By Jeff Salter
[It’s well after midnight and very cold outside. After more confusing (and humorous) miscommunications in the police car, Kristen Prima (still in her skimpy, sexy witch costume) and her handsome, as-yet-unnamed, presumed accomplice (dressed as a pirate) are able to convince Cpl. James to stop for coffee. If they can sort things out about being inadvertently locked in the armory and abandoned after the Halloween festival, hopefully they can avoid being booked at the jail. This is the very beginning of Chapter Four.]
The officer pulled into Dairy Barne’s lot, switched off his engine, and turned to face us. “If I didn’t need to use the can, I’d take you straight downtown. I don’t buy both of you getting locked in but I can’t see a good motive. You better hope your flimsy story checks out.” He exited abruptly, slipped his nightstick its metal loop, and opened the rear door on my side. “No funny business. I’m in no mood to chase down witches and pirates in the middle of the night.”
“How far could I go with no money, no jacket, and wearing these?” I pointed to my heels.
“Out.” James motioned with his head.
I slid over, showing more of my inner thighs that I’d planned for anyone to see ever again, other than at the pool. As I struggled to stand, the officer reached down and unlocked my cuff. Once the buccaneer got out, his restraint was likewise removed.
Then, more of his lecture: “We go in, I use the can, we have a coffee, we talk a bit, and I’ll check on your story. Anything goes haywire, and you’ll find out what a Taser feels
Neither of us wanted to know.
As we entered the Dairy Barne, Corporal James nearly danced with anticipation of the restroom. But he had a problem. We were no longer restrained and I certainly couldn’t enter the men’s room with him. Or so I thought.
Corporal James evidently knew the staff here, because all he did was nod in the cashier’s direction and Manager Kurtz nodded back. It didn’t communicate much, but seemingly established that whatever was about to happen was official police business. The officer opened the men’s room door, poked his head around the corner, and called out, “Anybody in here?” Nobody responded, so James stepped back and motioned for us
“In there? With you two guys?”
Kurtz had moved to the near end of his counter but did not intercede.
“Inside. And hurry.” James nearly squeezed his knees together. “You promised no trouble. Get in… quick.”
I shook my head vigorously. The only time I was in a men’s room was at the county stadium after Verdeville won a regional high school championship. All the ladies’ accommodations were occupied with long lines outside, and I had waited long enough. On top of having to deal with the astonished male customers, I’d found the stink
overpowering, the grime astounding, and the graffiti unbelievably odious. Having taken care of nature’s call with only three gasps of breath the entire time, I strode from that facility and vowed “never again”.
“Inside,” ordered Corporal Bursting Bladder. “Now!”
I took a deep breath and darted inside, as though my speed could diminish the shock. Judging from the stench, that restroom was cleaned possibly once a week. Don’t men have a sense of smell? Gauging from the pools of, uh, liquid on the floor, none of the establishment’s male customers could aim into either of the old-fashioned sunken urinals, which seemed to be the driest spots in the entire tiled floor.
I stood as near the door as I could and faced the wall. James was already taking care of business. When the sound of the cop’s urine stream began to make me feel faint, I whacked the air dryer button with my elbow to partly mask the noise. Didn’t help much and hurt my elbow besides.
The corporal completed his primary task and moved to the sinks to rinse his hands. Didn’t use any soap.
I had taken about four breaths this entire time and each was partly screened by the black satin of my collar when I pulled it up. When James finally opened the door I burst out like a school kid beginning recess.
Everybody in the Dairy Barne watched intently, including the family with three young children. No one could have known exactly what transpired behind that door, but everyone would realize we weren’t in there long enough for it to have been anything much. Kurtz nodded. It probably meant, Okay so far, but no more witches in my men’s room.
The cop nodded back, so perhaps he understood. “Okay, let’s have us a sit-down and see what’s what.” James motioned toward a booth.
I didn’t want to be that close to either of those guys, so I pulled over a chair and sat at the end of their table, which put me in plain view of everybody in the joint.
A very tired-looking waitress moved slowly toward our booth-plus-chair. With her pad and pen poised, she stared but didn’t actually ask for our order. “I’m buying tonight, Ethel. Three coffees.” He held up that many fingers as though the number needed visual
Ethel put away her pad and trudged back to the counter, some twenty feet distant, where the manager conferred with her briefly. With little care about spillage, Ethel poured three coffees, paused to wipe an obviously filthy limp towel around the rim of one cup, and brought the tray slowly to our booth. “Manager don’t want ya blockin’
Well, I certainly wasn’t going to sit with the corporal so I perched on the very edge of the buccaneer’s bench seat. The coffee cups looked slightly filmy and I prayed I hadn’t gotten the one with the recent rim-swipe. I added sweetener — half a pink packet — and
stirred with a greasy fork. I took a sip — surprisingly good. Warmed all the way down my gullet and reminded me I was also hungry. I looked toward the counter at the glass rack with pie slices. Chocolate! Oh, that would be so nice right now. But no money. And I knew this officer wouldn’t spring for it. I couldn’t very well ask Captain Blood.
The swashbuckler sipped his black coffee a few times and then stared into the rising steam. “So, Corporal James, is there a way you can check our names from here, then let us go back to our vehicles at the armory? It’d be nice to put this entire thing behind us as soon as possible.” He didn’t use the word “matey” even once. No “avast” either.
I hope you like this fifth sequential sample. The fourth was in my Mar. 16th blog last week ... the first three were in November last year [scroll back or click on the archives].