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A Night On The Town (Part One)

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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2004 12:41 pm    Post subject: A Night On The Town (Part One) Reply with quote

Date: 12/16/2003 1:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: HarrisTheHeckler

"Left!  Left!  Go left!"

A dimpled, bright blue golf ball seemingly comes to a complete halt on the artificial green before an unseen force gives it the necessary push to reach it's destination into the cup.  Harris immediately raised his arms in triumph, goofy grin plastered across his features as he turned to face Stick.

"You cheated!" proclaimed a scowling Stick, waving the putter at him rather menacingly.

"Cheated?  Moi?  It's not my fault you're facing a tri-city, all state, national league miniature golf champion.  All skill is what that is," spoken while leaning over to scoop up his golf ball.

"Bull$#!* is what it is."

Snickers poured forth from his mouth at her response instead of a retort.  Indeed the chosen locale for the evening's festivities was a miniature golf course, undoubtedly Harris's choice and much to Stick's chagrin.  Although reluctant she was well aware that going along with him this evening entitled her to choose the location the next night they hit the town. 

Setting up at the beginning of the first hole she eyed the course warily.  What was initially a straightforward shot became anything but with the addition of molehills dotting the landscape of the course.  She offered her fiancée a glance that included a rather sour twist of her lips before rearing back to take her swing, one with enough force behind it that the ball was sent well out of play and into the small manmade stream of hole eight.  Once again Harris burst into snickers which led to a beating at the hands of Stick with that putter. 

"Well…" spoken while dodging a few playful swipes, "It was this or croquet, and since you had at least heard of golf I figured this was the better choice." 

He grinned wide as her attempts to abate his snickering by taking it to him with the putter came to a halt, as she most likely realized how futile her actions were.  A hand was then raised and the ball shot back into his palm as if it were on a string, retrieved from the depths of the stream with relative ease as Stick watched, sulking, not only displeased with her shot but most likely with his chosen ball retrieval method.  He then bent down, placing the ball on its mark before stepping back to allow her another shot.  A waggle of his brows was in order after receiving a raspberry from his fiancée as she stepped over to take a second shot.

"What's the point of this game again?" she queried.

"Ball.  Hole.  Simple."

"Yeah, simple.  Sounds just about right for you," she retorted with a smirk. 

He opted not to quip back, instead observing what appeared to be a near perfect shot on her part, a stark contrast to her previous attempt.  Innocent whistling ensued as the ball rolled across the green, heading directly for the cup only to come to a premature halt mere centimeters from its destination.  Immediately an accusing glare was sent his direction and Stick raised her putter, threatening violence. 

"What?" Harris shrugged his shoulders.

"What?  You know damn well what!  Quit %&*#ing with the ball!  I told you I hate that!"

"Alright, alright.  I promise it won't happen again."

Well aware at this point that he was on the verge of crossing a line with her and completely ruining their evening together, so the ball completed its intended trek into the cup and he stepped forward to plant a kiss apologetically to one of Stick's flushed cheeks as she plucked her golf ball from the cup.  They made the trek to the next hole in utter silence, Stick white knuckling her putter as Harris glanced over the next hole.  It wasn't anything too complicated, the only obstacle being a windmill.  The point was to shoot the ball into the windmill without getting caught by the blades.  The ball then popped out on the other side. Simple and straightforward.  Stick was first and set up at the starting mark.  Thankfully her grip on the putter had loosened significantly, a positive signal that her fiancée was quick to pick up on.  Harris set his own putter aside and slid in behind Stick, pressing close, arms reaching around her waist, his hands coming to a gentle rest upon her own. Of course his intent was to help her with her swing.

"You know, the problem is your grip.  It's much too tight.  Just gotta loosen it up a bit…" he suggested.

"You've never complained about my grip before," she quipped in reply.  Though she was willing to take his advice, loosening her grip at his prompting.   

"Heh.  Well, on this particular hole it's all about the timing.  Watch the windmill."

Both pairs of eyes were fixed upon the rotating windmill, lips parting in unison to quietly count seconds before swinging smoothly, attention then shifting to track the ball's path as it narrowly missed the swinging windmill blade to the elation of the pair.  Harris chuckled and pressed another kiss to Stick's cheek before she wriggled from his grasp to go check and see exactly where her ball had landed in relation to the hole.  He followed suit, wandering around to the opposite side of the windmill, somewhat surprised to find that her shot had landed only a few inches from the hole and that she was already prepared to take it the rest of the way by herself.  There was instant applause from him as the ball dropped into the cup, having to bite his lip to keep from snickering at just how pleased she appeared to be with herself. 

