Today's Flash Fiction Fridays will continue introducing you to the characters of my ebook Once Upon a December Nightmare, which is being published by Wild Child Publishing. You can now pre-order Once Upon a December Nightmare here. Last week, I introduced you to Cassie and Mary in "Departure." This flash piece introduces James and Denise. Enjoy!
Side note: Today is the last day to enter my First Page Critique Contest. Click here to read the excerpts and vote, and you may win your own copy of Once Upon a December Nightmare.
Honky Tonk Love
"Give me a Bud, Marty." James plopped down on the barstool.
"Sure thing." The bartender grabbed a Budweiser bottle and popped the lid. Mist drifted from the opening, and he set it down before James. "Long day?"
"You know it." James grasped the cold bottle and took a swig. "The place is quiet for a Friday." He looked around the Line Bar & Grill. Several couples sat at tables while they ate wings and drank beer. A few girls and a couple guys danced to a Dixie Chicks' song. Then, at the other side of the bar, a blond sat with a fruity drink in one hand. Despite being a regular customer, James hadn't seen her here before. "Who's that?" He nodded at the young woman.
Marty glanced at the girl. "Haven't seen her before. She came in with several girlfriends. Then, they left her there to go dance." Taking a white dishrag off his shoulder, he wiped up the counter.
James sipped his beer, watching the girl sigh and twirl the drink with her straw. A tiny red tornado swirled in her glass before she sipped the drink. Finishing his beer, he left it on the counter and walked over to the girl. "Hi there. Care if I take this seat?"
"Nope," she said without looking up at him.
He sat down. "I'm James, by the way."
"Denise." She breathed deeply, and her ample breasts pressed against her shirt.
"Like another drink?" Hers wasn't half-finished, but he thought he would offer while he ordered another Bud.
"Sure, why not." She finally lifted her gaze and looked at him.
He smiled and was glad he decided to talk to her. "So, Denise, what brings you to the Line?"
Her gaze flickered to three girls line dancing. "My friends thought we needed a girls' night out."
He didn't know why she would be sitting alone, if she was supposed to be with her friends. "What's wrong?"
She shrugged. "This wasn't what I had in mind." She laughed, yet it sounded forlorn. "I don't care much for this music."
His eyebrows' rose at her confession. "Really? You don't like country music?"
"It's just not my thing."
"But it's great. You haven't learned to appreciate it yet," he insisted. He held out his hand. "Come on. Let's dance."
"I don't think so." Her eyes searched his face.
"It won't be too bad." He flashed a smile and gave her puppy dog eyes. "Pretty please, beautiful Denise."
"Well…" She was bending to his endearing charms. "Oh, all right." She took his hand, and he led her to the dance floor.
"Line dancing is fun. Just follow along."
With James's help, the two danced. He didn't think Denise was a bad dancer. In fact, she was pretty wonderful. When a Faith Hill song came over the speakers, he pulled her into his arms. "See, it's not too bad, is it?"
She looked up at him, and he realized her eyes were blue. Her lips slowly turned into a smile. "I suppose it isn't too bad." She giggled while moving closer to him. "You know I might get into this country music thing with your help."