Cocktails, get your cocktails here…
Wait, never mind. I had a thought but it left me. Or maybe not. Anyway, this week the prompt from Chuck Wendig is the cocktail title. Ya, I know, strange. Or maybe not. The idea was to use the random method of 20 cocktail names and create a story from the title. This really isn’t much different than anything we might have done in the past but really, cocktails have some strange names.
All I can say is, I am not responsible for the strangeness to follow. I blame Chuck, he started it.
“Did you get it?” Mercal asked. He rubbed his hands together over the barrel fire. “We don’t got all night now. Did you get it or what?”
Arak dug deep into the bag in his hand. “Just hold on a minute. I gots things that you just don’t know about.” He pulled out a black book and set it on the stool in front of him. “Now listen here, I gots a list.” He opened the book and began flipping pages.
“Lists, you gots lists,” Mercal said. “What the hell do I care about lists? I want to know if you got it.”
Arak squinted his eyes as he glared at Mercal. “You gonna let me read you this list, or you gonna keep belly aching?”
Heavy sigh. “Fine, read me your damn list then,” Mercal said. “This better be worth my time.”
He held the book so the light from the barrel fire illuminated the pages. “Now give me just one moment,” he said. After flipping through the pages he stopped on one in the middle of the notebook. “Here it is right here. We need some strange ingredients. But you knew that already.” He licked his thumb and forefinger and prepared to flip the page. “Wait here it is, yep, that’s it right there.”
“The suspense is killing me,” Mercal said. “Have you always been this doggone worthless when it comes to readin in that their book?”
Arak looked away from the book and started mouthing numbers starting at one. He flashed fingers in his free hand as he mouthed the words. When he reached ten he brought the book back into the light. “I told you that it’s right here,” he said. “Now if you just hush up for a few minutes we can figure this all out.”
“I just wanted to know if you got it and by the way you’re talkin right now I really don’t think that you do.”
“Shut it, just shut it,” Arak said. “I got the damn thing. Okay, ya, I got it.” He set the book down on the stool and rummaged through his bag again. “It’s right here. Why can’t I go through my story? Is it really so bad that I want to build up to the big reveal?” He set a small brown box on the stool next to the notebook.
“Was it really that hard to tell me?” Mercal asked. “We don’t really have time for shenanigans right now.” He snatched the box from the stool and flipped it around in his hands. “This is the real thing? You know what happens when you try to slip through with fake crap right?”
“Yes, it’s real,” Arak said. “People died in the search for it and everything. It damn well better be real.”
“Hey, easy, I didn’t mean nothing by it. Just wanted to confirm that it’s what you say it is.” He tapped the bottom of the box and it popped open. A small multifaceted rock glared up at him. “You didn’t mention that it had been cut already.”
“Ya, it was the only one I could find but the quality of the cut and workmanship are worth it.” He read from the notebook. “Fossilized years ago when the bombs turned the living to glass. Can you imagine?”
“I try not to think about it really,” Mercal said. “I can’t believe how little survived the attack to begin with.” He held the crystalline object up to the light and examined how the interplay of light filtered through the different facets. “Can you imagine where this came from? Do you know where it came from?”
“That’s the thing, supposedly it came from the rainforest in South America,” Arak said. “But we found it in the Northern Steps.”
A pounding rhythm beat against the front door. They exchanged a quick look and each of them reached for the pistol they wore in side holsters.
“I told you to come alone,” Mercal said.
“I did, what shit you tryin to pull here?”
They knocks came again. Followed by a loud crash as the door splintered and flew open. A large ape in a business suit lumbered into the room. He was followed by a woman holding a machine pistol, aimed at Arak’s head.
“Thought you lost us didn’t you?” She said. “Lose the heat.” She pointed at the floor away from him. “Sure you skipped out on us but we’re smart enough to find you. Give them some breathing room, Junior.”
The ape pressed a hand to the chest of each man and pushed them against the walls. Not quite a squeeze but he held them with enough pressure that they couldn’t squirm away.
“I don’t think you realize the position you have now put me in,” she said. She swiped her hair out of her eyes and tucked it back behind an ear. “I don’t really care for this physical work. It tends to muss my hair.” She jammed the pistol into her hand bag. Though the pistol was much larger than her bag it fell inside and left no trace of its presence in the bag. “Now if you don’t mind, this would be a good time to cough up the gland.”
Arak pushed at the ape’s hand but couldn’t get it to budge. “You signed away your rights to it when you signed the contract,” he said. “I did all the legwork, spent all my time looking for the thing.”
“You silly, silly, man,” she said. She marked the words as she tapped his noise with the corner of her hand bag. “You need to hide originals much better.”
Arak gasped. He had placed the original in a safe in his office several months ago.
“I know it doesn’t seem like it from your angle right now, but Junior has a very delicate touch. He is my resident safe ‘cracker’.” She rested a hand across Junior’s bicep and shuddered before she turned back to the confined men.
“Don’t include me with him in this,” Mercal said. “I’m just a middleman. I already have a few buyers lining up. I can cut you in for half.”
“Oh pish,” she said. “Why would I want a partner at this late date? I do believe there is so much more I can accomplish if I run solo.” She lightly caressed Junior’s shoulder, and followed his arm down to pry the crystal from Mercal’s hand. “Well as solo as a girl can be with Junior around. End them then meet me at the elevator.” She spun away as her dress whirled around her legs. The overly sweet smell of her perfume lingered in her wake, eau de bananas.
Junior wasted no time, mommy hated to be kept waiting. He pressed Arak’s chest into the wall behind him. The squishy pop of his insides mingling with his outsides brought a new calm to the room.
“You don’t have to do this Junior,” Mercal said. His voice had gone up an octave from Junior’s pressure on his chest. “I can get you anything you want, anything at all.” His face turned beet red. “Monkey want a banana?”
The magic word, Junior had never cared for monkeys, never spent time with them growing up. People who couldn’t tell the difference between him and the average monkey, well they just ground his gears. As far as he saw it, at that point he wasn’t responsible for his actions.
Junior released the pressure on Mercal’s chest, freed him to move. Instead of taking the freedom to apologize, Mercal crawled as fast as he could away from the behemoth. But not quite fast enough. The great ape reached down and grabbed him by the ankles.
Mommy used to play a game with him when he was a baby. She called it wishbone. Until his hands grew too big to play properly they would make a wish as each pulled a side of a turkey wishbone. Mercal’s scream cut off before he was tossed aside in two separate pieces.
Junior loped through the room into the hall to catch back up with Mommy.