THE St. Louis Speakeasy
It is currently Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:39 am GMT

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 118 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 8  Next
Author Message

Egad!
 Post subject: Old Wounds (Northern)
PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 3:08 pm GMT 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 11:09 am GMT
Posts: 18597
Location: Look for the furtive one.
Custom Title: Egad!
It was the worst day of the year for Denmark Vesey Jones.

Exactly six years ago at a slow-paced little party, one of Denmark’s former soldiers had introduced him to his sister. She spent her days pounding English grammar into adolescents with a yardstick, and was the most beautiful, ill-tempered woman Denmark had ever seen.

He didn’t quite believe in love at first sight. Even if he had, Denmark wasn’t sure if what he and Olive Dubois had shared could be classified so simply. It was a nauseating magnetic pull that made him feverish when they were apart and miserable when they were together. And apparently she’d felt it too. The day after the party, they met at Central Park, where they watched swan boats on the lake and he bought her coffee ice cream. Denmark blew a day’s wages on a taxi back home, so she wouldn’t have to ride the subway in the heat. When they got to his flat, he tried to be a gentleman. But Olive spent the night.

In past years, they’d celebrated the Anniversary with a temporary truce. The night before, they would forgive each other for their current fight, so the home-cooked dinner could go as planned. Denmark always bought a dozen roses and some unimaginative piece of jewelry, and they went out for ice cream and came home and made love. He’d tried to forget the Anniversary before, staying sober, drinking iced tea, burying his misery in paperwork and overtime. But this last year had been so dreadful, he couldn’t even pretend.

There was only reason Denmark wasn’t self-medicating in his apartment with a bottle of bourbon. He kept his telephone on top of the liquor cabinet. The more he opened the latter, the more he wanted to pick up the damn machine and give in.

Please take me back. I’ll marry you this time. No excuses, no delays. I can’t live like this anymore. Et cetera, et cetera. Right out of the blue.

But two years was a long time. Who knew if she was attached; how collected and ordinary and handsome her beau might be. And even if, by some fluke, she still wanted Denmark, he could never take up with her again. After all, he’d only just found success. To marry Olive would be to throw it all away.

That’s why Denmark Jones slunk into a speakeasy with the intention of getting drunk.

_________________
Image
"Fotecp, that is indeed the stuff of nightmares." - Dvorak


Top
 Profile  
 

is a spider-child
 Post subject: Re: Old Wounds (Northern)
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:53 am GMT 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 6:08 am GMT
Posts: 69741
Location: Northern parts of Sweden
Custom Title: is a spider-child
It was not so different from an ordinary bar, truly. Aside from the fact that you had to pay through your nose to get in if you didn't know a password or the bouncer of course. Then there was the American English which buzzed all around, unfamiliar to their ears and tongues, not helped if you started having a drink or two too much...

Don was, luckily, quite hard to get even moderately affected due to his sheer size and his many years of practice. He now sat by a table near the bar —he would have sat at the bar only he found the barstools to be so uncomfortable and unsteady— idly watching his sister. She was a familiar thing which he had to admit he was glad to have in this new country. Not that they were appreciated being apart, seeing as they were each other's constants and always had been. One had always been there to back up the other and to lose that security was like taking away one of their senses. It was marginally worse for Carmen than it was for Don, or so he thought based on their experiences as children. But at least it was not as bad now as it had been then. She would voluntarily leave his side, as she had now to go chat with a rather pretty female student who was twining her long strand of pearls between her fingers.

Don reckoned Carmen wanted a lot more than the young woman would ever be willing to offer, rebellious or not. He smiled a bit to himself and focused on his drink as Carmen reached over to move a strand of hair from the other woman's face. In the end she'd come fuming and drop a comment about "cowardly American girls", he'd point out the ten-year-age-gap and then she would ignore him and set her eyes on some new mark.

