|The Tomato Juice Diet (standard:horror, 819 words)|
|Author: Brian Newman||Added: Mar 15 2004||Views/Reads: 5419/0||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|A bartender observes the world, and meets an unusual customer.|
The Tomato Juice Diet I was working the bar the first time she came in. A real knock out. I guess every guy there looked her over. It was a Friday night, the place had been busy, but it was late and the crowd had gone. We still had the serious drinkers and the late night crew. So she sort of stood out. Drop dead gorgeous, a short black dress and a great figure. She sat at the bar, ignoring everybody except me. She ordered a Bloody Mary, and after I made it, she ignored me. Now some people come in to a bar to talk, some to meet friends, some to make friends. The secret of being a good bartender is to be able to read people, and respond with what they want. That means more than just the drink! So I retreated to the far corner and cleaned some glasses. I was half turned, so I could keep an eye on her. She was beautiful. And with sort of an animal magnetism that is hard to describe. The thing that great actors have. They go into a room and every head turns. You may not know who they are, but you know they are somebody! When they focus their attention on you it is like you are the only person left in the world. She finished that drink in record time, and waved at me for another one. By the time I had that made one of the regulars had slipped into the chair beside her, and was started to chat her up. She was smiling but there was something cold behind those eyes. Good luck, I remember thinking. At last call he was plastered. I had to check her drink total twice, thinking I had made a mistake. You have to watch those petite women who drink fast. Usually the booze just hits them and they suddenly can't walk or talk. But she seemed stone cold sober, and she had ten drinks on her bill. "Taxi?" I asked. She just smiled. "I'll be his taxi." she said. And she literally had to help him get outside. They got into her car, something big, black and expensive. And they drove off into the night. The next Friday it was the same thing. I remembered her drink, and she gave me a little smile at that. One of the Italian guys joined her. The big weightlifter type. He had come in just before she did. I only noticed that at the end of the night, as I was doing up the bills. Again she had ten. As had he. But he was wasted, and she was as fresh as if she had been drinking coffee all night. In fact I offered them coffee. She just laughed and said she was on a tomato juice diet.I had some clean up to do, and they were the only two customers left. So I didn't rush them. They left in time. He stumbled on the way out and she, little tiny thing that she was, had more than enough strength to help him along. Who knows what happened later? Those Italian guys are boastful when ever they make a conquest! I figured he must have thrown up or something. He certainly did not come back bragging. In fact, I don't think he ever came back after that. But people move on, and you never know what happens to them. The next Friday was the start of a holiday weekend. So the bar was fairly empty. People going out of town relaxing at the cottage or whatever. She came in, as elegant as ever. I got her drink, and left her alone. The few people there were all couples. I could tell the guys were checking her out, but no one was free to make a move. So she drank, with a little smile on her face. The place cleared out until it was just her and I. At closing time I told her that I had some work to do, so there was no hurry. But I would be locking the door. "Will you have a drink?" she asked me. I grabbed a beer, and I sat down beside her. She smiled. It wasn't quite a seductive smile, but it was close enough. "This is the last time you will see me here." she said. I foolishly started to explain about the holiday, and thus the lack of people, but she cut me off. "It's not that." she said. I was kind of at a loss. I didn't know what to say or what to do. A good bartender remembers things about his customers and has the conversational skills to keep things light. "Tell me about your diet?" I said. "It's not really tomato juice I need." she said. And then I felt the sweet pain of fangs in my neck. Tweet
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