I watched the world speed by quickly, feeling myself going slow. Again the world whipped by, as I sought to set my foot on the ground. Suddenly, just to my right I saw a light appear, and knew this was the place where the Romp would gather. It was right next to the fire that I set my foot down, and Sam hopped off my back into the fire ring.
"All right, ladies! The life of the party is here!" he called. I looked around, and saw nothing but the fire and a ring of benches. It reminded me very much of a drumming circle, but without the instruments or the players.
"Sam, are you sure this is the right place?" I asked, as I looked for any sign of a romp. "I don't see anyone 'romping'."
Sam smiled. "I'm sure everyone else is a bit startled at our arrival, that's all." He seemed so sure, that I knew he was probably right. "Hey, guys! Come on out!" he shouted.
A rustle in the bushes startled me, and I reached for a log from the fire. I lifted it with both hands, holding the cool end while the coals smoldered on the other end.
Sam stepped behind me, hefting his hammer. "I know it's cliché, but you go first," he said, a slight smile on his face.
I started slowly toward the forest. The shadows were long, and seemed to have a life of their own. I started to wonder if something hadn't changed in this sane, uncomplicated world. The shadows danced around the light from the embers on the log I held.
Suddenly, the forest errupted into a loud cacophany of screams, whistles, and cries, and the clearing filled as if a dam had burst. Figures tall, short, and everything in between flooded the clearing, laughing and shouting, pulling at my clothes and hair.
Finally, I was overwhelmed by the creatures swarming around, and was pulled flat onto my back. Large creatures stepped over me, as small ones ran across my legs and chest. One of them, not paying attention to where he was going, planted his foot inside my nose, and fell face first onto the bridge of my nose. I caught a glimpse of his face, blackened with paints and soot, a red hat hanging roughly off his right ear. He grinned at me, showing his sharp teeth that were defined more by the missing ones than the ones that were there, and pushed off my nose to catch up with his friends.
I looked over to Sam, and was disgusted to find him still on his feet, laughing and joking with the creatures, his obscene erection bouncing with each explusion of air his laughter forced.
The eddy of creatures finally slowed, and I propped myself on my elbow, looking around me. Some of the creatures had broken out insturments and were playing on drums, pan pipes, and one of them even had a saxophone! I stood, brushing myself off, and started to walk toward the satyr to try to get an explaination.
As I stepped over a pair of fairies engaged in a weird contortionist bout of love-making, Sam saw me. He grinned his stupid grin, waved, and went back to talking to a pixie who was apparently passing him a joint. He took a puff, smiled blissfully, and gave me a giant thumbs-up. I was about to shout something very obscene when my vision was suddenly replaced by a pair of beautiful blue eyes. I was suddenly caught in an embrace, and was dragged into the center of the circle, near the bonfire.
A hush flew across the clearing, and I felt everyone back up. I was still enraptured by the eyes before me, refusing to look away for reasons I don't fully understand. Finally, my captor stepped back, and I was able to see her fully in the light of the bonfire beside her and the moonlight above.
What she looked like, I don't remember. She was vastly different than anything I had ever seen before, and I don't expect I shall ever see anything like her again. She waited expectantly for me to do something, but I was frozen. Finally, some pixie must have taken pity on me, for I heard a light, airy voice in my ear whisper, "Fool, ask her to dance!"
I extended a hand, and we began to dance.
To be continued. . .
Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V
Part VI | Part VII | Part VIII | Part IX | Part X
Part XI | Part XII | Part XIII | Part XIV | Part XV