Zeds 7.1


Michael straightened his tie as he entered the room. He lingered just inside the door at the top of the extra-wide grand staircase that led down into the crowd. He scanned the room, letting his gaze settle on each sparkling dress and every dazzlingly colorful tuxedo before him. The room gradually falls silent as every occupant turns to face him, then erupts into applause at his presence. He smiles and follows the steps down to the ballroom.
Michael takes a glass of champagne from a passing waiter as he steps off the bottom step and moves into the crowd, which parts before him allowing him free movement. One tall, devilishly handsome young man works up his courage to speak to him, jumping into his path ahead of him.
“Michael, Oh my goodness, I am such a big fan!” The man says.
Michael smiles at him, looks to the crowd, which has fallen silent, and says, “I know.” The crowd erupts in laughter. The man flushes a bit but continues.
“Please, sir. If it isn’t too much trouble, I was hoping that, perhaps, maybe, you might consider me for a small roll in your next film?”
Michael furrows his brows at the young man, a bit perplexed. He examines him a moment, then nods slowly.
“You look a bit familiar,” He says. This brings a large smile to the man’s face whose eyes go bright and wide. “You played that detective guy… Uh, Benzyldrict Cobubblernitch?” The man flushes again, the joy draining from his face as Michael mispronounces his name. Michael chuckles and pats him on the shoulder. “Just kidding, Benny. Of course! Have your people call my people!”
“Oh! Thank you, sir! So much!” The young man steps out of the way and allows Michael to pass. He high-fives his friends and raises his arms into the air triumphantly.
Michael continues on his way through the crowd until he reaches the bar. He tells the bartender to get him his usual and put it on his tap.
“Hello Michael,” a woman says behind him. She has a thick Swedish accent. He turns around and his greeted by a tall, milky-skinned blonde in a sparkling red dress.
“Hello Hannah,” Michael smiles and raises his glass to her. She lifts hers in return. “I saw your cover on World’s Most Beautiful Models Magazine. Congrats on winning that.”
“Thank you, Michael.” She sips her drink before moving in closer to him. She presses herself against him, her lips hovering inches from his. “My sister keeps asking about you.”
“I am sure she has been.” He says, smiling wryly as he stares into her bright green puppy dog eyes. “Where is Victoria?”
“I am right here,” another woman says as she steps sideways and out from behind Hannah. She looks completely identical to her twin sister and is wearing the exact same dress. “When can we play again, Michael?”
“Well,” Michael says. He shifts a little, moving Hannah a little more to his left so Victoria can cozy up to him on his right. “I am free all night tonight.”
“No,” Hannah says. “Tonight is too far away!”
“Play with us now, Michael!” Victoria says. In unison, the twins step away from him and shrug their dresses off, allowing them to fall to the floor.
“Of course, my ladies. As you wish.” Michael takes a step closer to Victoria, who steps closer to him in turn.
“We love you, Michael,” Victoria says as she rests her hands on his shoulders, holding him at arm’s length. She rears her foot back and kicks him sharply in the ankle with the pointed tip of her shoes.
“Ahh! Jeezus! What was that for?” Michael howls. He tries to stumble back to the bar and find a stool but Victoria holds his arms, sliding around behind him as Hannah steps forward. She takes him by the shoulder and pulls her foot back as well.
“Hannah, calm do-” Michael begins to protest but Hannah interrupts him.
“We love you, Michael!” She says cheerfully as she swings her foot forward and kicks him in the exact same spot as her sister.

“Ahh! Shit!” I scream and curse as I jerk my head up, smacking it on a low mounted shelf directly above me. I curse again. I have no recollection of installing a shelf above my bed.

Where the hell did this shelf come from?! Fuck, my leg hurts! Why can’t I move my arms?

While trying to grab my head I realize that I can’t move my arms more than a few inches. I pull as hard as I an but they’re held tight by the pinch of cold metal. Cuffs? I’m cuffed to my bed! Why?

“Victoria?” I say out loud.

No, no. Victoria is a dream.

“Coffee mouse?”

Shit, Michael. Don’t be ridiculous. Where would the mouse get cuffs?

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