DIGNITY MIXER PART 2
By Alan Mittag
Last time on The Dignity Mixer
Hello, Little Brother,” Tenacity said.
“My brother died an honorable death on the blood bowl pitch.” Physique said, never breaking eye contact. “You are just the demon wearing his face.”
I pulled Tenacity by the hand, dragging him away from Physique before a fight broke out in front of everyone. That would have been a quick end to the party. I glanced back at the other vampires, still sitting in the dark side of the room, alone with each other and refusing to mix. “If this could even be called a party,” I mumbled.
“Can you believe him? It has been over eight years since he’s seen me and this is how he treats me?”
Eccentric pushed through two upper class highborn ladies. “You mean eight years since you died. SINCE…YOU…DIED.” Then he leapt into a hug on Tenacity. “I’m so glad to see you again!”
Tenacity was taken aback, but after a moment, settled into the hug, awkward and stiff. “It’s good to see you too,” he said, patting Eccentric on the back, completely without grace.
“Did you go to heaven?” Eccentric said as they separated. “What was it like? I bet it was all clouds and harp music.”
“I don’t remember anything like that.” Tenacity said. “It just felt like waking up. From a long nap.”
Lithe pushed through the same two highborn ladies. He still looked the same as he always did, thin. He had been a leaper. Dignity’s answer to the cage. But after a few short games an injury brought him to the sidelines, where he eventually took over as Dignity’s apothecary.
“Lithe” Tenacity said, holding out his hand to the ex-catcher, who dodged it and moved in for his own hug. …probably stealing something.
They separated and Lithe said, “Look at you! You look great. A little pale. Your eyes are bloodshot.” He stabbed a finger at Tenacity’s liver, where the wood elf thrower’s kick had crushed the life out of him eight years before. “Does it hurt?”
“No,” Tenacity said. “No pain at all. Not from any of my old wounds.”
“Interesting,” Lithe said, poking him again. “I would love to do a little research on you.”
Tenacity brushed the poking fingers away. “I don’t think that would be a good idea.” You could see the heartbreak on Lithe’s face, like he just found out he wasn’t getting that red bicycle for Christmas. “But I hear you are an official apothecary now, licensed and registered.”
Lithe’s smile returned. “That’s right!” He leaned in closer to Tenacity and whispered. “They pay me. …to take things. To take people’s most precious things.” He giggled, actually giggled, and the whisper went even more quiet. “Want to see my collection?”
Tenacity’s blank stare said it all. “No…uh, I don’t think I… uh, I don’t have the time right now.”
“Well, stop on by whenever you do. It’s fascinating to see all the parts that we don’t really need.” He poked Tenacity in the liver again. “I bet there are a lot of parts you don’t need anymore.”
“I uh… I don’t know about that.”
The four of us made our way over to Royalty, he was sitting in an armchair in the corner, reading a book. His eyes glanced up at us, and he let out a soft, “heh.”
“Royalty,” Eccentric said. “Look, its Tenacity. He’s playing in the Challenge League now!”
Royalty looked puzzled, “The Challenge League? What’s that?”
Eccentric answered for me, “It’s the Baby League that those dirty elves won.”
Royalty shrugged his shoulders and went back to his book. “Never heard of it.” The book was titled, How to Eat Human Food.
“My Master would very much like to meet you,” Tenacity said.
Royalty looked up again. A grimace. “Then tell him to come over here and introduce himself.”
Tenacity started “He thinks….” But got cut off when Royalty held out his open palm, silencing him.
“Dignity is not going over there to introduce ourselves to someone in the…” He glanced at Eccentric. “What did you call it?”
“The Challenge League?” Eccentric said.
“Yes, The Challenge League.” Royalty sat his book down on the side table, stood up and brushed himself off. “But if he is ready to come over here, I will greet him. But he best hurry. I was just getting to the part about the burger and fries.” He dry heaved a little, just at the thought.
Tenacity bounced on the balls of his feet. He glanced back to the other vampires and threw them a thumbs up sign. Then looked back to Royalty. “You won’t regret this, Royalty. I swear. He’s a great man.” Still bounding on the balls of his feet, unable to contain himself. “You’re going to love him, he’s so much like you.”
Tenacity turned and ran across the room to bring the good news to The Master.
Royalty scratched his chin as he watched. “He never called me ‘Royalty’ before.”
Lithe said, “And he certainly is more excitable.”
Eccentric added, “What happened to the stick that was up his butt?”
Next time on The Dignity Mixer
Mr. Bitey climbed on top of the table, perfectly poised.
“You get down from there,” Arterial demanded. “This instant.”
Mr. Bitey looked around the room, grinning from ear to ear, looking down on all of the elves.
“You’re embarrassing me,” The Master said to Arterial, whose gaze immediately sunk to the floor. “Get control of your pet.”
Mr. Bitey rose his hands into the air and roared. “Yay Dig-ni-y! YAY FWEE SOPE!”