They followed the man with the white hair down the paved stones that wound its way through the private bungalows. Peggy had pulled the handkerchief she kept in her jacket pocket out and had it pressed up to her face. The scratches from the bark of the branch would heal pretty quickly, but the black eye and fat lip were going to linger. Aster was walking close enough next to her that their arms were brushing up against each other. After passing a couple of the bungalows Peggy took Aster’s hand and squeezed. They gave her a watery smile. It had never happened to Peggy, but she couldn’t imagine being possessed was a fun thing you could just throw off.
This is how the phone call went: Aster: Hi, can you put Steve on the phone?
They had left Naomi sitting on her new leather couch, bitterly weeping, with a promise to get things sorted. A promise to try to get things sorted.
Naomi Wallace wasn’t home. Aster called Maria on the payphone at the corner, and after a few super fun minutes where Mario would write something down and then Maria would read it over the phone only for Aster to come back with a brand new question, they eventually figured out that as long as Naomi’s schedule hadn’t changed drastically since the breakup she’d be home in an hour. Thankfully, Yellow SUBmarine was across the street.
Sitting on a barstool, watching Aster clean up the rest of the glass and absently pulling her long hair into a braid, a part of Peggy longed to be able to go back to the day she had originally planned. A very small part. A surprisingly small part, if she let herself think about it for too long. Which she didn’t, because most of her was trying to work the problem in front of her.
Peggy was having a very nice dream where she was on a beach and that one actor whose name she could never remember but she never forgot his face, he was shirtless and he kept bringing her fresh glasses of Mai Tai, and it kept feeling like it might change to a sexy dream any second but even if it didn’t the Mai Tais were killer. And then her fucking phone started ringing.
Peggy watched Aster cross the parking lot toward the front door of the Thorny Crown and thought, well, at least they’ll blend in. As soon as they had gotten inside Peggy walked around the parking lot, cutting across the last bit to get to the back of the bar.
She only went back to Dinah’s the next night because she knew Aster wasn’t supposed to be working, so of course Aster was standing directly in front of her before the door could even close.
Aster led them through the kitchen and to the back hall. At the end was a door Peggy had never been through before, and behind that was a flight of stairs Peggy didn’t even know existed. At the top was two doors, and Aster opened the one on the right.
Pacific City By the time Peggy got to Dinah’s, the men’s choir from the nearby college had finished their rehearsal and filled the place up. She slipped past tables of young dudes in polo shirts and various stages of figuring out their sexuality poring over the song list to get to the bar. On stage,Continue reading “Superstition: Pacific City”