Diane’s on the telephone … calling friend after friend
“It’s Saturday night and it’s my party! … Come on over!”
“Saturday night and Sunday morning. The door’s still open. … Oh, just a commotion – nothing’s planned – ”
“Yeah, at this ol’ house. Don’t be stupid, not tomorrow night!”
– – –
There was a pounding on the door.
“Hang on! I hear you knocking!”I called as I went down the hall to open it. There stood a pretty woman and a young girl, behind them a crowd of beautiful people – male and female. They crowded in, chattering, some bringing their poison of choice. I directed one fella in a fedora to the bathroom – “Green door, down the hall.”
“Hi, you can call me al,” he said, passing me his paper bag of bottles in his rush.
“What’s to drink?” someone yelled over the noise. Susie, my other flatmate, pointed to the counter
“Tequila, gin & juice, red – red wine, streams of whiskey, TNT for the brain … whatever,“ she yelled back.
“ Hey, everybody, let’s dance,” shouted someone at the stereo, and soon the music’s blaring and everybody’s jumping.
Al came back and grabbed his paper bag. As he drew out a bottle, he winked “Little ol’ wine drinker, me.”
An argument broke out over in a corner.|
“Stop messin’ around!” the woman, Rhiannon, yelled.
“Oh, come outside,” pleaded the hopeful young man with her.
“I owe you nothing!” she argued.
“Baby, please don’t go.” Realising he was losing her, he grabbed her, held her close.
“One more time, I’ll tell you – never too close!” and she pushed away. “I’m going home.” Rhiannon stalked out.
“Okay, you can go your own way,” he called after her. As an aside to a mate, he muttered “She’ll keep coming back, you’ll see.”
“Ha-huh, boy she’s too hot to handle for you!” His mate laughed.
“Nah, it’s just a phase.”
Someone interrupted the music, and slipped in a different CD.
“I can’t dance to that crap,” he said “Watch what happens now!” And ho boy, everyone was on their feet, and wriggling and writhing, solo, partners, the conga line – you name it, it was “Everybody dance now!” He played the CD again – had it on Repeat, probably. Even on the second time, there was a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on. But after it had played over and over, people retired to couches and corners for conversation and b-s or a breather. – – –
If you could lip read as I can, you’d make out how some couples were trying to make out, if you know what I mean.
“Hold me,” one young girl in a corner.
“Man’s favourite sport. Let’s go away for a while,” a greasy sleaze ball all over some sweet thing.
“Oh, come on, everybody plays the fool,” another try-hard.
“One more time then,” a reluctant reply.
“Turn around,” fumbling for the bra hook.
Couples started heading off to more discrete places – thank heavens, it was getting embarrassing in here.
Al suddenly called out, “Hullo, the bitch is back!” as Rhiannon stalked back in, trying to be indignant, but for her it was crying time.
“See? You keep coming back!” crowed her boyfriend. He noticed she was upset, draped an arm around her shoulders, and said ”No more tears (enough is enough). Tell me what you want me to do?”
“Let’s get outside of this,” she replied.
“Okay, we’re going home to your place,” and they strolled out into the night.
– – –
In the wee small hours of the morning, Diane called |
“Okay, bar’s closed. Nothing’s left, it’s time to go – the party’s over!”
“Wake up, little Susie,” I shook her shoulder. She started up, and shambled to her room. Almost everyone started gathering up their coats and bags, and heading to the door. Diane checked who was walking, who was driving, and who was going to have to stay over.
She asked them all, “How are you going?”
“No place to go”, mumbled one. “Homeless.”
“Step inside, love,” and she pushed him back into the lounge.
“Goin’ back to Houston”, mumbled one fella. “Leavin’ on a jet plane – gotta ticket to ride here, somewhere,” as he searched his pockets while teetering away off along the footpath.
“I’m at the Y.M.C.A,” and the student stumbled out the door and down the steps.
Al smooched up against Diane, grabbed her and as corny as you please, said
“Wherever I hang my hat, that’s my home,” and dropped his wee fedora onto her head. She sighed and led him to her room, leaving me to check the state of the party-leavers. One young man was holding his head with one hand, his gut with another.
“I just wasn’t made for these times,” he said in misery. “I’m going home.” He stumbled down the steps and threw up in the gutter.
“Don’t worry about me. I’ll find my way home.” Someone confidant and merry pushed past me and off.
”Can I stay over for Danielle’s breakfast? Aw, she makes such yum bacon, eggs ‘n’ pancakes with maple syrup! What time will she be up and cooking?” Some scrounger who knew Danielle.
“Probably 11 a.m,” I told him. At the description of the breakfast, one guy started making retching noises.
