With Brock off fighting a war on his home world, his girl Pandora has gone back to work at the Poisoned Tongue Bar. Little does she know that Erica has just found out that Brock’s brother Orson has gone to fight alongside his brother to save their world. Let us join the girls at the Tongue where the city is celebrating the 4th of July. Welcome to Lipstick Lies!
The Poisoned Tongue is the seediest, rowdiest dive bar on the western seaboard. Located in downtown Seattle, the local SPD don’t even bother waiting for a call to come in as they patrol by the place pretty much every night. It’s owned and operated by Cecil Martin, the sleeziest man on the face of the planet. He has a penchant for groping his female employees whenever they are within arms reach. Pandora LaRue is employeed here as a waitress and has had several battles with Cecil about his “ass-grabbing hands”.
Hours of Operation are from 8 am to 4 am, every day.
Please state where your character is located in the bar when you post (i.e. bathroom, bar, table, outside on the sidewalk, etc.)
When Pandora walked into the bar the evening of America’s birthday, she felt as if she’d never left. The sights, the sounds, the smells…it made her feel welcome, and this was the change of pace needed to take her mind off Brock.
She had spent the week since his disappearance working on their house and getting it decorated to her specifications. As he had promised, she had gone to the furniture store with the promised line of credit and had decorated different rooms in the house, making it into a home they both would love. She had even turned the basement into Brock’s “Man Cave”, a showpiece where he could entertain his friends without wrecking the rest of the house. But it was the garage that allowed her to shine.
It was her personal domain and she had enjoyed decorating every corner of it.
“So…you’re back.” a very familiar and smarmy voice spoke from near her elbow. She turned her head and saw Cecil standing at her side.
“Yep.” she nodded.
“You actually here to work or are you taking in the scenery?” he growled.
“You know where the bar is.” he snorted, stomping away. She watched him go with a frown on her face. He hadn’t even tried to grab her tits. She made her way to the bar, Mark spotting her with a smile.
“Well, look at you looking fit, tan and happy! How was Hawaii?”
“Hawaii was fantastic.” Pandora smiled, stepping around the bar to give Mark a hug.
“Well, who put that smile on your face?” Denise stated, wandering over to collect some orders.
“Brock.” Pandora stated, wrapping an apron around her waist.
“What?” Mark gaped.
“Brock came to me while I was in Hawaii and we had a long and overdue talk.”
“So…you and he are back on?” Denise wondered.
“Mhm.” Pandora grinned.
“Well, fuck! I wish a guy would come running after me like that.” Denise grinned, taking up her tray and heading back to the floor. Mark was still staring at Pandora.
“Pan…are you sure about this? I mean the guy did sleep with your best friend.” Mark reminded her.
“I’m sure. There are things about he and I that you don’t know and I can’t discuss them with you.” she added when he looked ready to demand answers. “But his heart is genuine and he loves me. He proved that to me and I trust his word.”
“Well…if you’re sure about this, and I can see that you are, then I’m all for it. But if he breaks your heart again, I’ll rip his balls off and shove them down his throat!” he growled. Laughing, Pandora kissed his cheek and headed down to the tables to work. She was lucky to have Mark in her life.
A few hours into her shift, the DJ came over the PA and announced that the fireworks show the city was putting on was about to start and that anyone who wished to view them should make their way to the parking lot. Even the most die-hard bikers and the most patriotic of the bunch grabbed up their drinks and headed outside. The stars were mere dots in the night sky as everyone, patrons and staff waited for the show to commence.
The first pop sounded and the sky began to light up with fire. The cheers were deafening.
Pandora, Mark and Denise were standing at the door, watching the night sky. Mark wrapped his arms around both women and hugged them close.
“Happy 4th, ladies.” he murmured as someone began to sing “America the Beautiful”.
“Oh beautiful…for spacious skies…for amber waves of grain…from purple mountain majesty…above the fruited plain…”
“Happy 4th, Mark.” they replied in unison as more and more bar patrons began to take up the refrain.
“America…America…God shed His grace on thee…and crown thy good….with Brotherhood…from sea to shining sea!”
“Happy 4th, Brock!” Pandora whispered, staring at the color explosions of lights overhead. “Be safe and come back to me soon.”
The city may have been celebrating it’s fourth of July, but to a disheveled looking Erica who had finally found her way through the bustling crowd, there was very little to celebrate. After going back to her apartment, to gleefully pack Simone’s belongings, she discovered a note that had been hastily stuffed under the door. The crumpled looking envelope had chicken scratch like writing on it, and the paper was soiled. Erica had gone to read it before she even tackled Simone’s room, and what she read brought her to her knees.
