This was my entry in the WDC Competition “The Weekly Quickie” 2012, Round 15. The short description for this challenge is: “Your mission is to excite the judge in fewer than 869 words, while writing for the prompt of the week.”
The prompt in this case was: Waiting. I got 2nd place out of 15 (and the judge ended up awarding 5 stories, they liked them all that much), so that’s rather nice.
So, here goes . . .
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She checked her watch again. Ten minutes. He was ten minutes late.
She picked her mobile up off the bar and typed a text to Joanne: “How long should I give him?”
While she waited for the reply, she leaned forward, letting the loose neckline of her dress droop, revealing the plump promise of substantial breasts. The barman was there in an instant. At least she didn’t have to wait for service.
“Vodka and lime, please.”
The barman gave her a winning smile and set to work: setting aside the first glass because of a greasy fingerprint and replacing it with a perfectly clean vessel, filling it with ice, pressing his hand over the mouth and shaking the ice around to cool the whole glass down. He tossed the ice into the sink and scooped a new batch into the glass. A measure of lime flavouring, two of vodka, and the rest topped up with lemonade. A straw, carefully bent just so, a little umbrella, and the glass was slid in front of her with another of those smiles. He only released the glass when she smiled back.
She checked her phone.
Bombarded by loud music and mesmerised by the display behind the bar, she had missed Joanne’s reply: “Are you kidding me? He’s not worth it. Come round for a drink at mine?”
She didn’t reply immediately. She bounced her lower leg, crossed over the other knee.
What if he’d had an accident? What if someone in his family had died? What if …? But, he had her mobile number, he could have called. He could have text, if a call couldn’t be made.
She sighed as she weighed her options. Call him to find out what the story is? Leave? Wait another ten minutes?
She felt someone watching her and looked at the bartender. He pretended he hadn’t been looking and focused all his attention on the cocktail he was preparing for three girls in their early twenties. They had no need of a speed date service. And, if they did, their follow-up dates wouldn’t stand them up. Bitches.
The bartender put a bit more flare into his routine – flipping the cocktail cannister, then drawing it up and down as he poured the contents into the three glasses before his captive audience. The girls were delighted.
One handed over another twenty. “Make us another one, I wanna see that again!” She shouted over the pumping music. She looked from one friend to the other. Yes, they, too wanted to see it again.
Why did he flash another grin her way before restarting his routine? All three girls looked her way, too – they did not smile. And then they all leaned on the bar, laughing hysterically at nothing and making a big show of their awe at the fancy cocktail moves. He was theirs, and they wanted everyone to know it.
Don’t worry girls, I’ve got ten years on you and him. He doesn’t want me. No one wants me.
She slid off the barstool and stepped out to the quiet of the toilet corridor, selected her supposed date’s number from her Contacts and pressed “Call”.
No answer. Seriously? Well, what now? All her questions were still unanswered. She hadn’t been out in such a long time. And she’d taken great care to look stunning. All for what? To sit around drinking at Joanne’s, apparently. Not that Joanne wasn’t worth looking good for.
She sent the text: “All right. Be there soon”, shoved the phone into her handbag, slung the bag off her shoulder, closed her eyes as she scooped her hair back and ran her hands down the front of her dress, pulled herself up and prepared to exit with all the dignity she could muster.
She opened her eyes as she took her first step and walked right into a chest in a lovely white shirt.
“Oh!” she bounced back and, flushing, looked up into a winning smile.
The bartender’s hands pulled her head to his and he planted a lingering kiss on her lips. Not giving her a chance to think, he pulled her with him, lips still locked. He pushed open a door, then another. It was early in the evening, so the cubicles were as clean as they ever would be. His hands slid the hem of her dress up her thighs. His lips roved her throat and collarbones.
Unpiloted, her hands unthreaded his belt and popped this jeans buttons.
One of his hands slipped right up her dress, cupping a breast. He moaned as he squeezed, and kissed her lips again.
His hands returned to her knickers, expertly slipping them from her hips. She stepped out of them.
His jeans had fallen to his ankles and now he took a moment to send his underwear after them, then he stepped back into her, his need raw against her trimmed hair.
Strong hands gripped her bum, hoisting her up and, with one foot resting on the toilet seat and the other looped behind him, somehow he was still kissing her neck as he guided himself inside her.
She heard her phone beep.
Sorry, Joanne. I may be a little late.
Word Count: 868
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Reviews received for this piece:
If only waiting could be this enjoyable. Speed dating and waiting, it seems like they go together. The story seems a little confused at the beginning but gets stronger near the end. The sex in the washroom (men’s or women’s) is quick and well written and I believe it saves this story. You have one error you might want to correct before it is judged (use glasses instead of classes). Good luck in the contest.
Definitely keeps my interest, so I think it has the making of a good story. I recommend that you develop more communication with the bartender, and that you show how she’s ambivalent about how she feels about the bartender’s interest in her. Maybe have her come back to her seat after she returns from the rest room, refuse the advances of the bartender, leave the bar, then, while in the street, decide to send the text and wait a little longer for her date. She returns to the bar and the bartender apparently assumes she returned out of interest for hi [sic], so he comes on even stronger.
I really enjoyed this story. Normally I’m not big on more introspection than dialogue, but you’ve got a great grasp of capturing character voice. I felt her irritation the entire time she was waiting, and loved watching the bar scene through her eyes.
And the ending was perfect. She deserved that bartended [sic] a lot more than ol whats-his-name.
Great job and fantastic story ^_^