"Good shot, dear.  Now, with that one and the last hole it seems you've fallen well behind me," spoken with a thoughtful tapping of forefinger against chin after tallying the score in the air on his invisible chalkboard.

"Behind?  But we just started!" she bellowed.

"I'm sorry but the numbers never lie."  Harris nodded his head solemnly.

"You're so full of $#!@, you know that, don't you?" spoken with the sweetest of smiles by the female.

Harris simply snickered and rounded the windmill, leaving Stick in his wake as he set himself up at the starting area.  He dropped his gaze to allow himself a few practice swings of that putter, lifting his eyes only momentarily to take note of the approaching Stick and offer her a toothy grin.

"So, know of anywhere special you wanna spend our honeymoon?"

"Honeymoon?" she questioned with a curious glance.

"Honeymoon.  Yeah.  It's supposed to be a romantic place we go to spend quality time and knock boots 'til we pass out."

"Since when do we have to go somewhere special to do that?"

Grinning wide at her response Harris took his swing, leaning forward on his toes in anticipation of his ball meeting a harsh fate courtesy of the windmill blades.  Thankfully his ball would meet no such fate; his shot perfect as announced by the distinct clop of ball landing in cup.  Another Harris victory celebration was in order, this one consisting of a fistpump, twirl, loss of balance, and eventual faceplant.  The latter of his actions elicited a sound he still quite hadn't gotten used to, that being the feminine giggle of his fiancée. 

"Serves you right."

"Ow.  Let's just go to the next hole already."

Harris promptly picked himself up and cleared his throat, motioning with a wave of his hands for Stick to proceed onward to the next hole on the course.  Once she was a safe enough distance away he utilized that special ball retrieval method of his that he had become so fond of before moving after her.  Much to his dismay when he arrived at the third hole a small child and his friend already occupied it.  Neither child was actually in the process of playing the hole; instead they found it more amusing to clash putters in what could be considered a mock swordfight. 

"Hey, you kids mind doing that somewhere else?" Harris spoke up.

"Bugger off, old man.  We're busy," one of the two mouthed off.

Harris was more appalled at the description than the impertinence, mildly perturbed that Stick apparently found it humorous.  There was a mutter and a waggle of fingertips and the offending brat found himself dunked in the small stream nearby that Stick's ball had happened to find itself in earlier.  The first dunk was punishment; those afterward were for Harris's own amusement.  The dunking came to an immediate halt though as he found himself assaulted once again by Stick and that putter and in the path of one of her ominous glares.

"What did I tell you about that?  Didn't you promise not to do that?"

"Uhh… But…"

"You can't leave the dojo without bringing that $&#%ing rock along, can you?" not allowing him a word in edgewise.  "You're impossible sometimes, you know that?"  And that was that.  The putter was thrown down before she stormed off, leaving a speechless Harris behind. 

The perfect end to the perfect evening.
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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2004 12:42 pm    Post subject: A Night On The Town: Christmas Concert (Part Two) Reply with quote

Date: 12/24/2003 10:29 AM Eastern Daylight Time
From: Sarah The Stick

      "You're sure about this place?"  Even Harris D'Artanian, holder of Moonberyl (though not this night, by order of his fiancee and date), King of Apathy Regarding Danger, took second looks around corners turned and alleys passed.  The dojo-to-be, situated in a locale deemed appropriate by Stick for finding girls in troubled circumstances, now felt like the center of the most languid and peaceful elven forest.
      Stick gave a downward tug on her skull-and-crossbones baby-doll tee, then stretched her shoulders back, bringing the shirt's hem back up to her belly button.  "I've been here a dozen times, and no one's bothered me yet."  The smile she flashed him seemed whiter than ever on the unlit street.  "We'll be fine, and you'll have fun.  I promise."
      "But- "
      "See?  We're here."
      One strong arm rose, tapering off into a single slender finger, pointed at nothing more than a haphazard pile of cinder blocks positioned just well enough to stay upright.  It was the color of graffiti- that is to say, all colors of the rainbow splashed helter-skelter in patterns only a genius could love.  Somewhere beneath the scattered paints, a mural existed; the forgotten leg of a white stallion near the only entrance was the last remaining evidence.
Stick broke into a joyful run, digging into a pocket in order to pay their entrance fee.  Harris, of course, continued to walk; better to be lazy than to keep up.
      But he did walk quite a bit faster.