I wish I could explain to you what is happening right now, but that would mean the possibility of losing you completely. I haven’t been entirely honest, about myself, or my brothers for that fact. I got word that I am required to go home. Home…is nowhere near Seattle…or anything remotely close.
I don’t know how long I will be gone…I don’t know…if I will return.
Erica did pack Simone’s things. Mind you, it took a lot longer than three hours. Half the time she was sniffing and trying to hold back the tears. What kind of man gives a dear John letter with no real reason as to why they up and left? It didn’t make sense. She kept thinking; was this all a game to him? Was their relationship meaningless that he had to lie about who he was? After arranging for Simone’s boxes to be collected by Ame’s staff, she then took the crumpled letter and headed down to the Poison Tongue. For one thing, she wanted to drink her sorrows away, the other – she simply didn’t want to be alone. There were hundreds – thousands out on the streets celebrating. Sharing with their loved ones. That was what Erica wished to be doing, instead she was sitting at the bar in the Tongue, about to order the first of what would be many drinks that night.
Drinking used to be something of a game to Erica and Simone. Tonight, the only drink she would have would be called loneliness.
Glancing around, she could see everyone enjoying themselves. Laughing and singing – being all patriotic. Erica reached into her bag and pulled out her cellphone. On the wall paper was a silly picture of her and Orson in happier times. This just made her all the more sad. She had so many questions. The biggest one, was where was he?
After the fireworks celebration, it was back to work as the patrons made their way back inside. It seemed like the bar was much more packed then usual, but it was simply the vibe of celebrating America’s birthday that had the customers rowdier then usual. It was just what Pandora needed to keep her thoughts off of her missing lover.
The music was jamming, the drinks were flowing and the cash till was pinging like mad as the bar stayed busy. Pandora had just served a group of bikers passing through on their way to the Sturgis Bike Rally in South Dakota, when she turned to see Erica making her way through the crowd. Pandora was stunned at the woman’s appearance. Usually so put together, being a fashion editor and model like she was. Her hair was disheveled and she looked pale and miserable. Was there something wrong with Simone and the baby? Pandora made her way back to the bar, picking up empty bottles and glasses and collecting tips from her customers as she did so. She set her tray at the waitress station, watching as Erica sat at the other end of the bar and ordered a drink.
“Hey, Mark!” she called out over the music. Mark looked up from topping off a Guinness. “I’m taking a break. Let Denise know, will ya?” Mark nodded and went back to his customers. Stripping off her apron and placing it on her tray, Pandora made her way around the bar to Erica. She and the woman weren’t all that close, but she was Simone’s friend and Pandora felt like she owed it to Simone to try and be a friend to Erica.
“You look like you lost your most expensive purse or something.” Pandora stated, sliding into the empty seat at Erica’s side. When the woman didn’t respond, staring morosely into her glass, Pandora nudged her with her elbow. “Want to talk about it? I’m a good listener.”
One of the barmaids had just given Erica a cosmopolitan when she heard someone taking the seat beside her and asking if she had lost an expensive purse. A dark chuckle escaped her lips at the idea of calling Orson a man bag, or expensive purse seemed to hit her funny bone. Reaching for her glass, she took a sip before casually looking side ways and seeing it was none other than Pandora. Brock’s girlfriend, and Simone’s ex bestie. Setting down the glass carefully, she swiveled on the barstool to face Pandora and then said with a sigh.
“I got a Dear John letter from my boyfriend.”
She held up the crumpled envelope, before letting it fall from her fingers onto the bar top.
“Turns out…he was hiding some big secret and had to go home.” Rolling her eyes, she added. “He’s probably married, with a dozen kids on some farm in the middle of Ohio or…somewhere stupid.” Her acid like tongue was going into overdrive, as she was now possibly the “other” woman in Orson’s life.
“I seriously think Simone and I are cursed. First, she gets with Hairy Rock Star turned cheater who knocks up Simmy, then…my own boyfriend is some….alien. I don’t know, none of it makes sense to me.”
More people came to the bar, shouting their orders while Erica just looked frazzled. “To top it off, Ame is back in town and she asked Simone to go live with her, while she sees out the pregnancy. So now I got no boyfriend…no best friend, no flat mate. No one to dump my shit on.”
Toying with the stem of her cocktail glass, she tilts her head and then asks Pandora “You must be peachy keen. Got the man, and he loves you. Probably about to pick you up to go home and make love and….stuff.” Little did she know that Pandora was in a similar boat.
