Spiked Melon

Wilbert scooped out the last of spiked watermelon, scraping the bottom.

He had prepared three of these for the party, cautiously carving out a hole in each, then upending a bottle of vodka in one, rum in the second, and peach schnapps in the third. He wanted to provide choice.

Wilbert hadn’t labelled the watermelons, believing that an invisible hand would allow partygoers to choose the one they liked the most.

Now, as he sat on the patio, scooping out the last of the peach schnapps melon, Wilbert looked around. He lifted his glass, muttered a “Cheers”, and carved a chunk out with a spoon. He teetered in his chair, far too sauced to stand. He looked over – two watermelons left to go.

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Bowl of Chocolate

Tiara reached into the bowl for some chocolate.

She had been working hard not to take them. All evening, the chocolates had been sitting in the bowl, staring at her while people around her chatted and laughed and nibbled. Tiara had been avoiding the bad stuff, taking only a couple of pieces of apple, some cheese, and a few crackers.

Now, though, she was about to leave. In a few minutes she would stand and make her goodbyes, so she knew she could take a few treats without falling down the rabbit hole of snacking and snacking and snacking.

Tiara opened her mouth and tossed the chocolate in. She bit down.

The betrayal was immediate. She looked around for Connie, words roiling through her mind. But no, she had to finish chewing first.

The chocolates were disgustingly hiding raisins, like cookies posing as chocolate chip. Tiara swallowed, then grabbed her drink to try to erase the taste, swearing she would never again grab a handful of Connie’s chocolates. As she stood to leave, she wasn’t sure if their friendship could even survive such a backstabbing.

Bathtub Party

“Megan, get in here!” Claude shouted.

“Where? Where are you guys?” Megan asked.

“The bathtub!” was Jeff’s reply.

“What?!” Megan said, bursting into the bathroom. Claude, Jeff, Karyn, and Alaina were sitting in the tub, water sloshing over the sides. None of them had any clothes on. “What the hell is going on here?”

“Just having a bathtub party,” Alaina grinned, her cheeks red. She held her arms over herself, attempting modesty.

“What the hell, guys?” Megan said, uncertain how to respond.

“It’s great fun,” Claude said with a smile.

“I’m sure it is, though I don’t know if your boyfriend would agree,” Megan said.

“Haaaaaaa,” was Claude’s only reply.

“Well, are you getting in or not?” Jeff said.

“Do I have to be naked? And where can I get in, there’s four of you in there already!”

“Yes, and we’ll squish,” Karyn said.

Megan looked at them for a moment, then shrugged. “Okay. Bathtub party!” she yelled, pulling her shirt off.

A Toast to Friends

“Friends!” Luther said. The multitude in Luther’s living room continued to chat, the noise level rising, while the music played underneath it all. Luther turned and paused the music, and the noise level dropped but didn’t end. Luther then climbed onto a chair and called out louder, “Friends! Your attention please!”

The room quieted, and everyone turned to look at him.

“Carlos? Thank you,” Luther said, talking a bottle from Carlos’ hand. “Friends, I’d like to thank you all for coming this evening. I know some of you are worried about the snow, but don’t worry, I have lots of blankets. You can cuddle up in every knock and cranny, and I mean that a lewdly as possible.”

Luther’s friends laughed, some glancing around to plan ahead.

“Friends, I think most of you have a glass, so I’d like to take this opportunity to offer a toast. You’ve been with me through it all this year. My loss of a job. Bruno running off, and stealing my cat to boot. And helping me find a new job, thank you Carlos.”

Carlos smiled and held up a hand in mock humility.

“So friends, with all that you’ve done for me this year, I’d like to take this opportunity to toast, well, you. A guy couldn’t ask for better friends. Well, he could ask, there’s no harm in that I suppose.” Luther paused for the light, slightly uncomfortable laughter. “But he’d be disappointed, because there are none better. So, with that, please raise a glass to yourselves. Thanks folks, and here’s to a grand new year.”

As his guests raised their glasses, Luther took the bottle he still held, shook it, and popped the cork off, showering everyone with champagne. “A drink for you all!” he yelled, laughing, as the music started up again. His friends drank, and soon after queued up for the bathroom to wash the stickiness off.

R, SVP

Grant sat in front of his computer, looking at the invite he had sent out. A New Years’ party at his house had seemed like such a good idea at the time. Grand. Elegant. Fun. All his friends gathered in one place to herald in a new year of prosperity.