Emptying his glass he sighed, glancing towards the bar and wondering if he ought not get a refill his eyes fell on the person who had just entered. Instantly he recognized Denmark and it was a slight shock to his system after all these weeks in America. Don had gradually become used to not recognizing people and he realized that those seconds it took him to decide whether or not he ought to greet the other man (they were only acquainted through business after all) would make it seem strange if he didn't. A bit resignedly Don raised his empty glass a little towards Denmark, figuring it would save him from feeling awkward at the same time as he didn't insist on being social. Even if he at this point would gladly welcome any company offered; it was a bit sad to just watch his sister instead of actually getting involved himself.

_________________
Image
What were their names again...?


Top
 Profile  
 

Egad!
 Post subject: Re: Old Wounds (Northern)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:14 am GMT 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 11:09 am GMT
Posts: 18597
Location: Look for the furtive one.
Custom Title: Egad!
Denmark was going to buy a bottle for himself and find a table in some lonesome corner. There, if he looked sufficiently unpleasant, no one would try to join him. At least, that was the plan. He saw Carmen first--it was hard not to, tall as she was--and almost turned on his heel. The French twins who'd paid him a visit, scouting out suppliers. If only the woman didn't spot him, he could flee to a place where he would never be recognized. No one would judge him when he drank too much, or walked in alone.

Then he met eyes with Don.

Damn it all.

A prompt about-face was now out of the question. But Denmark wanted nothing less than to stick around. Business was the last thing on his mind. He wore no suit jacket over his black vest and blue tie, and his shirt was not quite so neatly pressed. His cool confidence had dissolved into a state of nervous distraction.

All you have to do, Denmark told himself, is hold it together through one drink.

After that, he'd find an establishment, a bottle, and absolutely no acquaintances. For a moment, he seemed to waver. Then he steeled himself. The name--if he'd ever learned it--still escaped him, but he made his way over to the man's table.

"Evening," said Denmark, as he approached. His voice carried an undertone of exhaustion, though he attempted to muster a smile. "I don't suppose you remember me?"

_________________
Image
"Fotecp, that is indeed the stuff of nightmares." - Dvorak


Top
 Profile  
 

is a spider-child
 Post subject: Re: Old Wounds (Northern)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:46 am GMT 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 6:08 am GMT
Posts: 69741
Location: Northern parts of Sweden
Custom Title: is a spider-child
Don noted the man's discomfort —it was hard to miss that almost pained pause before the man walked forward and the forced smile— and for a moment he wondered why Denmark would feel obliged enough to come over despite this. Perhaps he unconsciously wanted someone to distract him from something, or Don was just misreading the signs. Because truly he couldn't believe Don important enough for their business that he was required to greet him properly? Don kept a smile down at the thought that the pharmacist might suspect that Don was a crucial part of the puzzle it was to keep Magnus satisfied.

"You sent Magnus home with a smile on his lips. Yes, I remember you Monsieur Jones." Don said, not bothering to gesture to the chair. He figured that it was unnecessary, it ought to be understood since he greeted the man. "If I didn't know better I would ask what you did to him..."

Magnus successfully closing the deal he had wanted had definitely put the man at ease and it had made him the tarbet of near torment from Carmen's side of the kind that Don sometimes suspected would be enough to have the Swede become violent.

Even if Magnus had relaxed a little though, it had caused them all to have to work quite a considerable bit to secure an establishment where they could make use of their newfound supply. It wasn't the speakeasy they were currently in; Don and Carmen had used 'scouting out the competition' as an excuse to just get out and have a good time. It was perhaps not wise, Don knew that, but so far they had been too discreet and too small-time for anyone to care to notice them. Officially (as officially as anything could become in this "unofficial" business) they hadn't even opened up the establishment but were still preparing it.

_________________
Image
What were their names again...?


Top
 Profile  
 

Egad!
 Post subject: Re: Old Wounds (Northern)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:31 am GMT 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 11:09 am GMT
Posts: 18597
Location: Look for the furtive one.
Custom Title: Egad!
Denmark's social facades had become so elaborate that every brief impression seemed to carry some unseen weight. Maybe it was just the paranoia talking, but he felt his position in St. Louis too precarious to misstep. After all, all it would take was one uniquely attentive person. And who knew who that might be. The mistakes he'd made in Buffalo reminded him of the consequences of misplacing his trust.

