Squirrels: This Time It’s Personal (Part 3 of the CSB Chain Story Event)
Darlene sat on a bar stool behind the sandwich counter of the Burgundy Herring Seafood Shack & Pool Hall. She was chewing on a pencil and listening to the rain falling on the old tin roof. It was Friday. Soon the lunch crowd would arrive, bringing with them the latest squirrel updates, bear sightings, and various other local news of the week. She snorted at the thought and looked in the direction of the table by the front window.
McAdams and Gosling had each just ordered the popular ‘lunch sampler platter’. A cloud of thick smoke, from McAdams’ cigar, was suspended in the air between them. Darlene shook her head. It was unusual to see those two out and about together. At least in broad daylight. Just there, seated as they were against the eerie outside lighting, they struck a nice profile.
On the other side of the room, around one of the pool tables lined up against the wall, stood three shady looking characters. “If for no other reason,” thought Darlene, “they’re a shady bunch just for playing pool and drinking brew and eating peanuts before noon.” Darlene thought hard and squinted her eyes. They’d been hanging out, at the Shack, every morning this week. She didn’t like the coarseness of their hair or the colorful bandanas they wore around their necks. Something about that bunch just wasn’t proper.
“Two Samplers!” Darlene turned around just in time to see the cook slam the platters onto the counter. Her lazy Friday morning had ended. She slipped her pencil behind her ear and carried the platters over to Gosling and McAdams.
“Who are your new friends?” Gosling asked Darlene as she served his lunch. He nodded towards the pool tables.
“Dunno. Soda? Sweet tea?”
“I’ll have a sweet tea,” said McAdams. “And would you bring some lemon on the side, Darlene?”
“Sweet tea.” Darlene took a pad from her apron pocket and the pencil from behind her ear. She wrote on the pad and looked at Gosling.
“A root beer in one of those iced mugs,” said Gosling.
“Got it.” Darlene wrote on the pad and walked away.
When she’d just about reached the sandwich counter, one of the characters, at the pool table, motioned to her. She walked over and spoke with him a few minutes., then she brought more brew to the pool table and served McAdams and Gosling their beverages.
New diners arrived. Darlene spent the next hour circling around the room, taking orders and serving lunches. As though weaving, she made her way around the diner smiling and chatting and casting a net of well used spells upon her patrons.
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