Night Out

I’m terrified. I’m trying to make sense of what happened last night, but I can’t seem to. Things happened, strange things, but my memory is hazy and scrambled up, but the implications…

All right, I’ve got to calm down and start at the beginning.

Last night my two best friends and I had our monthly night out. We are in our mid-thirties now, so we don’t party as hard as we used. We’ve all got our obligations and jobs now, well at least two of us do. Once a month though, we have some fun and go wild. For old time’s sake, you could say.

Back in the day we went out almost every night and did pretty much everything you’ve got to do at least once at a party. Even now, as you can imagine, things can get a bit crazy when we get together.

We’ve been thrown out of clubs or bars, got into fistfights with bouncers, and my friend Steve once woke up in the drunk tank in the next city over. We still talk about that one.

What happened last night was an entirely different story.

We met up at Martin’s place. Most people would call him a free spirit. He’s an amateur musician and doesn’t have a steady job otherwise. He works here and there to make ends meet but spends most of his time playing music.

We meet up at his place because of his outstanding sound system and his record collection. There’s nothing better than listening to some good old rock music, exchanging stories, and having a few beers to get the night going.

Yesterday Steven brought us a little surprise.

“It’s nothing too dangerous, just like E,” he said as he handed me and Martin a small orange pill.

We sat together a bit longer and had another beer before we went out. The drug kicked in right when we’d entered the first club and let me tell you, whatever that shit was, it was crazy. We had an absolute blast.

Unfortunately, though, it was cut short when Martin got into some trouble with a group of other people. For once we opted against escalating the situation and left.

We were all damn high, and the alcohol didn’t help one bit. As we stumbled through the streets, we had no clue where the hell we were or even went.

I remember us stopping at a late-night store or gas station to get a few more beers, but that’s about it.

We tried to find a new club or bar to hang out at and eventually ran into a group of other people. They had a thick Eastern European accent and, like us, were out to party.

I don’t have the slightest clue what we talked about, but they told us about some crazy club nearby. We had to check it out. Of course, we went, the goddamn idiots we are.

From here on out, things got hazy. We followed our new friends down a few darker streets and back alleys. Normally all this would’ve been a red flag, but because of Steven’s damned drugs none of us realized was going on.

I don’t know how much time had passed, but we finally entered some old, rundown building and went into some sort of basement club.

The place was bizarre and the best word to describe the atmosphere is Lynchian. Sweat, alcohol, and other, stranger things were heavy in the air. The entire club was gloomy and only illuminated by dim red light bulbs that dangled from the ceiling. The music that played was as strange as the rest of the club; a mixture of low psychedelic ambient and drone music.

People were sitting on the floor everywhere, huddled together in groups, some wearing grotesque outfits. Here and there people looked up, scanning us as we entered, but most seemed to be trapped in their own world.

I remember seeing a person in a fur suit, sitting in a corner shaking and shivering. Others stood around him giggling at whatever was happening to him.

I can’t tell what was real and what wasn’t. The further we went in, the weirder things got. I saw people sitting around a giant abomination of a bong. Others, nearby, seemed to have unrestrained sex right there on the floor.

Looking back, we should’ve left the place then and there. Sure, we’d done our share of weird shit and we sometimes took E, but we never went too far down the rabbit hole. This place there seemed to be the very bottom of it.

Before long we reached a bar, or at least someone handing out drinks. I don’t think we paid for them, but I got no clue.

The next thing I remember is that Steve and I were led down a long hallway. Martin was gone, but because of the state I was in I didn’t worry about a damn thing. Hell, I got mad at him for getting another drink without us.

The guy who led us down the hallway was talking, but I’ve got no idea if he was even talking to us.

The hallway went on forever and there were so many doors. I got dizzy staring at one after another, and for a moment I wondered if we’d entered a brothel. Finally, one of the doors was pushed open, and we were ushered inside.

A few minutes passed, and soon a group of other people joined us. It might have been the people we arrived with, but, again, I’m not sure.

An attractive woman entered soon after, started dancing and I thought it was just a strip club, but god was I wrong.

More and more drinks were served and I’m sure there wasn’t just alcohol in them.

Things had been hazy before, but now they’d become surreal and turned into a delirious fever dream.

Someone was holding a camera, filming us and the room while hollering and laughing like a madman.

Suddenly a figure wearing a gas mask was in the room, having come out of freaking nowhere. It was the funniest thing for me. I giggled and burst out laughing. Steven was the same.

Then another person was pushed into the room. This one was wearing something as well, but I’m not sure what it was. It might have been some sort of mask or just a bag with holes for eyes.

I don’t know how or why it started, but soon everyone pushed the second person into the center of the room.

Suddenly there was blood, and I saw the figure wearing the gasmask beating the other person to a bloody pulp. Thinking about it makes me nauseated. Everything about it was so damn wrong, fucked up, but back then I thought it was hilarious.

The images, the violence, the blood, it was all real, but my mind reacted to it like a freaking Looney Tunes cartoon.

The fight, if you can even call it that, didn’t last long.

At one point gasmask stood there, covered in blood, screaming like a maniac. The other person was on the floor and soon someone dragged him away, leaving a trail of blood behind.

I like to tell myself that it was all fake, an act and that it was the drugs that conjured up the ghastly images, but I can’t, I really can’t.

I don’t know when or how I left the place. When I came back to my senses, it was already light out and I stumbled down a random street in the outskirts of the city. I felt like absolute shit and on the hour-long trip back home I threw up more than once.

I can’t tell what part of the evening was even real. However, Steven too remembers the club, the room, and at least part of what happened there.

This is not all though, there’s one more thing that’s more disturbing than anything else. Neither of us could get into contact with Martin.

All my messages are unread and no one has heard a damned thing about him. I tried his landline repeatedly, but it keeps ringing endlessly.

I’m shaking whenever I think of last night, of what I saw. Had we stumbled into some fucked up snuff club and watched an actual murder?

And what has happened to Martin? Why can’t I shake off this awful feeling about him? There’s something in the back of my mind, something I saw or heard, but I can’t seem to grasp it.

It’s this lingering feeling that tells me it had been no other than my friend who’d been murdered right in front of us.