The weak winter sun rose and moved across the sky. Eventually, a beam of sunlight penetrated the front window of my house in Mayfair. The warmth and bright light brought me back to life, and gingerly I opened one eye. Then quickly shut it again, the pain in my head signaling "Danger! Danger!"
A few moments later I tried again, opening my eyes a mere slit. The room spun for a moment before it stabilized. I tried to stand, but my balance was still napping. Slowly, I turned me head left and right, assessing the situation.
To my left: an overturned end table, several champagne glasses on the floor and a sticky pool trickling toward the corner of the room. To my right: two wingback chairs, one on its side, and a large dining table, covered with half-eaten food, half-consumed champagne, empty champagne bottles, and streamers and hats. This looked like my front room, though after a hurricane swept through.
Conclusion: I had hosted a New Year's Day party and this was the aftermath. I groaned, both at the pain in my head and the thought of trying to clean the mess.
The mantle clock started to chime. One, two, three. I clasped my head. Four, five, six. Never have champagne. Well, not more than a bottle at once. Seven, eight, nine, ten. The noise stopped, and I breathed a sigh of relief at the silence.
Well, ten o'clock New Year's morning. Not so bad, really. With great effort, I stood and teetered to the door, where the day's paper had been shoved through the slot. I looked at the date. January 2, 18__. I've been out for an entire day? Good Lord, that must have been some party. I staggered to the kitchen where I found a glass that did not look positively deadly and consumed a quart of water. This was going to be one hell of a year.