06 October 2008

Fray Bash - The Pusher

Fray Bash - The Pusher
10/06/2008, 10:47 AM

Keifus shifts uncomfortably on his barstool, wishing for the hundredth time he hadn't had that fourth glass of wine. Particularly on top of the unknown amount of beer he'd imbibed losing straight sets of beer pong to switters. How that guy could even stand straight after so much recreational consumption, let alone throw straight, was truly a mystery for the ages. The pressure on his bladder has been growing steadily for a good half hour. And so, again for the hundredth time, he glances anxiously across the room where Kazillions and Kent Lansville are continuing to fortify their blockade of the restroom entrance, now heaving a frayed old couch they'd rustled up from a back room somewhere onto the mountain of detritus blocking the door.

"Fuck this, time for plan B." Keifus hops off the stool, resolved to find another restroom somewhere while he can still walk without crossing his legs. A good-looking but nondescript man in his mid 30's with the physique of an accomplished gourmand and a dark beard just threatening to turn gray, he makes for the back of the ballroom where he'd previously noticed a dimly-lit hallway leading into the bowels of the building.

To get into the hallway he's forced to step gingerly through a small army of inflatable sex dolls wearing "NObama in '08" and "McCain/Palin: Mavericks on a Mission" t-shirts. The name tag on the nearest reads "Hi, My Name Is: sickofliberaldefeatocrats". Keifus notes a few other names as he threads his way through the weird and vaguely unsettling display: theghostofarnut, thumbelina, dumdumdems, Lilliputin, ohforgodssake. He breathes an audible sigh of relief upon emerging unscathed from the bizarre gauntlet.

Safely in the hallway he nods to artandsoul and Pace who are both grinning widely as they watch NickD struggling to get his shirt off over his head. Nick's muffled grumbling sounds something like: "who the hell ever heard of strip craps, anyway?". "Regards," says Pace, returning the nod with a wink and pantomiming something about the pair of dice she's holding. Artandsoul giggles and the two women strike their best innocent poses before dissolving into laughter.

Continuing his quest, Keifus plunges into a maze of seedy corridors, turning randomly at each unmarked intersection. It's a few minutes before he realizes he can no longer hear the rhythmic thumping of whatever speed-metal rockabilly synthpop neofusion selection Max and the other self-appointed DJs have managed to agree on. He turns slowly trying to orient himself when his attention is caught by muffled voices down the corridor. Curious, he approaches an anemic puddle of light spilling from a cracked-open doorway and nudges the door open with his toe.

Inside, a single lightbulb is swinging crazily back and forth, causing the shadows of the room's occupants to dance around like a scene from a bad noir thriller from the 40s. Since he can detect no breeze to explain why the light is moving, Keifus concludes it must be doing so for the dramatic effect. Two figures are leaning over a small table with their backs to the door: an elegantly dressed woman in a backless red gown and an olive-skinned man with unkempt black hair. The woman's hand is on the man's neck as the pair scrutinize whatever is on the table before them.

Keifus does a classic double-take and rubs his eyes to convince himself that the woman is Dawn Coyote and the man is Woolley.

"C'mon, Woollyebugger, you know you want to!" Dawn's voice is soothing and persuasive.

"No... no, I can't!" Woolley's voice is simultaneously defiant and uncertain. As his eyes adjust to the unhinged lighting Keifus realizes that Dawn's hand isn't resting lightly on Woolley's neck as he'd first assumed but that she in fact has a firm grip and is applying no little pressure to steer Woolley's head toward the table.

"It's only scary the first time, honestly." Dawn is cooing now, trying to keep Woolley calm.

"I don't want to, let me go, dammit!"

"Just try it this one time, what could it hurt?"

Woolley has begun struggling in earnest, now. "Get off me, woman! I'm not interested in your shit!" He jerks his shoulders to break her grip and rolls out from under her hand. His voice rises as he turns to run. "It was just a joke, bitch!" He shoulders past Keifus in the doorway and flees from the room, glancing over his shoulder to see if he's being pursued. Keifus watches his retreating back with bemusement.

Keifus clears his throat, uncertain what to say about what he'd just seen. "Hey, I know you can always get the best shit... I'll take some of that..."

"Aw, hell, Keif, you don't need this". Dawn steps aside to reveal an open MacBook instead of... Keifus wasn't really sure what he'd expected to see there. He moves closer to read the text at the top of the open browser window: "The New Agenda - a new non-partisan group for women’s rights"

Dawn is grinning now. "Have you seen Jack Dallas around?"

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