|Stormcastle: And Other Fun Games With Cards And Dice|
|A Fisherman's Guide to Bottomdwellers|
I woke up with my head throbbing and my joints aching, working desperately to remember where I'd been the night previously and why I had a bizarre taste in my mouth. After about ten minutes of doing nothing but managing to recall something about a mechanical bull, I began dragging my ass out of bed. The carpet was thin in my bedroom, which always served to make the floor cold on my feet. I swore to myself again that I'd get a pair of slippers, and stood up to my feet with a groan.
Yawn. Stretch. Hear the popping noise of joints that had been left in one position for way too long. Yawn again. Finally check the clock to figure out how long I had been in bed. It was only a little after noon, so I began to consider myself quite virtuous for having risen from bed early. The early bird gets the worm or something like that. I made my way around piles of dirty clothes, and navigated my way out of the bedroom fairly well for someone who's head was pounding like a jackhammer.
I stumbled through the kitchen, the word "angel" going through my head for some reason. I didn't have anything to connect it to, however, so I simply stepped to the sink. I hadn't had a chance to do any dishes, but I needed water desperately, so I opted for the 'stick your mouth to the running faucet' style of drinking. I wasn't sure how long I stood there, but after feeling as though I couldn't drink any more, I turned the faucet off and stood back up.
Another yawn. Another stretch. I turned towards the refrigerator, and again the word "angel" went through my head. This time, I tried to push through the fuzziness in my brain to connect it to something. Wings. Yes, angels were the creatures that had wings sprouting from their backs. Feeling as though I accomplished something, I began to move towards the fridge. And then the full weight of what I'd seen struck me, and I turned to my kitchen table with a shout.
"The fuck are you?!" To this day, I'm not sure if the word I left out was "who" or "what". But what I saw was a very, very attractive woman. Shoulder length blonde hair, curvy in all the right places, and stark naked to boot. She was also good and fully sloshed, busy nursing a half empty bottle of Jack Daniels as if it was her only lifeline. An ash tray filled to the brim with cigarette butts sat in front of her, and a half-smoked cigarette rested in the hand that wasn't holding the bottle of whiskey. This would honestly be a fairly normal sight for me, if it wasn't for one thing. The large, white, feathery wings sticking out of her back.
Her head turned when I yelled, and she gave me an annoyed, drunken look. "I was wonderin' when you'd notice. Like you get women with wings on their back sittin' in yer kitchen all the damn time." She gave a drunken hiccup, and took another generous drink from the bottle before continuing. "Oh yeah. An' another thing. Wash yer God damned dishes. Fuckin' swear, spendin' all that damn time in Iraq lookin' for chemical weapons when all they have ta fuckin' do is look in yer god damned sink." Her voice was beautiful, but her words were slurred. There was no doubt in my mind by now that she was piss drunk.
"Who are you?! What are you doing in my kitchen? ...And can I have a drink of that?" I was still slightly hung over, and wishing for the hair of the dog. She pointed her cigarette at me forcefully.
"Shut up. I'm talkin' now." She took one more drink from the bottle, before standing to her feet. She wobbled a bit, and her wings spread out quickly as if to help her keep balance. They also managed to knock my chair over, but I was too busy trying to figure out if I was dreaming. If so, I hoped it was a wet dream, because the naked angel woman was both attractive and naked.
She stepped a few steps closer to me, pointing at me with her cigarette holding hand, keeping her cigarette tucked between her index and her middle finger. "You an' me? We got problems. See, I'm s'pposed ta keep yer ass outta trouble. You know how fuckin' tough that is? I'll tell ya. Yer last guardian ain't been released from the Celestial Mental Facility yet. He's lucky if he can manage ta make his fingerpaintin's outta happy colors."
I blinked. "Guardian? Like, my guardian angel? Those exist?"
She waved her cigarette holding hand as if physically showing the mental process of skipping through the non-important information, before taking a long drag. She sucked the smoke into her lungs like a precious narcotic, before speaking again. "Not really. Not angels, anyway. More like...guardian force. Just...ya know. Generic spirit beings. I showed up like this 'cause yer Christian an' I figgered you'd listen ta this form better."
She pointed angrily at me with the hand holding the whiskey. "I'm fuckin' drunk, yer lucky ya got attractive angel! I coulda showed up as some tentacle hentai monster, ya know! Still can, if ya push it!" She took another drink from the bottle, before continuing. "Anyway, we got a problem. Namely, you doin' stupid shit."
"Now, hold up," I began. I felt that if my guardian being was going to manifest just to drink and yell at me, I ought to have something to say for myself. "I know I can party a little hard sometimes, but I'm not that off my head!"
"HA!" Was her immediate response. She took another long, loving drag of her cigarette, and again began berating me. The smoke that billowed from her mouth spewed into my face, and I had to resist coughing. "Let's take a look at some a' the shit you did last night, huh? The mechanical bull after havin' ten shots a' tequila? That I could forgive. That was partyin' hard. Tryin' ta jump off the bull an' crowd-surf on a crowd a' seven people? That was fuckin' dumb. Or how 'bout last week when you stuck yer dick in a light socket, huh?!"
"Hey, they bet me two hundred bucks I wouldn't!"
"If I didn't have a buddy who was watchin' an' ambulance driver an' owed me a favor, you woulda been dead, ya dumbshit!" She took another drink from the bottle of whiskey before slamming it down on the table. She then took a deep breath, as if calming herself down. "Look. We ain't allowed ta do this too often. This whole showin' up in physical form thing. So you listen, an' you listen good, a'right?" She gave another drunk hiccup, and pounded her fist on her sternum a few times before speaking again.
"There's only so much more a' this shit I can take. I took this job 'cause I liked a challenge. Now? Now I'm a fuckin' drunk. You ain't gonna get a third chance. So you need ta either straighten it the fuck up, or else...just...or else, a'right?" She sighed, running her free hand through her hair. She took one last drag of her cigarette before smushing it out in the ashtray. "Cut back on the damn drinkin'. Clean yer fuckin' apartment. An' for God's sake, at least wear a rubber if yer gonna keep ridin' the town bicycle."
I just looked at her silently at that point. What else was I going to do? She had a point. I hadn't realized I was driving my guardian angel to alcoholism just to cope, but it was true I took some pretty chancy risks in the name of having fun. She turned, giving me a drunken, but genuinely caring look.
"I don't want ya thinkin' I hate ya or somethin'. I don't. If I did, I'd just file the damn paperwork ta write ya off as a lost cause. I think ya still got somethin' ta contribute, a'right? Just...stop. It ain't good for you, an' it ain't good for me. I can't keep spendin' this much damn money on booze an' cigs." She shook her head, and proceeded to scratch her ass before belching. "Fuck, I need a nap. Make yerself breakfast, a'right? An' I was serious about them dishes, the mold's gonna start makin' ya sick in another couple a' days."
With that, she stumbled into the bedroom and shut the door firmly. I simply stood there for a few minutes, trying to decide what to do. Part of me wanted to write the whole thing off as a hangover hallucination. But then there was the bottle of whiskey and the cigarette butts. So, with a sigh of resignation, I stepped over to the sink and grabbed the dish soap.
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dude that was sooo wierd.
A pile of words that mash together to form awesome!
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