Author’s Note: Welcome to the first Quick Fiction Friday! This is an unedited snippet from my NaNoWriMo project this year. I had a lot of fun writing it and it’s honestly one of my favorite scenes in the work. You’ll notice I write more heavily in dialogue than in detail. I divided it into two pages, so just click the number two at the bottom to get to the next page. I know it’s a little long for Quick Fiction Friday, but it wouldn’t have made sense to stop before a logical point in the story. I hope you enjoy it and don’t forget to tweet your own quick fiction with #QUICKFIC or link this back to your own blog post. Questions, comments and suggestions are always welcome.
The Birthday Scene
A cascade of voices floated out when she yanked open the door, periodically punctured by sounds of laughter. Peering around she could see no place to sit, save for three lone stools at the bar. She chose the one in the middle and slipped off her ragged jean jacket. Taking in the number of people who were there already, she hoped Coral would get here soon.
She knew they should have waited until Saturday before coming here. The busiest day for the pub was one she usually shied away from, but Coral had insisted they celebrate her twenty-fifth birthday on its proper day. “No work the next day either,” she added. “So it’s no harm, no foul if we get wasted. I want to give you a birthday you’ll never forget…and possibly never remember.”
She had relented, only because Coral’s larger than life personality was hard to say no to. They only known each other six months, but she had grown really fond of the one friend she’d made while she was here.
The bell chimed over the door and in breezed Coral, the thin heels of her fierce brown leather boots clicking as she walked over the rough wooden floor. She unwrapped a multi-colored scarf from her olive colored pea coat and hanged it on the hook by the door. She didn’t have to glance up to know that literally every head in the place turned to glance at her. If they were brave, they’d be obvious and let their eyes linger. There were always a few. Coral would reward their bravery with a wink and a smile, maybe just the slightest tilt of her head, and they would turn into puddles of helpless goo. She witnessed it enough in those six months to know it was true. Not that Coral ever noticed.
“Charlie! Please tell me you’re not just sitting there,” she yelled over the noise. “You should be at least be two shots in by now.”
“I was waiting like a good friend,” she said. “I know how you hate when I get into trouble without you.”
Taking the stool on the left, Coral bypassed the shots and ordered herself a vodka cranberry, along with her usual rum and coke straight up. “And lime,” she chimed in.
As the bartender busied himself with the drinks, she couldn’t help giving him a quick and inconspicuous once over. Coral, as usual, was the only one who seemed to catch her.
“God, you are so STRAIGHT!”
She draped herself dramatically over the bar and the other girl smirked. “Don’t be judgmental of my lifestyle choices.”
She stuck out her tongue and Coral snorted. “I’m okay with it, I just wish you wouldn’t flaunt it in front of me. It goes against my belief system.”
The banter was normal for them, but it was an acquired taste. Not everybody had their sense of humor. It was always amusing to see what type of reaction other people might elicit though, and she was pleased to hear an ill-concealed chuckle come from the bartender. This might turn out to be an okay birthday yet.
Coral swiveled around on the stool, surveying the other people with mild interest.
“See anything you like?” she asked her.
“Not really looking. Although now that you mention it,” she gave her half-grin and she followed the girl’s gaze to a pretty redhead with a Giant’s jersey and low-cut jeans.
She nudged Coral. “Go talk to her.”
“She could be straight. It would go wonderfully with my streak of luck.”
“If she is, you could change her mind,” she said, only half-joking. “Ask her the score of the game or something. I know you’re dying from missing it.”
Coral shrugged. “I came here to celebrate your birthday. This day is about you. The game isn’t that important.”
She winked and Coral made a face, but got up anyway.
“I’ll be here,” she promised.