Tom awoke on a beach. The sand was fine and warm where it worked its way up between his toes. A sun the color of orange honey lit a sky interspersed
with billowing clouds above a placid seafoam green ocean. It was either dusk or dawn, he wasn’t sure as he watched a hermit crab scuttle past. How
much did I drink? He thought, and how did I get here? And most importantly, where the hell was here
The beach stretched to either side of him for miles while a forest of lightly swaying palms stood only short distance behind him where he lay in a
comfortable lounge chair, a small round table separating him from an adjacent chair which was vacant. A couple of seabirds glided soundlessly above
him, floating in lazy circles on the warm thermals rising from the pristine white sand. Okay, he resumed his thoughts, John and Ted must have dragged
him here when he passed out but how in the world did they get him to a beach when they weren’t anywhere near one last night. Particularly this beach
which looked like it could have been the Caribbean or the South America, or friggin Polynesia for all he knew. How much did
He remembered belting back mescal, smoky and delicious, and then someone handed him a bottle of…a bottle of what? His brain hurt. He could see it,
even see the well-manicured hand of the man that gave it to him and then it hit him like a high proof freight train. Holy s***! It was Everclear. He
. ‘Oh, Goddamn’, he cursed and felt a mild tinge of pain at the outburst.
I gotta get out of here, he thought and tried to pull himself out of the chair but a wave of nausea shoved him right back down. Oh, man, this is
terrible, I might hurl, and how the hell did I get here! Think, stupid, he exhorted himself, think
Things started to come into focus. He was at Ted’s condo building, the party was kicking, they were all playing some stupid macho game where the
guys were all trying to outdo each other’s accomplishments by telling stories of masculine prowess. He remembered Ted boasting about recently base
jumping off some bridge outside the city, getting fed up with the bull, vowing to ‘show them who’s got the biggest’, grabbing Ted’s bungee
cord and heading to the roof. After that…nothing. ‘Goddamn’ he blurted again and was rippled with another painful twinge that emanated from his
He was just about to try and pull himself up again when he heard movement behind him. Turning he saw man emerging from the tree line in what appeared
to be a perfectly manicured crisp white linen suit. A straw boater sat atop his lustrous dark hair and he was carrying a silver tray in both hands
which bore what appeared to be a bottle of Krug with sparkling champagne flutes.
“Good day!” He called with a noticeably English lilt. “How goes it my good sir?”
“Uh…where am I?” Came the reply as the impeccably dressed gentleman carefully lowered the tray to the table.
“Why, my good man, you are here
.” He replied and waved in the expanse of the vast beach and endless horizon. He then began to remove the
capsule from the champagne, which was in fact Krug, 1949 to be exact.
“No, dude, I don’t think I can drink anything…” Tom began but the man began pouring regardless. The yeasty, toast-like aroma of fine champagne
found him and, despite feeling ill earlier, a pang of desire began to worm its way up from his belly.
“Hair of the dog,” said the man raising his glass of effervescent oenological perfection, “is that not what you lot say?”
“Yeah, might as well.” Tom said without further thought and took a deep swig from the chilled flute. The champagne was good. No, great. It washed
down and over him in waves of flavor and bubbly delight. Goddamn, he thought, and felt another twinge.
“Caviar?” Asked the smartly dressed man and cocked his head, blue eyes sparkling in the sun.
Tom was surprised to see that there was caviar, blinis and sour cream on the platter. A small plate, mother-of-pearl spoon and folded napkin stood at
the ready. How did he miss that earlier? He mumbled an ‘okay’ and was handed a small plate of spectacularly good Sevruga.
“So,” Tom asked, his mouthful of food muffling the query, “how did I get here?”
“Why, my dear friend, you’re dead.” Came the matter of fact reply and Tom knew it was true. He didn’t know how, but he knew it was
He swallowed hard. The food no longer tasting amazing, but sour and with a hint of rotten seaweed.
“How?” Was all Tom could muster.
“Why, you silly sot, you fell and hit your head!” Exclaimed the man as he adjusted the hat on his head and leaned back into the chair.
“You and your friends were having a grand time until you decided to prove that you too also could boldly utilize a one Mr. Ted Anderson’s bungee
“You raced to the roof, fastened to cord to the top of the fire escape, counted out the necessary length of cord you would need based on how many
stories there were, fastened it about your damn-fool legs and then jumped.”
“But if I had the cord tied around me and I counted the right number of feet how did I die?”
“Well,” the man began and placed a hand over his mouth to stifle a chuckle, “your friend’s building is 15 stories high, you counted out the
amount of cord you would need to cover that many stories but you forgot that you superstitious American’s don’t have a 13th floor so you took a
header into the landscaping as you were 10’ too long.” And with that he burst into laughter, his hat toppling from his head.
“That’s not funny! I woul…” but he was cut off with a piercing gaze from yellowed eyes.
“Well, that is not the truly funny part, the truly funny part is you were that year’s recipient for the Darwin Award for your incredible
mathematical and acrobatic skills.” And with that he exploded into howls of laughter.
edit on 28-2-2017 by AugustusMasonicus because: President, Jacygirl fan club.