0: Party, Success, Power, Status, Greed

12:01 Fri 01 Sep 2006. Updated: 13:53 09 Sep 2006
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The chandelier was a colossus, nearly thirty meters across, fusing glass, silver wrapped around steel, and diamond. The light sources inside it pulsed gently, timed to create a subtle rippling effect that was mostly lost on the revelers beneath it.

The revelers beneath the chandelier were raucous, loud, and separate from everyone else in the great foyer. There were about twenty of them, and they were better-lit than the rest of the room.

At the center of that group was a man whose new suit was shockingly expensive even in this setting. His eyes were wild, and glazed from the substance excess of the evening. In his right hand he held a crystal goblet over-full with deep red. None of it had yet spilled onto the suit. Around his right arm was wrapped a woman”s svelte and naked left arm, her almost-bare breast touching his bicep. His left arm was similarly encircled by another woman”s right. He was grinning, and speaking, and all eyes in the group were on him, some far less friendly than they appeared.

He finished speaking, and most of them—all of them within the first ring—laughed in appreciation. He raised his goblet in a toast, spilling some of it on the chest of the woman on his right, and a watchful observer would have seen that this was deliberate. She laughed and—hesitating only slightly—raised her glass instead of trying to dry herself, toasting with all the others. The man laughed and yelled, and then moved the group towards the sweeping stairs, up them, toward the private rooms where less restraint would be shown.

When they were gone, the space under the chandelier remained empty, and most skirted around it while crossing to the doorway, unaware that they did so.

(300 words)

The above is part of a series of microfiction pieces.

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