In the middle of the room, there is a table meant for your present. A mountain of stripes and polka-dotted glitter sits, already teetering alongside the occupants’ creepy cult murmur, ready to avalanche. This year the worst present gifted is to be sacrificed to Cthulhu.
Honestly it sucked. No one makes much money as a worshipper of the old ones yet somehow all the cannibal members owned castles or paid off their student loans. It’s why they recruited you so easily. Jobs security comes with worshipping the old ones because because madness is eternal! Or something. Maybe last year you didn’t starve because fish suddenly either walked or washed up on the beach, but you also started growing suction cups and scales. Thaaanksssssss!
Not to mention, they only announced the human sacrifice game the second you walked into the party and quickly barred people from exit after the fact. Not cool.
So, what was your present? What measly box did you bring for the leader of your cult? Well. It was a fuck you present from 6 years ago when he gifted you something for secret santa. A magic, never turning off, never dying, ALWAYS SEEPING FROM THE CRACKS OF YOUR CLOSET glow stick. It kept you up all hours of the god damned night and your only desire was to regift it cause: Fuck. Him.
Except now fucking him might be the only way you don’t get worst present. Did you bring anything you can use to replace with it? No. Your pockets are filled with seaweed and all the barnacles you peel off your scales. Tremors come to your hands as anxiety sets in. Calm down! Just sneak over to the presents and replace your gift with Barbara’s. She gives great gifts.
“The hour is upon us’ you hear booming across the room. ‘Giveth your presents.’
And all hope is lost. Suddenly everyone runs to the table, their grubby hands snatching up boxes left and right and pairing up for the square dance from hell. A couple of these dicks had the same idea as you. You plainly see them peeling off the name tags. If only you stood closer to the table.
Your leader stands off to the side of the room, a cup of punch in his hand as he looks for his match. A sea of people may stand between you and him, but your heart speeds up at an irregular pace anyway. An idea pops into your head! Discreetly scanning the room your heart catches in your throat. Your eyes met.
Compelled by a will surpassing your own, you walk towards him and all obstacles sway out of your way. He holds his hand out and you wordlessly press the box into it.
He opens it, slowly. All time moves slowly. “This is. . . ” His eyes widen and he smiles. “Thank you. Where did you get it?”
“. . . I found it. In a fish? That I caught.”
You just fidget a minute, watching him finger his glow stick and wondering when he’d move out of the way of the bathroom. Freedom, so close, had never smelled so bad.
“Friends!” Genuine warmth and excitement burst across the room. “I have no need to tally your gifts! For I have found the best present ever!”
As the crowd cheers, you get caught up in the elation. You turn around, ready to take a bow, when something glaringly odd catches your attention. Among the gifts the party goers hold, wet shoes and items that rather obviously belonged in a compost pile are the norm.
“Worst present ever gets sacrificed?” You croak, staring at a suddenly less than amused leader.
“First, it’s a Nyarlathotep thing. Second, you’d know all this if you read any of the pamphlets I passed out.” The hurt in his voice carried to his face. The memory of many party planning meetings in which you spent making many, many paper airplanes assaults you. “Third, bring out the rats!”
“Um. Can I use the bathroom first?”
“Sure. That’s where we were keeping the rats anyway.”