Don't know if this will be of interest to anyone but my friends, but I was reading over some old computer files and came upon the following story that's perfect for Halloween. It's about a prank that was played on one of my friends. Not knowing my friend (Sean) could give the impression that the prank was cruel... It was not. Also, after re-reading the story I see that it's possible I could come across as, for lack of a better word, a lunatic to some people. That's fine. The fact that I realize this probably means I'm not a lunatic.
Two final things: 1.) The story took place in the spring of 2007. 2.) It's not as interesting as my disclaimers might have led you to believe.
I was hanging out with my friend Sarah at her house, and while I was there I invited over a mutual friend, Sean, who lived nearby. I had spoken with Sean earlier in the day (online) and told him I had murdered Sarah. I asked if he was going to call the police and inform them, or if he was going to come over and help me bury her instead. He chose the latter but said he was charging me $1,000. This meant, of course, that he did not believe me. (At least I hope that's what it meant!)
Because of the seed that had been planted, a few hours later -- about fifteen minutes before Sean was supposed to arrive -- Sarah and I decided to quickly stage a murder scene to see how he would react. I rolled Sarah up in a blanket just as I might if I had actually killed her, and the plan was for her to lay there motionless pretending to be dead. Next, I went and found a white towel and some red food coloring. I put some food coloring on the towel and also mixed some with water in a cup and poured it over the towel. Then I placed the (now bloody) towel on the blanket where Sarah's lower chest was in an attempt to make it look as though the blood had seeped through the blanket and I had tried to contain it. I took a steak knife from her kitchen and placed it on the table near her. The scene was moderately convincing, but something didn't look right... I realized that a soapy, bloody bucket sitting on the floor outside the "murder room" would likely add another layer of belief; after all, who would go to such trouble for the sake of a ridiculous joke? I made it look really good by pouring some red food coloring down the inside of the bucket (after I had filled it with soapy water), and made sure to splatter some red specks of food coloring on it as well. I sat a bloody sponge atop the water and placed the bucket such that Sean would be sure to see it before peering in at the corpse. The scene still wasn't perfect so we decided to turn the lamp off to make the bloody towel look more real, and I fixed the windows so the proper amount of light was coming in. (Poor Sarah! Why didn't we save the blanket-wrapping for last?) The television was on -- volume low -- as if the murder had taken place abruptly and I didn't have the chance to turn off the TV -- clearly I had been preoccupied with cleaning up! Everything looked pretty good. We decided that it would be best to partially cover Sarah's face with the leftover blanket when Sean's car pulled up so that no accidental eye-twitching could be detected. My plan was to emerge from the bathroom down the hall very casually after Sean had had a few minutes to critique the scene. (Sarah was excited to partake in the experiment, of course. Reading over this I can see how it might sound as though I was torturing her!)
Everything went according to plan. I came out of the bathroom once Sean had been inside a few minutes and, surprisingly, he didn't laugh. I thought for sure laughter would be his reaction considering how it's nearly impossible to change someones perception of what you're capable of.
"A steak knife?" was all he said. I didn't say anything in response and picked up the heavy black flashlight that was sitting in the room and swung it at his head. He uncharacteristically flinched. (I stopped before I cracked his skull, naturally.) After pretending to bash his brains in there was no longer any sense in continuing the charade. He explained to me that if I had used a steak knife I would have surely cut up my hands, and the stab wounds would be so plentiful that there would have been blood everywhere. I hadn't thought of that. In fact, I actually picked the steak knife because I thought it would be less cliche than a giant butcher knife, and thus, more believable. Oh well.
I asked him in more detail what he had thought and he said his reactions took the following line: (upon seeing the bucket) "I wonder what happened. Maybe one of the animals was hurt. Would Tyler really have killed Sarah?" (upon seeing the body in the room): "Maybe he really did it. [pause] That knife, oh, it wouldn't have worked that way." He said that, even though he had entertained the possibility of a real murder for a few seconds, he wasn't scared. I wondered why and came to the conclusion that it was likely due to how hard it is for a friend to change in the eyes of another friend when it requires the ego of the critiquing friend to be slighted in order to confirm the change. In other words: "Sure, he might be capable of murdering Sarah, but he would never murder me; he likes me too much!" This is a comical and cynical reading, but it does make a lot of sense. Anyway, we didn't expect to give Sean anything but a laugh, so the few seconds of strange experience he got made it more than worthwhile.