I've been away for awhile! Here's my latest Tuesday Tale continuing Eric's story. This week's prompt is the word "court".
To read the rest of the stories by some fine authors, go to the Tuesday's Tales Web Site.
I've been away for a few weeks, leaving all of you hanging as to the next adventure between Eric and I. So, I decided by way of an apology for keeping Bad Boy Eric away from you for such a long time, I thought I'd tell you how Eric came to court me.
This is the story of how we met.
I stood in the convention hall, surrounded by a group of men sporting blue shirts and pants and women dressed in tight-fitting blue minidresses. The women wore black go-go boots. All of them had pointed ears, courtesy of some rubber attachments and spirit gum. Each one tried to out-Vulcan the other.
Yup, I stood quietly amid a sea of Trekkies at a science fiction convention. I'd been to two horror conventions in previous years but nothing as huge as this. Call me speechless. I spoke on a "What's A Nice Girl Like You Doing Watching Scary Stuff Like This?" panel at my last horror con, and the organizer of this sci-fi con liked my chatter so much she asked me to be a guest speaker. Super! I accepted on the spot, and a year later I stood in this hall at the Marriott Hotel, dressed in a blue dress with my hair all curled and styled, dressed as Deanna Troi from "Star Trek: The Next Generation".
As a Betazoid with psychic powers, I should have seen Eric coming, but I didn't.
My panel was in five minutes, so I walked into the conference room, nervous as hell. My mouth felt like I had stuffed it with twenty cotton balls. I took at seat at the end of the table at the head of the room so I could flee the moment the panel ended in case I severely embarrassed myself. My gaze flitted around the room. Several women dressed as Slave Leah, including a few who really had no business trying to pull off that look. A very tall walking carpet stood in the center of the aisle blocking anyone else who tried to pass. Chewie moved aside as several harem girls and some guys wearing black suits and vampire makeup made their way to the front rows.
Then I saw him. The guy sitting ramrod straight in the front row to my right, holding a copy of Harry Harrison's "The Stainless Steel Rat" in his hands for all to see. He dressed like a normal person - jeans and a navy blue t-shirt. He was about my age and bald. I smiled at him and he blushed. How cute! I found a shy one.
"I love 'The Stainless Steel Rat'" I said.
"What?" He yelled.
"I said 'I love 'The Stainless Steel Rat'!" I yelled back.
He laughed and gave me a thumb's up.
The rest of the panelists joined me and I had a blast chattering about Trek for an hour. I wasn't nervous at all. That cute guy in the front row kept smiling at me and now I was the one who was blushing.
The panel ended much too quickly. Trekkies and other sci-fi and fantasy fans came up to me to talk about All Things Trek. I couldn't keep up with them. These are people who can name an episode's title, the date it aired, and rattle off all the guest stars when you cite only the first few lines in the show. I was into Trek, but I wasn't that into Trek, except maybe Classic Trek, but even them, I couldn't keep up with these fans.
I felt a tap on my shoulder, and Cute Bald Guy stood next to me, grinning a grin I soon became very familiar with.
"Hi, I'm Eric. You had some interesting things to say."
"Thanks. This was my first panel here."
"It didn't show. You were great. Have you been to this con before?
"No. This is my first time."
"So you don't know about the parties?"
"Ah, I thought so. A newbie." There was that grin again. "Be in room 253 tonight at 9 pm. The Buccaneers are having a huge party like they do every year. They have the best party at the con. I'm coming in costume tonight."
"I'll be there."
"Good!" He eyed up my dress. "Deanna Troi, right?"
"Yup. She's my favorite character on 'Next Gen'."
"Mine, too. You look like her."
"No, I mean it. You really do look like her. The long, dark hair and you have big, dark eyes."
I blushed again. He knew just what to say to make me melt. "Thanks. Are you going to another panel?"
"I don't know. I might watch some anime."
"I'm heading for the Con Suite. I need lunch. I'll see you later, at the party?"
"You bet. You'll be able to find me easy. I'll be in costume. Are you with anyone?"
Ah, smooth wasn't he?
"No. What about you?"
He grinned and blushed. Any more blushing and we'd be a pair of beets. "Nope, I'm alone."
"I'll see you tonight, then."
"Good! Oh, my name's Eric. What's yours?"
