Who can it be now? – BC.

Scene setting – The Peach Cafe : BC.

co-written with Gene.

Gene:  

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Armed robbery leads to murder of cop . The title of the article had been stamped onto the page, its black font taking up at least ¼ of the page. To someone like Ava, it was certainly eye catching. Who didn’t love reading articles regarding murder and theft? Upon viewing the front page, which had too much exposure regarding a woman’s body, she instantly turned the paper – with some difficulty due to the size – and settled her eyes upon the crime-related article. There was plenty of gossip in the papers which were delivered to the Vestro District and not enough reality. Her attention fixated on the first paragraph, reading it then proceeding to re-read it, to let the contents sink in. Thankfully, the article was written in a neutral tone; the amount of bias in some newspapers was truly horrifying. Ava was entirely oblivious to her surroundings, though she occasionally took a sip of her drink.

“You’d find much more interesting reading material at the library, Miss.”

Her head raised upon hearing the man speak. She hadn’t anticipated that anyone would talk to her. Ava turned, looking for the one who spoke; however, he was already walking away to his booth. She opened her mouth to say something, but froze. As the man sat down, Ava peered at his features. It popped into her mind, that she knew him. From where? Ava was still figuring that part out. The man was attractive, but it was clear he was too old for Ava – not that she’d attempt anything anyway. Upon realizing she was being way too obvious as she observed the man, Ava quickly turned and looked back to her newspaper.

As if her mind were a cemetery, and the man a ghost, the fact that he was recognizable continued to haunt her mind. It was rare times like these, when Ava couldn’t place her finger on something, which she hated. Though, the state of mind only ever occurred to Ava when she was trying to remember a spell.

He was a teacher at her school. Her eyelids came together, and the sudden blackness obscuring her view was enough for her to recall the past. Martin, his name was, however Ava would have to refer to him as Mr Martin. Even though Ava wasn’t in any of his classes, nonetheless she remembered seeing him around school and hearing some chatter about him; all teachers were talked about at her school, something Ava never really liked to divulge in. Whenever hearing gossip or inadvertently being present whilst one was going on, she never liked to participate; it was clear if people could gossip about anyone, they’d certainly gossip about you.

Should she go say hi? Ava was unsure whether the teacher recognized her, or not. It was always peculiar to see teachers out of school; what was one meant to say? Address them as Sir/Miss or call them by their first names? What would you talk about? All these questions shrouded her mind. After around 5 minutes of debating what to do, Ava finally gained the courage and left her seat. As she headed over to the booth, nerves prickled her skin, yet her expression remained calm. Whilst it would have been a few seconds until Ava reached the booth, it felt as if minutes had gone by.

“I just wanted to say hi,” Ava smiled, her voice not betraying her jitters. “May I sit?” If the man said yes, Ava would proceed to slide into the booth, opposite him. However, if he said no, Ava would turn away and walk back to her seat, her cheeks reddening with embarrassment. If she had been granted permission, Ava would say, “I go to the Acalo school; I’m not sure if you know me,”

Razorbackwriter:  

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The background sounds merged into a light gaggle of chatting voices, with the hiss of the coffee machine and the steady beat of popular music that filtered through the wall mounted sound system. It was enough to make it easy to mull over the days events. Joel had been searching for the book in his possession for some time, and now that he had the opportunity in the privacy of the cafe booth, he planned to start his studies, over a quiet coffee and muffin. The script on the opened pages was one that he had learnt back in his youth. A kindly old man who lived above his parent’s apartment often gave him private lessons to help bolster his studies. Joel’s mind was cast back to the dimly lit room that smelt strongly of tobacco and mould.

“Persistence in your studies will lead you on a path to great wisdom.” The voice was now a ghost that often spoke to Joel in his dreams. Amazing how this man’s teachings had a profound affect upon Joel and now the day had come where he would use this knowledge to help him unlock what had been up until now a mystery. Joel wet his lips in anticipation, as he took out a small black leather book that was bound with a red ribbon. He picked at the fray edges and started to untie it – only to be interrupted by the clink of a coffee cup in a saucer, that was being set down on his table.

“Your coffee and muffin, Sir.” The young fresh face barista set down his cup and the small plate which had a warm muffin on top. This mild interruption had Joel pause, whilst the girl waited to see if there was anything else that Joel wanted.“Thank you.” His reply was curt, eyes narrowing as he waited for the girl to leave the table. He hated people that hovered over him. Unbeknownst to Joel, the girl found him attractive. She teetered on the spot and then smoothed out her frilly skirt with her hands. “Heh.” A little giggle escaping her lips. Perhaps she was used to being told how pretty she was. There was no mistaking that she was, but Joel wasn’t in the least bit attracted – or in the mood. Rolling his eyes, he reached for the UNO card and then handed it to the girl with a gruff rumble in his voice.

“Thank you.” Maybe now she got the message. The young waitress blinked back to reality. He really wasn’t interested in her. A small pout appeared and she turned on her toes and sped back to the counter – her cheeks aflame.

Now that he was alone once more, the young teacher picked up his coffee cup and proceeded to blow on the top of the froth. The heart shaped pattern started to blur, and Joel then took a small sip – only to hear another voice. What the hell was with women today? Joel’s eyebrows both piqued, his head turning slightly to see who it was.

“I just wanted to say hi,”

It was the young woman who had been reading the sad excuse for a newspaper. Joel set his coffee cup down in it’s saucer, and stared at the girl wordlessly. The pause was interrupted by the fair haired girl asking if she could sit. Joel would be the first to admit, that the girl was way too young for him. Horrid thoughts started to filter through his mind until her face jolted a memory from the Acalo school. SHE WAS A STUDENT. Joel’s eyes closed as he raised two fingers to pinch the bridge of his nose. He realized that this was of course his fault. He HAD to go and make that remark about the newspaper. Letting out a sigh of resignation, Joel gestured with his hand towards the empty seat in the booth. Again, his tendencies towards being a gentleman rose to the fore. Staring at the girl through pale blue lenses, he listened to the girl introduce herself – though not by name.

“I go to the Acalo school; I’m not sure if you know me,” The girl’s cheeks were now a deep shade of red. Joel took this as embarrassment at being so bold to approach a teacher in a public place. Slowly, Joel closed the weathered old book in front of him and then pushed it aside with the brush of his hand. He then reached for his small black book and dropped it back in his bag. The girl was known to him. From one of the more influential families. It was easy to tell by the way that she dressed, so unlike the girls where he lived. Amazing the differences in style to those that could afford it and those who couldn’t. Finally, Joel decided to speak.

