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The Escape from Cacophony Island

Chapter 5

Rendezvous and Aftermath

5.1 The Rendezvous

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No one had seen Tallulah slip out of the Stars Galore Performance Theater through a side exit. She quietly made her way back to the hotel lobby and headed for a hiding place behind the potted palm in a far corner of the lobby where the elevator rats were known to hang out.

Offering a small bribe, she soon found a rat that agreed to take her to the fifth floor. So far, her plan was working perfectly, she thought to herself.

 

But what would soon turn out to be a very big problem, Crazy Girlfriend  had also slipped out of a side door at the Theather. No one had seen her either, and she was also headed for the fifth floor. 

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Upon quietly arriving at room 501, Tallulah wrapped lightly on the door. The heavy door swung open, and Ain't It Awful greeted her with a big hug, saying

     Come in, come in. So glad to see you.

     Where is Mad as Hell?

 

Tallulah whispered, almost under her breath, starting to cry.

     Oh, he left me. He couldn't take failure. 

 

Her mascara ran down her beak in rivulets, smearing her red lipstick.

She was a mess.

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The elevator rat, unseen, had followed her to the door.

Caring not at all about her dismay, he tugged at the fringed hem of her costume and demanded his money.

Through tear-filled eyes, Tallulah fished out a copper in her purse and whispered

     Oh gosh, sorry! 

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Paid and satisfied, the rat scampered quickly down the hallway and into his waiting elevator.

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Ain't It Awful pulled Tallulah into his room, slamming the door behind her. What are you doing here? She swooped down and kissed the top of his head as soon as he spoke.

     Don't you want to see me? asked Tallulah.

Hoping for no scenes, Ain't It Awful mumbled

     I think you should leave.

5.2 The Confrontation

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When Tallulah asked Ain't It Awful to make her a drink so they could sit down and talk about things, they were interrupted by an urgent knocking.

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Ain't it Awful cautiously opened the door and was shocked to see Crazy Girlfriend.

She stared past him at Tallulah. Her wide eyes turned to anger.

 

Tallulah stepped back from the door and, trying to control her anger, hissed

      What are you doing here?

Crazy Girlfriend pushed past Ain't it Awful into the room.

With her nose up and an air of haughty arrogance, she looked straight into Tallulah's eyes.

      What are you doing here? she hissed.

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I think you should both leave, Ain't It Awful said as he strong-armed them into the hallway.

5.3 The Bar Crowd

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They left, humiliated, and decided to go down to the bar and drown their sorrows.

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A lively bunch of celebrants greeted their arrival. It seemed that the rowdiest Badgers hung close to the bar. The Flimflam Flamingos were a sea of sparkle and shine. Not one of them had changed into street clothes. Their tap shoes sounded like castanets on the wooden floor. There was the usual jostling as they all tried to place their order for refreshments.

With their backs to the bar, Tallulah and Crazy Girlfriend paused for a moment to survey the scene at the far tables in the shadows. They watched and soon realized that they were not the only ones with troubles.

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Gus, a Honey Badger, was slumped over his drink at one of the larger tables, whispering to one of the Flimflam Flamingos, who tried to lean over so she could hear him.

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Smooth As Silk and Tough As Leather held court with Marlene and Appassionata, huddled at a small table in the corner. The lighting did not shine favorably on them.

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To their right at the bar, the Out Of Work Actor tried to impress a Flimflam Flamingo dancer in a sequin bustier. They could barely hear his banter above the din of the noise.

5.4 Three-Inch Chanel Heels

By midnight, everyone was well into their cups. Closing time was 4:00 am, so they all had time to amuse themselves with another round.

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Ellie wandered in around 3 am at the end of her shift. If you recall, Ellie is a doctor and quite beautiful. She no longer carried a metal clipboard she used for patient notes at the hospital and had replaced her doctor's moccasins with three-inch Chanel heels. Her dress, décolleté, and short skirt hem showed off her legs. Despite being feathered, they were spectacular.