I told him.
"What? I can't hear you!"
I told him again.
We waved and went our separate ways.
By 9 pm, I was walking down the hall to room 253, accompanied by my new friends Mark and Rikki. They were a married Pagan couple I met in the Con Suite. We chattered outside the room when I felt a tap on my shoulder.
I turned around to find Eric standing before me. He had strange white make-up on his face, including a great big blotch of white and grey on his forehead. I couldn't figure out what he was.
"Why do you have a Baked Alaska on your forehead?" I asked.
He snorted. "It's a skull. You can't tell?"
I giggled. "No. It looks like you smeared a pastry on your head."
"I'm not much of an artist, but I didn't think it was that bad."
"It's not," I patted him on the shoulder. "Now that you tell me it's a skull I kinda see it." I nodded to the inside of the room. "So that's the party? It's packed already."
"You gotta get inside," Mark said. "Try the Rocket Fuel. It's amazing."
"I want that stuff. You told me about it." I patted Mark on the shoulder and nodded to Eric. "Mark, Rikki, this is Eric. I met him downstairs."
"Nice to meet you. Yes, the Rocket Fuel is good." Eric said.
"What's Rocket Fuel?" I asked.
"Come inside and we'll show you." Rikki said.
I followed Mark, Rikki, and Eric past the lumbering crowd that filled the room so full I could barely maneuver around the bodies. We reached the rear of the room where several guys dressed as pirates stood before a steaming metal bucket.
"She wants Rocket Fuel!" Mark yelled over the noisy crowd.
"Coming right up!" Blackbeard said as he scooped some whitish slush into a paper cup. The slush steamed, but it was cold when I took my cup. I sipped and my eyes widened.
"Wow, this is good. It tastes like lemonade." I said.
"Don't be fooled," Mark said. "It's powerful stuff."
"What's in it?" I asked.
"Grain alcohol, lemonade concentrate, and dry ice." Rikki said. "It's amazing, isn't it? And the fog effect makes is even better."
"I love it. This is very tasty." I sipped more, feeling the cold drink quench my dry mouth. Hotel atmospheric systems tended to dry me out so I was parched. This stuff was just the trick to quench my thirst.
"Don't drink it too fast," Eric said. "It'll catch up with you very quickly. You don't want to land flat on your ass."
"She won't fall, not in this crowd." Mark laughed. "The bodies alone will hold her up."
"Ah, here's the good part!" Rikki grabbed my arm. "They're making more! That means we get to sing the Monty Python Philosopher's Song!"
"It's a drinking song," Eric said. "It sets the right mood."
I watched as Billy Budd poured grain alcohol in the bucket and then emptied some lemonade concentrate onto it. Then, he added the dry ice. Using a wooden spoon, Blackbeard slowly stirred as mist overflowed the bucket and a fog crept across the floor. The sight was eerie and exciting at the same time. Then, everyone was served. Once each person in the room had a newly filled cup, the singing began.
Immanuel Kant was a real pissant
who was very rarely stable.
Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar
who could think you under the table.
David Hume could out consume
Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel,
And Wittgenstein was a beery swine
who was just as sloshed as Schlegel.
There's nothing Nietzsche couldn't teach ya
'bout the raisin' of the wrist.
Socrates himself was permanently pissed.
John Stuart Mill, of his own free will,
after half a pint of shandy was particularly ill.
Plato, they say, could stick it away,
'alf a crate of whiskey every day!
Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle,
and Hobbes was fond of his Dram.
And Rene Descartes was a drunken fart:
"I drink, therefore I am."
Yes, Socrates himself is particularly missed;
A lovely little thinker, but a bugger when he's pissed.
The partygoers let out a shriek of good cheer and downed their Rocket Fuel. I swallowed a hefty amount of mine, and the room began to spin.
I was feeling no pain.
I spent the rest of the night talking to Mark, Rikki, and Eric. A group of people playing bagpipes even dropped in and played a few songs. This troupe made the rounds of all the parties. There was nothing quite as enjoyable as sipping a 151 proof drink while listening to a bagpipe rendition of "Danny Boy". The party broke up shortly before dawn, and the four of us went our separate ways.
I returned to my room with a smile on my face, but I felt a little sad. I thought I'd likely never see Eric again.
How wrong I was!