Sunday, May 10, 2009

Story -- part one

Thought I'd start something that may not ever get finished, but I can come back to every once in a while. So enjoy The Case of the Missing Plot, part one.

She had a voice that carries ... like tooth decay, and just like my old deposit box, the key was lost. Still, she was the most talented creature to enter my establishment since that cross-legged rat had skidded across the bar while balancing a stolen pickled egg in its mouth and a cocktail onion in one claw.

So I gave the dame with the crooked voice a job. My clientele have bent ears, so it wouldn't be a problem. But of course she was a problem, and like calculus, one I'd never solve without cheating on the person next to me. I turned to the person next to me, my wife, who handled my accounts but nothing much else of mine. Not these days.

They say that familiarity breeds contempt, in which case we had entire menagerie of contemptuous offspring somewhere. We knew each other so well we didn't just finish one another's sentences, we didn't even bother to start. Silence is golden, but our marriage was a twisted alchemist who had transmuted the quiet into lead.

That night I waited for a few hours before unleashing the new singer on the unsuspecting audience. That way they would be drunk enough to forgive her verbal idiosyncrasies, but not drunk enough to throw anything other than abuse. I went backstage to give a peep talk, which is like a pep talk but if you time it right the female performers are still changing costumes.

Before I reached the dressing rooms I was accosted by Mel Glimp, the MC and resident funny man. The funniest thing about him was his smell. The only way he'd ever have an audience in stitches was if he tossed a grenade.

"What's the new talent's name?" he asked.

"Wanda Ryder."

"Sure I do," he grinned a cheesy smile, "but I'm old-fashioned enough to find out her name first." He elbowed me in the ribs, so I gave him a cold stare.

"Sorry, boss. But she sure is a classy looking dame."

I should have seen the warning signs right then. Mel was the kind of guy you took to the horses to improve your odds. You just looked to see what nag he was betting on and picked a different one. I swear you could go to the greyhound track, let him choose the mechanical rabbit, and he'd still manage to lose. If he was interested in Wanda it really meant she was poison. Sadly I wasn't thinking with the head above my belt that night.

to be continued ...

No comments:

Post a Comment