One day, you decided to take a chance with the Halloween special raffle at your local grocery store. It never caught your eye before, but that day you were feeling lucky. Lo and behold, you won a rare ticket to the annual masquerade ball at Crowfell Manor. At first you were suspicious, but decided to go along with it after hearing said mansion blast their eerie music every Hallow's Eve. You deserved some fun right before your dreaded final exams.
So, on the gloomy, cold Halloween night, as costumed kids frollicked about under their parents' watch, you headed to your destination. Once you arrived, you suddenly remembered why you never voluntarily came all of those times before. With the Crowfell Manor's roofs nearly caving in and the walls' paint chipping away at any gust of wind, you knew the place had definitely seen better days.
Regardless, lights were on and people were scampering inside as the clock creeped to nine. Shrugging your shoulders, you headed inside as well and followed the masked crowd. Soon all twelve of you were in the main hall, muttering amongst yourselves about what was to come. You occasionally gobbled down the offered sweets while mingling with your new acquaintances.
A wooden door creaked open from above. Paced steps made their way down the spiral steps until you caught a glimpse of the one and only host donning a pumpkin head and a robe.
"Good evening, folks," he started in a deep, sharp tone, "and welcome to our annual Halloween ball."
For some reason, you noticed a flame flickering in his mask. It cast a shadow on the sharply cut teeth and eyes, as if he was Jack o' lantern himself. That, mixed with his charismatic nature reminded you distinctly of a snake loitering in wait to hunt.
"As you know, a select few of you have been invited in my manor for only one purpose: to enjoy yourselves. Eat and drink as much as you'd like." He laughed at the cheering he riled from the crowd. More flames flickered until he settled down to a mischevious chuckle. "The band will be coming any moment now. But before that, I'd like to make an announcement."
At your host's rise in octave, you watched the other guests' voices lower to murmurs. Mild curiosity made you look up from your drink to the host. What could he have to say so soon?
He descended down the stairwell at a pace slower than molasses. Once he reached the landing, the host spread his arms wide. "We have one more special guest this evening. He has been by my side for nearly an eternity, and we shouldn't keep him waiting. After all, he likes his meat fresh."
The entrance slamming shut pulled you from your daze. Your host's voice was more alluring than the desserts behind you―distracting you from noticing who came in. But before you could slither through the crowd to find out, a shrill scream penetrated your ears. Soon afterwards, a body fell to the floor, blood oozing from its back.
The host simply giggled.
"I-Is this a joke," someone hollered. Maybe that was why the mysterious host was laughing.
But alas he shook his head. No―it twisted a full circle, with shattering bones echoing off the walls. "No, I'm afraid not," he finally answered amongst the hesitant panic, "That just means my friend is here."
With that, he gave another laugh before flapping his robe away. Beneath it, wriggling, black piles of... tentacles squirmed. Despite this display, he continued, "I'm sure you all will taste delicious. Have fun, Butcher!"
Bile rose to the back of your throat, but you swallowed it down. The corpse laid beneath the butcher's boots. You shut your eyes before hearing him slice through skin with his machete. You had no time to waste―you had to get out. But how? The windows were hammered shut with wood, the metal door with a menacing lock, and your rationality with fear. You had no weapons. The butcher was heading towards you as the crazed host juggled his bloodied pumpkin head.