Friday, January 07, 2011

Fiction Friday

I'm taking this blogging again thing one day at a time so I don't want to get anyone's hopes up to high. I do love this blogging thing though and have met some great people through this medium. Today, I present to you "Fiction Friday" and offer an original piece of fiction for your entertainment. It all started from coming across this writing exercise...

This is a “writer’s prompt” from Writer’s Digest: You wake up in a darkened circus tent, wearing a bright blue and yellow clown costume and a fluffy red wig. There is a dwarf standing over you with bucket of water. "You okay?" he asks. Write this scene. Here’s my take on it:

My pal Donny G. had convinced me to attend a Halloween party. This was a reunion of a legendary party that we had both attended more than twenty years earlier; that first party was a riot, Donny was Groucho Marx and I was Harpo. At this point in my life, I wasn’t too hyped up about doing the costume thing, it just wasn’t – isn’t my cup of tea. However, I figured once for old time’s sake, what the heck. I took a trip to the costume store and bought a super cheesy prisoner outfit that consisted of a black and white striped pair of pants, a shirt, a prison hat and even a ball and chain; it was right out of a bad cartoon but it was only twenty bucks.

We got to the party about nine and I began to mingle almost immediately; I did make a stop for a beer first and to admire the impressive display of jack-o-lantern candles and the bizarre circus tents at the back of the venue, a ball room at a midtown Manhattan hotel (I guess a perk on the part of one of the guys hosting the party for working for the place for 25 years). I worked my way through the tight fitting crowd holding my red plastic cup of keg juice while scanning the creativity of all of the costumes when she came into view, and I knew right then if I didn’t make some kind of contact with her, it would haunt me forever (little did I know the opposite would prove to be true). I approached this fiery vision not sure of what I was going to say. Recently divorced, I’ve been out of the game for nearly a decade and even when I was in the game, I was no player. I introduced myself as “The Unknown Prisoner”. I know, a total dork! She told me she was “Pele – the Hawaiian Fire Goddess.”

The “Fire Goddess” and I got to talking which soon after, led to a little drinking. She introduced me to a drink called a “Flame Thrower”. At some point in the night, I remember having to find a place where we could sit because standing up was getting to be difficult. We found a spot off in a corner where the ambient noise was a bit muted; this made talking easier, though by this time, we were starting to slur some of our words. Regardless, we were chatting away in one moment and in the next, she started to kiss me so I did the natural thing, reciprocate. We kind of got heavy into it pretty quick and thanks to several flame throwers, it wasn’t a chore to tune out the rest of the crowd. Besides, this girl was super hot and the first time I had been with someone different in a decade – I needed this! She pulled me up to a standing position and suddenly slipped her hands down the front of my pants. I seem to recall in that moment just how long her fingernails were but in that moment of unexpected ecstasy while under the influence of what I would assume is way over the legal limit of flame throwers for a small town, the last sensation other than ecstasy that I recall was falling backward in what seemed to be slow motion.

Nearly six months after the party, I received a DVD from the guys who threw the party with a note that read, “We suspect you may not recall all of what happened that night and thought you might want to see it for yourself.” Yikes! I was pretty sure that I didn’t want to see it. In fact, just the simple reminder of that party, which I had tried to put out of my head, brought on something of a flashback induced hangover. I knew that as much as I had resisted, the best way to really get this all behind me was to watch it. I went over and slipped the unlabeled disc, clearly burned on a home computer, into the DVD player and stood watching – that is, until I had to sit down to see how I ended up in someone else’s costume and on fire…until of course the midget, sorry, little person (dressed as a leprechaun I might add) extinguished me with a bucket of water.

As it turns out, the fire goddess, whom I haven’t had any contact with since that night was part of a very elaborate scheme. While I was drinking actual flame throwers, a seriously potent drink, she was drinking virgin flame throwers and each of her moves on me were calculated. You see, when she was “putting her hand down my pants” I was drunk enough to think “hand job” but she was coherent enough to see I was seconds from blacking out and she was about to make good on a dare, and score herself a c-note in the process by swapping my costume with some dude name Mickey, who happened to be dressed as a pathetic (and seemingly color blind) clown. What she didn’t expect to happen was right after she had removed two people’s clothing and redressed them, that would be Mickey and I, she would trip on the ball and chain from my cheesy prison getup leading to a succession of events often found in bad fiction. If I were to draw out a sketch of the course of events after Trina, that was her actual name, tripped on my ball and chain, the diagram would look like the craziest football play ever conceived. I am pretty certain that these words can’t really do it justice either and since I destroyed the DVD after watching it three times, all I have to offer is this written account of what I saw on the video.

The ballroom wasn’t all that wide; I’d say about 30 feet but was a good 100 or 120 feet long. At the far end, were four small circus tents – you know, the red and white striped ones. I recall an episode of Popeye the Sailor where he went into one of these small red and white circus tents and inside was somehow magically cavernous. These tents were pretty small and were there for effect and I think perhaps served as something-something shelters for hookups. Along the length of each wall, was a mantle about six feet high or so and atop the mantle across both walls were these very large candles that looked like a jack-o-lantern each bursting with a healthy flame providing a good portion of the light in the ballroom.

At my last point of consciousness, Trina and I were near a ledge in between the two tents on the left side of the room. After I went down, Trina went about her quick change act between Mickey and I and then in walking away, tripped on the ball and chain, fell into the side of the tent nearest the front of the room which then cause a few innocent bystanders on the other side to get lashed by the opposite side of the tent, which had given way. The innocent bystanders fell in such a way causing a domino effect and what seemed to be a hundred folks were soon falling on their ass. Meanwhile, the top of the tent has triggered a similar domino effect causing every one of the candles on the left side of the room to topple over creating a number of small fires to be dealt with by the toppling crowd, one of the flames caught the side of the tent which began to burn - take this as a lesson, party rental circus tents are sometimes flammable! Worse yet, the burning tent was right next to where I was passed out now adorning a powder blue and lemon yellow clown costume with a fluffy red wig that looked like it was designed by Don King. Noticing that I was both unconscious and aflame, Rodrigo, the leprechaun…sidebar: he wasn’t an actual leprechaun but rather dressed up as one for the party. I mention this not to insult your intelligence but as you can see, many odd things occurred at this event and it would be easy to take something for granted. Anyway, Rodrigo, who also worked at the hotel, knew where the janitor’s closets were and went a grabbed a bucket, filled it with water from the janitor’s sink in the closet and proceeded in my direction with the intent of putting out the fire that was working its way up my right leg. Half the bucket extinguished the flame and then little Rodrigo decided to pour the rest of the bucket on my head hoping it would bring me back to a conscious, or at least semi-conscious state. Once again, I only know of this from seeing the video, I don’t recall regaining consciousness until the hospital (stay tuned, you’ll read that seconds from now). I came too and looked up to see a leprechaun in an emerald green bedazzled tuxedo with tails and a handlebar moustache that Salvador Dali would be jealous of. Rodrigo looked down at me and asked, “You Okay?” That’s when I lost consciousness again; I only know this from the video because next thing I actually remember is waking up in a hospital room. It sure is a bitch getting old.

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