This is an everyday magic story about a waitress who wants to rid the land of evil but is prevented from doing so by a throbbing headache bent on committing the perfect crime. God has designs on our hero, however. He wants to teach her to surrender to God's plan, a lesson she resists. In the end, through our hero's special forces training and the intervention of a kindly half-orc named Barf, the day is saved.
I thought it would be fun to maybe write this thing together.
Post by Jeff Gerke on Jul 17, 2008 13:20:20 GMT -5
"Please, may I tempt you with dessert? Our crème broulee is exquisite tonight."
Honey stood at table quatorze, her body precisely seven inches from the ivory edge of the marble table. With her hands clasped behind her back and her feet shoulder-width apart, she felt almost at attention. Appropriate. This was her duty now.
The couple before her was dressed in black. The woman wore a sleeveless dress and the man wore a black T-shirt and slacks. Hardly original, but de rigueur at Le Central. It took a certain fashion sense to pull off colors here, and most people didn't have it. Honey indulged herself with a glance at her dark gold blouse. Some did have it.
The woman looked to her companion, her eyebrow rising. She wants dessert. The man looked nauseated. He can't afford this place, and now she wants more? He's calculating the points he'll lose if he says no versus the impact on his bank account if he says yes. What's he doing here? She's not impressed, you poor slob.
"Yes, please," he said, faking a cavalier smile.
"Excellent." Honey collected the dessert menus. "Two dishes--or one with two spoons?" I'm giving you an out, loser.
"One with two spoons, please." He looked at his date. "You'll have to sit close to me now."
Honey kept her face impassive. "Of course."
She turned to head back to the kitchen. The Chicago twilight glistened off the Sears Tower, not three blocks away. Le Central was atop the Wachovia Bank building, but came only to the Sears Tower's navel. Still, it caught the light elegantly in the evening.
She moved through the front dining room, expertly swaying around wealthy patrons and Mexican busboys. The scent of champagne and fresh bread would get on her pillow again tonight, but she had yet to tire of it.
Honey saw an elderly gentleman struggling to pour a bottle of white wine. She swept to his side and took the bottle from him. "Allow me, Mr. Coombs."
Coombs smiled at her as if he'd just sighted Dr. Livingstone at long last. "Ah, Honey, my dear! You rescue me again."
"Not at all, sir." Honey poured the wine. She handed the first glass to Mrs. Coombs, a hunched and painted woman with a clear oxygen tube across her lip. "Here you are, Corinne. Don't you look alight tonight? Douglas, honestly, doesn't she positively glow?"
Coombs took the second glass from Honey. "Yes, dear. It's the radiation."
The three of them shared a laugh and Honey slapped Coombs's shoulder playfully. "Naughty boy. Enjoy your dinner."
Honey took fives steps toward the kitchen and froze. Something was wrong. She felt a tension in the air, the likes of which she'd not felt in years. She had an almost overpowering urge to hit the deck.
She searched the dining room, scanning the human figures silhouetted in the evening light. She'd sensed something, like the echo of a deleted sound.
"My head! Oh, it hurts!"
Even as Honey turned to identify the speaker she knew she'd heard his cry earlier, concealed in the dinner hubbub. And just as quickly, she knew it was the man from table quatorze.
He stumbled toward the plate windows, his hands clutching his head. "My head. Make it stop! Make it stop."
He staggered into Cherise, who was balancing a tray with the Lobster Dauphin and Pork Florentine, with the au gratin side. The tray tilted and off slid the plates. Right onto table onze.
The Senator from Ohio's wife screamed as the au gratin poured onto her purple blouse. She should not have attempted a color. Silverware clanked and chairs fell over.
"My head! Make it stop. The pain. Someone--"
Suddenly the man's demeanor changed. His hands dropped to his sides and he stood tall. He whipped his head toward the crowd. "Ahahaha! I have done it! I succeed!" This was not the same voice from before. The man began hopping around ludicrously, his arms flailing about as he danced an awkward jig. His head bent downward as if he was audience to his own performance.
Then he looked up again. His eyes met Honey's. "Now I can achieve it. It is as I have dreamed! No one can stop me now!" He turned to the glass windows. "The world is my oyster!"
Honey harrumphed. I'll give him an oyster. She slipped out of her heels and slunk between tables, heading directly toward the man's back. "Excuse me, sir, but you can't--"
He turned to her. His eyes were wild. "No? Stop me."
With three steps and a lunge he was through the glass window.
Glass shattered outward in a rain of diamonds. His body dropped out of sight and the wind gusted at the fracture, threatening to tear the entire wall out.
Honey had the inexplicable urge to follow him out. To hold the connection. To be close to him and thus save him. But of course it would only destroy them both.
As the restaurant emptied of screaming patrons and the fire alarm resounded, Honey retrieved her heels and went to the deserted kitchen. "One crème broulee for table quatorze, s'il vous plais."
She gazed back at the hole in the glass. This was far from over.
Last Edit: Jul 17, 2008 13:22:22 GMT -5 by Jeff Gerke
An impossibly large figure in a faded green-plaid ulster bent over a half-filled dumpster. By all appearances, the behemoth seemed to be losing whatever meal he had scrounged that day. In fact, Barf was his name, not his goal, which was to locate his friend.
