The showroom was a musical nicotine smog--crowded, uproarious, drunk faces aplenty, the usual smart rigmarol of servers and diners. Per today's theme, all attending were to be clothed in green and brandishing ethnic lilts. Except for the Fairbourne twins, whose tailcoats never left their proper backs; and, after all, this world was their concoction. They were at their regular corner seats inside a regular creation of theirs, observing the karaoke failures on-stage and basking in the fiery blush of a lamp. A shy fellow with giant spectacles was whispering a folk song into a banana, struggling to keep up with a director at his fore flitting cards with lyrics.
The twins brought the last of their mash to swollen lips.
“Meal-wise, passable. Slightly better than I anticipated,” Opie announced and leaned back, deflating gas. Regan acknowledged with a proud nod. “But, to be honest, I'm not keen at all on these botchulisms of yours. Frankly, you've failed again.”
“Oh, come on,” Regan said. “Don't you find a bit of humor in these hopeful catastrophes? Why can't I just have a bit of fun once in a while?”
“It's nonsense, all of it. A concert of anarchy better suited for the deaf and blind.” Opie waved away a nearby harp-twiddling jester, and said under his breath, “My ears now suffer, thanks to you, twit.”
Regan threw his handkerchief down. “Well, I'm glad. I did this on purpose.”
“Doubtful, since you're always one to talk out your arse. I mean, what is that?” Opie pointed towards a passer-by whose head was a wrinkled foot. Behind him, at the bar, a bear on a stool was slowly drinking its own urine, and a crowd was gathered around making bets on the intake rate. “Random forgeries serving no purpose, is all they are,” Opie said.
“It's funny!” Regan tried to reason. “Adds color to an otherwise dreary fabric. Unlike your so-called great works, mine aren't shallow and destructive and, and...giant reptiles--what a ridiculous concept.”
“How dare you. That was my finest.”
“Yes, and then they died off, didn't they?”
“The masters took well to it.”
“At the time.”
“You know I have nothing to prove to you.”
Opie wrung an incredulous smile. “So you really, really think you're ready, brother Regan?”
“I've always been ready.”
“Ready for a role requiring certain accuracy, measure, thought? In your jolly state?
“Don't be so unfair. This is nothing, just a good time. What you need is to lighten up, have another drink.”
“Sod off, rainbow monkey.” A passing waiter threw Opie a suspicious look.
“Oh, brother, you never cease to bore or belittle. For once, can't you just enjoy my pleasantries?” Regan said.
“When you grow up, maybe. Take this seriously or I won't let you do the atmospheric repairs.”
“Fine. At least share one more drink with me.”
“Fine,” Opie agreed.
Regan's frantic semaphore caught the flickering eye of a waitress. She side-glided through the congestion, signaled for another round, and started doing an upside-down dance on the counter while the bear guffawed. Then she climbed off in the same position and brought drinks on her soles. “Here you boys go,” she said, her voice delightfully baritone.
Opie had his round, but the stinging blaze set him to grimace. “I regret whetting. This is ridiculous. What did you put in this hell?”
“Clear fountain water, nothing more.” Regan then nudged Opie. “You'll find this next performance endearing, I'm sure.”
The jester returned with a bow by their seats, and rattled off a poem about the intemperate.
“Wretched cretin. That's it.” Opie stood up. “You're making a fool of me now, Regan.”
“Not so, I swear.”
“Well, it's time to leave, anyway. Had enough of this, and we're behind schedule. Next time we break bread, it's under my supervision.” Opie clinked his glass and announced to all in the quietening room, “I'm afraid we must depart you.”
The people began crying, yowling at the top of their lungs, and then their very existence flickered away like some strange illusion. And, once again, the twins remained alone, standing in whiteness.
“You spoil everything,” Regan told Opie, to no response. They clapped their hands to create a doorway, and passed through, into space, finding themselves in a transparent elevator overlooking Earth.
“Now, I hope you know what you're doing,” Opie said.
Regan danced his hands in the air. “Of course. Stop doubting me and watch me work magic.”
Opie held him back. “Wait. You know, this is a big job, and I believe big jobs are for adults.”
“I am an adult, fool!”
“No, you're not!”
“Yes, I am!”
A bout of hand slapping ensued. Opie won with a poke to the eye and a pinch of the groin. “Let me do it, or else,” he warned. Next he cast a spell, “Cobras and cats, peanuts in hats.”
In the blink of an eye, the earth disappeared.
“Look at what you did,” Regan chortled.
“Oh, dear.” Opie covered his mouth.
“And you say I'm the blunderer.”
“You better not tell anyone.”
“Only if you let me do the next one.”
“Shake on it.” Regan forced his palm against Opie's. “Another drink is due, I think.”
“I think so, too,” Opie remarked.
- - - Having spent years trying to evade the Equestrian mafia, David Edward Nell now writes from a nameless hideout in Cape Town, South Africa. By night, disguised as numerous pop culture figures, he can usually be found scouring the African plains for loving. Stalk him at http://davidedwardnell.blogspot.com, but keep this a secret.