I still need a title and I’m trying to keep it a short story. But here it goes:
“But did you seriously just ask me to come into work?” I could not fathom what one of my seasoned bartenders was asking of me. With a long awkward silence from the other end of line, she finally confessed that she was to scared to work tonight. I simply said, “OK” with a heavy sigh and hung up the phone. The controversy over whether or not the explicit instructions would keep everyone safe INCLUDING the bartenders was still being questioned, or maybe they were just letting the thought of the curse get the better of them.
Curse, of course there is a curse. I own a bar in New Orleans. A town blanketed by suspicions, hauntings, and stories of voodoo. I’m Sessy and the proud owner of Mama Sessy’s Bar, curse and all. Tonight, the one night of the year I didn’t want to work myself because of the curse not because I fear for my safety but rather I didn’t want to have to see the aftermath of a horrific accident if one should take place. There has only been one since I took ownership in ’81 which incidentally was the same time the curse won and didn’t win. This was because I chalked the whole thing up to old people warnings and fairy tales. But I quickly learned from my mistakes and took extra precautions during the night of the Mardi Gras carnival like festivities.
I took pride of the fact that my bar has survived hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and the occasional hoodoo curse but we still pulled through. My building used to be an old plantation home, then it was a hotel, an orphanage, voodoo priestess’ fortune telling and healing house, then a brothel, only to finally thrive as a bar for the next 6 decades. During this time the Ax man was terrorizing the town and we replaced the jukebox with a live jazz band then a dueling piano bar with the sporadic jazz band here and there to mainly honor the Ax man’s victims.
But the curse was a little more delicate than that with a few rules that need to be followed to the T. I got out of my safe, warm bed with my pit bull, Sassafras, grunting the same time I did when I moved. Neither one of us wanted to move as it turned out. I grabbed my jeans, socks, and decided the shirt that I was lounging in was perfect as it showed my tattoos and nothing suits a sassy bartender than colorful ink. ‘This night better go smoothly or I’ll just sell the bar to the next sucker that walks in an makes an offer Sassafras.’ Sassafras just looked up at me and stretched then laid back down. I decided not bring her tonight since the diva was to good to get up anyways. Most of what I needed to help ward of the Curse of the demon Alastor was at the bar but the apples. I have a ton from my neighbor that he gave me so I can return the favor by making him my jalapeno apple jam. Southern hospitality goes a long way and the older people feel useful when they can give away their goods with pride. After I dressed and threw on my tennis shoes because I know I will be running laps behind the bar, I grabbed my canvas bag and dumped the entire bowl of apples in the pit of the sack, cinched up the drawstrings and off I went. My regulars will definitely be coming in tonight to make sure that I’m safe and that everything is in place but will also help me keep an eye out for Alastor.
Driving through town I could already tell that the juvenile behavior from the men was already well underway looking at the girls that bared their breasts for the colorful coveted plastic beads. Another tradition handed down from pervert to pervert in my opinion. Those same beads cost $1 a dozen at the store and all I needed was to bare my teeth as I tried smiling at the cashier. I pulled up to my bar that seemed to taunt me with a sinister shadow as if daring me to set foot inside. I locked the car and pulled my red and black hair into a messy bun as I stepped on the archaic, creaky, faded wooden porch. Years of in an out has lift decades of silent footsteps in the smooth boards. Thinking about the years of people that I have met, I dug through my bag until I was able to grab my keys. ‘HEY!’ I jumped 3 feet in the air all while throwing my keys that had to weigh a ton, in the direction that the deep voice was coming from. ‘B.J.! What the fuck dude!?’ I hollered as he bent over to fetch the keys that just hit him right between the eyes. Rubbing his forehead he said, ‘Back at ya sis! It’s not even time to be more nervous than a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. Thought I would just come and help figuring that your bartenders would’ve called in tonight.’ I love my brother. He’s been my rock since our parents passed away and he still looks after me after all these years. ‘Thanks Bubba but I’m a big girl, I think I can handle the one night of the year that all hell could break loose.’ Scoffing B.J. pushed me aside and unlocked the wrought iron door handle and opened the heavy wooden door. Cold air hissed out hitting us in the face with scents of bleach, whiskey and lavender.
This is a summary (basically for me to help me remember where I’m trying to go with this. So there is a piano bar in New Orleans that belongs to Mama Sessy, a curse of the demon Alastor, pitbull named Sassafrass, apples, the request for Mama Sessy to work on the one night she normally takes off, a brother B.J. –Still lots I want to fill in but in some of my research sometimes it’s better to keep the vocabulary simple and try to get to the point with some adjectives to keep the reader interest. Ya’ll still interested? Or should I abandon this story and start another? I would like to think that this one has potential and I even get to paint a picture. Maybe I should create another page simply for the finished stories all polished, named, and even an image. What do ya think about that? Words that need to be used:
Carnival, Sprained, Mask, Oxidation, Awkward, Apple, Juvenile, Controversy, Twirl, Sassafras(WOOT! I only have 5 words left to figure out how to work into my story!)
And it’s supposed to have something to do with a weird request at a piano bar. (Which was the request from a bartender that doesn’t have anything to do with scheduling asking Sessy to work. But I think I will try to work another weird request in there)