Water is Vital – a short story by Chelsea Jaap

Raver GirlAs the rain came pouring down, he walked towards the building with determination. He knew what he wanted. Vincent turned and grabbed the hand of his best friend, Trisha, and charged towards the end of a massive line up of people directed to the giant doors of the building. Eventually, the rain had stopped and the sound of giant wings that was the numerous umbrellas being closed and put away could be heard over the many conversations happening in the line. A bit more time had passed before Vincent spun around and handed Trisha a water bottle and a capsule, which was half filled with white powder. When she gave him a puzzled look, he learned towards her and gently whispered in her ear, “Just swallow it like it’s a prescription.” Her eyes lit up in realization as she ecstatically tossed down the pill with some water.

When they got inside, they had their bags and raincoats placed in coat check and their hands stamped with the abbreviation of “Peace Love Unity Respect”. Vincent turned to Trisha, then over the loud music he yelled, “Go get changed. I will meet you back here in ten minutes.” In the girls’ washroom, Trisha came out of the stall fumbling to get her wavy red hair into a high ponytail while looking into the mirror to see her outfit. A baggy “The Beatles” tank top slightly covered the top of her tie-dye rainbow shorts that had glow sticks hanging off the belt loops down to her knees. She rolled on a pair of multi-colored arm warmers and came out of the washroom and saw Vincent already at the meeting spot. He stood tall with his brown hair spiked, wearing a bright yellow t-shirt with a large blue “V” in the center, with a pair of purple UFO pants.

Trisha jumped on his back to surprise him, and Vincent carried her off to a smaller room where a few people wearing V.I.P tags were scrambling about the area like a brood of chicken that had just broken free from the farm. Vincent slapped the shoulder of one particular blond girl who was wearing a white bikini top with a short plaid skirt that flowed with her black and white fishnet stockings. She turned impatiently towards him, her thick frames hiding her frowning brow. Looking upon Vincent quickly changed her expression to a delighted ear-to-ear smile as she threw her arms around him and squealed, “V! About damn time you got here, the rest of the crew thought you were ditching your own gig…and who might this be?” She let her grip go on Vincent’s neck and straightened herself up, tilting her head towards the quiet red head standing behind him.

“The name’s Trisha; I am here on my first night of raving,” she piped up as she held out her hand to be shaken. “My anticipation of tonight couldn’t be contained in this entire establishment.”

The girl laughed, pushed Trisha’s hand to her side and engulfed her in a chest crushing embrace. She eventually released Trisha from the hug and smiled as she continued the introduction. “My name’s Brittani, but most people around here call me Lollipop. I run Lickin’ The Productions, the company throwing this rave tonight. Do me a favor and come back here to see me later would you?” Trisha nodded with excitement. Suddenly, she froze.

A hot feeling brewing from her stomach spread throughout her muscles, making her tense up.

The irresistible urge to clench her teeth made her turn towards Vincent, who looked back at her and studied her stone-like stance. He did not much more than inspect her dilated pupils, nod in understanding, and pull out a baby soother attached to a beaded necklace and put it around Trisha’s neck. “It’s kicked in now. You are probably going to want to head to the dance floor quickly and test out this source of energy. Also, this lovely thing is what will save your tongue and cheeks from being chewed like a dog toy. Don’t tear it apart, just lightly rub your teeth on it to relieve the tension that will be consistently irritating your jaw, otherwise you’re going to have an all-around sore mouth tomorrow morning. This was all being said while he showed Trisha the way back towards the hallway and pointed towards the source of the thumping bass, a doorway where strings of blue and green LED light seemed to dance onto the wall across from it. She gave a slight frown at him, and he smiled and patted her shoulder while he leaned in and mumbled, “Go explore, dance, and enjoy the music. You will see me on stage in the next twenty minutes.”

Walking, breathing, every natural human performance felt new in some way. Trisha’s first step into the dance room and the rhythms of heavy, wobbling bass, repeating percussion and a tempo that could result in broken feet were all swimming through her body like she was the sub-woofer. Stunned for a second, she recollected herself and rushed over to a spot near the front stage. Observing the dancing of the people around her, she began mimicking little things she found interesting, eventually finding a comfortable method of her own. She started catching up to the speed of the electronic music. Holy mother of earth, I feel like I could dance for eternity, she thought. The tempo of the music began to steadily drop, and the song changed so drastically that anyone could tell the genre had switched, meaning, VINCENT! she screamed in her mind as she turned to face the stage.

High up on the stage was a confident and concentrated Vincent, who had put on a bright green visor that had the brim decorated with crafty beads and shapes. He built up the beat to a speedy tempo that got the entire room moving in unison. Trisha felt as if her heart was connecting to the feeling he was putting into the happy electronic music blaring through the giant speakers on the stage positioned towards the crowd. Pulse racing and forehead sweating, Trisha stepped aside to lean against a wall and checked the time to conclude that the set was almost over. She started towards the doorway to the hallway, but her vision became a spinning merry-go-round.

She reached for the wall, a numbing feeling spreading from her hands through her arms to her chest.

The numbing hit her feet, and she collapsed.

Her name in the distance, a wave of cold water on her face and bright concentrated light on her eyes brought Trisha back to life. She was laying down on a folded blanket on the floor of the small room she was in previous to the dance room, and straining to adjust her vision, she threw her hand in front to block the light from her eyes. “Okay, that’s enough back off now. Look at her! She’s awake. Give her a minute!” exclaimed the concerned Vincent, who was kneeling over her. Trisha slowly rose from her corpse-like position and chugged back water from a bottle Vincent had pushed towards her. “This here bottle could have saved you from what happened earlier. I sincerely regret not informing you about keeping hydrated with the current physical state that you have.” He turned his attention to Lollipop, who was standing at the other side of the room. “I need to grab my CDs and headphones; will you accompany her for a while?” She nodded as he set off for the dance room.

Lollipop strutted over and gave a slight giggle when she looked down to Trisha. “Goodness gracious! You sure worked yourself to exhaustion in there. It’s been a long time since any of us have seen someone faint in a place like this.” She paused and walked towards the counter, then spun back around with a box wrapped in paper with neon swirls hand drawn everywhere and continued, “When you’re feeling up to it, you may open this. Only people who come to my events as their first experience receive such a gift. I do hope we meet again.” She gently set the box by Trisha’s knees and got up from the floor. Turning to walk out the door, she added, “You should be alright now; Vincent’s on his way now. Ciao!” Trisha waved and snapped her attention to the box.

Using her nail, she cut along the paper and opened the box. Inside contained some pamphlets on Safe Raving & After-partying, beside it was a small bag with condoms, lube and a straw. She slowly took items out one by one and underneath the pamphlets and bag was a card containing a happy face on the front, which had a slight bulge in it. She opened the card and three colorful beaded bracelets fell out. She started to read the card as she put on the bracelets. The card read: Congratulations on your first rave. I hope you had a wonderful time and will continue to come out and see how beautiful this scene can be. Our next event will be on December 17th, a Christmas themed rave. For more information please send an email to Lollipop@LickintheProductions@gmail.com. Sincerely, Lollipop

Hearing the shuffling footsteps that was Vincent, Trisha quickly gathered all the things she had taken out of the box and assembled it all back in and closed it. Vincent ran with his hands full of DJ equipment into the room and emptied his load onto the counter. Breathing quickly and deeply, he caught his breath and regained himself as he proceeded to sit beside Trisha. As he sat, she grabbed the box and adjusted herself against the wall. They looked at each other and exchanged smiles. She held the box close to her. He understood.