Part 548 – Alcoholic’s Surprise

Robin sat in a booth away from everyone else.

He watched the crowd’s ebb and flow, listened to the clash and roar of their conversations, and waited for the right scent to catch his interest.

His thoughts turned to Isellta.

Scrawny little bugger.

What does he want from me? Accolades? A pat on the back? What?

He says I don’t make sense. Well. He makes even less!

Robin waved the waiter over and ordered a tall Alcoholic’s Surprise.

Why does he have to be such a stereotypical fey? Obsessed with logic and sense and…

The waiter brought him a daiquiri glass filled with yellow-orange alcohol. Pink tapioca beads floated throughout the drink, like a solar system created by a truly color blind person.

He took a sip of the tangerine flavored drink.

The beads popped into pink champagne fizz inside his mouth.

Mmmm.

Maybe I was a little too hard on him.

I’m always too hard on him.

I can’t help it.

I see him and I see her.

He speaks and I hear her voice.

And she’s always laughing.

And I’m always hurting.

The gut twining details of the dream returned to his mind.

The pain.

The unrelenting fear.

The helplessness.

The desperate desire for death.

I see him obeying her.

Every order.

Without hesitation.

He took a bigger sip.

I bet he’s gonna come in here, whining and bleating for me to take him back, like some stupid bimbo broad.

It’s all a matter of time.

Robin perked up as a woman who smelled like potato chips and deep fried gravy came his way.

Finally!

Something good to eat.

“Hi. Is this seat taken?”

“No. I’m completely alone.”

“Good! Do you mind if I sit with you?”

He smiled. “I don’t mind at all.”

***

Isellta entered the dimly lit pub and winced.

Cigarette smoke merged with the smell of cheap and expensive booze and the scent of cooking meat and potatoes and fifty-five different colognes.

Everyone spoke too loud and laughed even louder. The tv sets stationed above the bar blared sports reports and non-stop news.

I could wait for him outside.

No. I came here to have my say.

I am not going to stand in the cold and wait.

He glanced around.

If he’s searching for someone to bite, he won’t be up in this area. He’ll be stationed in some dark corner.

Isellta weaved around the crowd, mentally rehearsing exactly what he wanted to say.

Refining his words.

Imagining Robin’s reaction.

Expecting the worst.

He’ll be mad that I showed up.

He’s going to yell at me all over again.

Isellta stopped.

Robin sat in the booth diagonal from the fey. He was mouthing some woman’s face and she was mouthing his face.

It’s just like that couple out in the street. He frowned. But they don’t seem to be angry at each other.

Maybe it isn’t a silencing technique after all.

So, what is it?

Is there a reason for it?

Could it be a strange form of recreation? That doesn’t seem to make much sense.

His wings flittered involuntarily.

Robin’s mouth moved down to her neck.

She gasped and went still.

Isellta’s wings flittered again.

He backed away and bumped into a server carrying a tray of colorful cocktails.

Isellta teleported outside before the drinks could splash him.

He flared out his wings and flapped them in several hard strokes. He settled them against his back.

They flittered.

What is wrong with me? Why do I feel this way?

He absentmindedly rubbed his throat.

Robin can’t bite me.

Is that why I feel so…I feel.

What is this I feel? What is the word for it? What is its name? What is its purpose? What is the sense of it?

Why do I feel?

Why can’t I be empty like other fey?

Why am I this way?

He turned and walked away from the pub.

His wings flittered again.

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