Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Series of Increasingly Improbable Events - Part 5

            When I came to, the police were already at the pub.  Most of the tables had been flipped over and several of the chairs had been smashed.  An officer was talking to the bartender and Wesley while another was talking to George, Tara, and Barry.  Everyone else had cleared out.  I pulled myself together, stood unsteadily and staggered over to my friends. 
            “And you saw him throw the first punch?” the cop asked George.
            “Yeah.”  George nodded.
            “Do you,” he started, then looked at me, “oh, you’re awake.  I need to ask if you want to press charges.”
            I swayed back and forth to offset the floor’s tilting.  “Ummm…” I said, “I think… Maybe…” 
            “Look, Officer,” Barry said, “Matthew’s not really in a position to be making any legal decisions.”
            The other officer finished talking to Wesley and the bartender and approached us.  To the other officer he said, “These guys are drunk out of their gourds, Charlie.  They claimed that this guy,” he motioned to George, “was lifting tables over his head and throwing them like he was the Hulk or something.”
            “The Thing.” George said.
            “Whatever,” the cop replied.
            From across the room, Wesley shouted, “I swear to god!  ‘E was throwin’ ‘em like they were nothing.”
            “Sure he was,” Charlie said, jotting something on a pad.
            “ ‘Ow do you explain that, then,” Wesley said pointing to a spot on the ceiling.  Everyone turned their gaze to where he was pointing and, sure enough, there was a table lodged halfway through the roof.
            “How do you explain that,” the cop asked George. 
            George took a second to think before responding, “Termites?”
            The cops looked at each other.  “Good enough for me,” the cop named Charlie said. 
            “What!” Wesley shouted, “ ‘Ow is that termites?  ‘E threw the table through the ceiling, ‘e did.  I tell you, ‘e isn’t human.”
            “I have to write something in my report, and it’s sure as hell not going to be aliens or super-strength.” 
            “Or alien super-strength,” George chipped in.
            “I think that goes without saying, George,” Tara said.
            The cop looked at George for a moment before shifting his attention to me.  “You feeling alright?  Heads all cleared up?”
            “Yeah,” I said, just wanting to be out of there. “I’m fee-”
            “Do you want to press charges, or not?” the cop clearly wanted to be out of there as much as I did.  I told him I didn’t and tried to get the slightly drunk George to follow me out, while Tara hassled with the very drunk Barry, who wasn’t making it easy. 
            “You people,” he chuckled, pointing to Tara, “You people… what was I saying?”  He belched, speckles of beer visible in the air, “That’sh righ.  I love you people.”  He hugged Tara, and fell asleep standing up.
            I won’t bore you with the details of our walk back to my apartment, as it mostly consisted of me stopping George from drawing on Barry’s face, while he half-sleep walked with one arm over  Tara’s shoulder and one over mine.  When we got back to the lobby of my apartment building (calling it a lobby is incredibly insulting to all the perfectly nice lobbies out there, but there’s no English word “dingy room with a couch that smells like old curry”), we leaned Barry up against a wall. 
            “Well,” I said, “I’m going to head up, grab a handful of aspirin and pass out.”
            “Can  I crash on your couch?” George asked.
            “Sure.” I said.
            “Well, I’m going to head home.  See you guys later.”
            We said our goodnights and started to walk off, when a loud snore reminded us that we had almost forgotten Barry.  “Umm,” George said, “Would you like us to help carry him to your car?”
            “Why would I be taking him home?”
            “I thought,” I said, “that you and Barry were together.”
            Tara laughed, “Oh, god no.  He’s just this guy that would always buy coffee from me.  I felt sorry for him, and, well, you know, the Wiccans and everything.”
            “Could you take him home?” I asked, “because George and I are in no condition to drive.”  George nodded.
            Tara shook her head.  “I actually don’t know where he lives.”
            I looked at Barry, still leaning against the wall, snoring gently.  “Fuck it.” I said, “Help me carry him upstairs George.”
            George had no trouble carrying Barry by himself, and laid him down on the floor near the couch, before flopping onto it himself.  I went to sleep thinking that things could only go up from here. 
            At an earlier point in my life, I would have assumed what happened had been a dream.  The vividness due to the headache, the nausea from one hell of a night.  But I can’t pretend it didn’t happen.  At about four a.m., I woke up.  I could see that I was in my bedroom, but everything looked like it was through a blue filter, like in that movie Traffic.  Then I teleported.  God, it was awful.
            Imagine the feeling you get when you free fall.  Now imagine the feeling you get when you’re launched upwards.  Take both of those, and combine them with rapid acceleration in every direction on a three dimensional plane.  Complete unhinging from space.  Then you come to a sudden stop.
            I came to in a vast dimly-lit room, the white metallic ceiling and walls barely visible in the distance from where I stood.  A dozen creatures formed a circle around me, obscured by shadow.  They looked stocky, like blue pro-wrestlers but with four legs.  I could hear them whispering, and, strangely (well, not more strange than being abducted by aliens, but strange for the given context), they were speaking English. 
            “It’s not ready yet,” one of them said.
            “We can’t risk letting them get it,” said another.
            “You know the Fen would never allow it,” the first shot back.
            “Just shut up and send him back,” a third suggested.
            “Fine,” the second said, “but I’m running this up the ladder.”
            “By all means,” said the first one.
            A high pitched humming reverberated in the chamber, getting louder until I had to cover my ears, louder until my eyes started watering.  Then it stopped.  I looked around.  I was back in my bed, the alarm clock ringing at 8:00 a.m.  “Fuck,” I said aloud.  “I have work today.”

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