David regularly posts gritty, noir-type stories to the #fridayflash scene and I have come to enjoy his 'working class-guy' style. I present now The Millennium Princess by David Barber, second place finisher in the Land's Edge flash fiction holiday contest. All I can tell you about this tale is that it occurs on the eve of the Millennium...and a princess is involved. Please give it a read and then talk amongst yourselves.
Note that the princess photo is courtesy of Costumes Inc. and you can link to their website here.
“This is supposed to be a fancy dress party,” the Vampire at the door said, “What have you come as?”
I looked inside and saw all kinds of characters milling around, talking and dancing. I grabbed a woman and told her to jump on my back.
“There. I’ve come as a snail, and this is Michelle,” I said pointing to the laughing woman on my back. “Now get out of the way and let me in.”
The Vampire, speechless, stepped aside and I walked into the party. The woman jumped off my back and I thanked her, only realising as she walked away what a fine looking arse she had.
I made my way through the throng of people. Mary Queens of Scots was chatting to Charlie Chaplin while The Statue of Liberty was dancing with Batman. I’ve got to say, it was one of the best fancy dress parties I’d seen in a long time, probably because it was Millennium eve, though.
Anyway, I wasn’t there to assess the costumes, although one of the characters before me was of importance. You see, I’m in the private security business and, New Years Eve or not, I had a job to do: even if that meant being in the biggest gay club in London.
I made my way towards the bar area, the music bellowing out from the DJ’s platform to my right. Prince was telling everybody it was 1999.
No doubt in another hour or so, Robbie Williams will be telling us it’s a Millennium, I thought to myself as I approached the bar.
“A large whisky on ice,” I asked. The bartender, dressed as a cowboy got me my drink. As he turned to fill my glass from the optic two eyes, tattooed on his bare arse cheeks, stare back at me.
The barman turned and brought back my drink, a flirty smile on his face.
“It’s the tattoo’s mate, not your arse. Don’t flatter yourself.” I said, turning and leaning against the bar.
The place was buzzing, the music was thumping and I had a job to do. I scanned the faces around the room. Everyone was here. Marilyn Monroe was on the dance floor kissing with JFK, albeit two blokes. Elton John was getting down with David Bowie, while Madonna was dancing with the ugliest version of Wonder Woman I had ever seen. The usual fancy dress suspects adorned the rest of the place.
I walked away from the bar, sipping at my drink. I got a few stares from guests, as my attire quite obviously didn’t blend in with the general theme of things. The Village People, one by one, filed out of the toilets to my right. Almost in unison they wiped white powder from their noses, sniffing loudly as they passed me.
‘There’ll be no stopping the music for them tonight,’ I thought, draining the rest of my drink. I left my empty glass on a table I passed.
I knew who I was looking for, but at the moment my target was nowhere in sight. I made my way round the room, rubbing shoulders with every celebrity under the sun. I checked my watch.
Desperate times called for desperate measures. I had to cause a commotion. I walked straight into the main crowd of revellers and started ripping masks off of the people who wore them. Screams and yells of protests were drowned out by the music the DJ was playing. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw my target. I should have guessed, the costume was so obvious. Cinderella made her way to the back exit and I followed as quickly as I could. She ran awkwardly in her stiletto’s, holding the huge dress up with both hands. It was a comical sight.
As I reached the back of the club, I saw the emergency exit closing shut. I ran, caught it before it closed and stepped out into the cold night air. Fifty or so yards away a figure stood leaning against the wall on the other side of the alleyway, smoke bellowing from its mouth. I walked towards the person I’d come for.
“It’s getting close to midnight,” I said.
“Yes, and I’m going to turn back into a little slave girl when the clock strikes twelve,” The figure dropped its cigarette and ground it into the concrete with a stiletto clad foot. “OK, Prince Charming, I’m coming.”
“I think that’s best, Prime Minister.” I advised.