As luck would have it, this week saw Friday the 13th, and this is the 13th week of The Blog Propellant’s On-line Writer’s Guild prompt. This is pure coincidence. Just sayin’. Anyway…tnkerr’s 13th post, to my mind, looks like two prompts in one: He begins with an open-ended story (what We call at TBP a “crowd writing” story), and then lays out his weekly tri-prompt: “…drank up all my money.”/ ” I like heavy metal. ” / “I’m not one of those other girls.”
Hmmm… do I take the bait? Why, yes. Yes I do.
I’m starting with the end of tnkerr’s story as a quick lead in. To read the beginning of his open-ended story, go to TBP OLWG #13. Oh, and I choose the number 13. Of course.
…There were three or four other serious drinkers scattered around the place. The juke box was playing a whole lot of Charlie Rich.
I was pretty buzzed and pretty mellow when I felt the cool breeze on my back from someone opening the door, and a scent of citrus perfume wafted in. No one had left so I turned around to see who had come in. I was pretty sure that I recognized her, but when Big Joe Turner suddenly came on the box I was sure. She paused and let her eyes roam the room, become accustomed to the gloom. I knew then, that my life was about to change forever.
“Darling,” she said when she saw me at the bar.
“Citron!” I said. “Been a while, baby girl!”
“You know this tall drink of water?” Smitty asked.
As I patted the empty stool next to me, I introduced Citron. “Smitty, this here’s my kid sister.”
“By 8 minutes!” Citron scolded. She flashed one of those big, toothy smiles of hers. Damn, it was good to see her again.
Smitty looked skeptical. “You two is twins?”
“Well, obviously we ain’t identical,” I quipped. Me and Citron just kept grinning at each other. I gave her a slap on the leg and she punched my arm in reply.
“No. You ain’t,” Smitty agreed. “You’d look downright scary in that pretty blouse.” Smitty continued with a head nod to my sister, “What’cha havin?”
I patted down my pants and shirt pockets, “Sorry sis, I seem to have drank up all my money tonight.”
“No worries,” Citron smiled again and turned to Smitty. “Wine?”
“Uh, sure. Don’t know what we got’s any good, but I’ll check. What’s your color?” Citron took a moment to register what Smitty was asking.
“Oh, uh, white. If it says ‘Chardonnay’ on the bottle, even better.” She turned her attention back to me.
“And, what do I owe this pleasure? Where d’hell you’ve been, anyway?” I asked.
“Here and there,” was all she offered.
“Well you look as good as hell, so can’t be all bad news.”
“No, none of it is.” Citron agreed. “Actually, it’s been kind of fantastic.”
Smitty poked his head around the corner from the far end of the bar and called out to us, “Jenny’s got one those big jugs of Chablis she uses in her chicken and pasta sauce.” Smitty pronounced the ‘ch’ and ‘s’ in Chablis. “That do?”
“Sure,” Citron conceded. “Any chance it’s…cold?” She leaned over to me and whispered, “I was going to say ‘chilled,’ but thought I better not.” I laughed, maybe a little too hard.
Smitty called out again. “Nope. You want it on the rocks, then?” We started to giggle, like we did as kids. “Sure, Smit,” I called back. “Rock’s is fine.”
Citron graciously thanked Smitty when he handed her a high-ball filled with ice and wine. Class act, she was. Always had been. Took after our grandma that way.
“C’mon,” I said, standing, “let’s go over here, where we can have us some privacy and you tell me what’s so fantastic about your life you ain’t seen your brother in over five years.”