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So Much For a Tip, B*tch.


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Wren Birdsong

I hear a train a comin’. It’s rollin’ ‘round the bend

The sounds of Johnny Cash filtered through the air, already filled with the sound of rough voices and the reek of a lovely mixture of body odor and stale alcohol. The cooling system could only do so much with the mugginess that settled around the city as the weather started to turn to fall.

Dingy, that was a good word for it in here. Everything from the floors to the wagon wheel chandeliers held multiple layers of grit and grime from years of improper cleaning. The patrons, though, they didn’t care. Spitting tobacco on the ground wasn’t just done, it was a regular occurance. Sure they cleaned up the best they could at the end of the evening, but there was only so much a mop and a broom could do. This bar, this hole in the wall, was where the rough crowd liked to spend their time. Local bikers, thugs, those that liked to keep a low profile somewhere the cops weren’t likely to show up.

And Wren was currently serving them all beers.

They didn’t bother her, though. Most kept to themselves, and if someone did get a little too rowdy, Irving would help take care of him. Irving being the very large bartender of creole heritage currently cleaning glasses behind the bar.

Wren’s tall, willowy, frame weaved between tables and mismatched chairs. Normally even on weekends they were quiet, but tonight the extra seats were filled...unfortunately...with a rowdy bunch of college kids that were making her life a living hell. Sweat was beading at her temples, the dampness in the air and her running around causing her to heat up even more than usual. Normally just having one server was enough. They didn’t serve food or mixed beverages. Beer only. She could run ten bottles at a time if she was careful, just as many pints if she concentrated. Tonight, though, she was working hard for the money. What little money there was, at least from the younger crowd.

Just like that guy, snapping his fingers in her direction. Damned entitled pricks, coming in and demanding this and that, trying to sneak in little jabs at her. She tried to ignore it and just do her best to get through the night without breaking anyone’s face.

The outlook was not good.

She plastered a smile on her face and stomped over to his Abercrombie looking self, her hands full of empty mugs. He was laughing. At her, not with her, because she wasn’t even close to laughing. “It’s about time, Pocahontas.” Her shoulders stiffened and she had to take a deep breath, calming herself. At least it was closer than most people got, figuring she was either hispanic or mixed blood. He reached over and tugged on one of her braids, the end of it reaching her waist as they lay in thick plaits over her shoulders. “My guys and I need another round. Think you can manage to count that high?”

‘I need this job. I need this job. I need this job.’ Over and over, the mantra played in her head. That fake, wide, smile, never left her lips. “Coming right up…” She turned and heard them all start to laugh at her. Then she felt something curve around her buttocks and squeeze. A hand.

His hand.

“Goddamn, Pocahontas. You could bounce a quarter off that if you had one.”

Everything in the room seemed to stop. It was as if the anger radiated from every pore of her body and even the other patrons in the bar could feel it with the rising of hairs on their arms. Drinks were held midair. Eyes stared.

But I know I had it comin’. I know I can’t be free.

Slowly, she turned back around to face him. The smile, though, seemed to be slowly fading from his lips as the mood of the room changed. She calmly, very calmly, set the empty glasses down on the table before stepping closer to him. Leaning, her left hand reached around him to the back of his chair and gripped on. The other hand went between his legs and cupped him softly.

His smile was back. It might just be his lucky…

Nope! Not lucky. Not lucky at all.

Her fingers became a vice grip on him, squeezing him so hard that he could barely breathe more than the painful wheezing that came from between his clenched teeth. Her nose almost touched his. Her eyes almost glowed, the strange amber color replacing rich brown. But he hadn’t paid attention to her eyes up until that point.

“Touch me again, and I’ll make sure you are singing soprano with your little inbred boyband here. Got it?” His face had gone cherry red. The others in his group were shocked into immobility and the rest of the room was held in morbid curiosity, staring at the scene unfolding. Some had even begun to shift uncomfortably in their seats the longer she had ahold of him. “Mmm bop, mother f*cker.” She finally let go of him, but the hand that had held on to his chair now pushed back, sending him toppling over.

As she turned back around, she realized she had garnered quite the attention. Some expressions of horror. Some of awe. Some of...something a little more primal. Walking away, one of the college dudebro’s at the table yelled after her, “So much for a tip, b*tch.” She held up two middle fingers behind her as she walked away.

“Sorry, Irving. I quit!” Wren yelled to her coworker, who started to yell something back, but was met with a roar of laughter from the small crowd.

