Vignette:Penthouse Patois

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Penthouse Patois
Taywu, Imperial State of Beifang
January 1st, 2020

our figures sat reclined, facing a subdued fire. It had long since passed sundown, and all of the festivities were over.

The youngest sipped a glass of azure blue absinthe, glowing brightly amidst the roaring flames. He swiped constantly at his phone screen as if he were trying to kill a stubborn bug with only his thumb, to the masked amusement of the other three in the room.

The fattest swirled around a heavy flask of whisky, the stainless steel gleaming amidst the flickering light from the fire. He looked towards the flames longingly, his dry eyes and muted expression giving off an aura of silent despair; it was most unlike how he acted in public, and yet nobody in the room seemed to care.

The slender one quietly held a well-used blunt between two bony fingers. His bloodshot eyes returned to staring holes into the ceiling, as if he was stargazing on the shoulders of giants who stood atop a vast plateau of pink grass and yellow trees. There was a small smile on his face, and his thin frame seemed to emanate a warmth hotter than the fire in front of them.

The oldest clasped her wine glass, swirling it around gently. A lick of wine sloshed upwards, tinting the light red as she looked through the glass. Her wrinkled hands seemed to spread shards of ice along the surface of it as she took a small sip. Her other hand seemed to fidget around as if playing piano as her eyes darted between each magnate in the dark room.

“Auntie Ng, if you’re worried about our Heiban section, rest assured they’ll deliver,” muttered the youngest one. “Their projected profits this year from their subsidiaries will more than cover for their shortcomings.” His eyes stay put, constantly focused on whatever odd modern thing those kids liked nowadays.

“Those nutjobs at Kakhab have been pushing us around lately, and it doesn’t seem right,” the fat one spoke. “Targeting our subsidiaries in Modrovia looks like some drunk jab at us, but I feel like they’re trying to cut us out of PAC.”

“Needless to say, we’ve made great success in our local area,” the slender one slurred. “Profits keep on going up and up, and for the foreseeable future we’ll all be able to feed ourselves only the best caviar not even LuftAlva can dream of buying.” He quietly chuckled at the thought.

“Boys, just shut up,” Ng Yin Kwan groaned. “Enjoy the night while it lasts.”

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