He had sent the invite three weeks ago. Two people had responded. Out of seventy-five. He wondered, again, if he should cancel it all and stay in, drink himself into a stupor, and wake up to a slurry of cookies and vodka in front of him, like last year. Assuming he passed out on his side.

No, he thought. I’m not going to cancel it. But I will change it.

Grant changed the starting time from eight o’clock to ten. No sense having people show up early. Let them know late is du jour.

Next, Grant changed the place. No longer his basement flat. Too boring. Small. Intimate. Personal. No, no, he thought, don’t go down that rabbit hole. The nearby club. That will be the starting point of an epic club crawl.

After a bit of research, Grant posted the itinerary of clubs they would walk to, and intermediary events: pizza at the corner, a dance-a-thon in the middle of the pedestrian street, and a run from the police after some illicit event on the bridge, details TBD.

Finally, he added the last hook. They would be celebrating Grant’s twenty-eight years, four months, and twelve days cancer-free! He worked on the (correct) assumption that people wouldn’t think too heavily about that one, or how old he actually was.

With that, Grant clicked the button, and the event was updated. He sat back to wait for the RSVPs to pour in.

Dish Sponge

“Hey, would you mind doing the dishes for me?” Mitch called from the living room. “I mean, I know you’re a guest and everything, but I just don’t have time to do them, cleaning up in here.”

The aftermath of the party was, of course, atrocious, and Bonnie was happy to help her friend out. “Sure!” she replied, and walked over to the sink.

The dishes were piled haphazardly, precarious stacks of food-crusted plates interspersed with a litany of glasses, mugs, and beer bottles. Bonnie stared at the mess of a counter for a moment, then looked at the table, also laden with work. She took a deep breath, then turned on the tap.

Bonnie reached forward and grabbed the sponge, only to have it squelch uncomfortably in her hand. The tinge of green was not natural or dyed, but came off in her hand.

Raising her lip in a sneer, she called out, “Hey Mitch?”

“Yeah,” the voice from the living said.

“Do you have another sponge?”

“Nope, just the one above the sink. Don’t worry, it’s still good, just give it a bit of soap!”

Bonnie gagged a little, but ran it through some water squishing it again and again in her fist. She poured a heavy dose of dish soap on it, squished again, and added more, then began washing.

The drying rack quickly filled up, forcing Bonnie to dry the dishes and put them away, leaving the sponge by the sink. Every time she returned to it, she was again filled with disgust.

It took nearly an hour, but she finally finished the dishes. She put the sponge back in its puddle of viscous goo, and made a mental note never to eat off of Mitch’s dishes again.

So Boring

“Ugh, I’m just so bored!” Bryce said.

“Well, what do you want to do?” Felicia asked.

“I don’t know, anything!”

“How about we go to the library?”

Bryce sneered. “Libraries are boring.”

“I actually like them, but to each their own. How about a movie?”

“Nothing good on.”

“Bowling?”

“What are we, eighty-five? No one bowls anymore.”

Felicia sighed. “Well, do you have a suggestion of something you want to do, that you wouldn’t find boring?”

“I want to have a huge party, with beer and liquor and people coming from all over the city to worship me and my brilliance.”

“Uh huh. So who will you invite?”

“I dunno, I don’t know anyone in this crummy little town.”

“Then maybe you should go out and meet some people, instead of sitting here complaining at your apparently only friend about how everything she likes is boring.” Felicia stood up. “I’m heading to the library to read. Join me if you want, or go find some other little twerp if you don’t.” She walked away.

Bryce sat staring after her, getting more and more angry at her stupid, boring attitude.

Party People

Jennifer stood to the side of the party, watching groups of people drinking, laughing, shouting over the music. If it weren’t for her best friend, she wouldn’t be here.

The same best friend who had abandoned her to talk to some other people. She had tried to be part of the group, briefly. They were too busy talking about their own things, inside jokes that she wasn’t a part of, people she didn’t know, things she didn’t care about. Her friend hadn’t even introduced her. So she had wandered off in search of some food. Chips, hummus, slices of bread, whatever was available.

In the kitchen, three girls wearing too-short dresses sat at the table. They stopped talking as soon as Jennifer entered, looking her up and down with sneers.

“Hello,” Jennifer said. The three girls stood and left, eyes rolling. “Okay then,” Jennifer said, turning to the refrigerator.

