She Is Overheard Singing
Description: This one is pretty much all Inez and none of the guys are in it at all. How that happened, I don't know. Its all gooey and romancy too. Sort of. Yick. Luckily, its also very short.
Note 1: Meets the March Poem Challenge. Poet is Edna Saint Vincent Millay.
Note 2: ALMOST meets the Feb Estrogen Challenge. Okay, I kinda messed up because one of the requirements was a three dimensional chick "who is NOT romantically connected with any of the seven (past, present or future)." Well, obviously, Inez is. But, not in this story. Still, it meets the rest of the req.s: "She must play a role in the story, i.e. not simply walking by and tipping her hat. Women come in all shapes, sizes, ages and personalities, just like dudes. Make her tough, sweet, good, evil, prissy- whatever. Let's see some girls just being girls." (My new A-Team story, if it ever sees the light, has loads of women in it who meet this challenge. Just a side note).
NOTE 3: THIS IS A PG-13 STORY, meaning there's some rather naughty ideas involved. Just a warning. My mother would flush red if she read this. Really.
Inez leaned on the dark wooden bar, her chin cupped in one hand while the other idly pushed the cloth to and fro across the shiny surface. She could see the lamps reflected there as clearly as if it were a mirror, but smiled to know that it was just a bar, and would never deceive her so.
"Ahem." The customer smiled at her, his blue eyes sparkling and his lips curling into a seductive smile. Despite herself, Inez straightened and smiled back.
"Yes, senor, what can I get you?"
The stranger pursed his lips and leaned over the bar, peering at the names on the bottles beyond. His brow creased slightly, not seeing what he wanted.
"By chance," he asked, his tone a soft drawl, "do you have any single malt scotch behind there?"
Inez arched an eyebrow, but gave a small nod. "We do. One glass will cost you more than a bottle of most of those, however."
He looked back at her, the smile back on his face, "Well, good thing I have the funds to spend."
Inez nodded and bent over to pull up the Glenlivet she kept behind the bar. Taking off the top, she took a glass and slowly poured the golden liquid into it.
"I'm afraid we have no ice, senor," she said, taking the bottle away, "you'll have to drink it straight."
"That's the only way I take it," he replied, pulling the glass towards him. Instinctively, she reached out to stop him, touching his hand in mid-motion…and nearly jumped at the spark the touch gave her. Pulling her hand back, she fought back a blush as she muttered:
"That, uh, that'll be a dollar, senor."
"A dollar?" he arched an eyebrow at the high price, but nodded. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a couple of coins and placed them on the table. As she reached for them, he touched her hand again. She drew her hand back quickly, blushing mightily this time and trying to seem annoyed at his advance.
"I just wanted to see if there was still a spark," the stranger said coyly, smiling again. His eyes seemed to deepen in color as he locked her gaze.
Inez licked her lips. If this had been Buck, he would have been holding his cheek where she would have slapped him silly for such a remark. If it had been Ezra…well, she would have kissed him…but the stupid, irritating man would never have said anything so unsubtle.
As for this man…well, she just found herself at a loss for words.
"I'd like to stay the night," he said, leaning over the bar again, tilting his head to the side, "do you have a room?"
Inez nodded, her eyes dancing in the lamplight. "Yes senor. I have a room."
She didn't tell the stranger that it was hers. He found that out later.
As she expected, the stranger was gone come morning. He left a note on her pillow, a promise to return, which she quickly crumpled up and threw away. With a sigh, she changed and went downstairs, ready to start a new day.
As she purchased her groceries from Bucklin's, and picked up supplies from Mrs. Potter's, she ignored the pointed stares she received from the ladies of the town. She knew what they thought of her, and knew that, somehow, news of how she had spent the previous night was already common knowledge. She had no idea how gossip got around, but it did, and she'd come to live with it. It used to pain her, but, over time, as she got to know them and herself better, her embarrassment turned to pride. A tiny smile crossed her face as she thought about how amazing the night before had been, and in no sense could she regret it.
Mrs. Potter had gotten in a new set of colored ribbons, and she paused as she looked at them on her way out. A yellow one, golden almost, seemed to call to her, and she picked up the delicate fabric.
"Yes dear," the woman herself bustled over from the other side of the store, where she'd been stocking some candy.
"I'd like some of this ribbon, please."
"For your hair?"
Inez smiled, "Yes."
Mrs. Potter smiled, and dutifully cut the ribbon to the length Inez wanted. She tied it into a bow and handed it to the saloon manager, who proceeded to tuck it into her hair where she'd put a clip that morning. Mrs. Potter told her she looked lovely, and Inez thanked her, suddenly feeling far more cheerful than she had in days. As she headed back to the saloon, she even started to sing.
Sometimes, she thought, it was good to be alive.
Inspired by a whole cache of really rather funny poems by Edna Saint Vincent Millay, a handful of which I'll put here, including the one that gave the story its name. Also, as a side note, I kind of think these also all remind me of Buck.
(this is one of my favorite poems)
My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends
It gives a lovely light!
I had a little Sorrow,
Born of a little Sin,
I found a room all damp with gloom
And shut us all within;
And, "Little Sorrow, weep," said I,
"And, Little Sin, pray God to die,
And I upon the floor will lie
And think how bad I've been!"
Alas for pious planning - -
It mattered not a whit!
As far as gloom went in that room,
The lamp might have been lit!
My little Sorrow would not weep,
My little Sin would go to sleep --
To save my soul I could not keep
My graceless mind on it!
So I got up in anger,
And took a book I had,
And put a ribbon on my my hair
To please a passing lad,
And, "One thing there's no getting by --
I've been a wicked girl," said I:
"But if I can't be sorry, why,
I might as well be glad!"
SHE IS OVERHEARD SINGING
OH, Prue she has a patient man,
And Joan a gentle lover,
And Agatha's Arth' is a hug-the-hearth,
But my true love's a rover!
Mig, her man's as good as cheese
And honest as a briar,
Sue tells her love what he's thinking of,
But my dear lad's a liar!
Oh, Sue and Prue and Agatha
Are thick with Mig and Joan!
They bite their threads and shake their heads
And gnaw my name like a bone;
And Prue says, "Mine's a patient man,
As never snaps me up,"
And Agatha, "Arth' is a hug-the-hearth,
Could live content in a cup,"
Sue's man's mind is like good jell
All one color, and clear
And Mig's no call to think at all
What's to come next year,
While Joan makes boast of a gentle lad,
That's troubled with that and this;
But they all would give the life they live
For a look from the man I kiss!
Cold he slants his eyes about,
And few enough's his choice,
Though he'd slip me clean for a nun, or a queen,
Or a beggar with knots in her voice,
And Agatha will turn awake
While her good man sleeps sound,
And Mig and Sue and Joan and Prue
Will hear the clock strike round,
For Prue she has a patient man,
As asks not when or why,
And Mig and Sue have naught to do
But peep who's passing by,
Joan is paired with a putterer
That bastes and tastes and salts,
And Agatha's Arth' is a hug-the-hearth,
But my true love is false!