Welcome one and all! My theme this year for the A-Z challenge is short fiction inspired by songs I have. Mainly SF/F, with a few oddities thrown in.
Without further ado, here's your first story for the month. You can listen along if you want.
It had been one of those stupid senior year pacts. You know, made on one of those nights where you're high and fucked up on tequila and moaning about how college is going to suck because the people just won't be the same.
And so Robert spoke up, said something about getting together every summer so we never forget each other, do something silly and stupid that'd we wouldn't want to do in college cuz it was for 'professionals'. We sealed it with a group fuck, all four of us.
I don't actually remember much of that night, just the beginning and waking up in Robert's parents' bed tangled up with him, Justine, and Mark, sticky, stated, sore, and smelling of pot and booze.
Justine though, she remembered all of it somehow. Dang girl was blessed with this ability to down a bottle herself and wake up with a clear head. Apparently, she can also remember things on nights where we've had the same amount and I blacked out.
Anyway, Justine brought it back up during one of the hoity-toity Christmas parties my parents were throwing. You know, the kind where you have to act respectable and limit yourself to two glasses of champagne an hour. About how she'd been thinking what crazy, stupid thing we should do this summer. We all just looked at her, wondering what the fuck she was on about, but shrugged our shoulders. Whatever, like we would pass up on an opportunity to hang out and spend our parents' money.
She'd discovered this new thing, steampunk. Something about steam power and Victorian London. Robert and Mark jumped on the pirates bit. I just fell in love with the clothes. Corsets? Meow. I couldn't wait to get decked up in a tight bodice and ruffled skirt. Also thought it would be fun taking them off.
It was silly and stupid, and because of that, awesome. Justine and I got costumes, Robert and Mark got the balloons, and three weeks after I finished my first year at Harvard I was standing in a field full of giant sized wicker baskets connected to flaccid hot air balloons dressed in Victorian clothing. I was rather surprised to see we weren't the only group dressed up. But the couple we came across had dressed as well to do Victorian citizens. The woman had a high collar, full bustle on a full length dress, and gloves. The man wore a well tailored suit. Very different from the pirate attire the boys were wearing, lose pants, wispy shirts (Mark's was unbuttoned) and goggles, or the sexy type costumes Justine and I had put on.
Justine had made characters for us all, we were supposed to play them for the duration of the race and try to talk in a British accent, but she was the only one who remembered the names and after a joint British speak was just so hilarious we couldn't slip on a fake accent without bursting into giggles.
Yeah, we got a lot of stares.
It was all planned, Justine and I would be in a basket up front and the boys in the back. The 'pirates' would chase down our balloon, capture it, and then enjoy the spoils. Us, naturally, and a few illegal substances stashed away. Plus, Mark's mom's fabulous cherry bars.
But of course, as Justine and I hopped in the basket of our balloon and watched the other racers inflate theirs , we realized that we had no fucking clue what we were doing. Justine had done some research, she knew we had to turn on a fire, and so after a few seconds fiddling with things managed to get one going. We launched late, but weren't the last ones. We couldn't be sure, but it kinda looked like the boys were still on the ground. Probably too high to play with the fire, just watch it. I would laugh if they set the balloon on fire.
The more time went on, the more aware of how stupid this idea was became apparent. We were rising, not moving forward, and eventually we were higher than the rest of the balloons.
I opened up a bottle of vodka, throwing the top over the side and watching it fall. I couldn't see if it hit the blue balloon I had been aiming for. Justine was buzzing around like a bee, playing with things and trying to get us to sink, or at least go sidewise. I watched as she took a drag on a joint before putting it behind her ear, turning off the fire and pulling a small rope.
I clutched the side as the balloon wobbled, and then fell a little bit. Successful, Justine and I took turns pulling on the rope, marveling at the balloons we were falling even with. Such pretty colors. I kissed her cheek before taking the joint from behind her ear, and she responded with a butt pinch before stealing my vodka bottle.
Confident that at least if we were with the pack the boys could find us, we sunk to the floor to talk and wait. We had most of a year to catch up on after all, though at one point the conversation turned to an analysis of how the weave of the basket connected to life. Shit, we should have been English majors and writing about the meaning of literature, not following the family businesses. I hated econ.
Justine broke out the cherry bars, you snooze you lose boys, should have caught up earlier, and we fed them to each other, falling into a touching session when something jostled the basket. Justine got on her knees to look over the edge.
“Oh no, pirates!” she said falling back on her ass and then laughing. I crawled over to her and looked over, cherry bar in my mouth. Robert and Mark were below us and as I watched they threw a grappling hook towards out basket. It hit the side and I laughed, only to curse as I dropped my cherry bar.
Justine pulled on the rope to drop us and this time the hook struck in me the shoulder. “That hurt you jerks! That's it, I'm finishing the vodka.” I pulled the bottle up from near my feet and started chugging.
My fellow 'damsel in distress' secured the hook, which on closer inspection seemed to be foam and plastic, and Robert and Mark started pulling. I was surprised at how easily they pulled our balloon towards them. Of course, the actual balloons got in the way and we couldn't get the baskets to touch. There was a good three feet between the wicker sides.
Shit, I kinda wanted to be ravished by a pirate.
Robert eyed the gap, thinking about jumping it, but Justine, even in her high mind could figure out it was a bad idea. But popping one of the balloons, that would work. The baskets were already attached, both would stay in the air due to that. Mark pulled out a pocket knife, and after checking Robert was ready to pull the baskets together, slashed the yellow and green fabric above him.
Very quickly for a such a comparably small hole the balloon started collapsing. But the baskets were together, Mark climbed over, and then Robert just as the weight of the other balloon turned out to be too much for ours and we started tipping. Justine released the hook and it went slithering over the side. Without the extra weight, we evened out and we all just stood staring as the wicker basket as it fell. It nicked another balloon, one that looked like a sun and then splashed into a pond. Huh, I hadn't really noticed the ground beneath us changing.
We all laughed at the splash, Mark imitating the sound with gestures and Robert took off in a high speed rendition of the past ten seconds. I just nodded, mouth on the vodka neck, and then a small oops from Justine had us all look at the cherry bar that she had dropped. Her boobs were so large and her corset so tight she had a self of rack, with a piece of cherry goodness right on top of it. Mark lunged at her, and well, the pirates got their reward for capturing a ship.
If you're wondering what sex in the air is like, it's pretty damn awesome.
Sorry if you were expecting real pirates, did consider that but figured I should put a little more imagination into this. The song itself is a good look at airship pirates down on their luck.