The reunion part seven

Written by the Anchorite

Twitch followed the curious trail of smoke down the stairs and toward the lower private dining area where the curling tendrils coalesced into a soupy fog. Even with eyesight sharper than a normal human's, he struggled to make out a door barely visible behind the nearly opaque cloud. Twitch pondered the door for a moment, mouthed the words "Why not?" accompanied by a shrug of his shoulders, and walked into the doorway as the smoke parted like a curtain.

Inside the room he saw his good friend CC splayed on a sofa in his usual half-awake state. An imposing brutish man stood beside him. He had the burly build of a grizzly bear with a bald head and thick beard. Both CC and the large man smoked like chimneys, engaging in a coordinated routine of passing their smokes back and forth. CC took a huge drag of his cigarette and brushed aside the long bangs that obscured his eyes.

"Twitch! Good to see you, my friend. Forgive me if I don't get up, but it's so warm and comfy here."

He lazily waved a hand at the large man.

"Have you met my human? This fine bloke is Skullkin Green, lead singer of Solar Wind. He's not one for fancy attire like I am. Heck, wearing something with sleeves is as dressed up as he gets. We look an odd couple, but that's the dynamic between cats and humans. We fill in each other's gaps to complement each other well, isn't that right Skullkin?"

The large man flashed a toothy grin and traded smokes with CC. When his human approached, CC reached out to give Skullkin's beard a playful tug. Skullkin reacted with a hearty chuckle. Twitch looked at the beard with fascinated longing, but surmised that the big man would not react so kindly if he tried it.

"The Chaircat graciously commissioned Solar Wind to play a set for this shindig's entertainment, so we're going through our pre-concert tradition: lots of smoking and even more drinking."

"I drank a twelve-pack of beer, all by myself." Skullkin beamed with pride.

Twitch looked at the 350 pound behemoth of a man and sarcastically asked, "Where do you put it?" 

Skullkin ignored him."And it's going to be a double bill because we'll also have Pale Cadaver play a righteous set. Speaking of which, where is that walking mummified corpse?"

At that moment, a mummified corpse walked in through the doorway's smoke cloud. Cad Cadsworth, the Cadaverous Cad, entered carrying a large bottle.

"Don't get up on my account, CC you lazy sod. I brought you a bottle of gin to drown your sorrows right before my band wipes the floor with yours."

"Whatever, you pasty skeleton. Everyone knows that Solar Wind rocks harder than any band on the planet, just like everyone knows that gin is for wankers. Whiskey's where it's at."

"Bugger off, fancy lad."

For a moment Twitch thought the two would break into a fight, but after the exchange of insults the two band mascots laughed hard. CC finally stood up to graciously pass the bottle of gin to a receptive Skullkin, and then the shoegazing cat hugged the gentleman zombie of heavy metal. CC took another deep drag from his smoke and then passed it to Cadsworth.

"Here you go, guv, this is good for what ails you."

"Mmmm this is a good crop indeed. Where did you come across such fine product?"

"It's courtesy of Her Royal Highness, Princess Cottie of the Apricot Kingdom. Her magical kingdom in known far and wide for producing the finest apricots period, but it's a lesser known fact that the climate conditions ideal for growing such amazing apricots also lend themselves to a different sort of agriculture."

"That's fine indeed, CC. This Apricot Kingdom sounds like a lovely place."

"You're in luck, Cadsworth. The Chaircat throws an epic party and he invited Princess Cottie and the Stone Prince as special guests."

"That's right, dudes!" 

The room's occupants turned to face the two teenagers that entered. Despite their young ages, the Apricot Princess and Stone Prince both had noble bearings and presences larger than their diminutive sizes.

"HHHHEEEEYYYY! Solar Wind totally rocks! Pale Cadaver IS metal!" The Stone Prince raised a hand in a devil horn gesture. Skullkin Green looked ecstatic as he took a large pull from the gin bottle.

"Thank you, your majesty. I am glad that my music pleases you."

"Pleases me? You kick ass!"

"Thank you kindly."

Princess Cottie rolled her eyes, but could not help chuckling at her close friend's enthusiasm. The Stone Prince spent countless hours rocking his playlist at full volume while stoned into a stupor. She gave the partygoers a small curtsy and removed a plastic bag from a pocket in her elegant evening gown.

"You fellows look like you're running low on supplies and I want to make sure that both bands play their best at tonight's show. Stone and I traveled a long way to come here, after all. I bring you some of the Apricot Kingdom's finest, from my own personal stash. As royal sovereigns, both the Stone Prince and I have diplomatic immunity so I deem you my honorary subjects for a day and command you: go to town and both of you band mascots take generous amounts to your musicians."

"I thank you for such a generous gift, Your Highness." Skullkin Green bowed to the royals. He removed a small square of rolling paper from a pocket in his studded leather vest and deftly rolled a pinch of Princess Cottie's gift. "Oh yeah, Solar Wind will rock tonight."

The Stone Prince opened an ornate box and held two identical stone apparatuses.

"For both Solar Wind and Pale Cadaver, I present a gift as a toke of appreciation for epic rocking. Heh, I said toke. These are bongs carved from the finest stone of my kingdom's royal quarries. May they serve you well for many years of balls-out partying!"

Casworth tipped his hat and then took the bong a handful of the herb to his band, deftly exiting the room.

CC helped himself to another joint that his human rolled for him and then handed one to Twitch.

"Come on, my friend, why don't you join us?"

CC brushed aside hair that cascaded over his eyes and whispered into Twitch's ear.

"I may be a lazy cat, but I know what's going on. I heard about your illness and I'm really sorry to hear it, but you might as well get used to some medical relief."

Twitch shrugged his shoulders. If he could survive a bout with Big Cat Brew, then how bad could this be?

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