cause a ruckus. I parked around back of the building, where there was a small backroad for easy access in and out. Usually the kids who were trying to sneak out used it in order to get away from sight of the teachers and guards, since there were no security cameras here, but stupid teenagers didn’t know that nobody else really came around this way. They didn’t have to be so careful.
My cat themed mask was easily identifiable for anyone who knew what I was doing there. By this time in my life, I had become a local legend, with stories of my parties passed down through the generations. Once in a while, hell, sometimes even once a year, I’d come around unannounced and throw a party. I got out of my car, slipping my hands into the gloves and shaking the can of spraypaint. Looking up, I assured myself that nobody was watching, and I quickly started spraying a message on the old brick wall in front of me.
“Five o’clock. 200$ a person. -Kat”
I hadn’t been here in about a month. I’d been too good the past few weeks, and had to cause some trouble. My livelihood depended on it. As quickly as I had arrived, I hopped in my car and tore away, shushing my car gently as it tried to choke up on the narrow road behind the car. I just had to make it to the meeting place.
On the edge of the town, there was an old warehouse that I had purchased a long time ago under a false identity. I got a lot of time for that one. I pulled up a few blocks over from it and grabbed my backpack from the back seat, quickly loading it up with the drugs that I was keeping in my glove department. For good measure, I threw my gun in there as well. You never know what might happen.
The side door to the warehouse opened with a horrible creak. I took a quick walk through of the building, unsure of what I might find in here. I’ve never actually found anything particularly bad, but it never hurts to check. First, I looked around for security cameras. I checked the walls and floors for wires and looked for unfamiliar objects. Nothing was out of place. That was a surprise for me, but at the same time, the police force in this town was a fucking joke. That’s why I chose to live here.
When five came around, I was ready. I had pulled out some couches from a locked room in the back, some coolers which I filled with ice, a couple mini fridges, and as much drugs as I could carry from my safe. Hell, I even sectioned off parts of the warehouse with old, ratty blankets and put dusty mattresses with pillows and blankets inside the sections. Other than my safe, gun, phone, and lockbox, this was all I needed. Within a few minutes, I heard a knock at one of the doors. They always used that door. Putting my cat mask back on, I grabbed my lockbox and made my way over to the door. Cracking it open, I peered outside. A couple of ratty teenagers were standing at the door.
“Cash first. No entry otherwise.” I croaked, sticking my hand out the crack in the door. I watched carefully as each of the teens looked at each other before beginning to pull out wadded bills from their pockets, then some more from their wallets. They must have scrounged to find enough money for all of them to get in. As soon as all the money was in my hand, I pushed the door shut and started counting. Four hundred exactly. Excellent. I dropped the money in the lockbox and opened the door again, this time wide enough for them both to come inside. One of them muttered a thanks, and I shut the door.
“Over there. Next to the blue couch there’s a cardboard box. Pick what you want from it. It’s all labeled. Careful not to overdose. Minifridge has a bunch of booze. Hard liqour is in the cooler in the center. Water’s here by the door. Puke buckets down the hall and around the corner. Have at it.”
The night continued like that. Every few minutes, some kids would show up, fork over the money, and shuffle inside to get wasted on whatever they wanted. I thought it was a pretty fair deal. Two hundred a head and unlimited access to most any kind of drug they wanted. Not to mention that they were all underage. I could almost feel my time increasing. This alone was bad enough, after all, especially after a few middle schoolers showed up. I’m not gonna say no to anyone unless I think they’re gonna snitch, and no idiot teenager in this town is gonna pay two hundred bucks just to snitch.
Within hours, the entire warehouse was full of smoke, and music was blaring from the stereo. The laughter of wasted teenagers filled the entire warehouse. I sat by the door, scrolling through social media on my phone. Twitter was abuzz with #KatsParty, as well as other apps like Yik Yak. #KatsParty. #KatsParty. #KatsParty. It’s all anyone was talking about. Youngsters still showed up to my door, slipping me all the money they had saved up before I let them inside. Thank god nobody was posting the warehouse address. They were smarter than that.
The night started to draw to a close around three in the morning. It was certainly no longer my birthday, and the last of the party guests had managed to drag herself off of the mattress in the farthest cornered off section, find her clothes, and stumble out. I wished her a safe trip home as she tried to navigate her Uber app.
It took me another three hours to clean up. All the drugs were gone, and so was all the alcohol. I never had to worry about leftovers since those shithead teenagers always pocketed what they could, and that was fine with me. I just use some of the leftover money to buy more of it. By the end of the night, I had made nearly four thousand dollars just on my head charges. I say nearly because I ended up letting one guy in even though he only had 150 or so and some change. The poor kid nearly started crying, and I had to take pity on him. That probably docked a couple hours of my time, but I could easily eat the loss after what had happened here tonight. I’d bet anything that at least one girl got knocked up.
As the early morning sun shone in the sky, I trudged down the street, my warehouse cleaned and locked behind me. My backpack was empty, and I was exhausted. As soon as I got in the car, I checked the latest entry in my battered moleskin.
13 years, 5 months, 4 days, 28 minutes, 19 seconds.
30 years, 6 months, 3 days, 14 minutes, 55 seconds.
Holy shit. I had never gotten that much time from one of my parties. What the hell happened? I threw the notebook aside and desperately started searching the #KatsParty tag on all my social media apps.
‘O.M.G. my boyfriend got so fucked up at #katsparty! i cant believe he slept with that hoe lily while he was there…‘
‘LOL DID ANYONE SEE BUTTERFACE CARL PUKING HIS GUTS OUT AT #KatsParty‘
‘Had to go to the hospital after #KatsParty… that means it was a success.‘
‘Cant wait for the next #KatsParty! I’ll try coke next time, for sure. I ended up sticking with just molly and weed this time.‘
Most of the posts were like this. People talked about their inevitably hangover in broken speech, girls complaining about their boyfriends cheating on them, boys trying to dispel rumors about them being gay after something they did at the party, and sad kids who couldn’t go. I locked my phone and tossed it aside as I began to drive home. There was no use in trying to find out why I got so much time from the party this time as opposed to the few years I usually got from it.
It wasn’t until two days later that I figured it out.
‘12 YEAR OLD BOY DIES TRAGICALLY AFTER MAJOR DRUG OVERDOSE‘
I’ve been cursed for over two hundred years, scraping by doing evil deeds to extend my life time, and this was my very first kill.
Maybe I’ll stop letting middle school kids into my parties.
I could almost feel my life shorten just by making the decision.