Key West author Reef Perkins shares more of his hilarious book,
*** The Small Café***
(Click here for previous chapter)
The cafe smelled of coffee and piss, like all the others at this latitude. A dangling fly strip over the bar was full and buzzing. Business was good. Squads of corpulent attorney flies corkscrewed the smoky air, trying to eat each other while consoling the doomed.
Beth, a rumpled, now blond-haired woman in khaki shorts, slipped through the beaded door. She shook a small piece of taco shell out of her shorts and hiked up on a squeaky stool with her back to the bar. She pawed through her purse and pulled out a tube of Super Glue. The broken heel was quickly glued to the wounded sling back. Beth arched forward to re-install her shoe. She looked around the café and wondered where “here” was.
She noticed a man, a stranger, sitting alone at the bar. He was ugly in a rugged way. He’s kind of ruggly, she thought. With the repaired shoe in place, Beth lit one of her signature loofa and hash oil bones and took a black-hole toke.
I want to be an adult, she thought during the inhalation, but every time I turn around I’m in a situation where being one doesn’t help. She exhaled. Stoned insects quit buzzing and crashed into the adobe mud walls. The ceiling fan, missing one blade, was an epileptic’s nightmare, but provided the only movement in the pungent nanosphere. Bleached blond hairs blew sideways. Thick white smoke jetted from her adrenalin-dilated nostrils. Her stop sign lips seized the fragrant spliff with a firmness a man would enjoy.
Beth pulled one elbow back and leaned on the bar. She crossed her legs, plucked a piece of loofa from her lower lip and glanced to see if the stranger had noticed her. He had and continued to. She extended a toe toward the ceiling, seductively heel-flopping her weathered shoe. With broken finger nails she plucked the smoking butt from her chapped lips and blew a perfect “O”.
The smoke ring matured grandly and haloed the toe of her dangling sling-back. “Grainy,” the watching man mumbled. He wanted a better view of this woman. Staring at the fly strip was getting old. He stood quickly, moved toward a table. Suddenly he felt suddenly dizzy.
The strap slipped.
The shoe dropped.
Her nostrils flared.
Wind ate the smoke.
Am I having a heart attack, the man wondered, as a silent small-caliber bullet exited his forehead.
Beth bent to retrieve her shoe. The spent bullet missed her and landed in a dog food bowl near the door. Ting!
The watcher collapsed onto, then under, a table. He looked up her shorts with dead eyes. The smoke ring was his last earthly vision. It was enough.
Beth sat up, re-crossed her legs, uncrossed her eyes and took another drag. Unaware of the assassination attempt, she looked for the stranger but couldn’t find him. Oh well…maybe he’s in El Bano, she conjured. After a smoky moment she got up. Gotta keep moving, she reminded herself and exited the small café.
An indifferent waitress tossed a menu on the stranger’s bloody table.
Beth touched her hair. The sweet scent of gunpowder followed her through the swishing door. It’s easy to get bored even if you’re beautiful, Beth thought. She wasn’t beautiful, but what harm is there in a thought? Beth flipped her still smoking loofa onto the street where heavy dew damp stones embraced it with a satisfied hiss. She stepped on the butt and pivoted ninety degrees, left. Within a single long stride her peach-perfect ass caught up and stayed, high and tight. The two haughty halves of a perfect whole created a rhythm even the rocks, blessed with eternal hard-ons, could appreciate. Step by step she altered proximate reality. But Beth didn’t notice; she was busy trying to escape down another dark street. She was tired, missed Blu and wanted to go home.
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About the Author
Captain Mark T. “Reef” Perkins is a marine surveyor with a colorful past. From commanding a 150-foot 300 DWT US Army diving ship off Vietnam to smuggling in the Caribbean, Reef Perkins has become a living legend. A graduate of both the US Army Engineer Officer Candidate School and the US Navy Salvage Officers School, he’s a man comfortable in or out of the water. Raised in rural Michigan, Reef now lives in Key West where he can get his feet wet. He is the author of the bestselling memoir, Sex, Salvage & Secrets.
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Screwed, Blu’d and Tattooed copyright © 2013 by Reef Perkins. Electronic compilation/ print edition copyright © 2013 by Whiz Bang LLC.
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. While the author has made every effort to provide accurate information at the time of publication, neither the publisher nor the author assumes any responsibility for errors, or for changes that occur after publication. Further, the publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their contents.
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