“Danny?” Rang a shrill voice. The speaker herself was not particularly shrill, but rather it was the fact that Daniel was being jolted from a devastating hangover that made his conscience scream. He groaned like the Frankenstein monster.
Who are you? Ran across his cloudy mind.
Without taking time to verbally ask the question he crawled off the mattress very carefully, and with as much grace as a hockey player could muster, he slid his dark Levi’s on and stumbled to the kitchen.
From his standpoint by the coffee maker, Daniel could clearly take in the dozens of bodies strewn about the living room. Like a Surrealist masterpiece, the partiers seemed to be frozen in antiquity, each of them preserved in their own unique unconscious contortion. Some of them he recognized- teammates, girlfriends, Coach Jonsson- but mostly they were strangers. This was an unknown house and he quickly felt uncomfortable.
While boiling the water, a Cuckoo clock sprang to life somewhere in the recesses of the abode. Daniel’s blood had not yet fully expunged the alcohol from last night, and his brain felt as lifeless as a starfish long stranded under the midday sun. He cursed the clock and blamed the Cuckoo’s twelve shrieks for the poor decisions he had made at the party. A shot for every cuckoo! It had been the unofficial slogan of the night, supplanting the more traditional We are the champions! sometime before midnight.
After several minutes Daniel finally had his coffee. He dumped it down his throat like a shot of Bacardi, as if the Cuckoo was still chanting him on.
A new noise, however, entered his mind. He processed it almost instantly as a yawn and the painting seemed to be coming to life, as if one of the characters had realized that he was more than just watercolor on canvas. Laying on the floor, between a couple of bleach-blonde’s was a strapping fellow who’s own red mop seemed oddly out of place. He opened his milky eyes and turned his gaze from the ceiling to Daniel standing in the kitchen. Without bothering to even sit up he opened his mouth and laughed,
“A shot for every cuckoo!”