Chapter One: Charisma Hits the Dance Floor
To say Charisma Ponderosa "appeared" at the top of the Grand Staircase wouldn't be entirely accurate. She didn’t so much appear as she faded slowly into focus in much the same manner as the bartender’s face fades slowly into focus once you’ve fallen off your barstool and flat on your ass after your seventh Tequila Popper.
Atop her poorly bleached hair sat a tiara adorned with enormous faux diamonds. She wore a red sequined gown that she’d been poured into… out of a Soft Serve ice-cream machine. The sequins had the appearance of scales making her look like some gigantic red iguana which had escaped from a fifties horror film by way of "Saturday Night Fever."
Draped around her hips was a loose, zebra-skinned sashay belt which hung just above her thighs. Her large feet were stuffed sausage-like into a pair of expensive polka-dotted designer shoes. You could see the perfume she’d applied generously about her form from the ballroom floor.
Charisma was a vision. A peyote-induced vision, but a vision nevertheless.
She waved. It was the wave rodeo princesses’ use in backwater Fourth of July parades. A slow back and fourth, elbow firmly planted in mid-air. It was the wave of royalty. It was the wave of dismissal.
Charisma began to slowly sashay down the stairs with the intent of making a big entrance. She had no idea that she would accomplish that goal in spades. As she stepped down the stairs her belt suddenly slipped loose and dropped down to around her feet.
She staggered to maintain her balance, but her feet were hopelessly entangled in five-hundred dollars of zebra-skinned doom. Time briefly froze as the crowd at the bottom of the stairs gasped in unison. That is except Charisma’s sister Eunice who was snickering to herself in the corner.
The coroner’s initial report was simple and concise. "Death by sashay, sashay."