carpetbagger.

I thought I heard a bird just now. Like the warble of one of their songs – the bird version of a rolling “R.” But maybe it was just my imagination. After all, I might possibly be greatly inebriated right now. It’s very easy to overtox on Snarktongue Venom.

There’s about a ten minute delay before any kind of traditional alcoholic effects, so you could end up drinking yourself into a coma and not realize until you step out onto the dance floor. If I start a ten-minute countdown, I will know for a certainty if I have all my faculties.

A lumpy mound of fur saunters up close to me at the bar. It’s got the shape of a shag carpet attempting to mimic a humanoid form. I nod slightly to show recognition and the furry lump seems to take this as an invitation to converse. There’s no visible orifice in which sound could emanate, but my open-mouthed gape of confusion has no effect on whatever drunken small talk the carpet is making.

My drink is once again empty. The carpet motions, as I interpret it, to the barkeep, who refills my glass with Venom. I go a little slower this time. I have about five minutes left until the fade drops, if it is going to.

The carpet shuffles a bit closer to me, snaking a lumpy appendage of some description across my shoulders. Even though this creature has an off-putting nature, the appendage feels remarkably comfortable. I can feel a warmth and gentle pulsing from the furry arm.

I would rather not engage into a sexcapade with the carpet, but in three more minutes I will probably have difficulty coming up with reasons against it.

I give a hearty pat on what I hope is one of the carpet’s neutral areas – I don’t want to give it any wrong ideas. The appendage retreats and I stand up from the stool. I want to get some distance in the minute or so I have left.

The dance floor is lit from below, with each hexagonal tile strobing a different primary color. Dancing on it is a large gathering of species. A human bar would refer to what’s happening here as grinding, but with the amount of liquids flying, tentacles grasping and suckers snuffling it’s more like a swirl or a blend. There are species I’ve never seen before probing aliens that seem impossible to function as a lifeform.

Something squirts onto my jacket but I’m reluctant to investigate it. Then, the birdsong again. More high-pitched now and definitely closer. Two carpet arms grab my neck and turn me around. I’m looking at the carpet and the carpet is looking back… maybe. Its visage is unknowable and thus inscrutable, even up close.

Its arms tighten around me and begin a rhythmic pulsing. I am so close to the carpet now I can swear I can see it breathing, like the rippling of a furry ocean. An odd tinge of awareness falls away at my periphery. The fade has dropped. I have no idea where I am.

The carpet in front of me quivers. This is our time. The movement is vague but I find myself now alone with it in some back room. The room itself is blurry and I can’t make out any fine detail. There’s no stopping this. The carpet and I are soon lost in each other.

The carpet takes the lead. Given I have no idea where to even begin with a lumpy carpet, this is the preferable order of things. Whether through experience or preference, it seems to know the lay of the land in terms of the male human workings. I have not had relations with a furry carpet before, but for now, I find this inevitable turn of events quite agreeable.

This thing, this experience, this sex with a carpet, is fully underway when I hear the damned birdsong once more. Now, the warble is not a curiosity. It is not strange. It is an annoyance. It is a bother. I must find it and stamp it out. The tweeting becomes louder from behind me. It seems to be right behind the door. The sound of a chirp slips through the gap under the door.

Drunken anger swells my body with strength and I yank open the door. Some kind of walrus-bodied and owl-headed hybrid beast slithers through the door and into the room. He’s just as bizarre as the furry carpet but in more exotic ways. The walrus-owl forces up his upper torso, holding steady on its hindquarters as his chest begins to gather air.

I can feel the room dropping several degrees in temperature as the walrus-owl takes in air, his chest expanding to four times it original size. Whatever is going to happen, it does not look good. The lumpy carpet is making a pathetic wheezing noise. I avert my gaze from the walrus-owl and try to find where in the hell I tossed my pants.

It appears one of my pant legs was caught on a wooden bedpost. I reach for the pant leg. As my hand grabs a fistful of fabric, there is an atmospheric pop, as if I was descending from a large height and my inner ear was adjusting to it. Then the walrus-owl strikes.

He unleashes the full force of his air blast, which starts off sounding like an irritating squeak before climaxing into a terrifying birdcall that shakes the ground and rattles the walls. The paint falls from the walls in large sheets, followed by cheap wood and drywall. The ground ripples, large chunks of hardwood rising in the air and staying there, defying gravity.

The lumpy carpet looks like a Pomeranian in a wind tunnel. Losing control of its appendages, they spin uselessly in the continuous soundwave blast. The skin on my face is numb, as if frostbitten, but I manage to withstand the blast.

The walrus-owl’s birdsong of doom loses volume, plateauing out into the sound of a wet fart. Spittle flies from its beak, covering the furry carpet and me with hot saliva.

The walrus-owl drops down to the ground and slithers toward the carpet. The carpet appears to embrace him, but at this point, being completely nude and near-deaf, I’m in no state to theorize on the various methods of interspecies communication.

Still nude, but with pants in hand, I leave the room. I have no problem at all getting my pants on. Strangely, I’m no longer drunk. Nothing like getting in the middle of a carpet and walrus-owl’s domestic dispute to sober you up.

Shirtless and shoeless, I walk back to the bar. I need another drink.