“Of course, Miss Blackbane.” Yes, he did know her name. Joel’s glasses slid gently down the bridge of his nose allowing the haunting grey of his eyes to be seen. Dark pupils dilated momentarily as he observed the girl. She wasn’t just a pretty young thing, but she was exquisite. Unique in fact. “We have crossed paths on occasion at the school, but as yet you are in none of my classes.” The young teacher idly tore off a piece of his blueberry muffin and then popped it into his mouth. This whole scenario was unusual. A teacher having coffee with a student and one that he did not have in his class, would make gossip mongers salivate. Joel eased himself back into the leather of the booth seat and remained calm and in control. Now it was his turn to be inquisitive.

“I imagined a girl like you would travel in a pack.” Insinuating that she was the type of girl that had a close knit circle of friends. Odd how girls liked to do that. Joel had always been a loner often enjoying his own company. Joel’s lips carried the ghost of a smile as he waited to see how she would react. He absently drummed his long fingers on the wood of the table as he waited for her to speak.

~RB~

Happy Memories – GS.

 

Scene setting : Detective Frank Malone’s Apartment.

co-written with Chor.

 

Chor:  The knock at the door was almost a relief. The silence and painful small-talk that went between them was awful. It was like watching people trying to pronounce words incredibly wrong or babies trying to walk for the first time. As the food entered the apartment, Isa knew the first thing she was going to do was eat. Then she could assess and conquer the situation. At the very mention of the food, she didn’t waste any time coming to where Frank had laid out the food. She pushed her slightly loose buttoned sleeves up to her elbow, showing more of the strange markings running from where her wrist met her palm to the crook of her elbow. They were so old news to her that she barely even noticed the black marks anymore.

Wow, this all looks amazing,” Isa spoke aloud, though it was mainly to herself. She was getting slowly more comfortable. Not knowing just what she wanted, she took a bit of everything, but mostly she helped herself to the bread. For someone who doesn’t eat much, Isolde loves garlic. She supposes it’s some cosmic proof – or maybe a joke- that she’s not a vampire, despite her looks.

Isolde was just a few steps behind Frank as she took up her plate and went back to where they would watch the movie. The previews, which she was intensely uninterested in, played in the background as she settled on the couch, bare feet tucking to her left underneath her as she balanced her food on her lap expertly. On hand holding her beer, Isa raised it to Franks.

To Claura,” she said, nodding to acknowledge Rory and her sister before taking a swig.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Frank made sure to tap his beer can against Isa’s as she said the name of the person she wished to toast. Both took a swig of their beers right after. Frank took quite a large mouthful of beer, before letting out a loud belch. It wasn’t intended to happen, it just kinda did. Frank looked a bit sheepish and placed the beer can down on the coffee table, taking up his plate and then easing back into a more comfortable position on the couch. With one eye on the TV screen, Frank happened to notice that Isa had taken a liking to the naan. It was then he remembered it was garlic naan, and this caused him to let out a chuckle.

“Gotta love a girl that is game to eat garlic.”

He didn’t mean to sound rude, but it may have come off as such. Realizing his gaffe, he then started to recant a story about one night where he had been on a double date. It was back while he was still married, and of course the focus of the story was on his male counterpart – Rory.

“Ever been to Giano’s pizzeria palace? No? Well, one night four of us went down there and it was the night I learnt that my mate Rory loved garlic. Man, he had garlic on just about everything. Every course. I can remember his girlfriend.”At this point Frank’s eyes started to water, as though he had remembered something terribly funny. “Rory used to give her dutch ovens. Man…that night. I heard she ended up sending him to the couch. Ahaha. He totally reeked.”

By now, the movie had started, and Frank was belly laughing at the memory of that wild night with his dear friend who stunk of garlic.

“Was coming out of his pores and everything.”

~RB~

 

Chor:  After Isa’s sip,she was nearly scared to death by Frank’s burp. She turned to him, hand covering the stupid grin on her mouth. Because of a dysfunctional belch reflex, Isa has never been able to burp. She envied those who could and found burping quite hilarious.

“Yeah, you’d think I’m Italian instead of German the way I inhale this stuff…” Isa said, chewing off and swallowing another bite with a sip of her beer. Isa listened to Frank and simultaneously had her eyes on the screen for the movie to begin while his story was told. The story was personal, and quite frankly hilarious. Now it seemed they both were stepped from their comfort zones, baring souls and telling embarrassing stories. As the movie began, the story ended, but Isolde was still laughing. Frank had an infectious chuckle and you couldn’t just sit there and let him laugh alone. Is knew of the garlic pores. When she still lived with Claura, the two would eat Pasta Margherita at least twice a week and would have to spend the night locked in their rooms away from each other, using copious amounts of industrial strength mouthwash.

Soon after the movie began, whether it was the beer the tryptophan in her system from all the food she could not stop eating, it had caused her to become drowsy. She blinked a couple of times, trying to focus on an honestly confusing and sad movie, but mostly found herself unable to. Eventually, she couldn’t keep her body upright and gently slid into a comfortable sleep, her body surprised she made it through that much of the film.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Isolde had the most beautiful laugh, and thankfully she didn’t find Frank’ story to be rude. She knew how garlic affected some people and she happily joined in even with the movie starting in the background. Frank had to wipe away the tears of laughter with one of the napkins provided with their curry meal. It felt so good to be able to laugh at something so trivial, especially about Rory. A happy memory in amongst so many that were sad.

Whatever tension there was before, had now abaited and the pair were able to enjoy the movie as it got going, whilst eating the curry from that random curry house suggested by the singing cabby. It really was a great meal, and Frank noticed that Isa had taken to it with relish. A gusto that could have been brought on by the beer possibly. Frank finished off his plate, using a piece of naan to scrape up the last traces of curry, while Isa seemed to be focused on the move. Or was she? Taking their plates, he was about to say he would wash up, when he noticed that she had fallen asleep. Right there on the couch. Frank chuckled softly as he took her plates and cutlery and eased off the couch gently so as not to wake her. He tip toed into the kitchen and then started to do the washing up, ever so often peeking through the gap between the bench and the cupboard to see if Isa had roused at all. Poor thing must have been truly exhausted.

Finishing up the dishes, Frank packed everything away – for once, and came back into the lounge room to turn off the TV. The quiet of the room only interrupted by the sound of the traffic outside his apartment building. Gently, Frank put his arms under Isa and carried her into his bedroom. He laid her down on his bed, and brought the cover up and over to lay across her as she continued to sleep soundly. Isolde was probably the first woman to sleep in his bed, since he had moved to this part of town. He bent down to kiss her forehead, before grabbing his own pillow and a blanket from the cupboard, and making his way back into the lounge, to sleep on the couch.