      A thick crowd had already gathered.  People milled about, focusing near the bar and stage.  The throng was entirely human, making the elven bartender appear sharply out of place.  He would be gone when the show started, she knew, but for now he made the best mixed drinks this side of the right side of the tracks.  Many of the girls were dressed in a similar fashion as Stick, though several lacked the physique to properly wear their fitted clothing.  She noticed this, and said nothing.  Harris noticed this as well, and did not.
      "That's gross."
      "What is?"
      "Her."  He pointed; she slapped his hand down with a smack loud enough to turn a few semi-interested heads.
      "Don't point!"  Her voice dropped to a whispered hiss, an obvious warning tone.  "She's just here to have fun like everyone else."
      "Since when did that get you to defend the flabby and protect the overweight?"
      "It didn't.  But if you keep doing that, we're going to get into a fight, and I am not getting thrown out of this show."
      "Ah.  You did say this is a good band."
      "Yep."  Stick's eyes began to glimmer with the dreaminess of a groupie, and a silly grin crossed her lips.  "Trixy Trixy... they're great."
      "I still say only a bunch of wankers would pick a band name like 'Trixy Trixy'."
      She turned towards Harris, resting a hand on his chest.  Much to his surprise, the gleam in her eyes was more sultry than livid with supernatural anger.  "Think what you want.  Then think about what effect talented musicians have on girls... and think about who's going to reap the benefits of the effect these musicians will have on this girl."
      Harris stopped, grinned, and stayed silent.  Stick ruffled his hair with a smile before turning towards the stage and leaning back against him to wait.  She wasn't sure if she would make good on her implied promise later, but for now, she had what she wanted- peace and quiet.  It wouldn't be long before the crowded club had none to spare.

      It had been rumored that Trixy Trixy was nothing more than a cover band, skilled in their own right, but without a creative bone amongst them.  Earth music had seeped into RhyDin over the years, but musicians had been few and far between.  Some people, especially the occasional Earth native, sniffed at the idea that they made a living off the work of their predecessors.  Stick was unaware of anything the band had to say in response, although they had certainly heard such tales; to her, it was irrelevant.  Food comes first, art second, and anyone who felt otherwise was a fool.  And if they found enough success to sate their desires bringing the music of others to RhyDin, who was she to judge?  They were still dreamy, even the female singer.
      When Stick heard the the initial hum of electric guitar take hold of the room, she sprung to action, pulling Harris forward into the thick of the throng which began to collapse towards the stage.  One by one, the band members filed in, playing their test solos and making final tune-ups.  By the time Sam, lead singer and the only band member whose name Stick knew by heart, dashed to the mic and yelled out, "Hello, all you freaky freakies!", she was already nearly leaping off the ground from pure adrenaline rush.
      Then she noticed something.  So did at least one other person, judging by the random voice which yelled out, "You're missing someone!"
      Sam grinned in the voice's direction.  "You noticed that?  Good eye.  Glad you can tell the difference between four and five."  The crowd snickered loudly.  "Yeah, sorry about that folks.  Trish is really sick, so our selection for tonight is a little more limited than usual.  But we're still gonna kick your ass!  Are you ready!"
      Stick stood there, crestfallen, as all the fans erupted in rowdy cheer.  Even the initial guitar riff wasn't enough to move her.
      Then the crowd started to churn.  When she was jostled, she pushed; when she was pushed, she shoved; and when she was shoved, she grinned and threw herself around the violent pit with abandon.
      Harris stood at the edge of it all, watching the love of his life being bounced to and fro, off a thickly built teenager, through a wiry, mohawk-wearing, punch-throwing maniac, and between legions of kids who remembered her well and preferred to stay out of her way.  Moonberyl came to mind for a moment, and he wished he had it, just in case.
      Then he scratched the corner of his mouth and grinned.
      I haven't had to save her in awhile, he thought.  This might be fun.

      Through a dozen songs they pushed and pulled, fought and shoved, smiled, laughed, and sang along.  Body heat alone turned every last patron into a sweaty mess, though only the very active fought and clawed for water when the band threw bottles to the crowd halfway through the show.  Sam stepped back, buzzed a guitar string, and addressed his fans one more time.
      "Alright, everyone, we've got one song to go.  I really hoped Trish would be feeling well enough to sing, because we need a female voice to play our favorite Christmas tune.  But I see lots of girls here tonight-" he paused for the requisite female cheer- "so I wonder, do any of you ladies know 'Fairytale of New York'?"
      Stick stared in disbelief.  She felt her right arm move, and turned her gaze towards it; there it was, high in the air, remembering before her conscious mind did that this was one of her favorite songs.  It was obviously a dream when she looked up the length of her arm, back to the stage, and found her favorite singer pointing her out in the crowd.
      "Hey, you, pretty girl with the black hair.  Come on up, let her through!"
      A voice behind her snickered, "Shouldn't one of the Grazianos be singing this?"  She would only remember hearing it later.  Right now she was busily bulling her way through the parting crowd and leaping dramatically onto the four-foot stage, wrapping her hand around the unclaimed microphone with such tension that she drew a whistle and a wink from Sam.
      "Oooh, strong too.  I like that.  Ready?"
      She nodded.  The dark room was lit by a single spotlight, focused on a keyboard newly brought on stage by the bass player.  It began its recorded tune, a slow, soft lead-in.  Another spotlight highlighted the bass player, who himself had a violin which he played after two measures.  After three beautiful strokes, Sam began to sing.

