There it sat: a half-empty bottle of cheap Fireball whiskey. But this was no ordinary bottle. It had lay, untouched, for the last 90 minutes. No one had even glanced at the bottle as they fixed themselves drinks. It was a holy grail amongst cut-rate booze; it was almost hers.
Alison Williams has always known she was special. Always thinking of others, especially the underprivileged and underutilized. And this was her night, and her prize. Her sorority was hosting a fraternity as a mixed party, and the time was ripe for action. All she needed was to reach out and claim it.
“Hey, is this anyone’s bottle?” Williams said timidly to the nearest group of chatting females. “No? Anybody know who brought this? It seems a shame to let it go to waste….”
No one arose to claim the discarded drink, so Williams decided it was time for more direct action. After gathering her courage, she hesitated, and then seized, the bottle. The harsh touch of the cheap plastic caught her by surprise. Who would have thought it would feel like this?
As Williams carried it though the party, light shone on the peeling ‘$7.99’ sticker like the glow of a sunset over the ocean.
“Did somebody leave this here? I mean, I don’t want to drink it if they did,” Williams said confidently, to a group of fraternity brothers contemplating their next attempt to use a group of women and discard them like so much soiled linen.
“Ok, I was just checking. Didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes.”
Minutes pass. Despite the general knowledge that the bottle is here, unclaimed, and unconquered, no one rises to the challenge. They must be afraid, Williams realizes. Afraid of its power. Afraid of the consequences. Afraid of themselves.
“10 more minutes,” Williams said to herself in the now-empty kitchen. “If nobody’s come to claim it in 10 minutes, then it’s mine. Waste not, want not.”
The minutes passed in agonizing fashion. Every second felt like the stab of a knife, turning and turning in the wound. But as each moment disappeared, Williams knew she was closer and closer to her goal. Her prize. Her birthright.
And then, just as all seemed to be well, a drunken fraternity brother stumbled into the room, red cup in his hand and vomit on his shirt. A predator, come to kill his wounded prey. But the predator always forgets: wounded animals fight harder than any other.
“You wanna share that back at the frat tonight, babe?” said the slick-tongued devil. “My roommates will probably be gone…” He paused to wipe saliva from the corner of his mouth.
Now was not a time for hesitation. It was time for action. Williams seized the bottle and, quick as lightning, brought it down upon his head. The dull ‘thud,’ and soft thump and the fraternity brother crumpled to the ground, sounded like justice. It felt like victory.
“Well, it’s been ten minutes, and I really want to get back to the party,” Williams said to herself. “Does this belong to anyone? For the last time?”
A lethal, and silent pause.
“No? Then I’ll probably drink it, I guess.”