As written to “Bad Dog, No Biscuit” by Yoko Kanno
The chaos was both sudden and incredible – the dimly-lit tavern had erupted into a cacophony of shouts, struggles, and the fever of the fight. She wondered how she would ever find her way out of the fray, much less find Olive again. All there was to do was push forward and get out. There was a moment where she thought she would be swept up in the middle, taken into part of the melee and not let out again – but in that moment, instead of her usual bout of paralyzing terror, of wishing dear god, please let me be anywhere else than here, she actually found herself enjoying the chaos. It was a sort of an achievement, this mess that she and Olive had created.
She began to weave – she side-stepped two men who were trying to strangle each other with large, meaty hands over a wobbly table, leaped over a tumble of bodies that had found their way to the floor. She was jarred and bumped and pushed – but she summoned whatever grace she had, and within minutes had managed to make it to the far end of the bar to a small patch of untouched space. Feeling victorious, she turned to survey their handiwork. There were over a hundred people sprawling out in front of her. Everyone was in a state of motion – fighting or fleeing or pressed up against the gritty grain of the walls. Drinks were spilled over the sticky wooden floor. Glass was everywhere, in shards on tables, lodged in arms and hands.
It was a complete disaster. A marvelous frenzy. Who knew she would feel this good about it? Now where the hell was Olive? If anyone should share in the sick triumph of this, it would be the most chaotic of her companions.
Her elation was interrupted by a strong grip on her shoulder, painfully burying into her flesh, and she found herself whipped around and shoved roughly back onto the bar before she could make any motion to escape. Looming over was—of all people—the bartender, the seemingly affable guy who had been laughing with some of the less surly customers, just moments ago. He was now a tower of rage, stronger than his wiry, slender frame would let on, brown eyes boring into hers with an anger that brought the familiar territory of terror back into her brain.
“I wouldn’t look so happy, wench – you think I don’t know what you did?” he hissed at her, pressing her back, wrenching her arm behind her as he talked. She yelped in pain, tears starting to form in her eyes. How could I be so stupid, how could I think I could do this, she thought frantically. She couldn’t even think of what to say to him– she wasn’t witty like Leo or charming like Olive – she was just herself, and she was sure she was going to die