~RB~

 

Chor:  Isolde very rarely made it to the REM stage one so preciously needs to fully experience sleep. This also happens to be the sleep during which you experience dreams; one thing Isa tries desperately to avoid. It seemed the alcohol in her system gave her the faintest of reminders of the last time she indulged herself and the nightmare that followed was one of complete and utter torture. Her weakened body could not fight it off at first, but soon finally she awoke with a short yelp. Bolting upright, Isolde shoved the sweat-matter hair from her forehead and looked around. Where was she…oh god, she was in his bed? Not again.

She glanced down at her clothes, still on her body although highly disheveled,and uttered a sigh. There was a mirror on the other side of the room. Isa’s state could be considered treacherous. She really did look like she’d just tumbled down a mountain. Buttons unbuttons, skirt ridden up to the point of no return and hair knotted and wrapped in every which way. She looked like a commercial for the 1980s. What had she gotten herself into this time? Speaking of time…what time was it? Was it even morning. The room was dark, but she saw light peeking from behind the closed bedroom door. Had Frank slept out on the couch? Immediately Isolde felt guilt. She didn’t mean to force him out of his own bed.

 

Fitzy and Wippa’s parody “We never ever ever get accurate weather”

 

I simply can’t stop laughing.  This is so damn true.  A wonderful parody of Taylor Swift’s “We are never ever getting back together”, Fitzy and Wippa have penned what it’s really like here in Australia, trying to get an accurate weather report.

When I wake I want to be informed (tell me)
Sun or rain or shall I brace for storms (it’s easy)
Then I try deciphering the code
Dew points, tide heights, UV, what?
In Australia then it’s time to pick (decisions)
Trust a bloke or credence from a chick? (division)
I change my mind every single day (it’s so cray)
Forecasts, rainfall, wind speed, hectopascals

Yoo-oo-oo-o-ou we copped 20mls of rain last night
But yoo-oo-oo-o-ou you to me to dry my clothes, dry my clothes

We never ever ever get accurate weather
We never ever ever get accurate weather
You talk to locals, talk to sponsors, just talk to me
‘Cos we never ever ever get accurate weather

Grant Denyer’s cracking jokes on Sunrise (Just Cuts)
Natalie Gruzlewski, Channel 9 (she’s alright)
Stevie Jacobs always doing stunts (daily)
But no-one has the passion of Timmy Bailey

Ooo-oo-oo-o-o the bloke gets excited with a temperature rise
And ooo-oo-oo-o-o Bailey, he’s telling it, he’s yelling it

We love Tim Bailey ‘cos he lives the weather, weather
And because his skin is made of leather, leather

What will a Witch wear? – SS

 

Scene setting : Castle Greed.

co-written with Dessy.

 

Dessy:  Mariela was quiet the entire time. She knew Lydia would be angry with her for losing the thief, that kindness she has too much of. So she just chose not to speak. Instead, she listened to the talking, nodding her head every once in awhile when Lydia mentioned something or was speaking to her. If she was going to be Duchess of Greed, she needed to be a little more harsher – maybe not as cruel as Lydia or everyone else, but harsher than she is now. But, that would take a lot of practice and getting used to. “Good night.” she said to Lydia, turning her head to the man and woman that was in front of her.

When Serin handed the gold back, Mariela raised an eyebrow. “Sounds fair enough.” she said with a nod, looking at the bag of gold before holding it. She’d need to hand it back to Lydia. “Make sure you keep your promise and find the thief, and the chalice. You don’t want to anger Princess Lydia anymore than she already is.” she said, giving a smile as they exited the castle. She then looked back down at the bag of gold, before turning and walking out of the throne room, heading down the nearest hallway. She didn’t seem to notice Scar, as a butterfly, heading towards her.

 

Razorbackwriter:  The little butterfly with the strange hat flittered around the head of the young witch as she carried the small sack of gold with her. No sign on the pair that were going to search for the thief, and the thief having legged it, the alp was sure that Lydia would have a pink fit when she found things had not gone to plan. Chuckling like a tiny tinkerbell, Alp then changed back to his usual self. The wicked looking imp tipping his hat to Mariela, then making a sweeping bow.

“How clever of you. Here you are with the reward for the capture of the chalice stealing thief….and yet you are empty handed.” Scar snickered as he got in front of Mariela and winked. “Lydia’s going to be pissed.” He teased in that naughty voice. “But don’t fret, I promise not to tell.”

The alp walked to the Witch’s side and then gave her a playful nudge. “So….got a date for the ball?” the Alp asked, suddenly appearing very sweet. Odd that he would even consider asking the girl, but with this being a big deal in hell with all the royals and their partners coming, it might be a good idea to have someone on her arm.

“You know, I look pretty dapper in a tux and top hat. Ahaha. Well a tux, since you know I already have the top hat.” That said, the alp did a light shoe shuffle and then danced over to a spot in the hallway where a spot light suddenly shone upon him. The alp let out a whoop and spun around fast like lightning before changing into a full black tux with white gloves and a illuminating cane. The Alp started to dance towards the young witch and burst into song. Mists formed into female dancers in matching white tuxedos with high heels. They danced in behind him as he tried to get Mariela to agree to go to the ball as his date.

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If you’re blue and you don’t know
Where to go to, why don’t you go
Where fashion sits?
Puttin’ on the Ritz
Different types who wear a day coat,
Pants with stripes and cutaway coat,
perfect fits.
Puttin’ on the Ritz

Dressed up like a million-dollar trooper,
Tryin’ hard to look like Gary Cooper (super duper)
Come let’s mix where Rockefellers
Walk with sticks or umbrellas
In their mitts
Puttin’ on the Ritz
Puttin’ on the Ritz

If you’re blue and you don’t know
Where to go to, why don’t you go
Where fashion sits?
Puttin’ on the Ritz
Different types who wear a day coat,
Pants with stripes and cutaway coat,
perfect fits.
Puttin’ on the Ritz

Dressed up like a million-dollar trooper,
Tryin’ hard to look like Gary Cooper (super duper)
Come let’s mix where Rockefellers
Walk with sticks or umbrellas
In their mitts
Puttin’ on the Ritz

Have you seen the well-to-do,
up and down Park Avenue
On that famous thoroughfare
with their noses in the air
High hats and Arrowed collars,
white spats and lots of dollars
Spending every dime
for a wonderful time

If you’re blue and you don’t know
Where to go to, why don’t you go
Where fashion sits?
Puttin’ on the Ritz
Different types who wear a day coat,
Pants with stripes and cutaway coat,
perfect fits.
Puttin’ on the Ritz

Dressed up like a million-dollar trooper,
Tryin’ hard to look like Gary Cooper (super duper)
Come let’s mix where Rockefellers
Walk with sticks or umbrellas
In their mitts
Puttin’ on the Ritz
Puttin’ on the Ritz

When the song finished, he held out his hand to Mariela and whispered;

“You know you want too.”

