An-Otter Time and Place

A raised glass, a clink, a downing of the contents, a warmth to the throat… Then nothing.

Then something.

A fuggy headed Alex looked around, lips moving on auto-grumble. “The smeg…” He’d gone from his position twixt Plisk and Pritchard, about to drain the mansion’s supply of alcohol, to being seated in a pattern-carpeted hallway. He must’ve got drunker than he’d thought, but he didn’t even remember imbibing more than a first shot.

“I don’t feel drunk” he informed the flock paper of the opposite wall.

“Well we need to work on that, Hon.” It was a female voice, a pretty voice which contained hints of smile at the edges. Alex rubbed his face and looked dully up at the woman. She was dressed in almost microscopic shorts and had long ears like a rabbit.
“What’cha doin’ outside?” She enquired, approaching and offering a hand. Al didn’t take it. He remained seated and ran his gaze down her lengthy ears, her blunt-fringed white-blonde hair, corset-clad body, naked legs, and impossibly tall shoes, in tilt-headed, narrow-eyed scrutiny.

“Sorry to say I didn’t notice you earlier,” the woman told him. “But I’m real glad I’ve noticed you now.”
Alex ignored the waffle and made eye contact.
“You a hallucination?”

The woman laughed. A tinkling, earthy, real laugh. “’Course I ain’t!” The pleasant voice was breathy, and had a southern American twang. That didn’t seem right.
“Are you infected?”
Her face dropped a little but her outstretched hand remained. “Beg pardon?”
Alex sniffed and felt around for fags-that-weren’t-there, pleased the woman wasn’t attacking him, maw a-gape.
“Y’know. Infected. Parasi-” The woman cut him off. “That twenty four hour flu that’s been doin’ the rounds?”
Alex shrugged, sure that if he was in any danger of being impregnated or brain-smegged or whatever the hell it was the leechy zombie spider folk did, she’d have done it by now.
The woman held up her hands. “No flu here.” Although interestingly she did sniff a little and wipe at her nose. “Wanna get back in there?”
Confused and mildly suspicious, Solvay took the re-proffered mitt, and rose to his feet.
She kept hold of his hand. “Come on.”
He meekly accompanied her down the door-punctuated corridor.
“I like your accent.” He mumbled as they walked. “And your ears.”
She laughed again, windchimes. “I like yours too, what are you, Australian? And your costume’s pretty neat as well.”
Alex looked down at himself. He was still in 1794 garb – the breeches, boots, waistcoat, white blousy shirt and cravat. “Hmf.”

The unmistakeable sound of a party thumped from somewhere beyond the flock. It sure wasn’t the music of French Revolution era England: Alex recognised it.

They approached one of the doors and the woman rapped and waited. Solvay thought a response would likely be a long time coming if it had to be heard over the music, and decided it’d be as good a time to ask as any.
“What year is this?”
The lady looked into his eyes, and he noticed that hers were a dark shimmering blue. They were amused. “You teasin’ me, handsome?”
He shook his head. “What year is this?”
Her expression twisted. “Two Thousand Thirteen.”
“Two thousand and thirteen…”
A man chose that moment to open the door, releasing a powerful surge of music that washed over and through Alex, a chilli wave breaking on Eardrum Beach. Another guy burst from the room, pushing between Solvay and the bunny, staggering a way down the corridor and expelling the contents of his stomach all over the patterned carpet. Nobody reacted.
“Come on in Stefani!” Door Opener Man bellowed. He was dressed like a gladiator, Alex knew this because he’d seen the historical documentary Gladiator.


The mysterious bunny woman pulled Alex inside. The music thunked and whined around them as bizarrely dressed bodies gyrated and sweated, pulsing and thrusting, kissing and flirting amid a flurry of whirling lights. An immense and very expensive looking suite had been transformed into Sordid Discoland. It was almost overpowering visual and aural stimulation for someone who’d become generally accustomed to a small group of people on an ancient spaceship in the quiet of deep space. Alex was used to wandering miles of corridor, exchanging a couple of words with the occasional vendor and perhaps bumping into one or two skutters, it'd been a long time since he'd been in a disco of this ferocious magnitude. On top of the post-jump disorientation and confusion it was all a bit much. He decided he could either sweat, or embrace it. The woman, Stefani, distracted him with a prod to the stomach, she was attempting to get his attention over the clamour. He pulled a What? face and she waggled a little ziplock baggy, and her eyebrows, at him. "Oh." He glanced worriedly around the room. She regained his attention by way of a smack to a breech bedecked buttock.
Ah, what the smeg? He pulled her into a tongue, lip, and nip heavy kiss.
Embrace it was.

Managing to finally remove Solvay from her face, Stefani raised another mischievous eyebrow and yelled a suggestion which sounded like “OTTER!?” A semi-functioning Alex supposed Otter was some kind of designer drug of the day.
The enthused bunny hauled him through the dancers and writhers to a wooden floored portion of the room near the steamed windows, and began undressing him. Hello! His body said. I’m not entirely sure what’s going on... His mind said. (... But I don’t think I care) it added.
However, as his mind was gradually unjiggering, a clearer part of it began to barge its unwelcome way to the fore. An unkind, nasty, part that wanted to ruin his fun. The crew! It said. The mission! He groaned in simultaneous pleasure and irritation. Regroup… REGROUP!
Bunny-Stef had stopped waistcoat-worrying and was now undoing her corset, the baggy gripped firmly between her teeth. Oh, and you’re supposed to be drug-clean, loser. The whiney, no-fun, brain-part reminded. Fortunately these ridiculous notions were soon battered into oblivion by a larger, stupider, and more enthusiastic part which simply shouted BOOBS! BIG LOVELY BOOBS!
Stef sidled back on over and continued undressing Solvay. He thickly wondered if they were going to snort Otter and have sex in front of the other partygoers, then his eye caught the Jacuzzi his long-eared companion was hiking her head towards.

“Oh, ‘hot tub’.”
He leant so that his lips were level with her ear. “I thought you said ‘Otter’.”
She laughed and shoved him.

“Shut up and get in.”

Well, he thought, grasping at desperate, slippery straws of non-reason, I could probably do with a wash...


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