“I got a Dear John letter from my boyfriend.” was Erica’s opening salvo, dropping a crumpled envelope onto the bar top. Pandora blinked in stunned surprise for a moment. That was the last thing she was expecting to hear.
“Orson? Orson broke it off with you?” Pandora’s tone was one of shock. The way Orson had been carrying on with Erica, Pandora had been under the assumption that this was the longest relationship either one of them had been in.
“Turns out…he was hiding some big secret and had to go home. He’s probably married, with a dozen kids on some farm in the middle of Ohio or…somewhere stupid.”
“May I?” Pandora asked, pointing to the letter. Erica gave a shrug and Pandora opened it to read.
Pandora now understood what was going on. Orson must have gotten the call back to his home like Brock had. But how could she explain this to Erica?
Erica continued her pitiful rant as Pandora listened with a sympathetic ear. “I seriously think Simone and I are cursed. First, she gets with Hairy Rock Star turned cheater who knocks up Simmy, then…my own boyfriend is some….alien. I don’t know, none of it makes sense to me.”
Pandora had to swallow a laugh at the mention of the word ‘alien’. Erica didn’t know the half of it and it looked as if Pandora would have to be the one to explain.
“To top it off, Ame is back in town and she asked Simone to go live with her, while she sees out the pregnancy. So now I got no boyfriend…no best friend, no flat mate. No one to dump my shit on.”
And that explained Erica’s disheveled state. The woman was feeling a mite bit lonely. Pandora definitely could sympathize. Erica looked at Pandora, hurt and humiliation plain to see in her eyes.
“You must be peachy keen. Got the man, and he loves you. Probably about to pick you up to go home and make love and….stuff.” Erica snorted.
Pandora chuckled and looked around the bar, spotting her prey.
The smarmy bar owner, who was feeling up a new waitress, the naive girl giggling like she was in high school, glanced up at the shouting of his name.
“What?” When he saw Pandora was the one who’d called him, he was pissed. “Dammit, woman! Can’t you see I’m fucking busy?”
“More like busy trying to fuck.” Pandora snorted under her breath, unsure if Erica heard her words or not. “Can it, smart ass! I’m going to borrow your office for a bit!”
“You on the clock?” he scowled.
“I’m on break, you fucker!”
“Don’t take all fucking night!” Pandora flipped him the bird before looking at Erica. “Come on. I think you and I need to have a girl chat. Bring your drink, you might need it.” Pandora slid off the stool and started toward Cecil’s office. It was quiet there and they wouldn’t be overheard with the door closed and the music going.
“Please, sit.” Pandora stated, snatching up an old t-shirt that was haphazardly tossed over the computer monitor and wiping down both chairs. God only knew what Cecil did back here and Pandora wasn’t taking any chances of catching something.
“Erica…About Orson…um…” Pandora began, raking her fingers through her hair. This was going to be harder then she thought. How could she word this without sounding like a complete twat?
“Have you ever…seen, or heard something…that couldn’t be explained as normal?” she started. “Things that on the whole, don’t seem possible?” she wondered, thinking about her own fire abilities. She didn’t know that Ame had revealed her own secret to both Erica and Simone.
Entering Cecils’ office, Erica instantly picked up the scent of foul body odour, old spice cologne and another smell she couldn’t quite put her finger on. Needless to say, it made Erica wrinkle up her nose and purse her lips. Watching Pandora try to clean the seats with an old T’shirt, Erica was actually tempted to just stand. What was it that Pandora wanted to discuss with her that couldn’t be said out at the bar? Maybe she and Brock were having problems again. Course, it couldn’t have anything to do with Simone. Simone was pregnant to Mister Rock God.
This was starting to sound ominous. Was Pandora privy to information about Orson that she herself didn’t know? Tenattively taking a seat that had just been cleaned, Erica thought it was safe to put her drink down on the computer desk next to a stack of files. She then crossed her right leg over her left elegantly, and listened to what Pandora had to say.
“Have you ever…seen, or heard something…that couldn’t be explained as normal?”
“Are you kidding? I lived with Simone for five years. I have seen….and heard stuff that would curl your lashes tighter than a lap dancer from Reno.” It was true to say that Simone had provided Erica with years of entertainment, and some heartache. That was probably why she was missing her so much right now. Erica let out something of a fake laugh as she placed her hand upon her chest, as if to swear allegiance.
“Oh…right, things that don’t seem possible. THAT was this morning when Ame decided to go full Wolverine on us with these great big claw things at the Coffee house in the district. I swear that Simone was about to fall off her chair from shock.. Ain’t nothing you could tell me could be any more crazy weird than that, Pan.”
Oh but how wrong she was.