Intercosmic - Chapter 44 – Take it Slow

The bar here isn’t much different than any sports bar that I’ve been to before. The only surprise is that it’s right on the ranch. I suppose these are the things you can do when you’ve got money, I wouldn’t know. It’s only open on days when there’s a big game or playoffs. I thought it would be just a bar for Martin and Pauline’s friends but there’s a good mix of locals in here. I just have to keep the bar clean and pick up the dirty dishes. Martin is in the back cooking, and Pauline is actually a master bartender. A skill I should have just assumed she had. She’s got a drink list a mile long filled with modern drinks as well as classics and a plenty of her own original concoctions. Before we opened up tonight she gave me one she called ‘The Hagar’s Daughter.’ The drink was half black, half white, split along the vertical, a trick I’ve never seen before. The initial taste was bitter and tasted of bad fruit but immediately after I swallowed I felt a flow of energy and a taste of sweetness that hasn’t left my mouth even an hour later. I suppose living on a ranch gives you a lot of time to practice and hone different skills, including bartending.

The locals around here are different than Invicta, a lot different. They’re mostly human, and mostly old. Some older than Pauline and Martin. Even the aliens here are old, older than any I’ve ever met before. They’re polite, tip extremely well even when it’s not mandatory and all I’m doing is clearing tables or occasionally dropping off drinks and food. Every so often a group will wander in from the city and find a place to sit down and enjoy the mellow ambiance provided. I imagine I’d want to take a break from Invicta if I lived there. A few of the locals watch them, expecting trouble, but greet them with open arms when they realize there’ll be none tonight.

I feel a cold hand on my arm and turn to spot a woman old enough to be my mother’s, mother’s, mother. “Where’d you get this sexy number,” she asks rubbing her hand up and down my prosthetic arm.

“Just had a little accident,” I smile and attempt to walk away.

“Well, I’m old so we wouldn’t have any accidents,” she winks at me as her friends giggle.

“I’ll keep that in mind. I’d love to stay and chat, but I think I hear Martin calling,” I do not hear Martin calling.

Pauline and Martin have gotten a kick out of it. I’m the youngest thing in the bar by far, and for some people, that’s all it takes for them to start trying to add me to their trophy cases. I always hear stories about how senior citizens are the most sexually active, but I believe them now. I haven’t taken anyone up on their offers, and I don’t intend to, but they keep coming. If they knew how boring I was, they’d stop wasting time trying to take me out and just enjoy the food and drinks.

“You not going to give her the time of day,” Martin asks laughing as I enter the kitchen.

“If I was 100 years older, I’d be all over it,” I laugh.

“If you were a 100 years older she wouldn’t be interested with her old cradle robbing ass,” Pauline adds as she grabs some clean glasses for the bar.

I jump as the woman from earlier pinches my butt as I’m grabbing more plates. That’s the line, I’m no longer comfortable. Before I can’t say anything, Pauline is walking from behind the bar. She passes me without a word or a glance. In just a moment she’s staring down the table of women.

“You need to leave my bar before I burry you out back,” Pauline speaks slowly and calmly.

“What,” the woman asks.

“Take your friends with you too.”

“I’m not understanding.”

“Keep your hands to yourself, or get them cut off. Real simple. I’m giving you the chance to leave, with your hands,” Pauline responds, producing a knife almost from thin air.

I rush over and grab Pauline by the shoulders and guide her away from the table. Martin watches on laughing and clapping, loving the entire situation.

“You don’t have to kill her for me,” I lead her to the kitchen.

“I love it when you get the knife out,” Martin takes Pauline and gives her a big kiss before he starts to dance with her.

“Anybody give you any trouble, I’ll gut them, for you,” Pauline promises as Martin twirls her around.

Those two must have been something special back in the day. I’m not sure what I’ve gotten myself into working for them, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love it. I love their stories, their over the top reactions, the home cooked meals and even learning about farming. I thought I was becoming an adrenaline junkie, but it turns out, I just needed to slow down. 

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