 

~RB~

 

Dessy:  Mariela continued to walk, thinking over how pissed she knew Lydia was going to be. It wasn’t her fault. Mariela was raised to be kind and nice to everybody. Being mean just wasn’t in her blood. She turned her head when she thought she heard some laughter, but she shook her head as she thought it was nothing. She jumped when Scar suddenly appeared, dropping the gold and putting a hand to her chest. “Don’t do that, Scar!” she spoke, leaning over to the pick the gold back up. Not finding Lydia anywhere, she just gave the gold to the nearest guard, and told him everything. He’d either know what to do with it, or know where to find her. She then listened to Scar speak about her being empty handed, and she rolled her eyes. “They didn’t want to take the money until they found her first. I was respecting their wishes.” she said, looking at Scar as she kept walking. She stopped when Scar stood in front of her, narrowing her eyes at him. “I know Lydia will be pissed. No need to remind me.” she spoke, side-stepping him and continuing to walk.

A few minutes later, Scar nudged her and asked if she had a date to the ball. She raised an eyebrow and looked at him. “No, I do not. I’ve never been much for dates.” she spoke. “Why do you want to know?” she then asked, tilting her head curiously. She listened to him talk about looking good in a tux and she laughed. “I bet you do.” she said sarcastically, shaking her head. She stopped walking again when the Alp ran off to stand in some light, then changed into a suit and tux. He then began dancing and singing towards her, causing Mariela to just cross her arms as she watched with an amused expression.

He eventually finished and held out his hand. Mariela pursed her lips, as if she was thinking. She decided to humor the little Alp, for now. Plus, she could possibly keep him out of trouble that way. She gave a sigh, and took his hand with her free one. “Why not? It can’t hurt anything. Might as well.” she said. “It would certainly be easy to make sure you stay out of trouble.” she then made sure to add.

 

Razorbackwriter:  If anything, Scar was a showman. Not only the Demon of your worst nightmares, he could be a real man about town when he put the effort in. The alp didn’t have a date for the ball that was for sure and with Lydia – well, she was probably going to stag it since she didn’t have a love in her life. Always too ambitious for her own good, she used men and then dropped them like hot rocks the moment she got what she wanted. The end of Mammon was testimony to that fact. But here was Scar, asking the young witch if she would be his date for the grand Masked ball. Oh it was going to be an affair to remember, that was for sure. When the witch took his outstretched hand, Scar let out a little whoop of excitement, leaping up and clicking his heels together. The Alp brought her delicate hand to his lips, kissing them softly.

With a cheeky grin, he looked up at her adoringly. “Me? Trouble? Psh. You must have me confused with another alp. Ahaha. Now this is exciting. So much to plan…so much to prepare! Of course we need you to get a nice dress….something beautiful, yet….hmm….” He looked her up and down and then made a cat like meow. “Something to make the boys all….oh so jealous. I want you to be fab-u-lous!” It was funny to see Scar so excited about the prospect of getting Mariela all dolled up.

“Tell you what. How about you …and me wander down to the royal Greed seamstress and get you fitted up. “ He suggested, trying to link his arm in hers much the way that Lydia did. It wasn’t like he was trying to be overly romantic, but more like he wanted to see she actually got the right dress for the ball.

“Shall we?”

~RB~

 

Dessy:  Mariela watched how excited the Alp seemed to be, causing her to laugh. She was sure Lydia wouldn’t mind. Lydia wouldn’t be going with him, and it would be nice to have someone to go with. It might not be all bad. “Yes. You can be quite troublesome, Scar.” she then said, after giving a smile when he kissed her hand. She raised an eyebrow when he rambled about the dress, laughing once more. “Why would they be jealous?’ she then asked, amused at how excited Scar seemed to be.

Mariela gave a nod at his suggestion. “Me and Lydia were supposed to see the seamstress.. but other things happened.” she spoke, letting Scar link his arm with hers. She appreciated the fact that Scar wanted her to have the right dress and to look good. It was a nice gesture, really. She gave a nod to Scar and a smile. “Let’s go.”

 

Razorbackwriter:  

Greed : The Dress maker 

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Arriving at the quaint little cottage within the grounds of Greed castle stood Madame Tussa Mon Valet’, a witch of note and also a whiz when it came to whipping up clothes for nobles and the elite. Standing by one of her many mirrors, the white haired witch was slowly brushing her hair, whilst wearing a dour expression. She had heard all about the Princess’s plan for a masked ball and knew she would soon be under siege by many wanting the hottest dresses for the night. Sure enough, her thoughts would turn into reality. A knock at the door would have Tussa wave her hand and make the door to her cottage open on its own. Slowly the timber door fell back to reveal Mariela and a snappy looking Scar.

“Ah….Madame Mon Valet’. We need your assistance. The Duchess of Greed needs a dress. She’s my date for the ball.” At this, the Alp straightened his bow tie with a pronounced wiggle of his head. Madame Tussa turned to face the pair, and that was when Scar spotted her ample bosom. Oh yes, it was practically oozing out of her white lace bustier. What a sight.

“I….oh. Uhm. Gosh! Is it hot in here?” Scar flustered as beautiful boobs were his….passion. The alp could feel his tongue hanging out and his fingers twitched nervously as he wanted to run over a give her bosom a good squeeze. Perhaps a motorboat. But it was then he remembered who he was with….and why. Sucking in his tongue, he let out a little meep, before regaining composure.

With the Alp under control, the white witch sauntered over and looked at the Duchess with a tilt to her head. The girl was of good stature…pretty face. Eyes..yes there were two. Perfect. With a roll of her fingers gesturing the young witch to follow her to the fitting room, the pair of witches would leave Scar behind. “Go wait in the reception, Scar. Let me do my magic.”Scar pouted as he had hoped to be able to watch Mariela get undressed, but Tussa cut him off at the pass. She knew how devilish the alp could be. “There are some copies of Hell’s angels and she devils on the coffee table.” Word of that had Scar squeal with delight and skitter out of the room leaving Mariela with Tussa.

“Right…what style were you looking for, my dear? Also, did you wish to have the pumpkin carriage deal? if so, you need 6 white mice and a dog …..possibly two frogs. Not to mention…a pumpkin.”

 

~RB~

 

 

 

An Excellent Opportunity – SS

Scene setting : Pride castle.

co-written with Temp, Moo, and Nhal.