“Quick, he’ll have to go!’ warned the scrounger. We got the puker off the property just in time.
By now the flat was nearly empty of wakeful party guests. Almost everyone in the place was flat-out asleep, alone or in pairs (in their own rooms, thank heavens). I left them to it and joined Danielle. We slept nestled together like a couple of spoons – but all we could do was sleep off the party.
– – –
We all woke the next day late of course. It was a good day, sunshine. Diane, Susie, Danielle and I roused all the overnighters to get them to help clean up. Hell ain’t a bad place to be, but shite, there was mess everywhere.
“We’re gonna need gumboots!” Diane raved when she saw the state of the toilet, bathroom and kitchen. It’s beyond understanding how people can make such a mess!”
As friends zombied their ways from their sleeping corners, they needed pain relief.
“Who wants to live forever?” groaned one guy. Paracetamol was all we had to offer.
“I’ll take five.” And they went down his throat dry. Al was holding his head. He sat at the kitchen table and Diane gave him water.
“Ain’t that a kick in the head!” he marvelled at the pounding.
“It’s the booze talking, that’s all,” she reassured him. “That’s just the way it is, you know.”
“Have you seen the bathroom? Someone’s puked into the bath and it’s gone all down the window!” Susie was disgusted. “Something must be done!”
“Right, while we’re waiting for Danielle’s breakfast, I’ll be cleaning windows. It’s what I do.” And the guy – who was that? – was out filling a bucket, then back through with a mop and an armload of bottled cleaners.
“Okay, let’s all clean up” ordered Diane. “Fix these things,” as she pointed to the trash on the tables in the lounge. “Don’t stop until it’s spotless again.”
“Yeah, it looks like we live in a dump.” I had to agree – it was a right dirty old town in here. “Let’s take out the trash.”
As I carried the first dumpster sack out through the front door, I stepped over someone lying on the front step. I nudged him with my foot, but he was too deeply asleep. I asked the others
“Hey, who’s the dweller on the threshold?”
But in the kitchen, everyone’s attention was on another party sleeper who’d shown himself – in really bad shape.
“Oh, Take me to the hospital. I need to see Doctor Roberts.” Danielle took a break from the frying pan, and called triple-one, and sat him on the back step in fresh air.
– – –
We did get the place bearably clean, and were looking forward to Danielle’s breakfast as the ambulance arrived. But we didn’t hear or see them at the back. I went out to the front.
“Ah … the Guy who’s sick is out back?”
“Yeah? Well the guy who’s dead is here out front!” the paramedic retorted. There was no need to tell all about it – my mates had all heard him from the kitchen. They came crowding around the door, to see who it was, what had happened, what would happen.
The ambulance driver heaved himself from his seat.
“I’ve called dispatch. Police are on their way. Did I hear you say there’s someone sick here too?” He followed Al around to the back door, and reappeared walking the crook fella to the ambulance.
A police car turned up. Out stepped an officer in uniform, and from the back a plain clothes man.
“Inspector Morse” he flashed his ID. “And Sergeant Pepper. This is a real tragedy. Young kids having a party and letting it get out of control. I expect it was an overdose. Come on Sergeant, inside.”
He headed to the lounge and gazed around, smelling the air.
“Phwawh! Too many clues in this room,” the young sergeant grinned.
“Not that funny,” Morse snapped. He wandered around, peering closely at the counter and tables’ tops. In the kitchen he peered at the as yet unwashed glasses. Back in the lounge, he spoke to us all.
“I know there’s an answer here, and in your trash which my lads’ll be taking for a forensic going-over. Now, don’t talk if you’re going to tell me little lies. What ever you do – don’t!. We’ll be sending a crew in to give this place a right turn around. Don’t move anything. In fact, don’t move from here at all till they’ve finished up.”
We sat there, fearful. We’d had no drugs in the flat. If that guy had O.Ded, he’d brought it himself. Cocaine? The sergeant’s radio crackled. He stood in the hall and listened, then reported to the Inspector.
“Inspector Morse – that was the constable at the hospital. The young man who was ill did have an overdose in his system. He’ll survive; they’ve sent a sample off to the lab for identifying.” And he strolled into the kitchen.
“That’s enough for me right now,” Morse said. “Sergeant? Let’s go. And you lot? Think. Think really hard. Don’t forget to remember anything that will be of interest.”
And he marched out, followed closely by his sergeant, leaving us terrified – until we remembered Danielle’s breakfast would only need heating up.
© Lynne McAnulty-Street, Rotorua NZ, 2011
United Friends Challenge #308
Words = 1762 (Titles not Included)
Song titles =113 (First mention only is counted)
Title : Word Ratio = 113 : 1762 = c. 1 : 15.6