The bar had been struggling for years now. A combination of inconvenient traffic construction and trendier places meant there wasn’t much of a crowd anymore. It was a Tuesday, which had never been a busy night even in its heyday. So when the front doors opened, the few heads turned to see the new arrival.

Shelly was a small woman in a long black coat. Her blonde hair was almost white. Her eyes were silver.

She was beautiful, though not in a way that was immediately obvious. It took more than a glance to notice. Some people never looked twice.

Jo was busy running the bar, which involved serving a drink to the two or three customers sitting there while she read a book in-between. She didn’t give much thought as the new customer found a stool.

Jo set down her book.… Read the rest “Watchful”

Dinner at the Delphi

An aura of absolute authority covered the maitre’de. He stood behind the lectern, his hands clutching it, like a judgmental gargoyle. No, Zane corrected himself. It was more like St. Peter at the pearly gates, but without the slightest drop of mercy in his heart. Only the maitre’de knew your final destination, but he waited for you to dare approach before handing over the keys or pushing the secret button that sent you plummeting to damnation. Or at least the burger joint down the street.

Zane had booked his reservation a week in advance, but his knees still weakened as the guardian of The Delphi gestured for him to step forward. The maitre’de, his eyes darkened slits, his eyebrows furrowed, his neat little mustache somehow scowling, fixed Zane with stare, neither kind nor cruel, but full of unspoken judgments.

“I have a reservation,” said Zane.… Read the rest “Dinner at the Delphi”