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The Escape from Cacophony Island

Chapter 6

The New Day Begins

6.1 Morning at the Pool

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As the hot sun rose on an already humid morning, the Flimflam Flamingos were already in the pool. Frick and Frack, two unreliable raccoons, were handing out towels where the early risers had already done their laps. After hearing about their excellent work on the Slow Boat, the Raven had hired them. It seems they could fool anyone.

They loved the simplicity of handing out towels to the hotel guests. And the job had the added benefit of eavesdropping on everyone's personal conversations.

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At the near end of the pool deck Out of Work Actor, a badger, snuck a smoke behind the cabana. He quit cigarettes, but his promise to himself and his wife didn't last long. He was back at it again, hiding his cigarette pack behind the bathroom vanity.

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His wife, Vivian, a plain-looking female badger, didn't take many vain pursuits, but she did brush her teeth and applied a little mascara, a small sacrifice for her minimum beauty regime.

She lay under an umbrella on a chaise lounge nearby, white zinc oxide covering her face and a towel draping over her hairy badger legs.

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As soon as he finished his cigarette, Out Of Work Actor planned to join Vivian and lie on a chaise lounge so he could show off his muscular physique in his spandex bathing suit. He would splash tanning oil all over his body for protection from the hot sun. He knew it would make his hair greasy, but didn't care.

At the far end of the pool deck, You Are Exonerated, a lawyer and a fox, poised on the diving board , hoping for applause. But his mate, I'm Foxy, was the only person who applauded, and the other possible audience, two adolescent foxes, didn't even notice him.

The Cacophony Island court had burned down during the recent uprising, so until (and if) it was rebuilt, he didn't have to think about his office. The brief he was supposed to write could wait, and when it finally had to be done, his law clerk would probably write it anyway. 

 

Years ago, he was a rising star at his law firm, Criminals, Crooks, and Desperados. He had defended some of the worst offenders on Cacophony Island, but time and age, along with the deteriorating conditions on the island, sullied his ambition and promise. He had lost his most recent high-profile cases, and his firm had begun to view him as a mechanic. That made him angry, but he knew he'd rise again. No plea bargains this time around for those troublemakers that were destroying his homeland.

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After diving, he took a deep bow to no one and returned to the cafe to have breakfast.

6.2 The Pool Boy Sees All

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Meanwhile, You Are Exonerated’s mate, Foxy, walked with a very foxy gate up to the lifeguard, a red-tailed hawk, and asked about the temperature of the water.

        He was a handsome fellow, she thought.

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With a sexy chwirk, a voice he musters during courtship, he chirped out the degrees in Fahrenheit. Then, with a welcoming gesture, actually a come-on, he offered Foxy a cold beverage that he always kept chilled in a cooler stored under the lifeguard stand.

Foxy purred a soft response.

        Why, thank you very much, don't mind if I do.

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Foxy wore a string bikini with clearly no attempt to cover her shapely but hair-covered body. She flipped the can top open as though she was hailing a cab.

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The pool boy, Not So Funny, witnessed the exchange between Foxy and the lifeguard hawk and planned on using the information later. This clever pool boy knew how to manipulate and jotted down everything he saw and heard on a small pad. He thought it should be easy to coax some money from You are Exonerated.  A defense lawyer makes decent money with trial work and could be hit up for a good chunk of change.

6.3 A Little Help From Botex

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Six floors above the pool deck where Not So Funny was taking notes for future use, Trick-see, a beautiful Flimflam Flamingo from the chorus line earlier this week, was sitting wide-eyed on her rooftop suite’s private balcony. She was staring at the headline on page one of yesterday's Shipping News.

 

              Enzo Jilts Tallulah Hyster Living up to his RAT ‘Mad as Hell'

Trick-see, a recent escapee from Cacophony Island, thought it was amazing that Shipping News readers already knew Enzo. Even more surprising was that they knew his RAT…his Reactive ATtitude...the name adopted by each Island resident that described their unique attitude that developed in response to years of difficulty living in a confused society.

 

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She kept reading breathlessly as the article went on to show a photograph of Enzo saying, “I never promised her a rose garden,” while he put his sunglasses back on to shield his eyes from the camera flashes. The reporter said he shouted one more question, but Enzo quickly disappeared into an elevator and was not seen for the rest of the day. No one knew where he stayed last night since he was roomless after leaving Tallulah.

But on this morning, Trick-see thought she knew what he was planning.  

