Lara crouched behind the bar searching for notes on how to live a better life. She was tired of night after night of red-faced, smoked laced patrons. She was tired of having her ass pinched and her tips written out as “meet me in my room”.
She tried side jobs, formal interviews, even a stint as a bartender at a more prestigious joint. It never worked.
Lara was made to sling cheap booze in sticky holes in the wall. She was born to salvage societal trash, even if it was with alcohol.
She dreamed of turning them into something more. She longed to fix the broken things.
A pair of hazel eyes peered over the bar, down Lara’s shirt.
“Hey gorgeous …” Slurred words morphed into exotic sounds, like waves on an island or the calls of southern birds. “The wife left me. Be a doll and make me something strong.”
Those eyes, brimming with tears, brightened when Lara returned his gaze.
Her heart lightened. A new project. Broken but not shattered. Hopeful.
“Meet me in my room.” She scribbled on a stained napkin. “I can fix you up.”
As long as I don’t move I pretend no one can see me. I’m a statue, gathering snow. Birds traipse across my table, eyeing my lone piece of banana bread. They examine then flit off to inform their friends.
It won’t be long before they descend, all for too sweet artificially flavored bread.
My pen stares stoically at my notebook. It needs to bleed. It needs release.
My notebook is having none of it, a lovers quarrel I’m sure. It remains steadfastly shut against the longing notes my pen wishes to deposit.
Quiet conversations erupt into laughter. Engines spurn to life. A world of constant din and none of it can be composed until the notebook forgives the pen.
I force them together, apologies be damned, but the pens strike is fatal; leaving an ink lined hole where a word should be.
I try again, gently this time. The paper shreds beneath the pen’s flow. Total refusal to cooperate. Ink won’t flow over paper, not while they’re not speaking this way.
All the world’s deadlines building unending pressure. Surely that’s enough to squash any relationship but pen and paper? I thought for sure they were stronger.
“Scotty has a new venture.” Dad peered over his paper, clearly reliving nightmares of Scotty’s entrepreneurial spirit.
“Is it … What is it?”
I was five when Scotty roped me into a lemonade business. It may have worked but he got the sugar mixed up with salt. His grilled cheese emporium went under after a rare virus ravaged most of his customers. Only the neighbors two dogs escaped but I’ve never been convinced they ate the discarded sandwiches. His t-shirt business never took off. We have t-shirts for days stashed in the garage.
All of this flashed through dad’s mind, I could read it on his face.
“Honey, should we continue supporting these things? He’s insanely smart, he’s going to go far but …” Mom held her hand up silencing the criticism.
“Do you want to kill his spirit?”
As his snot nosed kid sister, I would call that an ok idea.
Dad sighed and set his paper to the side. “Fine. Let’s go see.”
Scotty stood proudly in the street, a tugboat with fresh blue letters bleeding down the side sat behind him.
“Son, you’ve never been on a boat. We don’t live anywhere near water.”
“I asked you to get the chairs out.” Lila knew that Charles would use every opportunity to exasperate her, especially when it came to her family.
“I did.” His lips curved into a smirk, only infuriating her more.
“How exactly do you expect anyone to sit in them?” She spit the words towards him like sharpened knives. Charles tapped his chin as he examined his chair placement.
“You didn’t specify what the chairs were to be used for. You just said get them out.” He gestured grandly. “They’re out … your highness.” The last words stung with a venom only her husband could perfect.
“You’re ridiculous.” Sharp pain shot through Lila’s palms where her nails were threatening to break skin. “This is ridiculous!”
“It is, isn’t it? I suppose that’s what you get.”
The force of her slap sent him reeling to the side. He half expected his fingers to come away from the stinging imprint with a coating of fresh blood.
“You bitch! You want chairs! Here!” Charles channeled the rage spiraling through him as he shook the metal pergola. The polls swayed violently, shaking the chairs loose. All at once they came crashing down to the pavement.
Jada had no idea why it was the kettle. Surely it wasn’t always. How many childhood stories were there about tea kettles being possessed?
She couldn’t resist the designs. It begged to be taken home.
Such a tea slut.
The walls rumbled. In front of her individual scales twitched and flapped. A beast of terrifying size draped over her furniture.
Jada knew the beast couldn’t be real. Yet here it was, half chasing something in its sleep; its forked tongue hanging from between scaly lips. Its serrated claws curled as it feigned trotting through a field playfully tossing its massive head.
And probably a corpse.
A feeling of panic rested low in her belly. Jada’s legs ached to run but she was frozen.
Its head snapped up. Jada could see her reflection in the glossy red iris. The beast inhaled as its nose passed across her.
Not a snack, the whole meal. Is this really gonna be my last thought before I die?
Its putrid breath filled Jada’s nose. Instead of a roar it let out a series of low clicks.
Oh god, it’s engine won’t turn over.
Word Count: 200
For Sunday Photo Fiction – It’s my first time joining in with this (we can post on days other than Sunday right?) Also, dragons are like puppies. Who knew?