 

Temp:  The card quickly made its way into Astaroth’s hand as a guard took it to him. Apparently there was a way to get his hands on a secondary source of warriors. Normally he would only allow warriors that impress him join his forces, which was the reason behind his army being so powerful. There wasn’t a single member of his army that he couldn’t be proud of. However, hiring an outside source meant that this process would be overlooked. It seemed there was little choice in the matter, if he wanted to increase his forces that is. “Go there, tell the Doctor he works for me now…I will supply him with corpses of a quality he’s never before seen. I’ll expand his workplace. Whatever it takes. I will of course compensate you for this…Oh and one last thing…make sure he knows this isn’t a request.” He would supply the Doctor with ‘unique’ bodies as well as bolster his working environment, so long as the Doctor responded correctly. If his order was denied he would…pay him a visit.

 

Razorbackwriter:  No sooner had Astaroth taken the card, the Prince of Prides mind was made up. Not only would he supply the Doctor with a never ending source of quality corpses, but the Lab would now work solely for him and Pride Kingdom. No ifs no buts. This was to be relayed by the Ambassador and at haste. Valmont took the Prince seriously and bowed in a sign of respect that he understood the directives. He would receive payment for this messenger service, but it was all part and parcel of keeping in well with the Prince of Pride.

“I shall be certain to relay your orders to the letter, and that the good Doctor is well aware that he is to accept or lose an exceptional opportunity.” It was one thing for certain, that the Ambassador had ways of being not only discreet, but also clever in enforcing the wishes of others.

Knowing that the Prince of Pride did not like to be bothered about other trivial matters, the Ambassador bade his farewells.

“When the Doctor accepts, I shall send a raven to inform you of such good news, My Lord Pride. Till then…” The Ambassador snapped his heels together, then spun around and marched smartly out of the throne room. His next port of call would not be a Prince or Princess of Hell, but to find the Doctor and tell him of his good fortune.

 

~RB~

 

Temp:  Astaroth watched as the Ambassador departed his Kingdom, fully confident in this new development. His army was already a thing of perfection, but adding creatures that were hand crafted for battle would further bolster his forces. Based on the unknown factors of who else Gabriel could be allied with, the possibility of a march into her Kingdom was very small. Mammon had made that mistake already, and he definitely didn’t plan on ending up like him. Instead of doing anything aggressive he would simply recover and bolster his defenses. It wouldn’t take all that long for his power to fully replenish, and when that time finally came he would immediately begin training. Just like in the past, he would spend every waking moment growing his power and his Kingdom, his pride. No matter what Gabriel or anybody else did, they could never take his pride.

 

Moo:  Ysera moved through the kingdom via the air…a better transport than any other. Her full dragon size began to shrink while she neared the castle, morphing to her humanoid form while she began to lower to the ground. With her wings being the last to go, she dropped onto the ground with a soft thud, and moved forward toward her Lord’s throne room without a moment’s hesitation. She had been hibernating underground for quite some time…and within hearing of the mayhem, she had been awoken quite unpleasantly. Needless to say, the informant laid in a heap of bones, the rest having been devoured. Ysera didn’t take well to being woken prematurely, as spoiled as she was.

The female walked through the doors as they were opened by guards. The kingdom’s uproar seemed to have quieted during her Lord’s time of healing. That much was good news. Strutting along the corridor, she finally came to a stop several feet from the throne, falling to her knee with her hand over her chest before the one and only Astaroth; the only person she would consider to be above herself. Peculiar pink hues lifted to take in the sight of the regal prince. “You look well,” she remarked. “My Lord.”

 

Temp:  Astaroth had been recovering for a decent amount of time thus far, but was still not up to 100% strength. The majority of his generals had already been addressed and ordered to do various things. The top priority was bolstering their defenses in preparation for any sort of attack. As powerful as the other Kingdoms were, there was no way one could just punch through Prides front lines of defense. Now that he had a contract with Hell’s Kitchen, as well as a possible ally in Lust, his position of power was nothing but furthered. It had taken quite a bit to push Astaroth back in that battlefield alone. The addition of his army would bring about mass destruction to anyone that opposed him. For now though, he would regain his strength and keep a watch on the happenings in the rest of Hell. The masquerade ball was something he was well aware of, but attending such an event in his condition would be foolish. Eventually he was greeted by Ysera, who showed her respect as usual, and as expected. “Hilarious as always Ysera, but I feel far from well…this will change in time, as you know…and then we will train until I become stronger.”His demon dragon form needed to become something he used only if he had to. His normal form was still formidable, but nowhere near the power of his demonic form.

 

Moo:  Ysera gave her Lord a meek smile, slowly standing once again. “You’re nearly well,” she remarked. As consoling as the words could have been, her tone was lacking…but that was normal for the woman. Her hands clasped behind her back in a formal manner. “I will be grateful to train with you.” She nodded as she spoke, her gaze set over Astaroth. “It would do me well… I’ve been sleeping far too long.” Normally, it would have been longer. But nobody was as talented as Ysera when it came to battle. She instructed Pride’s forces to do nothing more than obtain victory, while taking minimal losses. Of course, there were months at a time when another general took over her position. This one had failed, and would receive a pleasant visit from the draconian female. Order was a necessity in this kingdom, and she would not fail to deliver it. “That fool, Mammon…” She scoffed, closing her eyes as she turned her head. The woman’s arms crossed under her chest. “Had he not rushed into battle in a single day, he may have been able to overpower Gabriel.” Her pink hues slid over to gaze at her Lord when she finally opened her eyes, looking displeased. “If I may, my Lord… Why did you rush in with him?”

 

Nhal:  I would hope that you aren’t getting soft Astaroth… I hate that shitty movie cliche of some weak kneed politician hiring someone to do his dirty work for him.” A thick string of black smoke whisped into the room as the voice echoed softly, making a dark black cloud in the room. The cloud lingering, Anarchy stepped out from its blackness, causing the thick cloud to immediately disperse and disappear. The heavy metal boots of Anarchy thumped against the floor as he proceeded, walking closer to the pair. Anarchy’s face was hidden behind his white mask, his armored left hand holding a burlap sack, and his hair neatly tied back while his cloak fluttered softly at his pace.