He almost asked if he might join him. Don's manner was friendly enough, however, and the question seemed stuffy for a place like this. He slid into the other chair.

"We didn't strictly talk business," admitted Denmark, in explanation. Any joke or implication in "what you did to him" seemed to have escaped him. "There was discussion of old times. And Paris. I understand that's where you're from."

_________________
Image
"Fotecp, that is indeed the stuff of nightmares." - Dvorak


Top
 Profile  
 

is a spider-child
 Post subject: Re: Old Wounds (Northern)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:37 am GMT 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 6:08 am GMT
Posts: 69741
Location: Northern parts of Sweden
Custom Title: is a spider-child
Don looked at Denmark with a somewhat raised eyebrow before snorting, tapping his fingers against the glass in his hand, a glass that seemed much too delicate for him to hold it.

"You're lucky you're not conversing with Carmen." he murmured, shaking his head slightly. He showed no signs of minding that Denmark sat down, since he didn't, but at least it proved that Denmark hadn't mistaken himself. It was a bit interesting to hear of Magnus enjoying discussing the past. It wasn't enough to surprise the large man, Magnus was proud of his time in the war and what he had done before it. But the time in between the war and now was usually a sore spot for the blonde man, but Denmark being a fellow soldier must have inspired some trust in him and melted him enough to get him to talk a bit more freely than what was typical.

"Yes, we are." Don then responded in his own, short manner but still without the harshness of someone being curt.

He truly didn't think that, no matter what Denmark had said about their expectations, Denmark was going to betray them and start trying to sell them out. Must be beacause he's a veteran, Don told himself, even if we don't know if that's really true. There was of course the fact where they hadn't found anything to indicate that Denmark was supplying anyone else, meaning that he couldn't just sell them out without seeing a substantial difference in his income. And if a conscience didn't stop him, then maybe greed would.

"And you?"

_________________
Image
What were their names again...?


Top
 Profile  
 

Egad!
 Post subject: Re: Old Wounds (Northern)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:36 pm GMT 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 11:09 am GMT
Posts: 18597
Location: Look for the furtive one.
Custom Title: Egad!
Judging from Denmark's expression, the reason for the snort and the comment about Carmen were completely lost on him. Any other night, it might have bothered him; made him feel he was being mocked. But now, he couldn't bring himself to care. It was hard enough to follow the conversation. Occasionally, his eyes strayed to the floor, the surface of the table, the lights, someone else's clinking glass. As if there were something more pressing on his mind.

He heard the inflection of a question and glanced up. Denmark hated lying, but there wasn't much else he could do.

"New York City."

Thankfully, a Parisian wouldn't know that he didn't have the right accent. He flagged down a waiter to order a gin and tonic for himself and, for Don, "a refill if he likes."

_________________
Image
"Fotecp, that is indeed the stuff of nightmares." - Dvorak


Top
 Profile  
 

is a spider-child
 Post subject: Re: Old Wounds (Northern)
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:27 pm GMT 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 6:08 am GMT
Posts: 69741
Location: Northern parts of Sweden
Custom Title: is a spider-child
Don raised a slight eyebrow at the offer of a drink but nodded, placing his own order for a beer. Not what he was drinking before, but excuse or not, there was nothing wrong in actually testing the things others had to offer. Just to compare.

"We passed through there on the way here." he noted at hearing the familiar name of the city. "Seems like an interesting place from what I've seen."

There was no reason for him to not trust what he was told and so he didn't dwell on it, but he did notice that Denmark seemed slightly distracted. Silence reigned for a few seconds before Don asked if Denmark was meeting someone else there.

