Tuesday, March 14, 2006

235. The omniscient narrator

It was 4 a.m. on a prematurely warm night in Southeast Texas, and Dick sat up in his motel room bed reading an ancient copy of The Advocate he'd picked up somewhere along his travels. "Holy heatwave," he thought to himself. "If it's this bad in early March, imagine what it's gonna be like in August."

A noise outside the door to the room caught him off guard for a moment, but as soon as he heard a key enter the lock he relaxed. Only Ollie. No need to panic. And what a change: this time, instead of leaving in the middle of the night, he was returning...

The door opened, and a shadowy figure entered quickly. It wasn't Oliver--not exactly, at least. If you knew the man as intimately as Dick did, you'd recognize certain key aspects of him: the massive biceps, the sturdy chest, the rugged face, the goatee that glowed almost gold, even in the dim light. But all of that was augmented by his striking clothes, all in the darkest shades of green: mask, cap and vest (beneath which his chest hairs poked out), large boots and specialized archery gloves, and the tights that had first caught Grayson's eye.

"Nice outfit," Dick purred. "Even sexier than I'd imagined. Pleased to meet you, Green Arrow."

Grayson felt his own shaft stiffen at the thought of getting reacquainted with his lover in an entirely new way. He pulled the bedsheet back in an open invitation for company.

Oliver Queen clearly had something else on his mind. "There's no time for that," he snapped. "They're after me. I didn't mean to bring you into this. Didn't want to show up here like this... too dangerous. But there's no other way. We've got to get our stuff and get out of here--immediately."

Dick was confused. He noticed now that Ollie was disheveled; he stank of something vaguely familiar. "Have you ... been drinking?" he asked cautiously. Alcoholism had been one of the theories he'd turned to in past months to explain the older man's frequent disappearances, but recent revelations had led him to rule it out. Still, what if this whole alter ego business was some sort of drunken fanta--

"Listen to me, Dick," Queen said, his voice as calm and commanding as he could make it. "There's no time to explain, but my life--and now yours--is in danger. We HAVE to LEAVE. NOW. Grab whatever you can and leave the key on the television. As soon as I change clothes, we're out of--"

Before the masked man could finish the sentence or his listener could comprehend it, the door burst open once more and three thuggish-looking men entered the room.

"Toldja he ran in here," one of them said, in a tone suggesting this was the capper to a long, idiotic argument.

"Okay, you win, asshole," another replied. "Whoopty-fuckin-do."

"And what have we here?" the third said upon discovering the barely dressed Grayson. "Looks like the freak has a girlfriend. This is gonna be FUN."