Phil Phorce: PARTY!

Night had fallen so heavily that no one knew for sure whether it could get back up again.  The stars glowed hesitantly as the moon sought to restore itself to its former fullness by eating the brightest of them.  Faint grey patches of clouds scudded across the sky like ghostly ice skaters trying desperately to stop.  The trees that hadn’t already begun to go bald with the threat of winter lost what leaves they had kept, trying to stand straight against the gusting winds.

For the ragtag bunch standing in line, the night was far from pleasant.  The air was crisp and cool and the wind was just powerful enough to strip away the body odor of the person standing at the front, but the same air bit at their faces and the same wind tore at their cloaks, mantles and toilet paper wrappings.

Eleven of the Blanks stood in line behind their General, who with one hand held his coat closed and in the other clutched the Phils’ invitation to the Fantasy Fiesta.  Since midafternoon they had been standing in line, only beginning to move forward at sundown, when the party started.  Since no one had yet entered the building at sundown but were all standing in line, Public wondered how good the party could possibly be.

Now it was two hours past sundown, and the Blanks were almost up to the doorman.

“You aren’t a werewolf; the moon’s only a crescent,” a doorman told a man dressed in a badly-tailored wolf costume.

“I’m a reverse werewolf!” protested the man.  “I was born a wolf and I turn human on the full moo—“

“No entry,” said the doorman.  He nodded to a pair of burly men half-hidden in the shadows, who immediately grabbed the wolf-man by the nose and threw him across the lawn.  The doorman turned to Public with a bored expression.  “Who are you?” he asked carelessly.

“We are the Phils,” said Public, gesturing to the eleven men standing behind him, then holding up the invitation.  “We have—“

“I see,” said the doorman, snatching it.  He examined it for a moment, and checked it with his list.  “Twelve of you?  I was told there were a few women in the group.”

“Recruitment strategy,” said Public quickly.

“Ah.”  The doorman tore up the invitation.  “You can go in.”

Public thanked him and led his group inside, immediately on the lookout for their target.

.

Percival saw the Blanks enter the building, five places ahead of him.  It had been a miracle that none of the Blanks had looked back and seen him, but he had been careful to keep his face hidden behind his squid mask.  Now that they were out of sight, he removed the mask and shoved it into the back pocket of the person in front of him.  He turned around and winked at the girl just behind him.  Phoenix winked back.  Behind her was the main group of Phils, containing Phume, Sebase, the old lady, and the Head Phil.  Phoenix turned to wink, uselessly, at the man three places behind her: Isaac.  He had insisted on joining them, having not left the Castle for more than six weeks now.  Isaac carried Feiron along in a bucket, and the fairy helped him with various things he ought to know: the placements of various bumps in the ground, lampposts a blind man in the night might just walk into, and the optical illusions created by the tie of the man behind them.  It was amazing how much Feiron could see from his bucket.  Sam had opted to stay at home to guard Steve.

After the man in front of him was thrown across the lawn by two gorillas wearing suits, Percival approached the doorman.

“What?” asked the doorman.

“I don’t have an invitation, but—“

“Yeah, go ahead.”  The doorman prepared to listen to whatever story Percival had concocted.

This was the problem.  Percival hadn’t bothered to concoct a story beforehand.  On a whim, he decided to tell the truth.

“I am a time-travelling Time Lord.”  Not completely the truth after all.  “I have traversed time and space with—“

“Let me guess, a police box?” asked the doorman.  “I remember you: you’re that Doctor Who cosplayer who tries to get in every year!  As always, you’re doing a pretty bad job of it.  Not even a British accent.  Which one are you this year?  Still the Tenth?”

“I am not trying to cosplay Doctor Who!” protested Percival nervously.  He didn’t want to be thrown out for the fifth year in a row.  “My name is Percival—“

Before he could finish, the doorman nodded to the two guards.  Deciding that his nose wasn’t big enough to grip correctly, they each took an ear and slung Percival into the night.

The other Phils had heard everything, their spirits steadily sinking as Percival failed to convince the doorman.  As the guards removed Percival from the line, Phoenix saw an opportunity and took it.  While the doorman and guards were watching Percival make an ungraceful arc down to the lawn, she ran, half crouching, behind their backs and into the building.

Liam saw her do it and pushed Phume and Sebase forward.

“Just like we planned,” he muttered as they stole into the building.

The doorman and guards were just returning to their former positions as the old lady and Head Phil were ducking into the building.  Percival had flown a long way before being swallowed by the night.

The doorman continued with his job as most of the Phils disappeared into the crowd inside.

.

“Roll call,” said Liam’s voice.  “Phoenix.”

“Here.”

“Sebase.”