_________________
Image
What were their names again...?


Top
 Profile  
 

Egad!
 Post subject: Re: Old Wounds (Northern)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:20 pm GMT 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 11:09 am GMT
Posts: 18597
Location: Look for the furtive one.
Custom Title: Egad!
Since infiltrating some of St. Louis' higher circles, Denmark had seen plenty displays of offhanded generosity. Buying an acquaintance a drink was the least of them, and probably the sanest. He'd never really thought of rich folks as normal people, and getting to know a few had only confirmed his suspicions.

"Oh, sure," agreed Denmark, absently. "Always something to see."

He didn't know Don well enough for the silence to be comfortable. He willed the waiter to bring their drinks faster. The question wasn't much better, though Denmark had been expecting it. He hesitated, torn over how much truth to tell Don. Then he flashed a watery smile.

"Nothing like that. I just--needed to get out of the house." Denmark gestured vaguely. "Working too much, you know? Actually...I shouldn't stay long."

_________________
Image
"Fotecp, that is indeed the stuff of nightmares." - Dvorak


Top
 Profile  
 

is a spider-child
 Post subject: Re: Old Wounds (Northern)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:13 am GMT 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 6:08 am GMT
Posts: 69741
Location: Northern parts of Sweden
Custom Title: is a spider-child
Don nodded slightly. He knew what Denmark meant, but that lackluster smile spoke more than the words did, especially when it was coupled with the man's hints at being uncomfortable with the company Don offered. If Don had been pressed to guess, he would have said Denmark was escaping more than just work in coming here.

Don grunted his assent, not bothering to press on with more questions regarding Denmark's reasons for coming or going. He didn't like when people pried and so the large Frenchman knew better than to do it himself.

The waiter arrived with their drinks, but not alone. As the glasses were placed on the table,
Carmen came to take her own place by it, but not before draping her arm around her brother's shoulder and stealing some of his beer. Giving it back without him seeming to care whether she did or not, Carmen sat down in a free chair. She crossed her legs, reaching down to smooth out the somewhat short skirt of her black dress to preserve some rather faked modesty.

"<Cowardly American girls...>" she huffed, tossing her dark hair (tonight left to hang loose around her face, her natural curls not restrained by combs or bobbypins) over her shoulder, eyes pinning the waiter. "A glass of something not mixed with water. I can not stand that liquid you call wine."

Until now she hadn't seemed to even take any note of Denmark and you would have been forgivenfor thinking that it was with surprise she then turned her eyes to him once the waiter had left again. But her slight smirk at him showed that she did remember him and that she wasn't surprised to see him in the least.

"Monsieur Jones! Here with business?" she asked sweetly, shifting from the annoyance that had been crackling around her when she first sat down.

_________________
Image
What were their names again...?


Top
 Profile  
 

Egad!
 Post subject: Re: Old Wounds (Northern)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:06 am GMT 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 11:09 am GMT
Posts: 18597
Location: Look for the furtive one.
Custom Title: Egad!
When Denmark realized he wouldn't be questioned further, he decided he liked Don. He thanked the waiter and took a long bracing drink. If his slightly self-conscious expression after setting down the glass was any indication, he was hoping no one had noticed.

He glanced over at Carmen. Denmark didn't muster a smile; even if he could have, he wouldn't want to encourage her. She had a predatory look that set him on edge.

"Not tonight. This is a quick break," he repeated, gesturing at Don with a weary hand. "We met by happenchance."

_________________
Image
"Fotecp, that is indeed the stuff of nightmares." - Dvorak


Top
 Profile  
 

is a spider-child
 Post subject: Re: Old Wounds (Northern)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:31 am GMT 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 6:08 am GMT
Posts: 69741
Location: Northern parts of Sweden
Custom Title: is a spider-child
"<You met how?>"

"<I don't know what that means. He just noticed me when he entered.>"

Carmen turned her green eyes back to Denmark, taking in his fatigued appearance and the way he didn't even bother to put on a fake smile for her. Leaning back in her chair she took to inspecting her nails instead, raising an eyebrow. He wasn't too easily flustered this man and thus teasing him wasn't amusing enough for her to put in an effort.

