A clock ticked the seconds away, the sound smothered by the jute box in the corner. The music was a lilting folk song that tugged on the edge of their memories. Something they must have heard before, but couldn’t quite place it.
Jeremiah sipped at his new drink. Before he could question Sandy further, the door swung open and a group of girls stumbled into the bar. They clutched at each other and giggled breathlessly.
Everyone stared at them until they could pull themselves together. The fat man waddled back from the bathroom and slid onto his stool, his eyebrows raised at the girls.
They swarmed the bar, still snickering once every few breaths and climbed onto seats of their own. The bartender set a clean glass down and stepped towards them.
“Can I see some ID, ladies?”
They erupted in laughter again and then dug through their glittery purses.
“We’re twenty-one, sir,” the redhead in the center said with a snort. “Fresh. It’s my birthday. I was the last one.”
The bartender waited until all four of them slid their IDs across the counter towards him. He wrinkled his nose and scanned the dates.
“Kay. What’ll it be?”
“Oh! I’ll have a cosmopolitan!”
“Rum and coke for me!”
“Long Island ice tea, I heard those were good.”
“Umm… Red Bull and vodka.”
With a sigh, the bartender turned away to fill the orders.
“You girls haven’t done much drinking yet, have you?” Fat man asked with a lazy grin. “You shoulda ordered a pitcher of margs or somethin’. Those others are gonna knock you flat on your asses.”
The girls laughed.
“Oh, I’m sure they’ve done plenty of drinking tonight,” Sandy said and blew smoke towards the ceiling with a shake of her head. “How did you girls stumble across our little joint here?”
The birthday girl nudged the blonde next to her. “Judith wrecked the car.” She snorted.
“Maryanne!” Judith flushed and shoved the birthday girl. “It was an accident. It’s dark and raining. I’m not drunk!”
The others laughed, and Judith’s face reddened further.
Sandy flicked her ashes toward the ashtray in front of her and grinned at them.
“Tell me about the accident, hun?”
Jeremiah took another sip of his drink and noticed Judith’s eyes glaze over and her jaw slacken a little as she stared at Sandy.
“Uh… someone was in the street. I think I ran them over. I heard an awful noise… thought it would be better if we stopped and waited for help.”
The fat man shook his head and slurped at his beer. “You girls won’t be finding any help here.”
To be Continued
Thank you so much for reading!
I’d love to hear your thoughts in a comment or message.
If you’d like monthly updates on my writing process and other behind the scenes info, subscribe to my newsletter