Challenge #3: Party Crash

There I was, face down and sprawled over the toppled drum kit, spewing beer bottle in one hand, his puggle’s ashes in the other, when Dan walked in. That’s Mr. Rottles to you, only the hottest music producer in the last decade, the owner of the house and everything in it.
            I wouldn’t normally be at a party like that, but my best friend Nikki insisted. Her goal in life is to hitch her wagon to a star – pop, rock, movie, it didn’t matter. To this end, she somehow managed to get an invite from Damian, Mr. Rottles the Younger. I imagine she accomplished this with a little flash of bra strap and the empty promise of more.
Damian is what most people would call a nerd. All his father’s money could do for Damian is straighten his teeth and pay for his acne medicine. His interest in fashion was virtually nonexistant, and his social graces were bordering on grotesque. In spite of this, or maybe because of it, Nikki set her sights on him, and we got ourselves invited.
            Damian seemed almost happy to see us when we arrived what we imagined to be fashionably late. The conversation fizzled faster than pop rocks, and we abandoned him to mingle. We forgot one important element. However unpopular our host, at least he had money. Nikki and I had only an unhealthy fascination with the rich and famous. So, we made our way back to Damian, an easy enough task since he was standing alone in the middle of the living room like a mis-matched lightning rod.
            “You want to see where it all happens?” he said eerily, sort of like he was coaxing us into his laboratory. What he really meant was his dad’s basement recording studio, and of course, we wanted to see it.
            On the way downstairs we passed a lot of rolling eyes and cold shoulders. Those few who actually recognized the spawn of Rottles stopped us to give Damian huge, undulating handshakes and echoing slaps on the back. I felt a tiny bit bad for the guy, but mostly was too proccupied imagining all the important multimedia projects these greeters must have something to do with. I was still running the numbers when we reached the studio.
            It was pretty lush. There was a couple low-riding puffy couches along two walls. The coffee table was some abstract jumble I’m sure I’ve seen in the MOMA catalog. There were a few guitars on a rack in a corner and a five- or six-piece drum kit in another. Nikki found the light switches; she dimmed the room light and turned on the disco ball. Damian didn’t say anything but seemed to be a little nervous. He assumed his lightning rod position in the middle of the room, his eyes darting frantically between myself and Nikki. I plopped down on one of the couches, which seemed to relieve him a fraction, but he kept watch on my curious friend. She found the wetbar and pulled cold beers out of the mini-fridge for each of us. Damian took a couple swallows and finally sat on the edge of the arm of the other couch. His eyes did not leave Nikki.
            We tried to engage him in small talk, to put him at ease. In spite of the darkened room, I could still see the beads of sweat on his retin-A’ed forehead. Soon, Nikki found what she was looking for. Amidst the gold and platinum framed records hanging on the walls was a little brass dog sculpture.
            “What’s this?” she asked, stroking its smooth little head. Damian was on his feet before her first ess.
            “It’s just a knick knack. Nothing important.”
            Nikki’s hand froze on the little dog. She caught my eye with hers and imperceptibly we nodded to each other. There was no way he would have that reaction if she were touching just a knick knack. She wrapped her hand around its belly and lifted more easily than she expected.
            “This is pretty light for a brass sculpture. Is it hollow?” Damian looked at her, then me, nervously. “Be honest, is it a chocolate easter puppy?” This threw Damian off long enough that he didn’t notice Nikki twisting the little dog’s head up and away. She peered inside and a grinch grin curled on her face. “Well, well, well. Looks like we found your dad’s stash.”
            “No. It’s not. It’s actually . . .” Before he could explain, Nikki had the plastic ziplock bag in her hand.
            “What the . . . ?”
            “It’s his dog. Pomfrey the Puggle.” Nikki and I immediatley cracked into hysterical laughter. After a moment, Damian was able to recognize the ridiculousness and joined us.
            “You’ve got to see this yourself.” Nikki tossed the bag in my direction. It landed softly on the cushion beside me. Gingerly, I lifted it with just my fingers and tossed it back to her. Damian’s laughter stopped suddenly when he saw the bag fly past. This pleased us enormously, and Nikki tossed it back to me. I got up from the couch, took a few steps away, and returned the volley. We continued our game of keepaway all over the room, our hysteria growing with each increasingly frantic look from Damian. We threw overhanded, underhanded, from the side, around the back, all the while keeping hold of our beers for the intermittant swig. Thus I found myself behind the drum kit reaching for a short throw from my friend.
            Everything felt in slow motion as I made a little leap up and forward. I crashed into the drums, stepping on the kick drum pedal and elbowing the high hat. I couldn’t hear what I’m sure was a righteous racket as I was so focused on the bag of puggle remains. But doggone it, I caught that bag!
            The lights went up. In walked Dan. “Ladies, so glad you could join us.”