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One of the bar crowd, a Sly Fox called It Doesn't Work That Way, was immediately attracted to Ellie and hoped his sly fox reputation wouldn't put her off. He slowly maneuvered his way through the noisy crowd, and when he was close enough, he said 

        Well, hello there beautiful, can I buy you a drink?

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That just seemed too familiar, so Ellie looked around and waved to an old friend, a trustworthy lynx called Support Your Ambitions, to come and join them. In a low whisper, she asked him to whisk her away as politely as possible.

When they were out of earshot, the lynx, looking puzzled, asked

     What are you doing with him?

 

Ellie whispered in reply.

I'm not with him; I just took a break from my shift and thought I could meet up with some old chums. You seemed to come out of nowhere at just the right time. I'm glad you rescued me. Thanks

5.5  Joe#5 is a Lynx

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Here Comes the Gang, Support Your Ambitions, and a small group of the other lynx welcomed a small group of Badgers heading toward them.

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A few Flimflam Flamingos shuffled in, and some rats snuck into feast on the popcorn dropped by careless drinkers.

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The music was jazzy, and the lights were low. It was very conducive to celebrating. The noisy crowd hushed when the bartender, a lynx named Joe#5, announced the last call for drinks.

Almost everyone began shouting at once for more drinks. No one noticed that Joe#5 was a lynx, not the usual lemur. He had somehow convinced the lemurs to let him wear one of their servers' outfits.

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Despite lacking experience with a large bar crowd, Joe#5 handled the orders expertly. He even flipped a bottle of Cordial and poured three drinks for Marlena and Appassionata, one of which was ordered by Smooth As Silk And Tough as Leather.

5.6 The Grunge Rat's Stained Ascot

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Smooth As Silk And Tough as Leather, a grunge rat was sitting quietly at the bar, his silk vest and ascot stained by the pizza he had ordered earlier in the evening.

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He got up from the bar to bring a round of cocktails for badgers Marlena and Appassionata, who were quite drunk by closing time and couldn't stand up to get their drinks.

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When they looked away for a moment, he dipped his cocktail napkin in a tonic glass and started rubbing the stain. His long hair, middle-parted on his skull, obscured his vision, and his efforts worsened the stain's color.

5.7 The Raven Sees All

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The time was 4:15 am. The Raven was hunched over his ledger at the lobby desk with a small lamp shining on the pages.

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The partygoers were streaming by with stumbling steps as they headed for their rooms. He noticed everything, even the Grunge Rats that had called it a night from their card game in the dumb waiter, and scurried under the lobby couches to find safety.

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Over the years, the Raven had worked long, hard hours to build a thriving and respected business. He was the owner and general manager of the Chaotic Hotel and liked to think of his accomplishments as a model for the growing Chaotic Village community.

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Throughout the village, he was known as I'll Get Even. He was proud of it. He felt he had earned it by how he dealt with any hotel guests that caused trouble.

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The Heirloom Bar for the Less Fortunate was emptying out when someone noticed Gus, a badger, snoring loudly while still sitting at the bar.

They got the bartender, Joe#5, to call Ellie. She was still gabbing with the lynx at bar exit exit. Joe#5 asked Has No Prospects, a muscled badger, to help. They hefted Gus's slumped body into the lobby elevator and called it a night.

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Ellie wished the lynx, Support Your Ambitions, goodnight and walked off to the hospital annex, clicking her heels on the marble floor as she tiptoed out, reflecting on the evening.

I'll Get Even was tired, and it had been a long day. But everyone, it seemed, wanted to talk to him to ask about tomorrow's hotel activities. Just My Luck, a grumpy Flamingo, tried to get his attention by brushing her feathers across the open page of the Hotel Ledger. It's Not My Fault, a grunge rat, was jumping up and down also to get the Raven's attention.

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I'll Get Even, slamming his feathers on Just My Luck's head and said

           Why don't you all just go to bed? It's 4:00 am 

 

Then he turned off the lamp and shuffled away, mumbling to himself

           Well, that's the end of that. Enough of this stuff.

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The Flimflam Flamingo, stunned, strutted off in a drunken sway and headed to the elevator.

            I'll talk to him in the morning, she thought.

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