Author Topic: The last laugh of the show  (Read 5821 times)

Cain

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The last laugh of the show
« on: June 06, 2007, 08:26:59 pm »
I was sat in possibly the worst club in the country.  That was the bad news.  The even worse news was the only whiskeys they had were Bells, or Jack Daniels.  Mmm, a choice between the vile one and the one which had no effect.  I shouted over the music to the barmaid for a double Bells with ice, then sat down.  I reckoned I could alternate, using JD to get rid of the horrible flavour of the Bells.  Or try another drink.  Or another bar.

Well, maybe not bar.  This town wasn’t friendly to other bars.  I suspected it had something to do with the thuggish nature of the hired work here, since this town was crying out for a decent place, anywhere but this meat market.  There were still a few pubs around, one that was supposedly “trendy” one the other side of town, though anyone who truly thought that had obviously led a sheltered life.  And probably even drank Stella Artois.

I looked about the place.  It was fairly quiet, as befitted the early time of night.  Or as quiet as it was ever going to get, to be more accurate.  The speakers pounded out the worst in modern dance and RnB while a few people milled around, ordering drinks or chatting with their friends.  It made a mockery of the whole club.  Not that it bothered me, the opposite in fact.  My friends would probably arrive in half an hour to an hour’s time, as I guaged it.  I happened to live a lot closer than them, plus now I was back home finally, I really needed to unwind some.  What a shitty little corner of the country this place is.

The first glass went down quickly and with no ceremony.  One minute sitting squat on the bar, in its golden liquid glory, then vanished.  I sat back a moment, savouring the moment as much as one can with Bells.   I motioned to the barmaid for a Jack Daniels, again with ice, then sat back.  I took my time over this, savouring the far better flavour, if not the lack of any alcoholic effect.  Perhaps they had some Jameson here, not on display?  It might be worth asking next drink.

By now people were starting to come in with some frequency.  I briefly scanned the crowd, no-one I should be worried about, though a few familiar faces were among the masses.  Sipping on the JD, I turned back to the bar, only to sense someone stand right next to me.

“Hey don’t I know you?” A female voice. I briefly glanced sideways, noting it was a tall, red-haired girl, but not much more.
I took another sip of the drink, then replied without another look “I don’t think so” before returning to my drink.
However, she didn’t take the hint and persisted “I’m sure I do.  You’re Marc, right?”
Damn, recognized.  I grabbed the glass tight, then turned to face her.  To my surprise, nothing else happened.  No grab from behind, no punch to the face, nothing.  Must be my lucky night or something.  Fights broke out here every night, often multiple times.  Now is a bit early, but they've started earlier before, and I've done as much as anyone else had to “deserve” that, from some people anyway.

I decided to answer her question, seeing as I had already been caught out.
“Yes, that’s me” I sighed, like I was reluctantly admitting a criminal charge, which some people would say it was.  I looked at her more closely in the dim light.  She was at least my height and slim, with a wonderful crop of long strawberry blonde hair.  She was dressed in a simple black T-shirt and jeans, wearing a slightly puzzled expression on her face, as if she was going to say something but had forgotten what.  I searched my memory frantically, trying to dredge a name up.
“Jenny?” I managed.  “So how’s things going?”
“I was just about to ask you the same thing.  How about we get a drink and have a chat?”  I shrugged, then since nothing else was going on, accepted.

This was a little odd.  I had known Jen for about nine years now.  We had practically shared a class in every year from when we were both eleven.  But we were hardly what you could call friends.  Just the kind of person you say hi to, when you see them walking in town or something.  But hey, it wasn't like I was doing anything else, right?

She ordered her drink, a vodka and coke, then I started to stand up, when my leg reminded me it wasn’t in the best of health right now.
“Are you alright” she asked with some concern as I managed to stand straight.
“Yeah” I replied through gritted teeth.  “Someone just dropped something on it today, that’s all.”
“What did they drop?”
“A massive reel of plastic lining about this size” I indicated roughly a foot (30cm) with my hands “by this” I finished, moving my hands about 4 feet apart.  I had been helping my best friend move stuff out of his garage earlier, when he had slipped.
“Ouch.”
“I’ll live” I answered.
We managed to grab a table somewhere away from the deafening loudspeakers, which allowed for conversation without loudhailers.
We mostly made small chat, about we’d been up to the last year.  I mentioned studying, while Jen had been getting qualifications towards being a nurse.
I shifted on my seat, once again gritting my teeth.
“Are you certain that’s OK” she asked?  “I could  have a look if you wanted.”
“That’s a kind gesture, but the management probably have rules about people stripping off in here.”  I thought about this a second.  “Male people anyway.  I’m sure it’ll be fine by Sunday, though I doubt I‘ll be doing much with it in the meantime.”
“Were you planning on doing much with it” she asked with a smile.
“Oh, mostly running, perhaps starting Tae Kwon Do again.  I haven’t really had much chance to practice since being down here, what with work and everything.”
“Hah, I still remember when you stormed out of that after college class after showing the instructor up.  My sister says he's back again this year.”