It was Christmas eve, babe
In the drunk tank
An old man said to me
We won't see another one
And then he sang a song
The Rare Old Mountain Dew
I turned my face away
and dreamed about you

      The lead guitarist slammed down his riff two words from verse's end, igniting the club in color and frenetic activity.  Stick wondered if Harris had been the least bit ready for it.

Got on a lucky one
Came in eighteen to one
I got a feeling
This year's for me and you
So happy Christmas
I love you baby
I can see a better time
When all our dreams come true

      By now, Sam had his eyes on Stick as often as the crowd, singing to her.  She gladly reciprocated, pulling the microphone from its stand and turning to face him fully, beaming with excitement as her turn approached.  She had no crowd to appease, only herself.

o/` They've got cars big as bars
They've got rivers of gold
But the wind blows right through you
It's no place for the old
When you first took my hand
On that cold Christmas Eve
You promised me Broadway was waiting for me o/`

      The duet began in full now.  The Trixy singer matched his new counterpart's grin now, duly impressed, and made no effort to make the unfamiliar pairing of voices easier for her.  She didn't seem to need it.

o/` You're handsome o/`
You're pretty
Queen of New York City
o/` When the band finished playing
They howled out for more
Sinatra was swinging
All the drunks, they were singing
And we kissed on a corner
And danced through the night o/`

      The chorus hit; the mosh pit's verve reached a crescendo; and the singers' voices blossomed in full.

o/` And the boys of the NYPD choir
Were singing Galway Bay
And the bells were ringing out
For Christmas Day o/`

      A guitar solo surrounded them in a cocoon of sound, seeping out into the night and drawing a few of the half-sober homeless to the door to listen.  Stick began to jump around the stage, only stopping before the end of the solo to look out to Harris and wave.  Even the dark lyrical turn of the song failed to pull the smile completely off her face, but it inspired a properly angry scowl.  Sam, laughing, almost matched it.

o/ You're a bum, you're a punk o/`
You're an old slut on junk
Laying there, almost dead
On a drip in that bed
o/` You scumbag, you maggot
You cheap, lousy faggot o/`
o/` Happy Christmas your arse
I pray God it's our last o/`

o/` And the boys of the NYPD choir
Were singing Galway Bay
And the bells were ringing out
For Christmas Day o/`

      Another short solo gave the singers a chance to compose themselves for the finale, focusing on the sadness and regret of the song's originators.  Stick appeared almost serene, lips curling up at an angle so slight only Harris could see it.  Through the matted hair, dripping cheeks, and drenched clothing, he could tell she was happy.

I could have been someone
o/` But so could anyone
You took my dreams from me
When I first found you o/`
I kept them with me babe
I put them with my own
Can't make it all alone
I built my dreams around you

o/` And the boys of the NYPD choir
Still singing Galway Bay
And the bells were ringing out
For Christmas Day
And the bells were ringing out
For Christmas Day o/`

      The drummer stood then, flute in hand, and alone brought the song through a decrescendo and to its conclusion.

      Sam took Stick's wrist in hand, raising it high like a champion's, and swept her down through a bow to the roaring crowd.  He leaned in to whisper, turning his ear to hear her reply through the din, then lifted the microphone to his lips.
      "Sarah, ladies and gentlemen!  Give her another round of applause!"
      As everyone, including the drunks outside, followed instructions, Stick placed her mic in Sam's hand and gave him a tight hug of thanks.  He didn't seem to mind the extra sweat she dripped on his shoulder, smiling and wishing her well as she leapt offstage and beelined through a multitude of pats on the back to Harris and his congratulatory kiss.  As the crowd laughed and cheered, he swept his fiancee off her feet and carried her to the door of the club and over the threshold.
      Not two feet into the outdoors, he set her down.  "You're heavy."
      She chased him home for that, and he snickered all the way.

((Lyrics from "Fairytale of New York", originally performed by The Pogues w/Kirsty McColl.))
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