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    Ryan Jones
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Oh! Say! Can you see? - 1. Balticon 1980

Part 1 - Hotel at Midnight

We were wandering, my droogs and I, through the cavernous, darkened hallways of the Hunt Valley Inn. It was long past our turn at the costume contest but it took so long to get these false eyelashes on that I had no intentions of taking them off until they fell off on their own. In addition, this incredible acid rush was still motoring through our systems to the point where we all felt it necessary to go back to the room and get our motorcycle helmets on so that nobody could see our eyes.

After all, eyes are the window to the soul. Some idiot said that in a famous quote and of course it stuck in Georgie Boy's mind and he transferred his particular paranoia to the rest of us. Our souls were probably as twisted as we were, at this point, or so we felt. and It seemed prudent to keep it as much under wraps as possible so we weren't dragged away kicking and screaming, leaving broken bodies in our wake as the mundanes struggled to cart us off to the nearest jail.

Of course, in retrospect and with common sense, which you don't have in the condition we were in, it would have been obvious that nobody would fuck with five people dressed in black leather pants and white silk shirts, with bloodshot eyeballs tacked to the long sleeves. Not to mention who were reeling from wall to wall bouncing off them as our sense of direction was totally destroyed by hallucination. Or at least I hope it was hallucination. Surely, even at a science fiction convention, there couldn't be a 6'6" 300 pound Valkyrie looking woman that trailed behind us, dressed only in patches of strategically placed fur and who decided that my ass needed pinching whenever she got within reach. I refuse to be a part of that reality!

One particular turn of the hallway was most memorable. As we came hurtling around that corner loudly asking if there was anyone looking for a bit of the old in-out, in-out real savage like, we ran into some hotel employees with a massive amount of room service trays. Bottles, glasses, ice, munchies, you name it and there it was, like manna from heaven. We liberated it from the poor hotel employees and sent them on their way, telling them not to say a thing or they would end up like that girl in the Exorcist, although we'd provide all the impetus they needed to spin their heads around like a top. They fled in terror, almost babbling. The poor bastards obviously needed better drugs. With that type of attitude a nervous breakdown and deranged behavior are sure to occur.

Anyway, back to the carts. The room across the hall had lots of noise coming through the door so the destination of all this swag was obvious. Being the fine upstanding individuals that we were we took it upon ourselves to deliver it and knocked on the door. When that door opened it took my breath away. There were people hanging from the sprinklers in slings and laying on the beds in various stages of dress and undress. I hadn't seen that much leather since I ran over that damn cow with the tractor a few years ago. We said we were summoned there by spirits of the night, just in time to bring them goodies and as is usual at most cons even people in our obviously drugged out condition were welcomed in as friends. I know you want the juicy details of all that happened in that room. But a gentleman doesn't kiss and tell, or whip and tell, so let's just say that I did take off my shirt and pants but my helmet stayed on throughout the night.

Part 2 - It's Saturday and Where the Hell Am I?

Why would anyone build a fancy inn and hotel in the middle of nowhere? I mean, we are at the Hunt Valley Inn but it's like wilderness all around us. There's even a castle on this huge cliff across the street from the inn. Perhaps Marriott knew a lot more than anyone else, now that area is all office buildings and they won't let a science fiction convention anywhere near the place.

I digress though. On Saturday I woke up and tried to rub my eyes only to find an impenetrable barrier between my face and fingers. Of course I panicked! Got up and ran screaming to the bathroom, incidentally waking everyone sleeping on the floor as I stepped on them but what the hell were they all doing here when they had rooms of their own? As I madly careered towards the bathroom I ran headfirst into the closed door and suddenly realized I had slept in that damn motorcycle helmet.

Hysteria was close at hand as I struggled to remain sane in the face of all this craziness. I ripped off the helmet and screamed in my loudest voice that these people had only seconds left to live and if I came out of that bathroom and saw anyone in my room except the guy I came with, heads would be pounded into mealy gray mush!

Of course nobody left. They distracted me by making loud sniffing noises and there were so many pop top cans opened that when I came out all I could think of was making sure I got some before these vulture-like heathens drank my beer and snorted up all my coke. Suddenly there was a brief lull in the conversation as I reappeared from the bathroom. Even though it had all seemed so serious just moments ago, it was hard to drum up any enthusiasm for dealing out death on a wide scale. There were just too many of them and they were all in some bizarre craziness of their own makings. Better to just leave it all be.

