Happy New Year everyone.
The following is another excerpt from my work in progress, Jen McDowell—Private Eye; Business is Booming, a Jen McDowell Series. This is a draft. I’m at 71k words now and still writing. If you want to catch up, order the novella The Throuple Private Eye—Hate Crimes, on Amazon ($2.99). The link is https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084LTTHGN. Enjoy.
MARTY AND NAVADA
It was late September on a Friday. Jen and Molly worked all day inside their office, doing research on their computers. Finally, late in the afternoon, Molly stood up and said, “Let’s get out of here. We need to unwind.”
Jen looked up. “Okay, I’ll see if the boys want to come.”
“No. Girls night out. Just you and me.”
“And do what?” Jen asked.
“Well, it’s Friday. My VFW post has an all you can eat fish fry every Friday and also a country band. For an extra $2 you can add shrimp.”
“I don’t know,” Jen replied. “Do you want to hang out with a bunch of old folks?”
“Wait a minute,” Molly cautioned. “I hang out there. On Fridays, the older vets come for the fish. The young vets come for the band and to dance. Besides, most of the fish is take out.”
“How do they have a dance during the pandemic?” Jen asked.
“Well, they can only allow a certain number of guests inside, something like 25 or 50 percent,” Molly answered. “Then in a large room they placed marks six feet apart in rows. They only allow line dancing, and everyone follows social distancing and wears masks.”
“I haven’t tried dancing in my prothesis yet,” Jen said. “I don’t know if I can.”
“It’s about time you found out. Besides, we don’t have to dance. We can listen to the music and drink beer,” Molly suggested. “We can also watch some of those young guys dance. Some of them are hot.”
Jen finally relented and volunteered to drive. It was still warm enough not to wear a coat. The smell of fireplaces burning filled the air. Molly signed Jen in as her guest, and they found a table near the dance floor. Jen decided that Molly was right; some of the guys were hot, the band was good, and the beer was cold. The fish was white fish, but there was plenty of it. After an hour, a guy walked over to Molly. “Hello, my name is Marty Hennessey. Would you like to dance?” he asked through his facemask. He held out his hand to help Molly get up.
Molly shook her head and pulled up her pant legs to reveal her two protheses. Marty pulled one pant leg to reveal a major protheses on his left leg, extending down from just below his hip.
“Okay,” Molly conceded. “You got me beat, but I haven’t danced since I got these.”
“No problem. I’ll show you how.”
“No, no, no,” protested Molly. “I don’t think so.”
Marty bend down and leaned on the table. “What was your rank when you got discharged from the military?”
Molly was taken back by the question. “Staff sergeant.”
Marty straightened up. “Well, I was a captain and I’m giving you a direct order to get your ass out on the dance floor… sergeant.” Reluctantly, Molly stood up. Marty half led and half pulled Molly to the dance floor. It wasn’t crowded. No one objected to them not social distancing since several other couples did the same. Marty stood behind Molly and held her waist to steady her. Molly moved his arms tighter around her. All the dances were line dances, and, at first, Molly struggled to keep up. She did stubble a couple of times, but Marty caught her. Jen was certain the last fall was fake. After a few minutes, Molly mastered the steps without falling. Molly and Marty dances a few more dances.
As another line dance started, Molly and Marty walked and pulled a protesting Jen onto the dance floor. Molly stood on one side holding Jen’s hand while Marty held her other hand. It was awkward at first, but soon Jen was keeping up without falling. Once she got the hang of it, she resumed social distancing. After a few minutes, a guy cut in between Molly and Jen without a word. After a few dances, Jen headed back to her table, turning down a couple of offers to dance on the way including one from the guy who had cut in earlier.
Marty walked over with another young man. “Ladies, this is Navada Lucas, my best friend. He still has both legs, but he’s okay.” Marty made introductions all around. Jen took an instant liking to Navada. She could tell he had a sense of humor. He had drawn a set of lips on his facemask, but they were a woman’s lips—bright red. The four of them danced a few more times.
Finally, Jen said, “Folks, I’m not use to this, and my legs are killing me, so I need to sit down.”
“We’re going to call it a night,” Molly said. She kissed Jen on the cheek and left with Marty. On the way out, Molly turned and winked at Jen. Navada sat down to talk with Jen. Jen thought he was very charming although she felt as if he was just being polite and keeping her company.
As long as they had food or drinks, they could take off their facemasks. Navada got up and returned with a plate full of French fries for them to nibble on. He then when over to the bar a returned with two beers. Jen kept a close on the beers as the bartender filled the glasses. It was habit she developed on the police force. A girl can’t be too careful.
When the band took a break, Molly walked over to Jen. “Don’t worry about driving me home. Marty said he’d give me a ride.” She winked at Jen. “I might go over to his place for a nightcap.”
Jen sternly asked, “Molly do your panties fall off every time you meet a good-looking guy?”
Molly smiled. “What panties?”
Jen laughed. “Sorry, for a minute I forgot who I was talking to. Okay, but send me a text or call so I’ll know where to go to claim the body.” Molly just laughed. “I’m not kidding,” Jen yelled as Molly walked out holding hands with Marty.