Coup Fourré (trans. An Underhanded Trick)

by Maureen Wynn
(with a little help from Betsy — hey, I didn't come up with the hip-waders line!)
Copyright ©1997

Episode - Karaoke Night - follows immediately after "Coup de Grace"

"You will sing it," he repeated to the mesmerized Merc.

"I will sing it," Maureen repeated obediently.

"You will put your heart and soul into this performance," he added.

"I will," she agreed.

Maureen walked dazedly towards the stage, hysterical giggles sounding behind her. Since they could no longer see her face, she permitted herself a slight smile. I knew those post-hypnotic suggestions would come in handy during this war, she thought. No one's gonna hypnotize me!

She walked up the steps to the stage, stopping first to cue the technician on the music she needed.

As she took the microphone, she could hear Dianne's voice cutting through the hush that fell over the room as the audience prepared to listen to the new victim, er, performer. "She's gonna sing "Purple People Eater"! She's really gonna sing it!"

As the music started, Maureen closed her eyes briefly, wishing she could see the expression on Dianne's — and LaCroix's — faces past the spotlights...

"I wanna be loved by you,
Just you, and nobody else but you,
I wanna be loved by you, al-oooone,

The gasp from the audience was followed by a wave of laughter, that grew as she continued to sing, really putting body and soul into it...

"I wanna be kissed by you,
Just you, and no-body else but you!
I wanna be kissed by you...

Schanke looked up from the table where he was talking to Nick, to look at the performer on stage. He saw the plump (OK, so I passed plump a while back — who's writing this, anyway?!) redhead doing a pretty good Marilyn Monroe imitation, and he smiled and sat down. Nick looked surprised, and said, "I though you wanted to leave, Schank?"

"After this song, pard. I love Marilyn!"

"Marilyn? Marilyn Monroe?!"

"Hey, she was a great performer! Cute, and sexy, and funny too! Quiet, huh? I want to listen to this. Gosh, she reminds me of Myra doing her imitation of Marilyn... I wonder what this lady would look like in hip-waders?" he muttered to himself. Nick pretended not to hear Schanke — hip-waders, again?!

"I couldn't aspire,
to any-thing high-er,
to put out the fi-re,
and make you my own!
badada-dadada-da, boop-boop-a-doop!"

As the singer finished, and took her bows, Schanke applauded, whistling his approval, while the rest of the audience, laughing so hard they could hardly get their hands to coordinate to clap, joined him.

Dianne rushed up to the stage, pushing her way through the crowds, determined to get Maureen and drag her back to LaCroix. She finally got to the stage, and looked around for the red hair of her nemesis. The MC looked at her and said, "Are you going to sing again, Dianne? What did you want to do this time?"

"Where is she?!"


"Maureen! She was just here..."

Valery looked around, and said, "I don't know where she went. She was here just a minute ago..."

Maureen slipped out the service entrance of the Tiki Room, and moved down the alley before she paused, looking behind her to be sure no one had followed her. Once she was sure she was clear, she took a deep breath and relaxed. Better to fight and run away... She giggled, then thought, even better to sing, then run away, to live to sing another day!

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