"Indeed it is, orphan," I replied. "That sound means I got a text message. Probably another one from the Nobel committee. They're persistent! Now hold still. Almost done."
I taped the last bit of gauze down and stepped back to make sure I didn't miss anything. The child's body, only hours before mangled seemingly beyond repair, was now a shining testament to what modern science, ancient science, mad science and lots of duct tape could do. He stood there, shifting from foot to foot like a nervous deity, his cyborg limbs reflecting the polished gold finish of nearby trophies.
"How do you feel?" I asked the child.
"Like I could kill a horse!" he said.
"Good. Now go forth," I said, booting him out the front door. "Seek revenge! Be merciless!" I called after him.
It was one in the morning, and it was time to get drunk. The Nobel committee would have to wait. I picked up my phone to see what they were offering this time, and when I saw the message header, my stomach filled with dead butterflies.
It was from Craig.
helo swine!!11! i was in in the nayberhud and i thought i d stop and sea you! HAWHAHHAHWHWHHAHHAHHWWWHAH! i"m itchy again can i have some bear or hto coko?
Ugh. Craig had been threatening to visit the chateau for months after he had moved across the country. I would remind him that he lived 2,000 miles away now, that no, his globe wasn't actual size and that it would take months for him to make the trip on his lone roller skate.
If he was lost at the gas station down the street from his apartment again, he'd just have to spend the night there. I had more important drunk to be.
To start things off, I chose a dark vermouth; a 1993 Oily Prat. A classy fortified wine, fortified with class and of course much much alcohol. I poured myself a Thermosful.
"Cheers!" I said to my wall of trophies, and took a deep pull from the twisty straw. The vermouth burned my eyes and began to eat away at the straw. Then I switched to turpentine.
No sooner had I become good and drunk, when a raging cacophony of irritation hurled itself against my front door. Bangs, frantic scratching, thumps, buckling sheet metal and inhuman screeching. It sounded like Armageddon was trying to crawl into my house through the mail slot.
I staggered over to the door and pressed my handsome, handsome face against the glass.
Shit. Even worse. It was Craig! And here I was, too hammered to work the light switch or a rifle.
"You're nohhtt getting nuhn of MY bear!" I scream-slurred at his blurry silhouette.
"Stop that jabbering and open up!" he said, removing one of his socks and stuffing it through the mail slot. It hit the floor with a splat and began to laboriously lurch its way into the shadows. I swear I could hear it wheezing, but I was pretty drunk. I opened the door.
"I have rickets!" he squealed, skittering over to my refrigerator to paw at my bacon.
"Oof. Um. Jesus. Hey, could you paw a little quieter? I'm nursing the mother of all pre-hangovers here."
Craig screeched something about vinegar and tucked a package of hot dogs under his arm.
"Hey. HEY! We should play some games! I'll call Kevin so we have someone to be better than! Can I borrow your phone?"
I nodded to the counter. Craig dropped my phone into his pocket and made the call on his own. He crammed the phone against the side of his terrible head and allowed all sapience to drain from his face, a vacuous smile bouncing around his face like a DVD player's screen saver.
"Kevin!" he hooted. "You musty horse! Did you want--what? What do you mean this isn't Kevin? Of course it is. I can hear your fat. What? This is his number! Yes it is! YES IT IS!"
He ended the call, slipped his phone into his pocket, pulled mine out and threw it on the floor.
"Kevin says he'll be right over!" he said.
I poured another vermouth.