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The Tomato Juice Diet (standard:horror, 819 words)
Author: Brian NewmanAdded: Mar 15 2004Views/Reads: 5708/0Story 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 

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 

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. 


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