A Drop Too Much

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: BoMoWriCha Prompts


Written for a challenge at the BoMoWriCha House.

Submitted: September 19, 2018

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Submitted: September 19, 2018

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A Drop Too Much

“Give us another double, would you Baz!”

The barman looked sceptical. “Are you driving, Bob?”

Robert Grant shook his head. Where had he even left his car? He really couldn’t remember and right now could not care either. He’d been passed over for that promotion he’d expected. No, that was wrong; he’d been promised it. Okay, so it was stupid to go and get in to more debt on the back of a promise, he knew that now when it was too late.

He’d been hitting the whisky for hours now, and was way past the happy stage. In fact, he couldn’t remember there being one at all, not today. He’d just become more and more melancholy, more and more depressed.

Still, maybe the glass in front of him now, would bring some relief, some kind of escape from his problems. And in a way it did, for he slid off from the stool to hit the floor in a totally drunken stupor.

* * * *

Robert Grant’s next moment of consciousness was full of pain. Had he ever had a hang-over so severe before? If he had, he could not remember. There was a pounding in his head, his eyes would not open and his mouth felt like he’d been chewing chalk, rancid chalk if there could be such a thing.

Somebody coughed. Somebody else moved. He knew he would have to get his eyes to open. Baz was going to be having kittens, having to get a taxi in to fetch him. Or was it Baz? Maybe he’d moved on to somewhere else, or maybe he’d never got there in the first place? If he had the energy, Bob admitted that he might be worried by his amnesia, but he did not even have the ability to shift his eyelids, let alone to worry.

There seemed to be a lot of whispering going on around him. Bob forced open one eye, then the other. The room spun so fast he shut them again, quickly. He tried again, letting more time pass between the opening of each eye this time. It still moved, the room, but at least he no longer felt like he was on a jet-fuelled merry-go-round.

The whispering noise stopped. He’d imagined it then. But no, there were people. Ones that were wearing some kind of ancient costume, but people none the less. A costume party! He must have accepted an invitation somewhere along the night. No one he recognized. Must be Hayley and Steve, having a laugh at his expense.

As he took in his surroundings, Bob had to admit this was rather an elaborate joke, even for them. Look at the architecture! He felt just like he was inside some ancient temple. And those people who were looking at him with open mouths, they looked like they belonged inside a temple too.

Finally one of them approached, bowed low, and asked; “Who be you?”

Bob sat up, reluctantly, let the roller-coaster in his head slow before he managed to choke out an answer. “Me? I be drunk!”

There was some excited discussion between the gathered audience before the same man approached once more. “We honor you, oh Drunken God!” and to Bob’s amazement they all knelt before him.

“Okay, Hayley. Steve. Enough is enough. Come on out and show yourselves.”

“Me, Orin,” said the man nearest to him. “You want hay, we get you hay.”

One of the other men stood up, bowed and made towards a distant door.

“No! No hay. Hayley is the name of my sister.” Another mistake for now they were looking for someone else and Bob was slowly coming to the realisation that Hayley most definitely was not there.

The sight of the fountain drew him unsteadily up on to his feet. Water; that would revive him. Maybe then he’d make sense of this. Better still, maybe he would wake up in his bed, hung over but at home. He staggered his way over towards the fountain bent forward and drank deeply until he rose abruptly, spluttering.... “Whisky!”

The other men were all trying to copy his drunken movements, Bob saw with some dismay. The whisky might have come as a shock, but at least it was starting to make him feel slightly better. He’d always believed that was a myth, the old saying about the ‘hair of the dog’, but today at least it seemed to be working for him.

“Whisky?” he asked Orin, pointing to the fountain.

“The Holy Water of the Drunken God,” Orin said.

Bob frowned. Holy whisky? Now that was an idea that held no small attraction. No, he must banish those thoughts. This was madness, a dream, a.....what? He was totally conscious, still drunk maybe, but not deliriously so. He motioned towards the fountain, and the men approached in turn, each pulling an instant look of disgust as the liquid hit their tongues but quickly covering that look with a smile. It would not do to anger a God, especially a drunken one.

“Does it always taste this way?” he asked.

“I know not. This is the God’s fountain. No drinking without the permission of the Drunken God, which is you.”

“So you’ve never drunk from here before? Any of you?”

As Bob looked from man to man they all shook their heads. Of course, he realised, that might not be the complete truth. They were unlikely to admit any transgression to a God that had just appeared before them, were they. Especially to one that was so obviously drunk.

Well, free whisky was free whisky, he thought, as he leaned forward for another drink, this time prepared and not anticipating cool, fresh water. Definitely feeling much improved, Bob actually managed a smile.

The men all smiled back.

Bob pointed to the fountain and shook his head. “Fountain bad for men, good for Gods only.”

The men nodded. They were relieved that he was telling them not to drink any more of that water that tasted so strange and burned as they swallowed.

No doubt he would wake up back at home sooner or later but for now Bob had to admit he was rather enjoying playing the part assigned to him. Bob the Drunken God! How they’d all laugh about it when he told his mates. For now, he’d make the most of it and indulge his taste for whisky and forget about whatever had brought him to this strange, strange place.

 

(1084 words)


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