And I'd let that lonesome whistle blow my blues away

Once she was out the doors, she too a moment in the warm air, breathing in low and slow. Wren wasn’t a young pup, but she had almost lost control in there tonight. was worth every moment. Leaning up against the wood siding, she started to laugh. Being paid under the table didn’t mean she’d have a last check to pick up, but she had enough cash to last a bit. It was time to move on to the next place, anyways.

“Some things never change, Wren Birdsong. You are still a colossal pain in the ass.” A low, guttural voice sounded from the shadows beside her. She should have smelled him, sensed him, and maybe she would have if she wasn’t riding high on adrenaline.

“And you’re still a judgemental @sshole. Brother.”

October 05, 2018 03:02 am

Lena Prince

I was new to these parts. Hadn't been here long but i had just used every last penny i had for the loft. I was excited and eager to learn and earn. The streets of New Orleans were always packed but i managed to maneuver my way through the crowds. I was halfway paid through medical school and needed to pay a job was needed. I held a folder close to my bossum as i rounded a corner. There were some shops closing down for the night and a few bars and restaurants. I knew i needed to focus on submitting applications but the music that was being played on the streets was pulling my attention more so then the others. There it was, my passion in my grasp but i needed to focus.
Just as i was getting ready to approach my eyes set lock on a young woman who was clearly upset talking to the wind. Being seen in a red halter corset with black lace, black denim skinny jeans, stiletto pumps, and thick brunette curls i looked at her some more. 

"Excuse me Miss, are you alright?" I asked with concern.

October 05, 2018 03:21 am

Wren Birdsong

Wren wiped the sweat from her brow with the back of her hand, then immediately wiped that hand on her jeans. Keen eyes searched the shadows for the owner of the voice, making his form out in darkness once her eyes had gotten used to it. “So, lurking in the shadows after stalking me? That definitely seems like the best way to get my attention, jack@ss. Why didn’t you just come inside?” The sound of clicking heels approaching her echoed in her ears, but it was a bar after all. Maybe some chick was crazy enough to try to go into the building behind her.

Good luck, lady.

“I didn’t want to make a scene,” came the reply.

“Yeah, because this is so much better.”

Dark skin slowly separated itself from the black abyss, followed by black hair and near black eyes. Eyes, it just so happened, were almost identical to hers. In fact, they shared more than a few similar qualities. Same pronounced nose and sharp cheekbones. Same downturned, full, lips. He was more masculine, as a whole, but it was easy to see that they were closely related. He stood a few inches taller than her, and it wasn’t as if she were short. At just two inches shy of six feet, Wren towered over many women. “What do you want, Deer?”

It wasn’t a sweet endearment.

His name was Deer. Deer Who Hides in Sunlight, but everyone called him Deer. There were quite a few other names she had in mind for him just about now, but she’d refrain. Well...almost.

His deep voice rumbled in his chest, arms crossed over his chest. He meant business. It just made Wren roll her eyes at him. She made the same gesture, crossing her arms just under her breasts, hip quirked to the side. Waiting for an answer.

“Wren, you have to come back home. You’ve been running around, Gods know where, for years now. Your family needs you…”
“No,” she cut him off. “No, they don’t need me. They need this picture of what they want me to be, and it’s just not going to happen, Deer. I’m not chattel...I’m not some sweet, passive, girl.” She stopped as the voice, not of hers or her brother, piped in. Wren turned to face the questioning female, taking a deep breath to try to steady her frayed nerves. Really, all she wanted to do was go back to her hotel room and try to drink herself stupid.

Which, for her, was very near impossible. Damned fast metabolism.

“What? Oh, yeah. I’m fine. Everything’s fine, miss. We were just leaving…” though she didn’t want to leave with her brother even the slightest bit, it was better than airing out their family drama outside of a bar she had literally just walked out on. “I wouldn’t go in there, though. The service is sh*t.”
October 06, 2018 06:36 pm

Wren Birdsong

(From Lena, via mail)

Seeing the two my eyes went back and forth as i clung to the papers. I knew she didnt seem like she wanted the help but i felt as if it was my duty given what i was. Unknowingly i smelt the air and the drunk boys inside was one thing but out here, the smell was more recognizable.
"Well then perhaps i can improve it." I tried laughing hoping it made light of the situation at hand. "Could you show me the way? I just got here and just joined this sanctuary and now i wanna earn my keep."
October 07, 2018 10:55 am

Vladimir Volkov

"I don't believe the service is sh*t at all. Sounds like you haven't really been here in a while. Holding grudges only gets you so far." The man said walking from behind her like a shadow.

"My name is Vlad. I own this place." He kisses her hand like a gentleman. "Please do come in."
October 08, 2018 11:28 am
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