Observations: On a roll. I’ve slowed down and tried to visualize the scene I’m writing rather than just get down to the action.
I may try to eke out a few more words so there’s the possibility of a a Day 15c.
Disclaimer: So DRAFTy that it’s produced a chill….and no doubt you groaned with the silly pun.
Total word count: 23,577
1428 words behind.
You can read previous sections here.
Smokey Dave’s began as a barbecue restaurant in the mid-70s after Dave Larsen came back from Vietnam, needed a job to keep his brain from going bad places, and his Dad helped him purchase an old ice cream restaurant whose owner was desperate to sell and move to Florida to get away from cold winters. In the 70’s, Rosemead consisted of the feed supply store, a dimestore, a gas station, a few offices, like lawyers and real estate agents amongst a few others, and one fast food restaurant, which shall go nameless. If you wanted a sit-down dinner that you or someone you knew didn’t cook, you drove 25 minutes to the truck stop on the highway, affectionately known as the “truck stop on the highway” and ate a meal that tasted just a bit better than homemade for the mere fact that you didn’t have to cook it, serve it, or do the dishes, and there was always pie and good coffee.
Filling a hole that Rosemead didn’t know it had, Smokey Dave’s became an overnight dining sensation, especially after his Aunt Lou began supplying her special peach and bourbon bread pudding and a pecan tart that pleased even the pickiest pecan pie aficionados. The barbecue meats fell off the bone and came with three sauces: Medium, Hot, and BYB (Burn your britches). Yes, at one time, I did eat meat, and the smell of Smokey Dave’s is one of the only scents that makes me salivate after meat, but I just buy a container of the Hot sauce and pour it whatever I’m having to quell that urge. I tried BYB
About ten years after Smokey Dave’s opened, he filled another need Rosemead didn’t know it had. Some place to buy a drink. Now, some people didn’t think Rosemead had that need while others welcomed it. Even today, you’ll run into a few old timers who regard the bar side of Smokey Dave’s with suspicion, almost thirty-odd years later. However, for its young patrons it offers a place where they can socialize, have a few drinks, dance and listen to live music several nights a week.
The sign on the window announces that it’s Thirsty Thursday with late happy hour specials from 10 to 11. I frown considering the time and how I’m going to feel in the morning and how I am so going to regret this impulse.
“Don’t go there,” Moira says as I open the door and am met with a warm blast of air and the smell of fried foods.
I’m about to say I’m not, but she trots ahead, carefully avoiding people who are milling around with bottles of Bud light, Michelob, and Coors. She homes in on blond tower who is sitting at the bar and is not alone. A blond woman with a gap between her front teeth is hanging onto his arm like he’s the only thing keeping her up, and from the glazed look in her eyes and her heightened color that might be true, unless both of those can be attributed to him rather than booze.
He turns around at that moment and his eyes fasten on me without the slightest bit of surprise. He looks like he’s been expecting me. How is that possible? Unless my familiar dog is not really who she seems. At what point did I become the woman who listens to a talking dog and trusts said talking dog?
When he smiles, I almost turn on the heel of my plastic black boot, thanks for making me conscious of that fact, familiar dog, and leave, but he is striding toward me, his long legs taking about three steps.
“Hi, I wasn’t sure you’d come,” he says. I shake my head, wondering if my ears are deceiving me and whether his accent sounds different.
The thought occurs to me that maybe I’m in a coma and have been since the accident. Maybe I’m not a witch and I don’t have a talking dog and I’m just waiting for my prince to come, kiss me, and I’ll awaken to…
“Good luck with that,” Moira says.
Yep, without a doubt and knowing my luck, that’s what I would awaken to: a smart-ass dog.
The gap-toothed blonde sidles up, takes his arm with both of his hands, and looks at me like I’m not only something she might have stepped in, but something that could be deadly and contagious, too, besides distasteful. Can’t leave that out. She tries to snuggle her body against his, but he only looks at her as if she’s annoying.
“Where are you going? The night’s young. So am I. Very young,” she adds looking at me, as if 26 is old. What is she? 22?
His smile, when he smiles at her, is so charming and swoony that I feel my toes try to curl under in my boots. “I’m sorry, but I have business to attend to. Maybe another time,” he tells her.
She does swoon and her head turns awkwardly as if she’s offering her neck to him. Hell, who does she think he is? Dracula? “Will you keep that promise?”
He smiles, charm oozes from it. “You never know. It will be a surprise.”
Her bottom lip juts out in a pout and baby-talk emerges through her lips. Yep, she is very young alright. I’ll give her that one. Moira snorts in agreement and then looks askance at me as if our agreeing is preposterous.
He takes my arm and tries to lead me from Smokey Dave’s but I pull back. “I don’t know who you are or where you think you’re taking me, but ‘no.’”
“Nuh-uh. I have no reason to trust you, especially now that your accent seems different. I don’t know who you are. Heath Lawrence said that you were dangerous.”
“Me? Dangerous?” He laughs. “He’s one to talk. All black ops and covert operations.”
“How do you know him then?”
He glances around the bar until his eyes lock on a direction. He begins dragging me toward the back and a quiet, dark booth usually known as the make-out booth. I stop.
“Nope, not sitting there.”
“It’s the make-out booth.”
“I’m sure we can sit there and talk without the sudden urge to kiss each other senseless.”
Crossing my arms, I regard him. “I know I can, but can you?”
“You’re kidding, right? You were the one who was chasing me down Main Street and got herself hit by a car.”
“Thanks for reminding me. That wasn’t my fault,” I say and realizing that I might be about to say too much, I promptly shut up.
“Of course, it wasn’t,” he says, and I don’t know whether he’s agreeing or being sarcastic. He would be very good at poker.
Moira hops up onto the bench seat before either the blond tower or I can sit and spreads herself out. He shrugs and then gestures for me to scoot in. I shake my head, he sighs, and then slides in. Did he really think I’d allow myself to be wedged in the corner? Do I look that dumb?
“You shouldn’t ask questions like that, witch, you might get an answer.” I glare at the top of Moira’s head, which is the only part I can see.
It must have only been fairytales in which familiars were loyal and willing to help.
“Must have been.”
end of Day 15b