The Beast, Pt. 72 (Chapter 18c)

People stream into the villa. Men, women, college-aged individuals better called boys and girls. There are clones, twins, whatever. There are people we’ve seen before and complete strangers, faces half-remembered through a haze of disinterest and mind-altering substances. We contact room service again, order more food, more alcohol, more everything. We’re going to need a bigger spread. The hotel workers are impeccably dressed and unflappably expressioned, but even they let their guard slip for a moment at the scene that’s beginning to unfold before them. They’re used to catering to the whims of perpetually wealthy, of the “well-off enough to throw a wild bachelor party, but it’s a one-time thing.” They open the door expecting exotic prostitutes, a horsey show, a bunch of people playing strip poker while half-nude slaves tend to their needs. A roaring party in a place like the Libretto’s villas is so mundane that it’s legitimately unexpected. So simple, so obvious. Their expressions register surprise for only a moment, but I see it, I see it, and I’m surprisingly pleased with myself because of it.

“Anywhere in the kitchen’s good. If you get mobbed and people try to help themselves to what’s on the cart before then, it’s probably best if you just dropped everything and ran. Don’t try and be heroes, you know?”

“Yes, Sir. Very good, Sir.”

They make it to the kitchen and out again easily. I’m almost disappointed by it all. There must be two dozen people here already, but the villa could fit a hundred. We can do better than this. We can be better than this. I don’t know what I was expecting, exactly. An orgy, perhaps? But this feels like it could be any of the countless parties I’ve been to in my life. New Year’s, Christmas, Halloween, birthdays.

Which is fine. I suppose. I’d rather have other people around than not. If Sarah Winchester built a labyrinth to keep her personal minotaurs at bay, I can certainly cram an apartment full of revelers. But I want to see some revelry, damnit. People are still just mingling. There’s music but no one’s dancing. Drinking, but no games. I want excess. I want people wearing lampshades on their heads and doing lines of drugs off glass tables in the suite’s living room and undressing each other in the bedrooms. I want a party that goes for days, weeks, months, and if I have to, I will become Maxwell’s demon, gatekeeper, you shall not pass, but you may, yes, you have enough energy to beat back the laws of thermodynamics. Your buddies here can go fuck themselves, so sayeth the demon.

In the room, the women come and go talking of Malangelo, Cat Berry, the stars in the upcoming sequels.


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