 

Temp:  Astaroth remained relatively still and calm as Ysera spoke to him. He wasn’t surprised that she was curious about his reasons for joining Mammon in battle, in fact he had expected it. Going in without your army was never a widely accepted strategy, but he had multiple reasons for doing so. “I mostly wanted to find out who Gabriels allies were, and was rather surprised by how many she had…Lucifer himself spared my life.” Not that he was proud of that fact. Regardless, he had discovered quite a of information. He honestly hadn’t expected Anarchy to show up anytime soon, nor was he expecting him to speak in such a disrespectful way. His eyes narrowed as he glared at the being, clearly not pleased by his words. There was no reason to cause an issue right now, considering his condition, but Ysera could handle things. “Handle this Ysera, I’m in no mood for this.” Keeping calm furthered his healing process considerably.

 

 

 

A quiet night in – GS

 

Scene setting : Frank Malone’s apartment – Gantz Series.

co-written with Chor.

 

Razorbackwriter:  The ride over in the taxi had Frank feeling a little heady. Was it the music or the scent of exotic spices? This cab driver’s wife must have been a good cook. Trying not to burst out laughing when the cabbie started to sing a long with one of the tracks playing on his radio, he instead placed his arm around Isa and whispered in her ear. “Only in New York.” You had to admit the whole thing was comical. The smell, the music, the cabbie’s lack of musical training. Least now Frank had an idea as to why the guy was driving cabs and not appearing in an off broad way musical. Finally, the ride was at an end as the cab pulled up in front of Frank’s apartment building. The guy did understand English after all. Paying the cab driver, Frank was handed a pamphlet for the cab driver’s wife’s restaurant. No wonder the cab smelt the way it did. He was carting spices in the boot.

“Ah…the Sitar Restaurant. Might have to try that. Thanks.” Frank got out of the cab on his side, only to race around and get Isa’s door. He offered his hand to help her out which he hoped she would take.

Any nervousness that Frank might have felt about bringing Isa up to his apartment was quickly quashed, since he couldn’t get over her smile and the way she handled the cab ride over like a pro. It was often cheaper to use the cabs than trying to find a parking space, which is why Frank favored them as much as he did.

Taking Isa up the three flights of stairs, they finally came to the front door of Frank’s apartment. He rummaged for his keys, before opening the door. The tell tale creak of the hinges showed that it could do well with a bit of oil. Frank dashed in and immediately started a vain effort to tidy a little. Picking up old pizza boxes and Chinese take out containers – hurrying to the bin. He was like a fiend in racing about. Clearly he wanted to impress Isa if he could. Soon, he came to a stop and then clapped his hands together. It was almost like he didn’t know what to offer her first. When she had been left at the door, she may well have seen his study that was where the [i]”wall of mystery”[/b] was. All the cases, Rory…pictures and reports all tacked up on a massive board that covered half the room.

No doubt she would have questions.

~RB~

 

Chor:  While Isa’s family was still adjusting to American life, her father began work in the city. The money he sent the girls from his job paid for the small three-year stint they spent in upstate New York. The place was lovely, quiet, and Isa’s mother often marveled that it was so alike Germany. Isa was too young to even remember, but she knew in her heart that – from the few visits she’d been granted to see her father in the city- that downstate is where she wanted to be. Upstate was nice, but the city was beautiful. It had colour, originality, and brought so much more brightness to Isa’s life. This cabbie was what brought Isa to this place, it was the reason she resigned herself to the city and sold her soul to the idea that she could make it better one body at a time.

“Indeed,” she agreed. Only in New York.

The restaurant’s pamphlet, printed on bright orange paper, make Isa’s stomach growl furiously. Grateful of the loud, overwhelming music, Isa waited as Frank rushed to the other side and allowed him to help her from the automobile. He was acting very strange, which made Isa’s brow raise at the behaviour. As they entered his apartment, nothing really caught her attention as being overly filthy or too out of order. It was the home of someone who didn’t have the time for the little things. Sweeping, dusting…eating, sleeping, you know? She shook her head as he moved around like a whirlwind. He didn’t have to, she was not judging him.

Something her eyes gazed upon removed her attention from all else. It was the study, where it was clear Frank was attempting to solve the very case that destroyed his life so wholly. She was unable to keep herself from it, as if it had reached its saddening tendrils out to her and pulled her in. When Frank would clap his hands at the end of his cleaning spree, she’d already be gone, poring over the files and pictures like it was her own place. She pulled herself away, then, thinking the situation a bit inappropriate. Shutting the door as she exited, Isa went to look for Frank.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Frank had stuck the Indian restaurant’s pamphlet to his fridge while Isa had been drawn into his study. It was only natural for her to take a peek, since everything that was pinned to the wall was to do with the case that had consumed Frank’s life. Quietly, Frank came up behind Isa as she was shutting the door to his study. She would find herself facing him as she turned to look for him.

“Probably best to let that all be tonight.” He referred to the wall of investigations. For a moment there was an awkward pause, as though Frank really wasn’t sure what to do next. But his body had a funny way of showing just what he needed. A pained growl was audible and he rubbed his stomach with a rising blush to his face. “I can’t remember the last time I ate. Can you?” Frank had probably consumed a couple of gallons of coffee to keep himself alert, but as for food, he couldn’t even think of what he had last. Remembering the pamphlet on the fridge, he made a gesture towards the kitchen. “I’ve got nothing in the fridge except for some frozen dinners and that shit isn’t fit for consumption. Say, how about I order some Indian from the restaurant the cabby recommended.” Frank dashed back into the kitchen and took the pamphlet off the fridge door.

“Couple of curries…a few naan. I’ve got beer.” His face now hopeful that Isa would take Frank up on the idea. “Got a few movies we could watch while we eat.” Frank clearly had not dined with a lady in a long time. He was as easy going as they came.

 

~RB~

 

Chor:  Isolde felt embarrassment crawl about her skin as she turned right into Frank, nearly walking straight into him. She found herself nodding in agreement; they’d had about enough of that for the day. At the mere mention of food, Isa’s stomach replied for her, louder this time than in the cab, and she gave an almost guilty look.

“I can’t even count on my fingers the amount of days since the last time I really ate, ” she said shyly, feeling foolish about it. She could only imagine what he thought of her now as he truly realized the extent to which she was allowing herself to rot away. Isa always fed her cat, she always made sure everything was finished with bodies, always did her job to the fullest, but never found it of great import to nourish herself. Her bottom lip found itself between her right lateral incisors, biting gently.

Anything sounds good, really,” Isolde told him, not wanting him to worry about any special kind of food. She’s never been picky. At the mention of beer, Isa was the slightest bit conflicted. She wasn’t a drinker, for reasons she didn’t like to think about, but she felt safe with Frank. One wouldn’t hurt?

“Movies? Sounds good.