I really needed some music. That's what has always helped in the past and when I came over to Tony he had gotten the stereo cranked up and was sitting there with this cute but imbecilic smile on his face. He was going to play Highway To Hell but that seemed to close for comfort so I decided that Wagner's Flight of the Valkyrie, after my persistent hallucination of the night before was more appropriate. What a rush it was at 6am.

I had on the headphones and the noise was making me twitch uncontrollably. All I could see was that scene from Apocalypse Now where the helicopters were coming in out of the sun to blow all hell out of that village. Now was the time for an acid flashback if there ever was one but it remained obstinately away and I had to content myself with my own mental smelling of napalm in the morning.

Some inconsiderate ass somewhere in the inn must have complained because hotel security was at my door practically immediately. It took them very little time to interrupt my mental dreams of helicopter gunships and huge blasts of napalm. We obligingly turned down Wagner as they requested but the bastards refused the tip we offered them so I was sure they were spies employed by one of my competitors back in the College Park area.

I sent one of the people in the room to follow them but they were too slick for him and even went to all the trouble of entering the hotel security office to throw me off. But I had been warned and now I was on guard for their activities against me.

I called to room service for 15 oranges and a squeezer so I could do it myself. I had seen the hotel employees giving me strange looks so no way was I going to trust them to bring me any unsullied juice. I tried to get them to bring me raw eggs and a Coleman stove but there they drew the line and refused my logical demands. It's times like this that I'm glad I brought Tony along. I made him taste everything first, waiting for a minute to make sure he didn't fall down on the floor foaming at the mouth. You can never be too careful, once you think they're not after you they sneak up behind you and cut your balls off and then the only options left to you are carnivals, freak shows and Donahue.

Tony survived the eggs, croissants and everything else so I ate what was left over and hid all the utensils around the room. These people were too damned careful and you might just need a fork for some arcane purpose. In my frenzy to get the day started I mistook one of my napkins for blotter and ate part of it, much to the amusement of the others hanging around. But what do they know? Hell, with this hotel everything is probably impregnated with DMT, PCP and even worse.

There's no telling the background of some of the individuals who worked for the inn, they appeared as if they had just escaped the death squads in Cambodia and were here looking for god knows what. Just for fun we'd sneak up and scream at them and they'd look like demons from hell were attached to their most personal body parts. Great fun, crazy times for all.

Until the shower that is.

You tell me why one of the hotel porters came bursting into my shower? He had this truly wild expression on his face and I remembered him as one of the guys that moved all my stereo equipment into the suite. I tipped them him with cash and, because he was cute as hell, I threw in 5 hits of almost pure meth to get him going the next day. Evidently this poor bastard had no idea the potency of normal drugs and had decided to snort all of it up at once.

Now he was in trouble, wandering the hotel in a feverish rush to do something only to keep getting distracted by strange feelings of paranoia. It's not my fault that he can't deal with his condition and I was just about to scream that at him and go for my knife when I noticed again he was cute. I mean, really damn cute. Not to mention very wet now since he was standing at my shower, shaking his head and mumbling things that had no basis in the English language.

I tried my best command voice on him, ordering him into the shower with me and the guy jumped in, hotel uniform and all. Not quite what I had in mind but it was at least a start. I was carefully explaining to him the necessity of a shared orgasm or the drugs he used would cook him internally and he might as well cut his dick off, because it would never function properly again. I'm sure I was very, very persuasive but at that moment I guess a tinge of the real world came into his head and he blushed and ran screaming, dripping, out of the bathroom and fled down the hall.

Oh well, there was always Tony.

Part 3 - Rabbit's Run

Sunday dawned, or so they say. I wouldn't know having been in an interior room of the hotel with Hunter, doing god knows what to who. It all seems such a blur. All I can remember is that we were suddenly struck by the necessity to get out of this room so we decided to head to the main lobby area. Kicking the stuffed dog out of the way we then, after checking in both directions for hotel security, headed for the lobby.

Now I am a most peaceable person. Not much can faze me, really. Not after this type of a weekend. I mean the acid was long gone but that speed rush was still going. We were down to some coke, reds and still had quite a lot of some purple pills that neither of us could remember the effects of. Being up for almost 48 hours does something weird to your head. It gives you clarity of purpose, assuming you can remember the purpose in the first place. All I could think of is that it had been hours since my last drink and I was determined that they would open the hotel bar for me, or sell me a bottle of anything.

Imagine our surprise when we came into the lobby and found it full of men, women and children all dressed up in their Sunday best. On top of all that, there was this gigantic rabbit with small children sitting in its lap. All I could think of was that it was a freak of nature, an abomination and something had to be done about it. As a side effect, perhaps the destruction of this mutant rabbit would do something to get the lobby cleared of all the rugrats and overdressed middle class leeches that had taken over our space.

