Welcome to Storytime Quarterly Blog Hop (January, April, July, October).
This short flash fiction is part of Apocalypse, Signed, Sealed, & Delivered series world. I write a lot of crossover in my Grumpy Old Gods short stories with these characters and world. You may remember Elliot from my story in our Stormdance Publications anthology, Grumpy Olds Gods Vol. 1, my story, ‘Playing Hookie’.
This is an ongoing series world. You may encounter Elliot again in my upcoming story for Grumpy Old Gods Vol. 6 releasing March 2023. Hope you enjoy this fun little moment in time in the ASSD World and Grumpy World. Be sure and check out the other fun stories by authors around the globe in the list at the end of the story, and leave us comments. We love hearing from our readers. Read with joy as Holly Lisle says.
THE PRANCING ROAD HOG MOTORCYCLE CLUB
HELP WANTED. APPLY INSIDE.
Rhea gaze lingered on the one rearview mirror, on the motorcycle farthest from the door lined up with ten more out in from of The Prancing Road Hog. She checked her hair one last time, opened her purse, pulled out her lipstick, and then decided against it dropping the tube back in.
Maybe I shouldn’t have gotten all dolled up in my best dress and red heels to apply for a bartender job. Why didn’t I bring a jacket?
Admittedly, she was thinking about the bar’s owner with the red hair and sexy southern creole accent when she got dressed earlier.
A jacket would have toned down the whole look, making it more professional-instead of trying to impress a potential non-date.
Dang it. She needed this job.
Her severance pay from the last job was about gone. Next month’s rent might be late if she didn’t do something soon. Bartending was a temporary solution. She had worked bars in college, and the tips were good. She could do it again. Except… her bad choice in attire might jinx her chances.
Didn’t matter. She grabbed an application by the door as she entered, and hopped up on a bar stool, and noted the current bartender was at the far end serving other customers. When he looked her way, she waved the blank application at him.
He raised his voice so she would hear him. “I’ll let Elliot know you are here.”
She had the application finished by the time the owner of the bar came out to greet her. Her face felt hot. She willed her heartbeat to slow down taking deep breaths.
He leaned over with his face on his hand and nodded at the paper. “Why ya filling dat out, cher? I thought you had an office job closer to downtown Miami?”
“I do, did. I was a toy designer for Tattooed Toys, Inc.” Rhea sighed. “Disney did a takeover bringing in their own team. They gave us all severance packages and let us go.”
“Sorry for dat.”
Rhea shrugged. “It’s been six months. There is not a lot of demand for toy designers in this area. I’d have had better luck relocating to the north pole where there is higher demand and no Disney.”
“It’s a lot warmer in the Sunshine State.”
“Which is why I’m here and not there. I don’t do cold well.”
The idea of going back to her family with her tail between her legs sucked. The thought of all the ‘told you so’ made her cringe. She did not want to spend her life collecting naughty children. “I can’t afford to move to the north pole even if I wanted to, and I don’t.”
“And you’d rather bartend after working an office job?”
“It’s better than going home or working retail.” She batted her eyes and leaned into the bar. “I may not have dressed for it, but I have done the bartend thing before. Besides. You need help.”
“You’re more likely to start a riot in that dress, than help.” Elliot gave her a faux leer.
Rhea’s shoulders slumped. “I wanted to make a good impression. I need this job.”
“Oh, you made an impression, cher,” Elliot said, his grin growing wider. “A lot of eyes are turned this way.”
Before she could respond, three teens, dressed like gangbangers, swaggered into the bar. Her naughty kid sense swung into high gear. This close it was hard to ignore. She swiveled in her seat focusing on them, flicking her tail like a cat ready to pounce.
“Rhea?” Elliott said drawing her attention back to him. He leaned over the bar eyes pointedly on her flicking tail. “I may be, mostly human, but I come from a long line of wizards and seers. You do know that I can see through your glamor, right?”
“You’re a Krampus, so settle down. I’ll handle the kids.”
“I wasn’t going to do anything. It’s just instinct.” Those boys were up to no good. She sensed it. Her nature wouldn’t ignore it, but she did have a choice on what action she took. “It’s been years since I’ve allowed those urges to rule me.” Rhea faced the bar again. “Guess that means I don’t have the job, huh? Can I get a drink?”
“No, you have the job. Just don’t go carrying off my underage clientèle to the Underworld. This is a club. We serve sodas too.” Elliot chuckled, grabbing a glass making her a Peppermint White Russian. “Your favorite.”
“I did.” Elliot was watching the boys as they found an isolated table under a special edition poster of Mount Doom signed by the cast of Lord of the Rings.
Rhea watched Elliot. He knew the boys were trouble too. “They are not all human you know?”
“I do know. Can you start work tomorrow at noon?”
“We have a dress code. Jeans and a handmade ‘Middle-Earth” t-shirt. You can pick your size and color from the selection we have in the back room before you leave.”
“Got it boss.”
STORYTIME QUARTERLY BLOG HOP JANUARY, APRIL, JULY, OCTOBER
Fishing Expedition by Laurie Hicks
The Deed by Chris Makowski
Fetching Water by Katharina Gerlach
Cataclysmic Disaster by Bill Bush
Fiddle of Gold by Barbara Lund Author
The Origin of a Reluctant Supervillain by Vanessa Wells
Help Wanted by Juneta Key <–YOU ARE HERE!