I almost forgot! Today, I spent time with my kiddo on school work, went to physical therapy, and worked a lot on my novel. So, instead of having something written specifically for Story-a-Day, I wrote new scenes for my manuscript.
After dropping Linnie off at Deva’s house, Becker Sebastian meant to drive straight home, but he turned left instead of right at the corner of Gables and Seventh. He took the next turn onto the highway, heading out to the Walking Whiskey without consciously deciding he wanted a drink.
Parked, he stared at the side of the building. The bar pretended to be a true country and western bar, but its identity slipped and shifted year by year. The funeral burrowed in his thoughts. He hadn’t known what to say or do. The right words to comfort Deva or anyone failed him. He hadn’t known Jay well, but he felt his loss. It was wrong, Becker thought, sitting in his car. Jay Martin wasn’t meant to be dead.
Liquor had betrayed Becker many a time. He didn’t need it. But he got out of his car and tramped to the doors. The music could be heard outside, but it must have been a slow night because no one idled in the parking lot. He almost turned around to return to his car. Jay’s image pushed him through the front door.
Becker put his head down. At the bar, he focused on an ashtray. Only a couple of cigarette butts were crushed against the cheap plastic. It really was a slow night.
“Mr. Sebastian?” came an airy, pretty voice. “Is that you?”
Of course, she was here. Becker braved looking up. Cora Gloaming sat alone at the bar. She wore a pale yellow dress reminiscent of 1920s. She always dressed as if she expected to find herself in West Egg at a Gatsby party. But Lake Belle remained stubbornly far from glamour and fabulous demonstrations of wealth.
“I knew there had to be a reason I came here,” she said, taking a sip from her bright lime green drink in a martini glass.
Becker shifted his weight. He coughed. “You didn’t come for the drink?”
She patted the seat next to him. “A woman who comes here for the drink is a fool of a woman. Now, sit beside me before I run out of night.”
The bartender’s sudden appearance made Becker jump. “Still got that job?” the bartender asked.
Stiffly, Becker sat down where Cora told him to. “Yes,” he mumbled and wished he’d resisted the temptation to stop for a drink.
“I remember your regular,” the bartender said. “You still like that?”
Becker grunted a reply. Cora’s perfume danced around him, beguiling as he remembered. “Why would you come here for me?” He didn’t look at her while he asked. He was hopeless when he looked in her eyes. Most men were.
She took another sip. “I’m not entirely sure. You know how I am.”
Becker double-checked if all shirt buttons were buttoned and he had no stains down his front. His clothes were perfectly pressed as they always were, but something about Cora made him check. He used all his willpower to avoid checking his reflection the mirror behind the bar. “How are things at the Red Moon?” His voice dropped at the name of her place of employ.
“They are as they are meant to be. Now, Becksy.” She emptied her glass. “Buy me another drink.”
Thanks always for reading.