Status: i'm abroad right now, so it'll be difficult to upload chapters - i'm still writing them though :')

Coffee Republic

Not That Drunk

Avery didn’t really think the host was allowed to call this a party. It was a gathering, if anything; but despite the overwhelming stuffiness of the place, she didn’t seem to mind it. Maybe she was a little stuffy herself.

“Avery Williams!” a voice that sounded almost scandalized in its high pitch. Avery tentatively turned around, to squint at a woman who looked her mother’s age – she had the same lines in the corners of her eyes. “I haven’t seen you since you were this big!” cue hand lifted about a meter off the ground.

Avery smiled politely “I’m very sorry, I can’t quite remember you.”

“Oh, that’s alright, I’m a friend of your mother’s from way back. In fact, is she here? I haven’t seen her since…” she trailed off awkwardly, although the words were screaming even under a veil of absence. since your father died.

“Yeah, she should be here somewhere.” Avery fiddled with the clasp on her wrist, welding her gaze onto it.

“Oh, perfect. Well… take care of yourself.” That final line sounded slightly ominous, but before Avery could open her mouth to question her, she had already disappeared into a cluster of people. It was her paranoia, that was all.

A heavy weight on her mind, she turned to the food and drink table. Just one drink.

She could practically feel everything - her nerves, her fear - slip away as she downed the flute of champagne.


After about two hours, 32 canapes, and five flutes of champagne, Avery needed to pee. She was surprisingly good at holding her drink, and although four glasses weren’t enough to make her totally inebriated, there was a glorious blurred rose tint along the edges of her vision the majority of her vision. Of course, this made it hard to navigate to the bathrooms, as it would be ‘unsightly’ to place them right outside the ballroom.

No, she had to walk through at least three corridors before she could get the privilege that is a toilet. But she made it, albeit swaying and tottering all the way.

She stumbled into the first bathroom she found, and immediately had the urge to throw up. The wave of nausea was so powerful she only had a split second to lift the toilet seat before she heaved all the caviar she had eaten into the toilet bowl – some of it maybe straying beyond that.

Exhausted, she leaned against the cool rim of the toilet seat, closing her eyes briefly.

What the fuck? Not that drunk.

Then what?

Bad caviar?

That caviar was pretty damn good, actually.

Avery tentatively opened her eyes and tried to stand up, only to realize she couldn't. Her legs felt like jelly – she could only lift herself up by clutching onto the sink and using it as leverage.

Not that drunk. Not that drunk. Never been that drunk, even.

She was drunk enough, however, not to see the truth laying plainly in front of her. The realization came like a lightning bolt – or more a punch to the gut, a stab in the back – when she heard slow, deliberate steps from the beginning of the hallway. Heading towards her.

“No.” She blinked, hard, squeezing her eyes shut until she could see discombobulated shapes, glowing behind her eyelids.

Her guard had been lowered after the very first drink, she had felt so calm, tranquil, even, she should have suspected – but how? How could he have slipped anything into her drink? Unless – her stomach dropped – unless he had been there the entire time? Dressed up and mingling, probably watching, waiting until the moment she would be isolated –

There was a certain theatricality in the rappity rap that fluttered against the bathroom door.

“G-go away!” She let go of the sink in an attempt to make for the door, forgetting that her legs were utterly useless.

She heard a meaty thump as her body hit the ground, snickering, and then a high-pitched ringing sound. But she was pretty sure the latter was coming from inside her head.

The door opened only a fraction, Avery’s body preventing the Joker from full access.

“Tsk tsk tsk,” half of his face appeared in the small crack, one eyebrow arched over a dark, burning eye “How disa-ppointing.”

Avery couldn’t see him, her face was pressed unceremoniously into cool tiles. But god, could she imagine him, the scarlet sneer an inch from splitting his face in two, yellowed teeth bared, as if on the precipice of an animalistic snarl.

“Do you know how dangerous this is? Lying, drunk, on the floor of a public bathroom? Why, people could just waltz right in and – take advantage of you!” He exclaimed in mock horror, his violet fingers curling around the edge of the door, thin and spidery.

“Ohhh…” she groaned, the after-shocks of her fall wearing off slightly. She could feel her heart hammering against her chest almost painfully, each separate thump seeming to jolt her warm body against the cold floor, like a defibrillator was desperately trying to revive her. But the syrupy, chemical calmness, dripping into her bloodstream, was more powerful.

As the Joker forced the door open, the hard edge digging into her side and rolling her over with a huff onto her back, she realized that she could feel and move her arms, however drowsily – but not her legs.

“What did you… what did you do to my legs?” she spoke, her voice feeling not really her own, floating away from her body.

“Let’s just say they’re… out of order.” He stepped over her body almost dismissively, walking over to the sink and rifling through his inside pockets. “Not permanently – you didn’t drink enough for that. I was hoping you would.”

She should’ve felt sickening horror at that comment, but simply didn’t have the energy to feel anything beyond bemusement.

“You’re…” despite her English Literature degree, and her goddamn career as a journalist, she struggled to find the correct word to describe him.

“A monster?” he drawled, as if he had heard it a million times before.

Her ears strained to pick up the gentle clicking as he typed something into his phone, an almost comical scowl twisting his features. He leant against the wall, displeased expression fading into a thin layer of neutrality as he stowed it away and awaited some form of response.

“No.” she continued to scrutinize the ceiling, the strange tranquility of the drugs washing over her, the waves getting stronger and stronger as each minute ticked by. “I might’ve called you that before. Hell, I called you that in my article. But you’re not the devil, you’re not a monster, you’re…” she faltered. “…Are you human?”

Avery could barely hear the heavy thump, thump, thump of his footsteps – it was as if she was sinking, deeper and deeper underwater. But she could still see, and so she stared with empty, glazed eyes as the Joker leaned over her limp body, the angle casting his entire face in shadow. She could only see his faded green hair, thin enough to be illuminated by the florescent lights above.

“I’m whatever you think I am, Avery.

Shudders rippled across her flesh, and for one moment she felt something beyond dreamy bemusement. A curious mixture of disgust and fear.

“I hate…” she blinked, hard, trying to see him through the darkness. “I hate the way you say my name.”

The Joker’s head tilted back, allowing the harsh light to reclaim his twisted features, as he laughed. Uproariously, as if she had told the funniest joke in the world.

Avery’s eyes rolled into the back of her head, and the world suddenly grew very cold, and very dark, as she sank deeper into unconsciousness.
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it has been a year since i've updated this oh my god - i've written barely anything since then, and this chapter just burst out after a year of pent up creative frustration, so. i do plan to finish this story, considering it won't be very long at all - hopefully not at the current rate. this author's note probably doesn't make sense but it's like 1.30 for me so i'm pretty spaced