There was only one solution. Hunter and I ran back to the hotel room where I quickly attired myself in a full ninja outfit. Mask, stars, katana, you name it. All in black I looked pretty deadly if I do have to say so myself. I strapped the katana to my waist and told Hunter to take up observation in the lobby while I destroyed that damned satanic rabbit. Nobody gave me a second glance as I stalked back into the lobby. After all, this was a science fiction convention and there were people dressed weirder than me floating around, randomly accosting the well dressed country folk for handouts.

That rabbit sneered at me, I swear it did. The expression never changed on its face as I stalked him. He did seem just a little nervous as I went behind him but I guess that's because his field of vision was limited by those ears. I screamed as loud as I could, drew my katana and sliced both his ears off with one swipe of the blade. As I continued to scream the kids all started to cry and that idiot rabbit got up and dumped the kid in its lap and ran off yelling almost human words. I didn't have time to reflect on that as I scooped up the ears and ran out of the lobby. Hotel security which as I already knew was in cahoots with my competition back at home were milling around in confusion, chasing after that damn rabbit as I made my escape. I only had to threaten a couple of people with my sword to clear a path and once I left the lobby area I was all alone in the halls. I ran back to the room and stripped in a hurry, giving all my clothes and sword to Tony to take out to the car. It was so funny when I got back to the lobby. I think they were injecting that damn rabbit with Thorazine or something because he was twitching a lot and suddenly he had a human face and a rabbit's body, albeit a large rabbit body.

Suddenly I felt someone grab my arm and turned to rip its throat out when I noticed it was Hunter, with a Bloody Mary and a shot of tequila. We dissolved in laughter as the carnage was recounted to us by a well dressed family, responding to our questions. This may have been the most excitement these yokels had in ages and the story had achieved monumental proportions. You know how it is when you tell one idiot something and they have to repeat it to others? Well imagine a whole lobby of those people and you can almost figure out the whole story.

Here's how it came down, according to the man sitting next to us tossing down shots while his wife was in the bathroom trying to clean up the kid who lost sphincter control during the commotion. The man's name was, I swear to god, Harvey. I couldn't even make up something as crazy as that , trust me.

“This huge black man came into the lobby, yes, that's what it was. A black man with a damn big knife. He just came up and cut that damn rabbit's ears right off. Tried to cut his head off but the rabbit ducked just in time!"

“Anyone impersonating a rabbit should be killed”, I muttered.

“What did your friend say?" he asked of Hunter.

“Oh, he gets that way.” Hunter responded. “He was bitten once by a rabbit when he was a child and now he doesn't seem to like them at all. Why, one time he even, well,let's not talk about it. It is Easter after all.”

“Anyway,” the man continued,giving me a dirty look as I sneered back at him, trying to imagine him naked and finding it something that not even my current drugged state could comprehend. “After this large black man cut off the rabbit's ears he tried to skewer the kid sitting in the rabbit's lap too and when he failed at that he snatched up the ears and ran screaming off into the hotel. God damn I hope they catch him.”

“Yeah, he's a sick bastard" I agreed. “They should cordon off the area and bring in lots of Rottweilers. Big, nasty, hungry Rottweilers to chase him down and just eat him. You know that Rottweilers are born with tails, right? They don't let them out in public until they've chewed off their own tails to show that they are mean sons of bitches. Fucking god damn tail eating dogs. That would get that bastard but good."

The man just looked at me, then told Hunter he thought I needed some professional help and Hunter told him I just forgot to take my drugs that morning. At that I loudly asked Hunter why he was hogging all the damn drugs and he palmed me off with a couple of those purple pills to shut me up.

Just then his wife and child came back, looking much the worse for wear. He tossed down the rest of his drink and took his family to safety, away from the bad vibes he was getting from this hotel, not to mention the two of us. It was almost 11am and we still had a long day of decadence ahead so it was time to get to more serious drug use to prepare us. Besides, I thought I saw that damn huge Valkyrie woman again and I wanted to get as far away from that lobby as possible. I had bruises on my ass from our encounter earlier this morning.

The rest of the day was relatively boring. We had been going since early Friday and we spent most of that day drinking and wandering the convention areas making others uncomfortable until it was time to leave for home.

Copyright © 2021 Ryan Jones; All Rights Reserved.

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You should really have more respect for drugs, large rabbits, and Valkyrie women. That rabbit could have sneaked back and thumped ya! The woman probably wasn't dangerous and only wanted a piece of ass! But what type of convention did you say it was... pharmaceutical.

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