Great, another year taught useless and dangerous self defence techniques.  That was worse than teaching them nothing.  I made a note to do something about that, but skipped over it for now. 

“So, any plans for the night?  Or is it just another booze up at Legends?” I asked, mildly curious.
“Actually, I'm just waiting for some friends.  Then we should be going to the Kings Arms.  Apparently there are a few good parties going on in Shaftesbury tonight and we can easily go from the bar to one of those.  And you?”
“It was going to be just a quiet night in here, but frankly your plans sound much more fun.”
“Aw, poor little you.  Come with me then.”
“Well, that was hard work getting you to accept the idea..alright then, I'm game.”
We clinked glasses together and finished our drinks.  “Excellent” she said, licking some vodka off her lips, “we can catch up on old times.”

I raised an eyebrow curiously as we walked off.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2008, 09:57:44 pm by Cain »
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before

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Re: The last laugh of the show
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2007, 08:33:38 pm »
SWEAT....


just browsed it over due to time constraints
have more time to actually read it tommorrow
Through me the way to the city of woe, Through me the way to everlasting pain, Through me the way among the lost.
Justice moved my maker on high.
Divine power made me, Wisdom supreme, and Primal love.
Before me nothing was but things eternal, and eternal I endure.
Abandon all hope, you who enter here.

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Re: The last laugh of the show
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2007, 02:00:06 pm »
That was very well-written.  Autobiographic?
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Re: The last laugh of the show
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2007, 02:38:49 pm »
Ta.  Yeah.  Part 2 should be along in a couple of hours or so.  I may have to verbally kick the shit out of a J00 hater before then, and thats more fun.
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before

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Re: The last laugh of the show
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2007, 12:35:58 pm »
I stepped out into the darkness and smiled at the coldness of the night.  I never minded there being a chill in the air, so long as it wasn't raining.  I breathed out of my mouth, to watch my breathe and the alcohol crystallize in the air, lit by the orange street lights near the club.

I then turned to Jenny.  She had grabbed a coat, a simple cream coloured affair, knee length and with fake fur trim.  Doesn't sound anything special, but it suited her well.

“So”, I said to her.  “Are we getting this show on the road or what?”
She smiled back.  “I just rang Gemma – you do remember Gemma right – and asked her to step up her leaving time and give us a lift.  Aren't you cold out here?”
I had a jacket and t-shirt on, no coat, but didn't feel particularly chilly.  I put it down to my time in Scotland.  It was probably snowing in St Andrews now, almost certainly going by the weather reports.  It rarely ever snowed down here, I mused.  Quite disappointing, really.
“Nah, not really” I replied.  “You planned on getting a few in Legends before your ride tonight?” I queried.
“Yeah, I thought a few quick ones while Gemma was busy doing her makeup” she rolled her eyes there “and she is the designated driver this week.”
“How many else are coming?”
“Well, Katie is doing something with her new boyfriend, and Natalie is visiting her...aunt, I think, and...” a list of names of barely remembered girls were reeled off here, when I noticed headlights in the parking lot.  Looked like our ride was here.

I let Jenny go up first, she could tell Gemma I was along for the ride.  I moved up as I noticed Gemma answering something Jenny said.  Strangely, she didn't look too happy to have me along for the ride.  I tried to think why, even as I thanked her and took a seat in the back of the car.  I couldn't bring to mind any reason why she wouldn't like me – did she still hold a grudge over a careless and long forgotten insult or something?  Nothing came to mind as we drove up the winding hill roads leading into Shaftesbury, though  the awful RnB on the radio may have been distracting.

10 minutes later, we were in the Kings Arms, elbowing our ways to a table.  Now this place was much fuller.  Technically, we called the Arms a plub, a cross between a pub and club.  It wasn't brilliant, but it had space and served quickly and without hassles.

