Stella was running late. Any minute now, Michael will be here, she thought as she hurriedly brushed her hair out, debating whether or not she should put it up or not. At that very moment, she heard a car honking just outside her window. Her heart skipped a beat and the butterflies in her stomach started fluttering like mad. He’s here.
She took a good look at herself in the mirror one last time, making sure she looked okay, her hands shaking a bit from nervousness. Stella inhaled and exhaled, trying to calm down. She didn’t understand why she was feeling this way, it’s not like this was her first date.
But still, she thought, this was a pretty big deal. He turned down all the girls in dance class, but he asked her out. As Stella was rushing out of her bedroom, she blushed when she remembered all the jealous looks the other girls gave her when he approached her after class. They all must have thought how lucky Stella was for being asked out by the mysterious, handsome Michael. He was easily the best dancer out of everyone in class, maybe even better than the teacher.
As Stella slammed the front door behind her, her heart skipped another beat when she saw Michael leaning back on his car parked in front of her house, waiting for her. Stella blushed again as she noticed he was staring at her walking toward him. She tried to hide herself from blushing but she knew her face was probably red. “Hi, Michael.” she peeked at him shyly.
Stella saw his face break into a handsome grin and her stomach did a somersault. “Hey, you ready?” He opened the car door behind him and held out his hand.
Smiling like a goof, Stella took his hand and sat in the car. She felt like the luckiest girl alive.
“Where are we going?” Stella folded her hands nervously on her lap in the passenger seat of the car.
“I thought maybe we could go to the movie theaters and watch something together.. would you like that?” Michael asked, glancing quickly at her and back at the road.
“I would love to.” she beamed at him. Stella looked out the window and noticed she didn’t recognize any of these roads. “Uh, which theaters are we going to?”
“There’s one in the town I live in. They just rereleased that one Vincent Price movie. I wanted to watch it before I miss it again.” Michael stopped at a red light. “Do you mind if we saw that movie?”
“Not at all.” Stella quickly said, not knowing what the movie was. She was curious to know the sort of things Michael was interested in.
As he began driving again, she took a look at him and realized she knew almost nothing about him. He’s good at dancing, she thought to herself, it seems like he’s really passionate about it from the way I watch him.
Stella stared at him for a long time and didn’t even notice that Michael had already parked the car.”We’re here.” He turned to look at her, catching her off guard and Stella began blushing furiously again.
“Oh, haha.” Stupid nerves.
Finally when Stella and Michael were seated in the theaters with their popcorn in their hands and the movie just starting, Stella couldn’t control the butterflies in her stomach anymore. They were squirming like crazy. She was sitting next to Michael in the dark.
I’m so jumpy and nervous, Stella thought, being annoyed with herself. I need to relax, she inhaled and exhaled again and turned her attention to the movie.
The movie started off eerie. Stella wasn’t quite sure she was liking the direction it was taking. Already she was feeling nervous, but now she was starting to feel uneasy about the movie. I really hate scary movies she thought desperately, taking a peek at Michael who was eating his popcorn, enjoying himself.
Suddenly, there was a jump-scare and Stella almost leaped out of her seat. She hadn’t even noticed she was burying her face in Michael’s arm until halfway through the movie when he cuddled closer to her. Anytime Stella gasped of fright and hid her face away, Michael went closer to her. By the time the movie was over, Stella and Michael were already holding hands.
They held hands up until they got into the car. “That was a good one!” Michael laughed, putting the keys in the ignition.
“It was scary!” Stella said. “The movie itself was good, but I’m not much of a fan of jump scares or scary things.” she admitted. He doesn’t have to know that I’ll probably be getting nightmares for a long time after watching that.
Michael laughed again. “I like a good scare.”
He pulled out of the parking lot and made his way on the road again. “What time is it?” Stella asked. “That movie was pretty long.”
For a while Michael didn’t say anything, but then he quietly answered, “It’s close to midnight.”