He rummaged through spent coffee grounds and bags filled by conscientious dog-owners, grateful the age of hypodermic needles seemed to be past. At last he found him. A small dog, draped across a half-crushed can of Diet-Caffeine Free-Stevia Enhanced-Chocolate-Cherry-Pomegranate- Dr. Pepper.
"Oh, Chester, not again," said Barf, gently lifting the petite pup in his large hand. He rose out of the dumpster and turned to lean on the front wall, bending it in eight inches. He removed the half-egg shell from Chester's head and tossed it behind his back. The impact rang against the metal dumpster with a clang as loud as a roomful of three-year old boys with their mothers' pots and pans. A flight of roaches and six rats fled the rubbish container for the next county.
Barf blinked once, shrugged his great shoulders, and sat hard on the ground.
As he carefully picked hole-punched paper dots from Chester's gossamer wings, he thought about when he'd first found him, just a tiny, furry egg. But then he shook himself. It was far too early in the story for a flashback; he was pressing his luck as it was, coming in with another POV so soon.
Chester raced his tiny legs, tickling the palm of Barf's hand. "Dreamin', are ya? If ya'd leave the chasin' to your dreams, you wouldn't get knocked out by the fumes when ya catch the cars."
He put the pup in the chest pocket of his soiled greatcoat and reluctantly rose from the ground, leaving a three-inch imprint of his hindquarters in the asphalt.
Barf stretched his back with a series of cracks and pops that sent late night strollers running for cover. He rubbed his meaty paw across his face and looked down the dark, filthy alley to the bright lights of hundred-story buildings beyond. He'd been patrolling this territory for nearly eight-hundred years. Maybe it was time to retire.
Screams and the tinkle of glass rain broke through the more mundane nightly sounds of honking horns and random gunshots. Barf ran toward the disturbance on cat feet, leaving only a wake that whipped dress skirts and upended umbrellas as evidence of his passing through the streets.
A crowd had gathered at the sidewalk in front of the Wachovia Bank Building. Barf veered across the street and vaulted to the fourth floor of a parking garage. He pushed between a Hummer and an Excursion parked in a "Compact Car Only" aisle and ripped the chainlink to get a better view.
"A jumper. Just a jumper."
Still. . .Barf reached into the inside breast pocket of his ulster and brought out an ancient monocular. There it was. The body glowed pink. Tiny sparkles shot out into the crowd as the pink faded.
Barf scrolled his eyepiece up the side of the building. "There you are," he said, focusing on the broken window, sharp edges dimly glowing pink.
He sat heavily on the Hummer, sinking six inches into the hood and setting off the alarm, then replaced the glass in his pocket and looked down at the body.
This was far from over.
Last Edit: Jul 18, 2008 18:59:22 GMT -5 by torainfor
((Are we limited to the characters stated in the intro? I'm going to try something here, and if it needs changing or removing I can do that.))
Tony shifted uncomfortably in his seat in the restaurant. He wasn't supposed to be here. Obviously his boss disagreed, appreciated his work and nominated him for national recognition. The National Council for Community Service agreed, and here he was. Still, Tony would much rather be back at work repairing the damage done to one part of Alaska or another as a result of the desperate natural resource extraction push of the early 21st century. If not that, he might at least be on vacation wandering what remained of the wilderness, maybe singing with one of the few remaining truly living trees, or following the badgers to their dens in the hills.
The man's cry startled him from his daydream, and he found his body tensed for action and movement. Not that it would have done any good. He was trapped between the table bolted to the floor, the bench, and two rotund social workers who now stared, half amused, at the dancing man. Tony just waited, anxious, to see what would happen and what he might be called upon to do. That was, after all, the real reason he was here. He'd done his job, which was to see a problem and find and implement a solution. This might develop into a problem, but Tony couldn't think of a solution yet. Things worked slower on the North Slope. He really didn't belong here.
The social workers finally moved when the man lept out the window, and Tony was free. He sprung from the bench into the open, which was quickly occupied by bodies rushing this way and that, as though some danger remained in the restaurant. He hated crowds, and at the first opportunity lept to the back of one of the booth seats, where he perched and watched until things settled down a bit. He lowered himself silently to the floor and padded toward the only person who seemed to be in control of herself.
One of the waitresses. He'd noted her movement and form earlier, one of the innumerable images captured and catalogued for future reference. She clearly knew how to handle herself, had some training, perhaps in martial arts, dance, or hunting. He stopped a reasonable distance from her, far enough to not be a threat, but near enough she would know he spoke to her.
"Excuse me ma'am. Is there anything I can do to help?" He nodded his almost feminine head toward the hole where the window had been, and shrugged. He didn't know just what would need to be done, probably something to do with the rules in the big city, but somehow it was important to him that he seem helpful. From the looks of things, few others shared the sentiment. Tony shook his head a little, all the more convinced that he didn't belong here.
Last Edit: Jul 18, 2008 20:19:43 GMT -5 by mongoose
Some struggle through the desert because He said . . .[br][br]". . .If you would be my disciples, you must take up your cross daily and follow me"