This week's offering is the beginning of Driving Into Forever which I may or may not keep. I had an epiphany regarding the FMC, and if I change her the way I'm thinking, then this beginning can stay.
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It wasn’t the worst bar Hannah had ever been in, but it certainly wasn’t upscale. There were the typical wooden tables with red and white checked cloths on them and matching chairs with red vinyl seats. The walls were paneled in what looked like grey barn board, probably an attempt to block some of the noise. It smelled like cheap perfume with an underlay of stale cigarette smoke, probably left over from the years before the smoking ban.
Hesitating in the doorway to let her eyes adjust to the dimness, she scanned the crowd for her friends. An ear-splitting whistle rose above the noise as her friend Sara stood and waved her over. Hannah waved back and threaded her way carefully through the tightly packed tables. Even the parquet dance floor was being used for extra table space tonight.
Trust Sara to reserve a table right next to the stage. She sank into the only free chair at the their table and Sara immediately slid a strawberry daiquiri in front of her. Hannah took a sip gratefully.
“We started without you,” Sara said with a giggle. “You have some catching up to do.”
The giggle made Hannah wonder just how much catching up. “Sorry I’m late,” she said. “I got a flat driving over the causeway. I parked at your apartment building, hope that’s okay.”
“No problem,” Sara told her. She stood up and raised her glass. “A toast, to the woman of the hour, Cindy, who’s found her perfect man.”
“Not as perfect as the men we’re going to see tonight,” someone answered her.
Everyone at their table cheered and raised their glasses in a salute. There were several more toasts to the bride to be and by the time they were done Hannah’s glass was empty. Sara sat down again and poured her a refill from the large pitcher.
The lights dimmed even further and a spotlight lit up the stage in front of them. An expectant hush fell over the mostly female audience.
“Welcome to ladies night at the Blue Lagoon,” the announcer bellowed. “Tonight, we are proud to present, Studs R Us!”
Music, so loud it was almost a physical presence, blared from the speakers. It was all but drowned out by the roar from the crowd. One by one a half dozen very handsome, very muscular men strutted out of the wings and did a circuit of the stage. They did a co-ordinated bump and grind to the accompaniment of cat calls and wolf whistles from the audience. When they were done they made their way off stage leaving behind a dancer with long, blond hair wearing a tuxedo.
“Tonight we start with Double O Stud. It’s up to you ladies to figure out what secrets he might be hiding.”
Another ear-splitting roar from the audience. Hannah finished of her second daiquiri and started on her third. How could he even hear the music over the noise, she wondered. Maybe it didn’t matter, evidently he didn’t need music. He gyrated rhythmically as he peeled away his clothing. His smooth skin glistened under the spotlight. It was apparent, by the end of his dance, that he had no secrets to hide.
Next up was a reject from the disco era in a white suit who stripped down to a silver sequined g-string, then a construction worker who retained only his hard hat and tool belt. By this time Hannah was on her fifth daiquiri and starting to get into the spirit of things. When the cowboy danced his way over to their side of the stage she reached over and tucked a five dollar bill into his g-string.
“Yippe ki yi yey!” Sara yelled. “You can ride me any time, cowboy!”
For the grand finale, the whole group was up on stage. The crowd went wild. Surprisingly, once the show was over and the lights went up the crowd settled right down. The same women who only moments before had been clawing each other to get at the stage and throwing their underwear at the dancers had suddenly turned into ordinary people again.
The bridal party hugged each other goodbye at the door and left as they’d arrived, in cabs.