A party in the town of Oasis.
An elegant house.
Armed guards at the front door. 
The property lit by sparkling lights.
Snow flakes falling in the warm Florida weather. 
An unusual party in an unusual town.

The ball room’s glass walls mirror the guests
Twirling among an army of glass figures.
Linda hesitates near a statue of a weeping woman.
Wet tears flow down her cheeks.
She’s tempted to touch the woman’s face.
Instead, she pulls Todd away from the sad sight.

The grandfather clock chimes midnight.
The dancers stand frozen
Until the last chime
Rings off in the distance.
The music begins again.
Dancing resumes.

How strange.
What was that about?
And those statues.
Are people frozen inside?
Linda turns to speak to Todd.
He’s gone.
She’s left standing alone among the statues.

Huddled in a corner are her friends.
Shana is ready to take action.
“Everyone has disappeared upstairs.
We should follow them
And find out what they’re hiding.”

The glass staircase gives them
A perfect view of the diminishing party below.
Three closed doors stand waiting for them.
The middle one offers them a tropical paradise.
Chirping birds.
Marmoset monkeys hanging from trees.
An illusion or not.




Shana Logan was running to hit the ball over the net, her long red hair flying in the wind. She was strong and athletic looking. Her long-lashed, pretty bright green eyes were focused on the game. Linda felt small in comparison…with her own petite frame and less flamboyant brown hair.
Linda shook her head at Shana’s need to be in control at all times. Shana was too serious about everything, even unimportant things like sports.
Shana hit the ball to Todd Morrison, who returned the ball over the net—right into Louise Cannon’s stomach. Louise squealed in pain while Todd rewarded her with one of his devilish grins.
Linda admired Todd’s rugged good looks…with his thick black wavy hair and dark brown, almost black eyes. He ran like an athlete, despite being tall and muscular. His muscles beneath his white t-shirt rippled as he dove to hit a ball. His muscular thighs beneath his denim cut-off shorts tightened and flexed as his legs pounded the hot sand. To her he looked perfect in every way.
Not being talkative, she often found Todd observing everyone from a discreet distance, causing her to wonder what was behind those dark, enigmatic eyes. Those two black pools to his soul allowed her very brief glimpses to his true feelings. What she wanted was a deeper access to his thoughts, t0 understand how his mind worked—
and to find out if he liked her.
On the other hand, Louise didn’t appear to be too happy with Todd right now. She clutched her stomach as if she were in extreme agony from the ball hitting her. Her stomach was flat and she looked stunning in her tiny blue bikini. Louise looked great in everything she wore, with her doll-like features and perfect toned body. Her hair was long, straight, and blonde and her eyes were light cornflower blue. She looked like a small doll, but one with an angry expression on its face.
Todd rushed over to soothe her, causing the game to break up. Mike Aronson and David Deer walked over to greet Linda, while Shana stood back from the others with an annoyed look on her face.
David said to Linda. “Did you receive that strange invitation in the mail today?”
While keeping a careful eye focused on the ongoing interaction between Todd and Louise, she replied, “I didn’t get a chance to go through the mail yet….What is it an invitation to?”
“It’s for a private party at one of those huge mansions.” His voice rose an octave higher. Mike said, “It’s not at one of those houses but at End House, which just sits all alone, empty and deserted.” A strange faraway look crossed his face as he continued, “It just hangs at the edge of the steep cliff overlooking the sharp rocks and the raging waters of the ocean….”