Dear Diary,

I don’t know where to begin. I am still traumatized by the events of the day, but I will attempt to write out my experience in case anyone else is ever unlucky enough to witness what I have.

The party started out normally. My friends and I were enjoying the food we’d set out beforehand and talking amongst ourselves. Everyone seemed to be acting the way they usually did.

And then, out of nowhere, one of the partygoers revealed the unholy box.

The others may not have known of its presence before it was brought out, but as soon as they saw the box, their minds were ensnared by it. Some of them began speaking in strange phrases.

I fear learning the meaning behind those phrases.

The only thing I could think to do was run.

From a safe distance, I watched some kind of dark ritual unfold. My friends, presumably under the thrall of the box, began unpacking its contents. Each item I saw them remove was more sinister than the last, but although I wanted to protect the people I loved, I felt that I had to remain hidden.

I drew the items as they were being placed onto the table for future reference. I can only pray that I have not damaged my sanity by doing so.

Things only got worse from there. After they had laid out all the items on the table, they began placing them onto what appeared to be some kind of altar. The way they moved the items around their demonic altar seemed practiced, methodical, controlled. It was clear they somehow understood exactly what to do.

I knew it had something to do with those ivory stones. What I didn’t know was how or why.

I could only stare in horror as their ritual progressed. It was clear the corruption within the box grew stronger in them throughout the process.

In the beginning, they had sounded almost pleasant in their banter.

However, the more they moved their strange items, the more aggressive they became. Their black speech grew more pronounced. The box enveloped another aspect of their delicate minds with every word it forced them to utter.

My friends… if they were still my friends… started screaming at each other in voices that were not their own.

I believed, at this point, that they were fully corrupted by the box.

I had a chance to investigate the altar more closely while they were away, and I was shocked by what I saw.

The items were laid out strategically on little squares, in an organized fashion. The ivory stones showed them where to move their metal tokens — if there were seven runes showing face-up, they would move their tokens seven squares ahead. I had heard them counting out loud during their ritual, but I didn’t understand what it meant.

The whole layout was like some kind of structured “game”, and I believe that was the key to my realization. The more I looked at this setup, the more it looked like a game.

I understood then.

The box wasn’t possessing them, as I had previously thought.

The stones were.

I had to take cover again as the stone-slaves approached their altar, still yelling their unholy chants and speaking in ancient languages.

While remaining hidden, I found an object that could destroy the ivory stones and undo their curse.

I was afraid for my life, but I never doubted myself in my decision. My friends were still in there somewhere, struggling to free themselves from the stones’ control over them.

It was up to me to release them.

The nightmare was over as quickly as it had begun.

I don’t know if I truly destroyed whatever demonic force lay within those cubes. I don’t know if my friends will ever come to terms with what happened to them.

There are so many lingering questions that I may never be able to answer.

All I know is that I was a hero today.

Re: Tapeworm-Themed Surprise Party

To: (See all)

From: Morgan Phillips

Subject: Re: tapeworm-themed surprise party

Hey guys! So sorry I missed the party preparations, but I’m looking around now and it seems like the rest of you didn’t have any problems with it.

…I can’t help but notice you all decided to go with the “tapeworm” theme.

I’m pretty sure I was adamantly against the tapeworm theme, but I guess that doesn’t matter now. I just thought I’d check out the house before the party and make sure everything looks good. Maybe sample some of the cake – sorry 🙂

So, uh, I’ll go ahead and list the issues I see as I walk around.

-No one being allowed to wash their hands during the party

Okay, the first thing that jumps out at me is that you apparently made a “no hand washing” rule. At least, I’m guessing this was the rule you were going for when you put signs over the sinks and threw out all the hand soap.

It seems a little extreme? I get that people are supposed to have fun and not worry too much about hygiene, but I feel like it’d be okay if someone wanted to wash their hands during the party. We don’t necessarily need to have a rule against it, and we don’t necessarily need to throw out every container of soap in the house.

-Most of the food being undercooked meat

When the tapeworm theme first came up, I assumed we’d be putting out gummy worms as snacks or something. I’m not seeing any gummy worms on the dining room table, but I’m definitely seeing a lot of undercooked meat – although, honestly, “undercooked” might be putting it generously. I think this meat is just raw.

Is anyone here open to the idea of cooking the meat a little? Keep in mind, this might be the only food anyone’s gonna be eating. Not to be disrespectful, but the cake tastes a little “off” in my opinion – sorry 😦

I also notice no one put out any utensils, so I’m guessing we’re all supposed to dig into it with our unwashed hands.

-All of the games involving deliberately infecting people with parasitic worms

I’m so glad you guys already planned out games for this party, by the way! Gotta have activities to keep the fun going. I just think it’s a little weird that every single game idea involves parasitic worms in some way. I mean, here’s a random sample of the things written on our game whiteboard:

  • Tapeworm Tag
  • Hide and Worms
  • Mafia (losers get infected with worms)
  • Mafia (winners get infected with worms)
  • Monopoly, but everyone is infected with parasitic worms

That last one isn’t even a game idea. Someone just scrawled that on the board for seemingly no reason.

Is it me, or is this too many worms? I know there’s a theme and all, but what if we had a few games that didn’t involve worms?
Think about it. Let me know. I can get the monopoly board set up, and maybe we could play monopoly without anyone being infected with parasitic worms.

-The tapeworm theme in general

I know I asked this in a previous email, but I’m going to ask it again here.

Why does this party HAVE to be tapeworm-themed?

It’s just, there are so many other less disgusting themes. We could have a plant-themed surprise party. Or a dog-themed surprise party. Maybe something sci-fi. Fantasy. Post-apocalyptic. Halloween. Arts and crafts. Movies. Basketball. Video games. National Waffle Day. Mountains. Sweatshirts. Newspapers. Office supplies. Peanut butter. Non-parasitic worms.

Seriously, we have options here.

-Contaminating the cake with pig feces

This party is gonna suck.