After our first round, Gemma, excused herself, mumbling something about needing to see someone.  She seemed to be acting more than just a little odd, though I couldn't put my finger on why.  The beer could be affecting my thinking, however.  I try to stick to spirits, usually my beloved scotch, but Jenny had bought me a lager and I was to polite to refuse a drink I hadn't paid for.  I drained the bottle, and Jenny had vanished too!  What was going on?

Standing up, I could see her darting through the crowd.  It wasn't very hard though, given her height and hair, she kind of stood out.  I pushed my way towards the bar, intending to get a better view of her, on the pretense of buying another drink.  Looked like she was chatting to someone else, though I couldn't see who.  Then she pointed in my direction and...no, the crowd shifted, lost her.  And I'd lost the barmaid's attention too, it seemed.

I turned back to the bar, deciding to get a drink and sort it out in a minute, when I felt someone step into my personal zone.  Its not something you really see, you notice the movement of the air and feel the absence of space a few seconds before your eyes and brain really register the person who is there.  I felt a tap on my shoulder and said “hang on buddy, let me get my drink, then we can talk.”  I finished fishing around for change and handed it over to the barmaid and was rewarded with a second bottle.

Then I turned to look at the man-mountain who was behind me.  This guy was big.  I'm not tall in any way, I'll admit, but he towered over me. He looked roughly my age, maybe a couple of years older, and had definitely been drinking in here a while.  I could smell it on his breath already.  And he was tense, too.  Hands were clenched.  Jaw was tight too.  Oh dear, this doesn't look good.

“What can I do for ya, buddy?” I ask, then take a swig from the bottle.  Just look relaxed, we're all nice and calm here...
“You can start by leaving Jenny alone, do ya hear?” he almost blurted out, before resuming a nasty looking stare.
What the fuck, I thought to myself.  Bugger that for a game of soldiers, I don't take orders from random strangers in pubs.
“And why would I want to do that?” I asked as lazily as I could, swigging another mouthful of beer.  I have to stop drinking my courage soon, but its keeping my hands busy, diverting nervous attention...
“Look, its very simple, pal.  She's not interested.  Has said 'no' to yeh.  So start backing off, now, d'yeh hear?”
The way he had said “pal” left me in no doubt as to what he thought of me.  And where the hell had this all come from?  Shut up, I told myself, analyze shit in your own time.  Deal with man-mountain here first.
“Well, you know, I'd really like to and all” I said fairly quietly, making the guy lean in forwards, “but I don't take orders from people who piss themselves in public”, I said very loudly as I poured half a bottle of beer down the front of his trousers.  My voice had caused everyone to turn, as I hoped, and I even heard a few chuckles as people saw the wet patch.

I started to grin myself, just before I was picked up and nearly bodily smashed into the bar.  I had miscalculated here, big time.  He had grabbed me and forced me down quickly.  I heard a sharp breaking sound and suddenly felt beer down my side.  The next thing I knew, I was pinned on the floor, with man-mountain's knee threatening to crush my cheek into the ground.
“Oh fuck”, I gasped.  The pain was as intense as hell, and I tried to struggle, to pretty much no avail.  He was too heavy to be able to simply throw him off me.
My eyes focused as he pressed down harder, while shouting obscenities into my ear.  My right arm was still free up to the elbow join, despite being pressed up against the bar.  I must have been spun round, I realized.  But more importantly, I saw a broken bottle in my hand...

Freeze-frame here.  Now obviously, the above event took place in about three seconds, at most, by my reckoning.  But dealing with the changes in perspective is very important, and no perspective change is more important than the one from where you are about to have the shit beaten out of you to the one where you suddenly have an edge.  Literally.

But I'm not going to just stab someone.  Certainly not in front of a ton of witnesses, anyway, no matter how bad my situation is.  I tried to twist the bottle in my hand, so I can use the neck as a blunt weapon, but my fingers wont work.  Adrenaline rush, I realize.  Screws with fine motor functions, makes nimble fingered work very hard.  Oh fuck this.

I drop the bottle and strike upwards and sideways, hoping to hit some soft flesh.  I'm rewarded with a cry of pain from the giant pinning me, and I take advantage.  I twist sideways and kick my leg out, looping it around one of his.  I bit his knee too, freeing my other arm.  What now?  4 moves on the ground, 4 moves.  What 4 moves?  Eyes, joints, bang the head, something and something.....god damn it, what were they?  Strangulate and choke!  I drop my leg down and propel my body up, thrusting both hands upwards.