"You look like you could use it." she said bluntly. "Like half of the men in this bar. What ever happened to just going out to have fun?"

"Let him drink in peace." Don said unobtrusively with a slight look sent Carmen's way as he used his thumb to wipe her lipstick from his bottle before taking a drink himself.

"I am sure he already knows he looks run-down." Carmen's retort was delivered with a shrug and a glance towards Denmark as though she expected him to readily agree to this.

_________________
Image
What were their names again...?


Top
 Profile  
 

Egad!
 Post subject: Re: Old Wounds (Northern)
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:37 pm GMT 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 11:09 am GMT
Posts: 18597
Location: Look for the furtive one.
Custom Title: Egad!
Denmark's eyes flicked between them as they spoke. He wished he'd done something to keep up his French--even struggle through Dumas in the original, with a dictionary close at hand. As it was, the words meant nothing to him.

Usually, Carmen's frankness would've taken him aback. Tonight, however, Denmark just nodded. If he looked anything like he felt, he knew she must be right.

"I do go out for fun," said Denmark. "Not alone, though. And not tonight."

It was true, but he didn't sound convinced. Thinking about his most recent dates only depressed him further. The girls were younger, fairer, and happier to be there. Still, they never stuck around for long. If Olive could see him, buying them concert tickets and lending out his coat, she would've laughed in that peculiar disappointed way.

_________________
Image
"Fotecp, that is indeed the stuff of nightmares." - Dvorak


Top
 Profile  
 

is a spider-child
 Post subject: Re: Old Wounds (Northern)
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:14 am GMT 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 6:08 am GMT
Posts: 69741
Location: Northern parts of Sweden
Custom Title: is a spider-child
"Ah so you are here to forget." Carmen said, eyes flitting back up to his as she tilted her head slightly. As she focused on the man before her, the waiter returned with her drink which she accepted with a "thank you" purred his way before gesturing slightly dismissively.

"Who or what?" she then pressed on after taking a drink. "And do you have a cigarette?"

There was something flippant about how she asked both questions which made it hard to tell if she was asking to tease or simply because she wanted to know (and made it seem as though she expected him to procure a cigarette for her even if he didn't have one). One of the reasons she and her brother could at all get along with Magnus was the fact that like the Swede they were not the kind to beat about the bush. They were frank, Carmen a bit more insolently and frequently so than the two men, and typically disliked having to beat about the bush. If they wanted to know something, they asked.

Denmark was saved from having to satisfy Carmen's urge for tobacco by Don who wordlessly pushed a pack of cigarettes and a book of matches to his sister, making them slide over the tabletop before she caught them. Sending a look her brother's way Carmen pursed her lips slightly, earning another head-shake from Don before she set about lighting the cigarette for herself.

_________________
Image
What were their names again...?


Top
 Profile  
 

Egad!
 Post subject: Re: Old Wounds (Northern)
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 6:45 pm GMT 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 11:09 am GMT
Posts: 18597
Location: Look for the furtive one.
Custom Title: Egad!
"I don't know. Maybe." He had good memories from their time together. It was the pain associated with them that he wished he could wash away. Of course, drinking never really helped with that, but it was something to do.

He had already begun to reach into his breast pocket for Carmen's cigarette. When Don beat him to it, he flashed the man a rueful smile. Rather than smoke it himself, he polished off his drink.

Before starting in business, he'd had a vague idea of what he might have to do--pleasant, shallow conversation with pleasant, shallow rich men. But for a man in his position, the reality was far more complex. On some evenings, he felt like a greenhorn, navigating the social tripwires netting the whole room. The double entendres, the backhanded compliments, and the euphemistic small talk made him weary to the bone. Perhaps that was why the twins' manner was so refreshing. And perhaps that was why he replied honestly for once.

"I'm not sure what you expect, but it's actually quite boring. Just...a woman."

_________________
Image
"Fotecp, that is indeed the stuff of nightmares." - Dvorak


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 118 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 8  Next

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group