Richard was sick of it. He was sick of his routine, his job, his flat, his ready meals, he was just sick of all of it. He wanted a change. Not something as drastic as moving to another country or becoming an astronaut or anything daft like that, but something. Just… Well… An adventure.
So imagine how his curiosity piqued when he returned home from work one day to find that an envelope had appeared on the kitchen surface. It hadn’t been posted through the letterbox, it had been placed very carefully and very deliberately onto the surface where he’d be sure to find it. There were no signs of a break in, the windows and door had all been closed and locked and he was certain that nobody had a spare key, because getting spares cut for his newly installed locks had been on his to-do list for over a month, but he hadn’t been bothered to sort it out. And even if he had left a window open he was still 5 floors up.
Richard dropped his rucksack to the floor and put his keys on the kitchen surface before picking up the envelope and examining it. It looked important. It was jet black, made of thick material and Richard could tell that it was of really high quality. It even smelled nice. The silver calligraphic writing simply read “Richard”. He spun it around in his hands to look at the back and saw exactly what he hoped he would: The envelope was sealed with red wax and stamped with the sender’s seal, just like in the films. This really did look important.
He lifted the envelope to have a closer look. The impression in the wax where the seal had been stamped resembled an unfamiliar coat of arms: A howling wolf emblazoned in the centre of a shield, at the base of which was a snake, coiling around the rest of the emblem and constricting it. It sent shivers down Richard’s spine. It almost appeared to be moving.
With a trembling hand, he tore open the top of the envelope and lifted the letter from within. He took a deep breath and begun to read:
You have been chosen to attend an exclusive dinner party at Nethermoor Manor tonight, courtesy of our benefactor, Mr X. Mr X helps those who seek change, adventure and to break the monotony of day to day life.
You and a small group of similarly fortunate individuals can rest assured that the time of your lives awaits you and that the cuisine will be to die for.
Be prompt at 7:30pm with your invitation”
“Fuck that”, thought Richard, binning the letter and envelope. “Sounds sketchy as fuck.” Then he went to take a shit while he signed up for a jobsite account.
He switched on the news the next morning and saw the headline ‘7 Dead in Nethermoor Manor Massacre’. Richard shook his head.
“Sketchy as fuck.”