The party was wild, like at fever dream. Svelte men wearing extravagant feathered headdresses were giving lap dances to powerful looking women in skin-tight leotards. Near the centre of the room, a huge group of people were dancing around, holding a chair up, whilst covered in whipped cream. There was a Jacuzzi there; it was filled with people, one of them was wearing a waterproof tuxedo and jugging/serving several different wine bottles. A conga line had started snaking around the room; picking up random people as it went; it had now joined up with its own tail, and no one seemed to care.
Derek was part of the group holding the chair up. He wasn’t entirely sure how he had ended up covered in whipped cream.
Derek had realized some minutes ago what the twins had done and now he felt like an idiot. He couldn’t hold his head in his hand while holding the chair so instead he rested his head on the chair leg. ‘I should have yelled out’ he thought, ‘I should have remembered’.
The man was propped up on a couch in the corner; Derek got a good look at him as his dancing group rotated again. Everyone seemed to be assuming that he had passed out drunk, in spite of it being only ten o’clock in the morning. And several helpful people; who were probably going the same way he had, were standing around him and pouring salt water over his head; swearing that it was a coma cure that their grandmother had heard from a friend of a friend.
Derek felt a dash of pity, but mostly he felt revulsion for the coma curers and a nagging undertone of fear that they would actually succeed in waking him up. Derek’s hands stiffened on the chair leg and as the chair kept rotating, he kept turning his head, trying to keep the man in view.
The party was still ramping up. Another group of people walked in the door, accompanied by what was either an ostrich or a man wearing far too many feathers; but was probably an ostrich.
Derek thought about how packed the party could get with horror. He bit his tongue and looked around. He knew he couldn’t risk losing sight of the man; if someone took him away and he woke up somewhere else then he would definitely escape, and that would mean losing the best hope they had of finding the person who was attacking them.
Someone bounded across the room; swinging on rubber pipes that attached themselves to the walls and ceilings whenever he threw them.
Derek felt a little disgusted; he pulled his head back and wrinkled his nose. He could see that the party was getting out of hand and he didn’t want to be around when the swinging man crashed into somebody. He looked around and thought about how he might escape. He looked at the door.
His host, the man who looked like Lenard, was still by the door; meeting and greeting people, with a joyful smile on his face.
Derek thought about trying to get through the door and shuddered. He wasn’t even sure he would be able to get through the door; it seemed likely that he would just get turned around. Derek decided against the door; even if he explained that his ‘drunken friend’ needed to get home to sleep it off he would probably just get sent to the bedrooms. Derek raised his head and looked at the bedrooms.
There were a couple doors that lead off the main area, presumably into the bedrooms. They were undecorated, not obvious, and not in any way open, but they were also not in any way barred.
Derek thought about the doors with curiosity as he hopped over the swinging man who had crashed in a splayed heap at his feet. The doors were clearly being downplayed; perhaps his host wouldn’t send him there so quickly after all. Derek decided that he wasn’t going to risk it, but maybe he could use the bedrooms? He could take the man into them and wait for the party to get so crowded that he could just sneak out the door. Derek looked over at his host.
His host was greeting a man in an alligator costume at the door, or possibly it was an alligator? No, it was probably a man in a suit. He was grinning away and didn’t show any signs of being interested in leaving his post.
Derek was crestfallen. He looked back at his host and thought about traps and mazes. He didn’t have enough time, he decided. He didn’t know how long he could rely on the man being unconscious for, and he didn’t know how long it would take before his host left the door. If the man came around while they were both in the bed room then the situation would be that much worse.
There weren’t many other ways out of the room. There was another door that presumably led to the bathroom; which was a useless escape route since Derek couldn’t think of a way of fitting himself down a toilet, and there might have been a window behind the huge blackout curtains at the end of the room.
Derek thought about his options; he really didn’t like any of them, and he rubbed his mouth with his shoulder while he talked, but when he thought about it he kept coming back to the window. He wasn’t sure of what floor he was on but he thought it was probably the third one. Three floors wouldn’t be fun but it might be doable.
Derek made up his mind.