Reinventing Destiny by LisaMay
Two women sit at a deserted bar writing prompt entry
Stale air hung heavy in the seedy bar. Time was holding its breath. For what? Waiting to die of boredom? Destiny’s mood was gloomy. Outside, the late afternoon sun shone invitingly, but her inflexible boyfriend-boss allowed Destiny no freedom to enjoy it. She twirled slowly around on the stool a few times, yawned, then fiddled with her loosely cascading ponytail. She stared morosely out the doorway, watching cars zipping past to deliver their occupants to unknown destinations and their no-doubt-exciting lives.|
She caught sight of an expensive-looking silver car out in the bar’s parking lot. Although its windows were darkened, Destiny glimpsed a man in a cap at the wheel. She imagined being whisked away to somewhere Jaxxon couldn’t find her. But wait! Was she being spied on? Jaxxon was probably having her watched.
Destiny yearned for escape, for excitement, for luxury. She’d been faking her life, pretending for too long. First Denny, then Beau, now Jaxxon.
A fly buzzed on its back on the counter, spinning in circles. Destiny stared at it, willing it to get back on its feet and fly away. It didn’t. After it had drowned in a rank puddle of beer, she flicked it into the bin then walked over to the jukebox and chose a few songs. She knew them by heart, changing the names to suit her own toxic predicament as she sang along under her breath. Why was she such a magnet for pain? Her misguided loyalty was making her miserable, but what could she do about it? Jaxxon would never let her go. He was crazy about her… kept telling her how gorgeous she was, what a hot little body she had.
No. Leaving was a fantasy. If she ever left, where would she go anyway? He’d track her down, find her, beat her. Jealous bastard. But what did he have to be jealous about? He never let her go anywhere or see anyone else. Destiny had to acknowledge maybe it was her own insecurity keeping her prisoner to her lifestyle. Or maybe her ego. She knew she felt good when men were attracted. She limped disconsolately back to her side of the bar and recommenced polishing the glasses. “I hate myself for loving you,” she muttered.
“Pardon?” asked a woman seated on a barstool across the drink-stained counter. Destiny was startled. She hadn’t noticed the customer. She must’ve come in while Destiny was at the juke box with her back to the door.
Putting on a cheerful face – something she’d had to perfect to cover her distressing life – Destiny answered brightly: “Oh, I was just mumbling to myself for company. You’re the first person to come in this afternoon. What can I get you?”
“How about a long, cool, contract killer, a side serve of good luck, and a new life with a twist!”
“Say what?” Destiny was taken aback. She’d been thinking similar thoughts. Was the woman being funny or serious? She gazed at her with frank curiosity.
“Oh, don’t mind me. I’ve had a bad week.” The stranger smiled in a friendly fashion. “In fact, I’m having a bad life, but I seem stuck in a rut, repeating the same mistakes. This is my fake life.” She gestured at herself with a sweeping motion, knocking over a saucer of chocolate-coated coffee beans that were on the counter.
“Oops! Now I’ve spilled the beans – in more ways than one. My secret life of shame. My name’s Katrina, by the way. Call me Kat.” She offered an alabaster, manicured hand to Destiny. As she took it and introduced herself, Destiny noticed jeweled rings on slender fingers and a diamond bracelet on Kat’s elegant wrist.
She compared her own wrist, naked except for several cutting scars. Had this woman ever worked a day in her life? In Destiny’s world the jewelry would’ve been earned while flat on her back.
Why was the woman in this bar by herself? Surely she had somewhere better to be, something better to do?
“I was surprised by what you just said, because those things you mentioned… well…. um… I wouldn’t mind having them too!” Destiny eventually blurted.
“A contract killer?”
“Well, I don’t really wish anyone dead; there’s enough of that in the streets already, but I would like to be rid of someone then get a load of good luck to start a new life,” Destiny confided. There was something about this woman that she warmed to. Before she could hold back, she was telling Katrina how she was sick of her life and wanted it to be different.
“How come you’re in this crummy bar, Kat? Where are you from? Where are you going? What’s…”
“Hold on, Destiny… one at a time,” Kat’s throaty chuckle reassured Destiny that she hadn’t overstepped. “How about you get out a bottle of chilled champagne and pour a glass for each of us. We’re going to celebrate.”
“We don’t have champagne here, and I wouldn’t know how to get the cork out, or what glasses to use. What are we celebrating?”
“I am celebrating the completion of phase one of a job. I don’t actually need a contract killer now, although the thought of it was rather delicious. The problem killed himself. He was going to spill more beans. And YOU, Destiny, are celebrating the start of your new life. I will teach you lots of things, starting with how to serve champagne. You – gorgeous girl – are destined to mix in high places.”
Destiny’s smokey-gray eyes were wide with curiosity. “What sort of high places? Like on mountains?”
“Oh, much better than that. When you come with me, you’ll see royal palaces, corridors of power, exotic islands and sumptuous hotels. You’ll be paid well. You’ll wear designer clothes and expensive jewelry. Yes, jewelry. You’ll be able to afford lots of jewelry. My driver is waiting outside for us…”
Kat’s words were hypnotically persuasive. Destiny felt stirred by their tantalizing descriptions, offering a chance for escape, excitement, luxury. It all sounded so enticingly possible, so near…
The door banged and Jaxxon stomped into the bar. The two women froze in a tableau of guilt. Street-smart, Jaxxon sized up the situation in a flash. “What’s going on here, fancy lady? You after my girl? Hey, I recognise you from the TV. How’d you escape? You aiming to start sex-trafficking over again? Not with my girl you ain’t. I’m the only prince in her life. That right, babe?”
Destiny’s heart sank. Why did life have to be like this? She wished she lived on an exotic island all by herself, though she was sure the sharks would still be circling.
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