She found a loaf of bread and some peanut butter, and after another moment of hunting through the bottles on the door, some jam. She took a slice, slathered it up, and returned everything else to the fridge. She closed the door to find a woman standing directly behind it. Jennifer jumped.

“Geez, you scared me!”

“Oh, sorry,” the woman said. She had long dark hair, poofed up with artificial volume. She wore skinny jeans and a tight t-shirt, not quite see-through but not quite opaque. Her eyes were a clear brown, and she seemed unable to not move, her hands alternately sliding up each arm, her back slouching and straightening.

“Hi, I’m Jennifer,” she introduced herself, holding out her hand.

“Hi, Melissa,” the squirrelly woman said, shaking limply before returning to her arm movements. She jolted a little to the side, then straightened up again. “How do you know Tommy?”

“I’m actually just here with my friend Laura. She knows Tommy, I guess, though I haven’t met him yet.”

“Oh, okay. Yeah, he’s really nice, you’ll like him.”

“Well, I look forward to it then.” Jennifer took a bite of her bread, chewed, then said around it, “How do you know him?”

“Huh?”

“Tommy, how do you know him?”

“Oh, he and I used to work together.”

“Ah, I see.”

Melissa’s hands moved up to her shoulders, not quite hugging herself. “And what about you, how do you know him?”

Jennifer looked at this twitchy, apparently forgetful woman. Melissa’s arms went down to her sides, and she straightened her back, then crossed her feet in front of her.

“Uh, through my friend, Laura. She’s somewhere in the living I think.”

“Ah, okay then, cool. He’s super nice. This party is so chill, right?”

“Yeah, I guess so,” Jennifer said.

The stood for a moment, not looking at each other. Finally, Melissa said, “Anyway, I need to go find someone. It was nice to meet you.”

“You too,” Jennifer said, not extending her hand. Melissa walked around the corner and out of the kitchen, her limbs jerking unnaturally like a recently re-animated zombie. Jennifer watched the exit, her eyebrows high, then returned to eating her bread, planning an excuse to leave.

Party People

David met Waylon at a party at which neither was particularly comfortable or pleased to be there.

They shared a mutual friend, one of those social hummingbirds who attracts any and all people to them, and therefore has a preponderance of the social gloms who stick to others like barnacles.

As the party filled with people who had “pre-gamed” and wanted to “hit the clubs”, David and Waylon both stood to the sides, chatting with the few others they had met. It was as they orbited the walls that they ran into each other, quite literally.

David’s second of two beers over-spilled the edge of his cup, splashing on Waylon’s shoe.

“Now, see, I’m going to have start an unreasonable fight with you over this, sir, and I believe we shall end in fisticuffs,” Waylon said.

“Well, sir, as much as I abhor violence, I did happen to wear a shirt with particularly fisty cuffs today, so I am prepared to meet you in the field of battle,” David replied.

The two stared at each other for a moment before breaking into laughter.

“Well met, I’m Waylon,” he held out his hand.

“Pleased to meet you, Waylon, I’m David. Curious name.”

“David? I agree. King of Israel, often shortened to Dave which sounds like ‘daze’. Nice name, but curious.”

“Oh, I see how this is. You’re one of those ‘joking people’,” David raised his fingers around his drink for the quotes, spilling another splash of beer. “I’m sorry, I don’t like funny things.”

“Very well, grim and dour conversation for the rest of the night?”

“Indeed.”

“Quite.”

While they both soon lost touch with nearly everyone else at the party, Waylon and David became the closest of friends.

When the Party’s Done, the Mice Will Come

Beer cans and liquor bottles strewn about, the kitchen in shambles, food everywhere, either in bowls, on plates, or just lying in piles on the floor. Several people are passed out in the living room, another in the main hallway, and one lying on the stairs outside, sleeping on a forty-five degree angle. None of them are sober enough to be conscious, let alone lucid. In the bathroom, a choking sound can be heard, followed by more viscous liquid splashing in to water, occasional splashes punctuating the flow. In one bedroom, two naked bodies lie side-by-side; in the other bedroom, three.

A small mouse nibbles on some crackers on the floor, looking around in uncertainty at the strewn bodies and calm chaos. After a few moments, it feels safe in the knowledge that no one will wake for another few hours, and it will be even longer before a clean up begins. The mouse hurries off to bring friends; a feast awaits.