Thursday, December 4, 2014

Rough Cut (or, "written with two beers and an ink pen") --REVISED

She fell into the cup with a vengeance. It had been a long day, and the bath with the beer was especially tasty this time --particularly in this moment.

As she nursed the bubbles down her throat, she pondered her rapidly shrinking options.

A gentleman at the far end of the bar watched her with subtle enthusiasm --but not so subtle the bartender did not notice.

Given her habit of skipping out on the bar tab, the barkeep ever so discreetly dropped the charge for her beer onto the rapt gentleman’s tab.

He didn’t notice. He was too wrapped up in her wild brown hair, her long limbs, and her bizarrely demure black leather outfit --complete with black boots that had silver spurs.

He was also enraptured by her steady focus and concentration on her beer, which vanished into her mouth like a carnival trick.

She knew he was watching her, the gent at the far end of the bar --and it pissed her off. She’d never seen him before, and strangers watching her eat and drink made her feel nervous.

Putting something in her mouth was a deliciously intimate act --and this man, with his oddly long, dark eyelashes and strangely appropriate beard and mustache --made her feel dirty by his watching her without blinking.

She slammed her empty beer glass down onto the chipped wooden bar, knowing it would be wordlessly refilled, and then, very loudly, to the bartender, she said:

“Tell Beard-O to stop fucking staring at me.”

That was the one thing that made her unsexy --or, extremely sexy, if your tastes run that way --her extremely foul mouth.

That, and the enormous bowie knife strapped to her thigh.

“My name is Timothy,” Beard-O whispered to himself, embarrassed to be caught staring. He was usually much smoother than this. Girls liked him! They really did!

The whisky in front of him seemed to reprove him too, mostly because it hadn’t been drunk yet. His drink just sat there on the old bar, the two cherries in the bottom of it staring up at him like two pairs of disapproving red eyes.

He didn’t know what had compelled him to step into this particular bar. It wasn’t anywhere on his route or on his radar; he’d never heard of it before. It was just a random place that he’d seen from across the street on a date that had gone really well; he’d only stepped inside at the spur of the moment to celebrate his dating success with a quick drink.

The girl he’d just left had suggested the restaurant (he always asked them to choose the place, guessing --correctly --that they’d choose a place in their neighborhood). The food had been just okay, but the girl had been stellar. And so they had parted only after they had made second date plans.

And now here he was, hot off a great date, knowing he’d been stellar too, only to find the sexiest woman he’d ever seen --and she clearly didn’t think he was stellar.

Instead, she was well into her second beer --which she seemed to drink in one, single, swallow (just like she had her first) --and, she was sharpening her large bowie knife with only one hand.

She clearly seemed to adore that thing (her knife).

Beard-O (that is, the suddenly Timid Timothy) had never been so jealous before in his life.

And … of a knife.

Of all things.

To be jealous of.

Trying to work up some nerve, Beard-O slung back the last of his whisky --including the two disapproving cherries in the bottom --

Abruptly, he choked and coughed them up onto the old wooden bar, where they plopped unceremoniously, wet with whisky and his distress.

Timothy wanted to die as those two cherries, the bartender, and Her all turned to stare at him; no one moved to help him.

Unexpectedly, the girl in black leather spoke up, her voice all slow and dark:

“I could stab you, if you like.” Her eyes narrowed at him, “Right in the heart.”

She pointed directly at his chest with the flippant tip of her bowie knife, and then said:

“It would be a lot quicker … than what you’re trying to do.”

Timothy just choked and coughed a little more in response --too embarrassed and starved for oxygen to reply.

God, she was a marvelous bitch.

God, he really, really wanted her. He would even let her stab him --if she really wanted to.

The moment the thought formed in his mind, she seemed to know it.

With an authoritative thud, she finished her third beer, slid down from her barstool in one easy, obviously practiced movement, and then came towards him --the fresh-sharp tip of her knife winking at him as she drew close.

Timothy swallowed, still on the edge of coughing up more whisky and cherry syrup, wondering if she was actually going to stab him or make love to him as she came closer.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the barkeep close out her bar tab and set it aside.

But she slid in next to him, slim enough in her tight black leather that the closely spaced barstools bothered her not at all.

She leaned in close, the scent of her soap in his ear.

Then she whispered:

“Hi Timothy…”

(She knew his name?!)

“Hi Timothy … your date didn’t go as well as you thought.”

And, with that, she stabbed him in the kidney and then left. Her job was done.

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