January 14, 2008
Her azure eyes fluttered open as streams of warm sunlight fell across her face. Around her lay beer-bottles, pizza boxes, comatose revelers and one-night stands. All of it evidence of the hell they had raised in honor of her twenty-first birthday. Slowly the blue eyed girl pushed herself from the floor, wincing as her stiff muscles screamed about being moved, and stumbled towards the bathroom in search of something relieve the pounding jackhammers behind her eyes. As she hunted through the assortment of pills, toothpastes and other odd bathroom items she cursed herself for drinking as much as she did. Finally she found what she had been looking for, downing four of the strange little blue pills, she slid to the floor and rested against the bathroom wall, letting them work their magic. She glanced at the clock that hung in the bathroom and swore. A few moments later a loud, sharp bell sounded throughout her home. She grimaced and covered her ears partially, the noise not particularly enchanting to her hung-over senses. Already she could hear the moans and groans of those in the living room. The young woman pushed the off button on the alarm and blissful silence filled the air for a moment before an angry voice shattered it.

“What the f*** Artemis!” The voice belong to Matthias the hardest partier in the city and her current boyfriend.

“Sorry, I forgot to turn it off last night.”

“No sh**.” Artemis grabbed her little pill bottle and went to the living room. She knew that he would need it, most of the empty alcohol bottles being his.

“I have to go in to work tonight babe, you gonna be okay to stay out of trouble?” She was only half teasing, she rarely let him go out on his own because of his penchant too drink too much, as much as she wished she could, Artemis was not his mother and couldn’t exactly ground him to his room.

“Ah, you worry to much babe,” he wrapped a large burly arm around her waist and pulled Artemis against him. “I don’t ever get into trouble unless you are there.”

“Alright. But now I need help getting these lay-abouts outta my house, care to join me?” She had a wicked grin on her face and mischief dancing in her eyes.

“Always glad to join in your revelries my little Faye.” She rolled her eyes at his pet name for her and wriggled away from his grasp. She moved to the kitchen and set several glasses on the counter before filling them with water and ice. Artemis handed Matthias two glasses and grabbed two herself before heading toward her still sleeping friends.

“All right, light is here, that means you need to be out of here. For those of you who would like to remain dry, and warm get up, get out and you won’t get drenched, for the rest of you, it is bath time.” Artemis spoke in her best ‘drill sergeant’ voice and watch as a few actually woke up and tried to leave. After those who heeded her warning were out of the line of fire Artemis and Matthias dumped glass after glass of icy water on the faces and bodies of those who had not.

An hour, and two near fights, later Artemis had cleared out her living room and was working on getting it clean. Matthias had tried helping her, but found the clinking bottles and bright lights a little much and had left Artemis to clean alone. She didn’t mind really, she had done almost everything on her own since she was eleven, her father being a deserter and her mother being too sick with self-pity to be of much use to herself or a young and confused Artemis.

After the mandatory ‘basic’ cleaning of her living room Artemis dropped the trash bags by the door and made her way to the back of her house, taking refuge in her dark, cool and blissfully quiet bedroom. She set the alarm on her beside clock, stripped down to her birthday suit and slid under her covers for some deep, well deserved sleep.

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