Truthfully, Isa has seen very few movies in her short life. As a child her family owned one movie which they watched repeatedly and in school she didn’t have time for the cinema. Now? Well, she has even less time.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Then it was settled. A curry night with a movie or two. Both would probably fall asleep on the couch, but Frank really didn’t mind. This was the closest he had come to actually relaxing. What he didn’t realize was that he had turned off his phone, so Tommy’s message had gone to message bank. It would be some time before Frank bothered to check it. Taking the pamphlet down, he used his landline to call the number on the back, and leaned against the doorway to his kitchen as a lady with a strong Indian accent answered on the other end of the line.

“Could I order a number 4 mild, with extra cream and a number 16 medium. Oh and a couple of naan breads.” Frank gave the lady his address and was told the meal would be there within the hour. They must have been having a busy run. That was good enough for Frank, who didn’t mind waiting. He keenly wanted to change out of his suit into just jeans and a t’shirt so that he could truly relax. Hanging up the phone, Frank explained how long dinner would be. “We have an hour or so before the take out gets here. Why don’t you rummage through my movie collection, while I go get changed.” Offering a light smile, he strolled into his bedroom, leaving the door open slightly as he took off his shirt and tie, dumping them both in a hamper. On his back you could see a tattoo on his right shoulder of an eagle. It was well detailed and had been there for sometime. It must have had some meaning to him, and that in itself was another story. He was well built and you could see that he did work out, from the tone of his muscles. Frank then went into his closet and dug out some jeans and a black t’shirt, before getting changed, while Isa amused herself. By the time he was done, he came out looking like a completely different man. He even ran a comb through his hair. He was still a tad rough looking, but in a handsome way.

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His DVD collection had everything from thrillers, detective stories, supernatural and of course a stack on the Marvel comic superheroes. There was three book cases filled, and a great choice for Isa to choose from. Wandering into the kitchen, Frank took two beers out of the fridge, then walked back into the lounge, offering one to Isa.

“Found something you like?”

 

~RB~

 

Chor:  This very situation was odd. Isa had never really stayed the night at a man’s house, save it be for overnight cram sessions with her laboratory partners in med school. Now, she’d just met this man and she was wholeheartedly ready to stay the night; no questions asked. It was definitely a change in character for Isolde, who mostly kept to herself lest she be interacted with. As Frank talked over the phone to the take-out place, Isa watched him secretly. His entire demeanor had changed from the first time she’d seen him. She could not imagine them having this same conversation and this same situation happening several hours earlier.

“Uh, sure,” Isa replied to his suggestion before he mosied off to change. Oh god, how was she going to find a movie? Isa’s television experiences consisted mostly of documentaries or interesting lectures and she didn’t want to bore him straight to death. He had a serious collection going, which made things infinitely more difficult. What if she chose the movie he didn’t like? Or one he just watched? With a sigh, she settled on two that sounded pretty interesting. As she turned, her eye caught the open door, just glimpsing the tattoo resting on his toned scapula. With that image in her head, she spun herself around, wide-eyed like a scared doe, and returned to reading the back covers of the films.

As Frank emerged, Isa peeked around once more, now glad to see him clothed. She looked at his casual wear and felt undoubtedly over-dressed for the occasion. She hadn’t planned for this…impromptu hang-out session when she’d scoured her closet for the day. Her hand reached for the two wedding rings on a chain around her neck, as it was a nervous tick, only to find them blocked by her button up. Oh well.

“Ehm, I’ve got World War Z or Shutter Island?” she said, holding the two up to either sides of her clavicle and looking forward to him. It was his choice now, because she figured the odds were better in pleasing him if she picked two. After his choice, she took the beer with a light thanks and opened it, the top digging happily into her finger as she twisted it off.

 

Razorbackwriter:  “Shutter island it is then.” Frank made the choice fairly quickly, as he had watched World War Z too many times to even count. Taking the DVD box, he went about removing the disc from the case and then walked over to the entertainment system, where he inserted the disc into the machine. At this point, he looked back at Isa and asked. “You sure you’re okay being here? I don’t want you to think I am like…trying to make moves or..” There it was. Frank was about as out of practice of how to act around a lady as she was about staying over at a man’s apartment. It was the first time Frank had spoken about just the moment, rather than the case, or Rory’s death. He stood awkwardly for a moment – pausing to let her say something. In behind him on the wall, was a picture of Frank with his small son on his shoulders. Happier times obviously. There was no pictures of a woman in Frank’s life. He had removed those when she walked out on him after Rory had died and their marriage fell apart.

Frank toyed with his beer can, having not even opened it yet. His mind was now going over everything and now he wanted to do the right thing by Isa. “If you wanna change, or freshen up, feel free to use my bathroom.” Was he falling over himself? He meant well, but you could tell now he was nervous. Dinner was yet to arrive. Maybe they needed an ice breaker.

~RB~

 

Chor:  Isa was a little glad that Frank chose the psychological thriller. She really would have picked the medical inconsistencies and pseudo-science in the other film to shreds. She was that kind, yes…

Frank’s question really caught her by surprise. She nodded almost fervently.

It’s fine, really. I think it’s better even,” she said, then thinking that too eager, added “…I mean if I go home I’ll just work.

An awkward silence. A sip of beer. Yes; good. At the mention of changing, Isa wished she had something. She resorted to just pulling off her jacket, which was a huge deal considering she would probably die in that lab coat. After doing so, she noticed her skirt had come up a bit to reveal one of the many symbols that ran all the way up her side from the outside of both thighs to just under where her armpit began. The skirt was swiftly pulled down to cover her and she made herself comfortable on the couch.

“I’m quite alright thanks.”   she said with a reassuring smile. He really needn’t fuss.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Frank may not have said anything, but his eyes, oh they could talk as they followed her skirt up her thigh when she had taken off her coat. Were they symbols on her legs. He even moved his head slightly to the right as though that might help him see better, but no sooner had her skirt risen up, Isa had caught onto the fact and then quickly smoothed it down into place. As she wriggled to get comfortable on the couch, she said she was alright with hanging out at his place after all. There was a tension there between them. Like two high school kids on a date, not knowing what to say or how to move forward. But just when Frank was going to say something about the markings on Isa’s legs, there was a knock at the door. That had to be dinner. “Just a sec.” Frank said; making his way to the door and opening it to see a young fresh faced Indian boy carrying a large bag. “You Malone?” Yeah, he had the right place. Frank took out a wad of notes and pressed them into the boy’s hand as he took the take out dinner bag from him. “Keep the change.” There was at least a ten dollar tip, and the young boy grinned. “Thanks, man.” Frank gave a little shrug before closing the door. It was the least he could do, since his apartment wasn’t exactly in the best neighborhood.