“Here.”

“Old lady.”

“Here.”

“Phume.”

“Here.”

“Percival.”

“Outside, but here, I suppose.”

“Quir—I mean, Isaac and Feiron.”

“We’re still outside,” said Feiron.  “Isaac, take three steps forward.  That’s good.  Stop.  Now apologize to the man you bumped into.”

“Sorry, man I bumped into,” said Isaac.

The man grunted and resumed telling his story to the doorman.

“Good luck, Isaac,” said Liam through the miniscule speaker in Isaac’s ear.  “We’ll see you on the inside.”

Isaac nodded, even though none of the Phils could see him except Feiron.

“Two steps,” said Feiron.  “Count this time.”

“One… two…”

“Stop!”

“Who are you?” asked a new voice outside of Isaac’s ear.

“I’m Prince Isaac of—“

“Really?  A blind prince?  Or are you just trying to find a piñata to destroy?”

“What?” asked Isaac angrily.  When people he didn’t know alluded to things he didn’t know which may or may not be slights to his intelligence, his royal pride clicked into place.  When Feiron did it, it was another matter because he knew the fairy personally; this man’s questions rubbed him the wrong way.

“I asked—“

“I realize just what you asked, peasant,” Isaac spat.  “And let me tell you that I do not appreciate being slighted so.”

“My apologies,” said the doorman insolently.  “I still don’t know whether you’re telling the truth or not.”

Isaac curled his lip in a perfect imitation of his half-ogre father.

For the first time that night, the doorman began to wonder if he had offended someone important.  “Are…  Do you have an invitation?”

Isaac maintained his silence.

“Let’s see…” began the doorman, rifling through the list of questions his superiors had told him to ask of anyone without an invitation.  “Are you of noble blood?”

This had been a mistake.  “You dare to insult me further?” asked Isaac, swelling with righteous anger.  “I am a Prince, the son of a King, and you insinuate that I am not of noble blood!”

“Sorry, sorry,” said the doorman quickly.  “Are you a vampire?”

“No,” said Isaac haughtily.

The doorman nodded.  This was usually the first question asked; if anyone answered yes, he was obviously nothing more than a fan of modern young adult literature.  “Were-man?”

“Of course not.”

“Wizard?”

“No!”

“Then… you’re just a prince?”

“Just?  Just!  As if you could be just a prince!  As if you could be just a doorman.”  In anger, Isaac shook his fist at the sky he couldn’t see.

“How did you become blind, then?” asked the doorman.

“This,” said Isaac shortly, hefting his bucket.

“What’s that?” the doorman asked, trying to look in.

“What does it look like?” asked Isaac, still irritated.

“It looks like a pile of—“

“Let’s just say it’s not chocolate pudding, all right?”

“Yes, Your Majesty,” said the doorman.  He didn’t know who the Prince was, how he had become blind, or where he had come from, but he had had enough.  He was thoroughly unnerved by the interview.  “You can go in.”

“At last,” said Isaac as he brushed past the doorman roughly.

Liam’s voice returned to his ear.  “Spectacular job, Isaac.”

Just a prince,” muttered Isaac to himself.

“Everyone spread out,” ordered the Head Phil.  “Look for the Blanks and who they’re targeting.  We have to stop the assassination.”

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53 Comments

  1. The personification in the first paragraph was an excellent touch, although I don’t think each sentence needed to have it.

    Just a prince…heh.

    Reply
  2. Charley R

     /  October 23, 2012

    Ahehehehehe, the description in that first paragraph is spectacular stuff! Isaac’s bit with the guard too . . . and Percival trying to say he’s a Timelord. Oh, that slayed me.

    Great work!

    Reply
  3. ~ Night had fallen so heavily that no one knew for sure whether it could get back up again.
    Oh. My. Goodness. So. Hilarious. Your descriptions in the first paragraph are so awesome!! Just a Prince. Really, who could be just a Prince? Poor Isaac. XD

    Reply
  4. Robyn Hoode

     /  March 16, 2013

    The last sentence of the first paragraph might need some more analogy so that it will fit in with the preceeding ones.
    Do I detect some subtle digs at modern pop lit? Ones with vampires, werewolves, and wizards? An “Edward or Jacob, Miss Granger”?
    Now you have me interested in Isaac’s story. King Dad is half-ogre? But I’ll never see the story, will I? Alas! a vain hope!

    Not much of a critique with this one, either. Poor Percival! And Isaac. Can’t see and has obviously never done one of those trust excercises where you are blindfolded then led around by someone. And the pinata reference? Shame on you, doorman!
    I giggle at the thoughts of that confused doorman. “What does that… that have anything to with him being blinded?”

    Reply

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