I have an advantage now!  I may survive!  He tries to break one of my arms away, but I'm working on pure adrenaline now.  I kick a leg from under him as I try to get up and he goes down.  Hard.  Somehow though, amazingly, he doesn't hit his head.  But I'm up now and he's down.  And out of my grip, too.  A vicious stamp to the chest and he stays there on the floor, at least for now.

Shit, I just got into a fight, in the Arms.  Where the fuck are the bouncers?  I looked around madly, for the black uniforms.  Two push their way through the crowd to me, like a bunch of latecomers to a really great party.  Each grab an arm and throw me bodily out of the place, shouting at me to not come back.  It has to be in their contract or something, because I know for a fact no-one has been barred from the Arms for more than a week, ever.

Shit, I felt awful.  The adrenaline rush was still going through me, but I had nothing I could with it.  Plus, I had just been in a fight.  I'd been attacked, damnit.  And had to stamp and strangle a man attempting to beat the shit out of me.  And now I was lying on the cold ground outside the pub, growing cooler with the night air.

I wasn't worried about the cops, however.  One of the strange things about this area is its twisted sense of honour when it came to things like this.  You could beat the crap out of someone in a bar, and that was OK, it may get you a roughing up by the bouncers, but at no times would the old bill be involved.  Unless they dropped by accidentally, but that rarely ever happened.

Well, I can't lay here all night.  I just about managed to pull myself up and dust myself off.  Oh crap, that hurt.  Everything hurt, my face, my arms, my legs, everything.  I was going to have a shitload of bruises.  And then I saw a glimmer of light outside the bar.  Someone smoking a cigarette.  Someone in a cream, knee length coat with what looked like a fake fur trim.

“You fucking bitch” I said.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2008, 09:58:32 pm by Cain »
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before

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Re: The last laugh of the show
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2007, 01:30:47 pm »
FKIN SWOTE! You write action really well, nice pace.

Gimme moar!
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Re: The last laugh of the show
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2007, 05:25:56 pm »
Cheers.  I've never been to sure with action normally, because I'm trying to imagine it, in my head, before getting it down and I'm not good at that.

Next part will probably come tomorrow.  I have a pub quiz tonight.  My services as a know it all git have been hired by one team, since the jackpot is nearing a thousand pounds now.
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before

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Re: The last laugh of the show
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2007, 06:24:32 pm »
gl:hf:cheatlikefuck
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"And National Geographic got interested because National Geographic has the theory that the last century, discovery was basically finding things, and in this century, discovery is basically making things."-- Stewart Brand

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Re: The last laugh of the show
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2007, 10:28:51 am »
Came second.  No cash prize.  ¬£934 quid, not ours.
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before

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Re: The last laugh of the show
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2007, 10:42:39 am »
You suck! Second place is just another way of saying 'LOSER'  :lulz:
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Re: The last laugh of the show
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2007, 10:42:49 am »
cool story!

nice cliffhanger

waiting for the next part :)
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Re: The last laugh of the show
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2007, 11:32:32 am »
You suck! Second place is just another way of saying 'LOSER'  :lulz:

Those questions were insane.

Highest mountain in England?
Traditionally, what is the fifth wedding anniversary known as?
Where does Rupert Bear live?

Fuck that shit, I'm having as many bottles of Magners as I can force my adoptive team to pay for. :)
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before

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Re: The last laugh of the show
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2007, 11:35:36 am »
You suck! Second place is just another way of saying 'LOSER'  :lulz:

Those questions were insane.

Highest mountain in England?
Traditionally, what is the fifth wedding anniversary known as?
Where does Rupert Bear live?

Fuck that shit, I'm having as many bottles of Magners as I can force my adoptive team to pay for. :)

1) Scafell Pike (more of a hill than a mountain really)
2) 5 too many
3) Ruperts house

fkin easy  :lulz:
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walking the fine line line between genius and batshit fucking crazy

"And National Geographic got interested because National Geographic has the theory that the last century, discovery was basically finding things, and in this century, discovery is basically making things."-- Stewart Brand

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Re: The last laugh of the show
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2007, 11:50:36 am »
I got Scalfell, funnily enough.  But only 2 of us in the pub did.  Given the questions from last week, which were along the lines of "who just got jailed for 23 days" etc, that was pretty tricky.
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before

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Re: The last laugh of the show
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2007, 04:34:04 pm »
Nice, waiting for more  :)
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