Walking back into the room, Frank got an idea. He motioned with his hand for Isa to get up and come to the kitchen. “Get it while it’s hot.” he called, as he placed the bag down on the bench and started to take out the curry box containers. The smell was a lot like the cab that they had ridden over in, but better. In his own element, Frank went to take out plates and cutlery, handing a plate to Isa as she came in. “There is enough for four people at least. You won’t go hungry.” This was said with a smile, as he opted for the Lamb korma with some jasmine rice. The other container had Butter chicken in a mild coconut and tomato sauce. In a paper bag was some garlic naan, that was easy to tear off and use for dipping.

Once Frank had helped himself, he headed back to the lounge room, where he cleared off magazines and his ashtray on the coffee table. It was casual dining at its best and Frank reached for the remote to start the movie. Isa would be able to hear the pre movie trailers starting on Frank’s sound system, which was fairly loud for the size of his apartment.

Frank picked up his beer and offered a toast, when Isa sat down.

“To Rory…” he paused so that Isa could add the name of someone she loved that had passed away.

 

~RB~

 

 

The Peach Cafe – BC.

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Location is displayed by the symbol: https://i0.wp.com/i62.tinypic.com/14nmcyq.png

The Peach Cafe is famous for many things: their milkshakes, drinks, and beautiful women who work for them. It is a great place to come and chat with your friends and usually ads are posted here (if you are looking for a job etc).

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Scene setting – The Peach Cafe : Blood City Series.

co-written with Gene.

Gene:

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Ever since her meeting with Hiram and Lilly ended, Ava had returned to the stalls and continued her little shopping spree. A few items caught her attention, but she was mainly proud with the necklace she wore. There was something appealing about it; it was simple, yet complex at the same time. It possessed the perfect kind of modesty, one that would go with any attire. She might have spent an hour or two zigzagging from stall to stall. Saturday was typically the market day and one of her favourite days. It wasn’t that she was looking for something to buy – although it’s obvious if she liked something, she’d definitely purchase it – but simply looking at the products each market had was interesting; Ava enjoyed asking the specifics about some of the products: where they came from, how were they transported, with what materials were they made? Indeed, they were odd questions to ask, however the owners didn’t seem to mind.

After her adventures in the market, Ava moved on to shops. She entered each store empty handed and left the same way; at home she had enough, so why would she have any need to buy more? Ava was more than content and so felt no need to buy unnecessary items, whilst others in the Vestro District were known to go overboard when they went shopping. There were shops in the Vestro District – this was so the upper class would have no need to enter the Inner City and mix with the lower classes – but they only sold what one might call ‘high classed items’. It was a bore to always see such glamorous items. Plus, at times Ava felt the need to escape the upper class.

Now, it was the afternoon. How long had it been since Ava entered the Inner City? A few hours. Maybe 3 or 4. Either way, she came to the Peach Cafe; it was busy as always, yet so calm at the same time. After ordering a warm drink, she took a seat near the window, reading a newspaper. In the Vestro District, newspapers were different; they never disclosed the amount of crime going on in the City, however there was plenty of gossip. Her eyes remained fixated on the newspaper, finding it deeply – and perhaps worryingly – interesting how un-perfect the City truly was.

Razorbackwriter:  

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Introduction of Joel Martin.

Gently blowing smoke out from between his parted lips, Joel stood just outside the Peach cafe – finishing off the last of his cigarette as it was against policy to allow smoking in the coffee establishment. Joel closed his eyes and with a light tilt of his head, he took one last drag before pinching the remaining part of the cigarette and then letting it drop to the pavement; where he used the tip of his boot to crush the stub into nothing. He could of dropped it into the rubbish bin, but preferred this method. A light shake of his shoulders, and he pushed himself forward from the lamp post; his grey eyes cast now towards the entrance to the Cafe. Already there was quite a crowd, but it was not bustling – nor was there much of a line up to be served. With an almost bored expression, Joel sauntered towards the door – only stopping to open the door for an elderly woman who had made it to the entrance before him. He reached out and let his slender digits clasp the bronze handle, pulling the door back almost effortlessly. The woman, whose head scarf covered much of her hair and obscured her face thanked Joel with a gentle tone, to which Joel merely nodded his head. If there was one thing his father taught him it was to respect his elders. It cost nothing to be a gentleman in what was a changing world. Respect for the elders of the community was on a down turn, as the current generation were all too transfixed by technological devices to even pay attention to people that they dined with.

Once the elderly woman was safely through the door, Joel followed and allowed the door to close on its own as he surveyed the interior of the Peach cafe. The atmosphere had a warmth to it – be that from the scent of the roasted coffee beans, or the tender smiles of the waitresses. The manager always found good looking girls to serve his customers, and being served by a pretty face was welcoming. Not that Joel was really bothered about being overtly friendly with the waitresses. They were there to do a job – provide a service, which they did well.

Taking up a menu as he waited to be served, Joel happened to notice a fair haired woman seated by one of the window booths. In her hand she was reading the city newspaper. The young man tapped the menu against his left open palm, not even bothering to open it, while his ghost grey eyes locked onto the cover story on the front of the newspaper. Joel’s lips thinned as he noted that the news of the day was about some B grade celebrities buttocks. Really, couldn’t they put something actually considered news on the front page? Joel’s concentration was only broken by the sing song voice of the barista.

“Sir, would you like to order?”

A petite blonde girl with pink satin ties pulling up her hair into pig tails smiled brightly, as she clutched her pen in readiness. Joel exhaled sharply through his nostrils, placing back the menu in the stainless steel stand.

“Flat white in a mug, and a blueberry muffin please.”

The girl scribbled down the order and then tapped the keys on the register before announcing that Joel’s order came to nine dollars. Joel’s right brow crept up slowly – as he was somewhat surprised by the cost. Had prices gone up that much in recent weeks that you were paying nearly ten dollars just for a coffee and muffin. The young man smacked his lips together in indignation, and produced a ten dollar note; before telling the girl to keep the change as a tip. It wasn’t much of a tip, but the girl hid her disappointment well.

Taking his table number which was actually a UNO card, Joel strolled towards his favorite booth, but not before making a passing remark to the blonde haired woman that was reading the newspaper.

“You’d find much more interesting reading material at the library, Miss.”

Joel ran his fingers through his sandy locks which were unruly; much like the man himself. Without bothering to introduce himself, or even wait for her reply; Joel continued to his own booth. Sitting down, he took out his brown leather satchel and started to undo the flap. He slowly reached into the aging leather and withdrew an old book. Tattered and worn with yellowing pages. Joel tossed the satchel onto the booth seat beside him and then flipped open the cover to start to read as he waited for his coffee and muffin.

~RB~