Chapter 38

the sound: ZZ Top – Rough Boy, ZZ Top – Blue Jeans Blues, ZZ Top – Give it Up, ZZ Top – I Thank You, ZZ Top – Just Got Paid, ZZ Top – I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide, ZZ Top – Tush, TT Top – Legs, ZZ Top – Sharpe Dressed Man, ZZ Top – La Grange

I came back to myself to the sound of voices raised in anger and I realize that something is going on at our very table. There’s a kind of tension that I’ve previously not seen amoungst the men and the women are fretful and worried.

I glance about me to see 10 to 12 men striding across the floor towards us. All of them are wearing vests of a color and they are all rather obviously clubbers. Two of them are carrying what looks to be whips and the fellow in the lead has the largest head of long thick straight white hair I have ever seen and an equally long grey beard a la ZZ Top. As they get closer I see the piercing blue eyes and I can’t help but think that in another time I might have followed those eyes somewhere.

The men at our table and the few that are sitting strategically placed around us are all getting tense….very very tense.

I look at Little Man and he is removing his crucifix and handing it to Wonder Woman and I watch suspiciously as Robert pulls the Executioner’s cap off and they all proceed to fill the cap with valuables…watches, rings, wallets and even a couple of dental plates. It occurs to me that these guys are loaded for bear….they are preparing for a fight. Robert hands the hat over the back of the booth to Rosie.

“uhhhhhmmm…what’s going on?” I ask
“shut up and watch” comes from Rosie standing behind me behind out booth.

“what the fuck is it with these people telling me to shut up alla time?” I think just as the white haired fellow makes it to the end of our long oval table.

“Robert…it’s time” he says without preamble.

“Greybeard….what brings you to our neck of the woods?” Robert replies.

Greybeard looks us up and down the table and then leans forward on his hand, his short gloves showing how large his hands are…I can see his knuckles and the huge silver rings he’s wearing. “Robert…I’m not here to play games…there’s no need for this thing to get any nastier than it already is.”

Robert smiles, and it isn’t pretty…”oh it’s already nasty…but it’s gonna get lots worse if you don’t walk away”. An uneasy tremor runs through the men sitting at our table and the tension now feels physical. I start to say that I’d like to get up, to leave and Rosie leans into the back of our table and places her hand on my shoulder as if to say “now is not the time”

I have visions of something starting between these men and me stuck in the middle…so the trembling I’m doing under Rosie’s hand is highly reminiscent of a caged animal…yup that’s how I feel….caged and invisible.

The two fellows with whips step up on either side of Greybeard and one of them leans in to say “we can make this easy…or we can make this hard”. I hear the unmistakable sound of a pistol coming out of its holster beside me and now I’m more frightened than I have been in a long long time…yet again.

Robert leans forward on the table and places his handgun in front of him pointing at Greybeard. “Where the hell did that come from?” I think as I’m trying to remember where Robert could have had that.

Greybeard and both of his henchmen back up a step and Greybeard says “Robert, it doesn’t have to come to this…all you have to do is full fill your side of the bargain…simply pay up…it’s not rocket science.”

Robert smiles again and says “I have every intention” and he places his empty hand on my shoulder closest to him.

Greybeard looks at me as I cower in my seat and smiles at me kindly. “She’s a child” he says.

“She’s Canadian” Robert replies, as if that sets precedence for my looking young…”her name is Baby”

Greybeard’s eyebrow rises…”when?” he asks

“When I’m ready” comes Robert’s reply

One of Greybeard’s men starts forward and Greybeard stops him with a raised hand…”this is the last time I’m asking Robert, next time I’m taking.”

“We’ll see” snorts Robert as Greybeard turns on his heel followed by his men “yes…we’ll just see” he finishes as if to himself.

[note from Wyz…ya’ll realize that I’ve changed the names right?…
~I’m just saying~]

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