Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Doorman

Taken from the flash fiction challenge at the ever interesting Terribleminds. http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2011/05/27/flash-fiction-challenge-the-unexpected-guest/  Go, read, enjoy. Now onto the story.

 "Your not on the list little man. Back off." The bouncer was persistent. Of course he was, golems are famously single minded. "Listen to me you half animate chunk of clay, you are going to let me in that door." I tried to push past him, but a giant dark hand stopped me, and with a twitch of his wrist the doorman sent me flying backwards. I tumbled past the barrier of the house and landed on my ass. Anyone watching would have been very confused. To outside eyes I walked up to the door, yelled at it for a bit, then jumped backwards to the sidewalk. As I picked myself up a couple walked past me, through the veil now hiding that damn rock head, and then into the house itself. For half a second I glimpsed the inside. As ever strange sigils crawled sluggishly over the walls of the front room, the dim lighting giving an appropriately otherworldly feel to it. And just past that I knew the feast was starting.
Rare and impossible succulent meats would be on the table. Dodo legs, dragon flank steak cooked in the creature's skin, entire dead raptors warped from the time before man. The side dishes would be equally luxurious and maddening. They would feast on noodle dishes garnished with black lotus, fill up with bread baked from summoned mana, and of course wash it down with libations unknown to most of the world. My mouth was watering at the idea of it, but more importantly the list had been changed while I wasn't looking. I wasn't allowed in. To be sure I could live without the fine foods inside. I could even craft or summon a few of them myself. But I was barred.
I turned back to my car, parked on the side of the street, and got in. Driving off sullenly, wracking my brain for a solution of any kind. My name wasn't on the list, and that doorman was almost impossible to fool. An alias wouldn't help at all of course. I might have been able to beg a friend for passage and safety, but I would need to meet them on the way in and the chances of that were slim. I managed to get about five block on when I hit upon a solution. I hit the gas and sped back to my place at the other end of the city. It was a bit of a long shot, but it might work.
A few years back the elders of the house had issued to me an official invitation to join their outlandish feasts and learn a few tricks of their art. It had been good for a while, eat damn fine food, learn alchemy and thaumaturgy, meet a few new people. Then I stepped on the wrong toes. I pissed of a local celebrity, bested him in a brewing competition actually. Things turned a little nasty from his bruised ego, and rubbing his face in it (literally, I rubbed his face in my potion) didn't help. I laid low, hoping it would blow over, but apparently it didn't. Now I had to get back in, and that invite was the only way.
It took me a solid half hour to search my room top to bottom and time was running out. Guest list or not the feast was sealed from the world in just over and hour. The invite wasn't much, just a piece of papyrus with some writing on it, and an envelope with the remains of a wax seal. I found the envelope first. It was in my fridge for some reason, stuck to some leftovers. But while it was useful it wasn't enough, I needed the note. I turned my mess of a room into something out of a tornado strike looking for it, but to no avail. Then I remembered I had hidden it, for safe keeping. I peeled back the batman poster and snagged the loose note before dashing out the door.
I drove far faster than was wise, weaving in and out of traffic as best I could, counting on luck that the cops would look the other way. While driving I fumbled open my pocket knife and made a cut on one thumb. Dripping my blood and flooding it with my will I activated the latent charge of the envelope and letter. I hoped it would be enough. I tore a piece of the envelope off and dropped it in my bottle of coke before chugging the entire thing. It was crude but it got the job done. Magically speaking I was linked to the invitation, and looked a little bit like it.
Parking was a nightmare. Five minutes to go and the street sides were jammed with cars. It looked like a full house tonight, and I wasn't going to miss this shindig. I swerved around a corner and saw a perfect spot just ahead. I slammed the brakes and sprinted to the door, a mental timer counting down in my head. One minute to go and I was in front of the door man, doing my best to look respectable. He looked me over, no memory of my flickering across his half formed face. “Your not on the list.” I knew this was coming. “Well, no, technically not. But I do have an invitation, see?” I held up the blood stained sheet to his eyes. After several agonizing seconds he pushed open the door. “Enter, guest, and enjoy the feast.” I nodded my thanks to the now inert clay and dashed in, slipping into a seat just as the main course started. The local celeb stared at me. “Only guests are allowed in.” I just smiled at him as I grabbed a steak. “Well I got in, ergo I'm allowed. Nice to see you to.”

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