They rode in silence for a couple of minutes, Stella unsure of what to say now, when suddenly the car started making noises. “What-What’s happening?” Stella asked when the car was slowing down.
“Damn. I think it broke down.” Michael hit the stirring wheel. He tried turning and turning the ignition, but the car wasn’t starting again. “Hey, I have an idea. My house is pretty close to here. We can go there and get the other car. I promise it’s not a far walk. I’ll deal with this car another time. It’ll be fine if I just left it on the side of the road for now.”
Stella looked out into the night sky and saw it was a full moon. A full moon like in the movie. She was aware of all the fog on the road and how empty and quiet it was. “Are you sure it’s safe to be walking out at this time?”
She turned to look at Michael who was grinning at her. “Why? Are you spooked from that movie?” he teased. “It’s fine. My house is really close, trust me. We’ll get there safe and sound.” his hand reached out and held onto Stella’s hand, squeezing it reassuringly. Stella’s heart melted. Michael wouldn’t let anything happen to me.
They both got out of the car (Stella rushing to Michael’s side immediately, not wanting to be left alone) and walked down the road, toward the darkness.
“Let’s get off the road and go through here. It’s a short cut.” pulled her toward him, off the road.
She looked where he was walking toward and saw he meant cutting through a cemetery. Stella stopped in her tracks. “Is this really the short cut?” she heard her voice shake a little. I’m such a scaredy cat.
“Yep. Don’t worry.”
She slowly followed him, looking around her surroundings as she walked. As Stella was looking around, she accidentally walked into Michael, not realizing he had stopped walking. “Michael? What’s wrong?”
He turned around and looked at her with an intense look on his face. “Do you know why I asked you out, Stella?”
All the nerves from the movie were quickly replaced with the nerves from before the movie. Her heart was beating fast. She shook her head.
“I like the way that you dance. You’re not thinking about anything, you’re just dancing as yourself- free. I’ve watched you dance since the first class we ever had. I knew you were the one.”
Stella couldn’t believe what he said. He likes how I dance. He watched me. He knows I’m the one. Is this what I think it means?
He tilted his head closer to her and said to her, taking a deep breath, “I like you… I want you to be my girl.”
Stella held her breath, taking everything in. She nodded her head slowly and smiled. “I like you too! Yes, absolutely!” Without knowing what she was doing, she began hugging him, her face huddled in his chest.
As she was hugging him in the middle of the cemetery, lost in her bubbly happiness, Stella hadn’t noticed the creatures yet. Michael hugged her back gently, unalarmed and watching the creatures walking toward them.
When Stella finally let go and looked up to look at Michael, her happy face fell when she took notice of the creatures and took a good look at them.
They were surrounded by them. Ghouls. A masquerade of them just staring at her and Michael. Stella tried to scream, but she felt paralyzed. This must be my imagination because of that stupid movie, she thought crazily, closing her eyes and opening them again, horrified that they were all still there. They look so real.
Stella grabbed Michael’s arm, inching closer to him. “Michael. I’m scared. I think these are really monsters. Michael, let’s run now while we still can. They’re going to get us.” she shook his arm desperately. I have a bad feeling about this. And just when we started going out.
But Michael wasn’t responding. His back was turned, looking at the monsters, fearlessly. “Michael.” she said, a little more agitated. And then Michael turned.
Stella froze. Where Michael’s face should have been was instead a face of a monster- a zombie. Stella stumbled backward, backing away from this monster, horrified. It still resembles him a bit, but not really. What is going on?
She looked at the ghouls confused and back at the monster who used to be Michael. “Michael…?” she said trembling, unsure of who he is or what it is.
Just as Michael had done to her, the monster grinned at her, holding it’s hand out. “I did ask you if you want to be my girl. After all, it’s a thriller night? Can you dig it?”
Inspired by Michael Jackson’s iconic and legendary “Thriller”.