|Short story by Denise Greenwood in The Local Link Magazine|
‘Can I get you anything?’
Whatever IT was, an elusive quality to separate everyday females from the Siren, the waitress had IT in abundance.
IT made her two male customers ache with schoolboy intensity. She circled then stepped between their knees as they sat in armchairs around a table. Gazing down into their eyes, her honeyed voice dripped: ‘Let me fill you up.’
The first man was instantly lost, swimming in her gravity. ‘Yes, please do...’ he murmured and raised his cup.
He gazed at long fingers with scarlet nails as they held a carafes nipple-lid firmly in place. He was filled. She filled a void he didn’t know he had.
She slid around him, releasing a bewitching fragrance before leaning over a bald man to repeat her innocent suggestion. Sleek long hair brushed across a shiny bald pate sending a shiver of delight down the man’s spine like an ice cube on skin. He breathed in her perfume then leaned his head back so that long hair fell across his face. Its delicate feather touch caressed closed eyes. He melted, his heart reduced to a doughy consistency. Her soft delicate hand steadied his rattling cup.
‘No, no coffee for me. I want a Snag-Tooth Nell.’
The waitress stared at him with wide eyes. ‘Oh, I’m not familiar with it. I’ll see what I can do.’
‘What’s a Snag-Tooth Nell?’ The man’s friend looked incredulous.
‘It’s a drink.’
‘Yes, I gathered that! What is it?’
‘You’ll see.’ The bald man smiled mischievously.
The waitress returned with a glass in her hand which she set on the table with some degree of pride. The man took up the glass, smelled it, winked at his friend then took a swig. He smacked his lips and opened his eyes wide before saying: ‘It needs more gin.’ He held out his glass.
The waitress returned a minute later, handed it back to him and she was ready to go when he called her back. ‘Still not quite right, you did put sweet and dry vermouth in?’
‘Sorry to be a pain, it needs a little more of each,’ and he held out his glass.
‘What are you up to?’ The man’s friend asked. ‘Don’t mess with the girl!’
‘Me? Mess? No!’ The man smirked. ‘I just fancy seeing a pretty young thing run around after me.’
The waitress returned but again she was stopped as she attempted to leave. ‘Still not quite right, you put an orange slice in when it should be a drop of juice to mix.’ He held out the glass. The waitress looked alarmed but took it.
After she’d gone the man’s friend had something to say: ‘Don’t be evil. She’s a waitress, not a cocktail wizard!’
The man held his cupped hands up and tried to look reasonable. ‘I want a cocktail and she should be able to supply it.’
Again, his glass was returned but he didn’t attempt to try it, instead he held the glass up to the light. ‘No ice,’ he stated then smiled. The waitress took the glass and it was obvious she was upset, her hand trembled. She turned away with a quivering lip.
The man’s friend was astounded. ‘What a pathetic thing to do!’ he barked at his grinning companion. ‘You know we come here just to see her then we go home to our wives with renewed passion.’ Just then, his periphery vision was blocked by a large hairy hand. It held his friend’s glass.
‘Here!’ a deep voice ordered, ‘your cocktail. Drink-up, it’ll be your last.’ The glass was plonked down on the table and drops sprang from its contents. Both men looked up with surprise. A huge tattooed brute hovered menacingly over them.
‘Why, what have we done?’ one of the men asked weakly.
‘You’ve outstayed your welcome, that’s what you’ve done. So drink up!’
The two men looked questioningly at each other then cricked their necks to catch a glimpse of the waitress but she was nowhere to be seen. ‘I only asked for a cocktail,’ the bald customer whined.
‘Yeah, but you were rude to Wilf after he’d tried his best and I hate to him reduced to tears.’
‘Wilf?’ The customers looked bewildered. ‘The waitress is a man?’
The bald man reached for his glass and didn’t hesitate to down it in one then arose from his chair.
‘I can’t believe it!’ his friend said out of the corner of his mouth as they neared the exit.
‘Nor can I,’ said his bald companion. ‘He didn’t charge us for the drinks.’
‘Is that all you have to say?’
‘No!’ the bald man objected then shook his head incredulously. ‘I always knew about Wilf.’ and then pursed his lips to blew his companion a kiss.