Snippet Sunday – Hard-Boiled/Noir WIP – March 20, 2016
Snippet Sunday is a Facebook group for writers I’ve been hanging out with.
From the group guidelines; “Welcome to Snippet Sunday, where writers come together to share a few sentences of their current project–whether it’s a recently released novel, a WIP (work in progress), or an older manuscript that’s being revived. Intended to hook readers, gather feedback and build an author’s fan base, Snippet Sunday is the FB group that does all three.”
We last left our heroes hanging out in Beau’s Bar & Grill. A trio of Jed’s buddies has just arrived, running the numbers to five-to-one against Jake…
I watched the standard ceremony of handshakes and back slaps as the new arrivals gathered around Jed. The taller of the two bearded men hooted at Beau for service.
The big bartender sent a sour look my way, replaced the gun from where he’d taken it, then went over to take their orders.
Great barks of laughter from the end of the bar cut through the music. The handshaking and back slapping wasn’t over yet. Mickey and Jed’s other three pals were having a grand time. Jed nursed his beer in silence.
It was an interaction I’d seen dozens of times, the pack circling around the leader, each member fighting to win the title of most enthusiastic lieutenant.
“The gang’s all here,” said Marisa. “Now what?”
“Ever see those clowns in a scrap?” I asked, continuing to observe the ritual.
“You mean all of ’em together?” She took a look toward Jed and his boys.
Jed chose that moment to shift his gaze in our direction.
“Can’t say as I have,” she continued. “I’ve heard stories of them ganging up on people. Never saw them doing it, though.”
I nodded, turning my attention back to her. I saw fear in her eyes, fear and enough of something else to make me wonder how much ex there really was in their relationship.
“What happens if I walk out of here alone?” I asked.
She regarded me with an expression of worry and insouciance in nearly equal parts.
“To me or to you?”
“Let’s start with you.”
The stiffness in the set of her jaw and neck revealed how hard she had to work to not look toward Jed. I looked at him for her.
The guffawing had quieted down now that each man had a beer in his hand. Jed held court in the middle, engaging his crew in quiet conversation.
“You’re not gonna do that, are you, Jake?” she asked. “Walk out of here alone?”
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