Fantasy Fiction posted March 15, 2019 Chapters:  ...12 13 -14- 15... 

This work has reached the exceptional level
Time to tie at least two story lines together...

A chapter in the book Renaissance of Enchantment

Chapter Four, Part 4

by Y. M. Roger

Now, Geoffrey and Stephen are at the Coffee-N-Cola to meet Maggie...remember, we learned from Stephen's earlier conversations with Geoffrey that Maggie is currently living under the alias Rita Bee...
“Tell you what, Lars.” Maggie smiled and kept her voice even. “We’ll handle the delivery truck in a few minutes, and the stocking will be complete so that all you and Rachal have to do is close up for the night. I’ll even make sure the tallies are done before leaving.”
Maggie watched Lars’ face carefully. Maybe she was going to win again. Then the big guy winced a bit.
“But it’s payday, Rita.” He tried to sound knowledgeable, but he came off as pleading. What she wouldn’t give for a better job. “I, uhhh…I need to be sure you and Rachal get your payments.”
The plump man’s alcohol-reddened eyes became a bit more intense when he said the older woman’s name. That was fine with Maggie – her patience in dealing with the doddering owner was thin this evening, more so than usual.
She huffed but held onto the sarcastic comment about him never being the one to make sure any payments were made.
“Already handled, sir,” she stated in that cheerful tone her many years of life-acting had taught her. She turned her head to the open room and toward the bouncy, middle-aged brunette bussing a couple of tables there. “Right, Rachal?”
Rachal paused in-between tables.
“That’s right, hunny!” Rachal interjected as she reached into her apron and pulled out an envelope. Her gum-smacking only adding to her feminine charm, such as it was. “Got it right here, thank you very much!”
Those lipstick-slathered lips blew kisses at both Lars and her, the former taking it as directed solely at him, of course.
Maggie turned back to her useless boss who was at least in ‘functioning alcoholic’ mode this evening. She took care to have that genuine, happy smile pasted on her face.
“Oh, and by the way, your tax refund was deposited this morning. I left a note on your monitor.” She watched his face light up with the mention of the extra money. She’d lay even odds that it would be gone by next week.
Again, whatever. Important thing was that she got paid.
In the long run, though, she really did need to find another job. She heaved an internal sigh this time because the smile still needed to be on the outside.
“Sooooo? Whadiya say, Mr. Carney, sir?” Maggie leaned over the elevated service counter. “I can get Scully or even Eduardo to help you close up. They’re used to the routine and could probably do most of it for you.”
Suddenly, the poor man looked like he was the subject of an inquisition or something equally abhorrent as he examined Maggie like she was an alien. After a pause, he shook his head and let out a long, tired breath.
“Rita Bee, if you weren’t such a whiz with the books and all, I think I’d look into having you committed.” He playfully shook his head and almost smiled as he began working the ball of dough in front of him.
Rachal appeared beside her, hands on hips, and, before the man could finish speaking, exclaimed, “Larson! What a terrible thing to say!”
The older waitress stepped up and patted the younger woman’s shoulder. She lowered her voice, the popping of that chewing gum very close to Maggie’s ear.
“Take the early night, my raven-haired beauty.” She playfully flipped Marguerite’s long, black ponytail as Lars watched her with heated eyes. “We’ll close up, no problem.” Then she raised her face and her voice toward Lars. “Right, babe?”
Her smile was sweet as syrup as the gum-smacking went into full-dynamic mode. You could have wiped the floors with Lars as he turned into a pile of lusting goo.
And Rachal knew it as she winked at Maggie.
“Yeah, okay.” Lars breathed the words rather than spoke them, his gaze never wavering from Rachal’s cleavage on full display as usual. “You got it, crazy kid.”
“There. See?” Rachal giggled just a bit before turning more serious. “Now, look at me, hunny, and keep that smile on your face.”
Maggie was caught a bit off-guard but did as told as she turned toward Rachal.
“Table four asked for you by name, but I never seen ‘em in here before.” She even stopped chewing her gum with the usual vigor. “So, you be careful and use the signal if you gotta.” Rachal used both air quotes and a noted head nod to emphasize 'the signal'.
Rachal’s eye’s got wide with her stern emphasis on if you gotta.
Maggie glanced over Rachal’s shoulder. The two older gentlemen looked harmless enough. And they certainly didn’t radiate any of what she liked to call ‘bad vibes.’
“They look pretty docile, Rach.” Maggie patted the older woman’s shoulder and gave her a warm smile. “But I promise to signal if I need you.”
There was no indication that Maggie should need to be prepared to start humming Anchors Aweigh or, as it was known in Rachal-speak, the Navy song signal.
You know, in case Maggie started drowning there.
Maggie couldn’t help the very small, amused snort that escaped her as she winked at Rachal and walked toward the table.
Her quick observation as she approached the table was that neither man was from around her neighborhood. That didn’t mean anything, but it also put her a bit more on alert.
She glanced past the two gentlemen to Eduardo who must have arrived while she was talking with Lars and Rachal at the counter just now. Maggie smiled at her large, gentle evening escort in acknowledgement.
She let her focus drift back to the two customers and opened her mouth to greet them. Just then, she noticed three of the neighborhood cats with paws and muzzles pressed against the large, front window pane.
She immediately tried to look away from the felines, but, before she could, the black-and-white one pounced on the unsuspecting calico and they fell to the concrete in a bundle of playful, tussling fur. Ed chortled at the feline antics as well, his eyes bright with restrained laughter. A giggle escaped Maggie’s lips as she managed to greet the two men whose sole focus was on her with amused interest.
“Good evening, gentleman.” She tried to cover her giggles with a throat clearing, as the two scuffling cats rolled into the orange tabby, causing it to arch its back and hiss in annoyance. The entire display made Ed laugh, and the sight of the tattooed tough-guy laughing like a toddler was a sight to behold.
“I’m Rita Bee, and you are?”
Maggie managed to complete that single statement before she lost her thinly-veiled control and proceeded to break into a beautiful, heartfelt guffaw as the sound of multiple feline hisses and warning mewls carried inside from the sidewalk. She just loved cats!