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Enzo was heading for her rooftop penthouse suite. It was a more richly appointed room than his suite on the 5th floor. He knocked gently. Trick-see opened the door with outstretched wings. He burst into the room, greeting her with a hurried embrace.

 

But for a split second, he couldn't recall her name.

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Trick-see, not upset, reminded Mad as Hell.

After all, it was just two nights ago that they met for the first time after the Flimflam Flamingos performance.

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 She had been so impressed by the birthday cake with 20 candles alight that Mad as Hell had quickly arranged for her in the Heirloom Bar that she had given him her room number. She was so flustered; perhaps she forgot to mentioned her name? How would he know her name if she did?

 

Little did Trick-see realize that Tallulah had pointed her out in the chorus line and told him she was on the tired side of 30. But he noticed her great legs and he was interested immediately.

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Trick-see had dismissed the suite's Butler for the evening so she would have Mad as Hell all to herself.

But as he proceeded to mix martinis straight up with a twist, the bright morning light from the outside sky suddenly darkened with unexpected rain clouds. She thought it was peculiar that he didn't know to remove his aviator glasses, so she switched on all the lamps and spotlights. She hoped that even through his dark glasses, the light would perfectly show her legs. Anyway, she figured there was nothing wrong with lighting up her attributes. She also thought the Botox in the feathers above her beak helped.

6.4 A Close Call

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Their martini glasses had only a few drops left and were placed gently on the side table. Chopin's Piano Concerto #4 was playing softly in the background. And they were in the middle of a first embrace...when the phone rang.

It was the front desk: Trick-see's mate, an orangutan named Alfred, was on the way up. 

That would spell big trouble.

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She abruptly hung up and pushed Mad as Hell into the corridor, offering no explanation except to take the stairs. Shoving him hard, she slammed the door behind him with a thud.

         Ah, a close call, muttered Trick-see.

         Now you see him; now you don't.

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Satisfied that her encounter wasn't discovered, she poured herself another martini, sat on the couch, and opened a copy of today's Shippings News that had just arrived at her suite.

An article on Page Six reported that last night, everyone at the hotel bar had heard Tallulah's drunken rant about how Enzo had done her wrong. It was a small hotel community, so the news spread like wildfire. The newspaper reported that the Hotel guests were heard gossiping loudly in the lobby and hallways.

6.5 Dice Game with Rats

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After Trick-see hurriedly pushed him out of her suite, Mad as Hell sauntered slowly down the hallway and got on the elevator. "Take the back stairs" like a thief fleeing in the night or the morning...whatever! No way was he going to do what he was told.

Pausing in front of the elevator, he recalled that grunge rats were rumored to run all-day dice action in the boiler room. As he pictured what the boiler room games looked like, he quickly stepped into the elevator and pushed the basement button. He hoped the rumors were correct because he had nowhere else to go since he dumped Tallulah. He needed a place to spend the day, and besides, he thought he could win big.

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But the doors opened into damp and dark basement corridors, where he found most of the boiler room doors locked. This was a clear fire code violation, he thought. Finally, after some hunting, he found the one door that was left open.

In unison, six grunge rats paused their play and squeaked their welcome, gesturing for him to throw in a sawbuck and enter their crap game. He thought it would be a long time until tomorrow morning when he could count his winnings

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But that was not to be. He rolled snake eyes at every turn. Was the game rigged? He left his winnings on the table and rolled again and again through the afternoon and into the night. The grunge rats were delighted. He lost 1050 coppers. Zero winnings! His now empty pockets reminded him to try a different game next time. Had Better Days, a grunge rat winked his farewell, and It's Not My Fault saluted him.

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Enzo wandered off, and the Raven I'll Get Even let him sleep under the potted plant in the lobby. There was nowhere except the broom closet, rumored to be infested with vermin.

6.6 Enter Alfred the Orangutan

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Meanwhile, Tricksee was getting nervous. She had only minutes before Alfred would barge through the door. In her haste to clean up so she could sit down and appeared to be reading gossip on Page 6 of the local Shipping News, Trick-see overlooked two almost empty martini glasses. They were partially visible behind the table lamp, and they were a dead giveaway. When he entered her suite, Alfred wasn't fooled even for a moment. He spotted them immediately.

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You live up to your name, he shouted, and accused her of cheating. She threw a vase and kicked him out. And that was that. He left the hotel in a huff.

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Tricksee was exhausted. She took a heavenly bubble bath, which took hours. She thought of getting ready for the evening's festivities but decided on a good night's sleep. She barely remembered her feathered head hitting the pillow.

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