to be continued...

Maggie - Marguerite B. Atkinson. Maggie is Rosemary’s great-niece.
Rita Bee - Maggie’s current alias & the name she is known by at the Courtside
Addison (Addy) Westmorland - little boy with Maggie, being raised by her
Dorothy Westmorland - Addy's mother (deceased)
Larson ‘Lars’ Carney – owner of the Courtside Coffee-N-Cola, the diner where Maggie works
Rachal – other waitress at the Courtside Coffee-N-Cola
Eduardo - waits to walk Maggie home when she works late
Scully - with Eduardo to walk Maggie home
Bongo - Maggie & Addy's large, black cat
Twilight - Great Gray Owl seen outside the diner and at Maggie's apartment
Rosemary - (deceased) Rosemary Fenna, Sister of the World Wide Hecate Order (WWHO) and Guardian Protectress of The Refuge
Demetrius - tall, mysterious male resident of The Refuge, marked for death (and maybe more) by the WWHO
Peadar - Irish male resident of The Refuge, helped Rosemary with upkeep
Lycaois - (aka Lyca) Goth, warrior-looking female resident of The Refuge
Freki - Lyca's over-sized pet 'dog'
Koko - Native American male resident of The Refuge, has unending optimism and warmth about him...most of the time
Kato - large male Refuge resident who wears the clothes of a teenager. Kato is a young lion-shifter.
Memphis - nymph from Demetrius' original homeland, now auberge factotum to The Refuge
Geoffrey Staltson - Rosemary's lawyer and friend to the residents at The Refuge
Charlise Staltson - Geoffrey's wife (they have a three-way marriage - Geoffrey, Gary, and Charlie)
Gary Staltson - Geoffrey's husband
Stephen - private investigator employed by Geoffrey
Jinx - computer hack/whiz working with Stephen, handles all the tech-forensics for investigations. Jinx is Stephen’s partner.


It's a bit short, but this ties two lines together and Spring Break begins TODAY!! :) Hooray and hallelujah!! :) ;)

Image 'Pauli's Diner Ambiance (rain, city noises,...)' from Google images via YouTube.

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