3 - Lights Out

3 - Lights Out

A Chapter by Tertia

Chapter 3

Daggs was dressed to the nines when Verrs got back and had been drinking and smoking heavily. She stood in the front room, hands on hips, frowning. She wore new denim jeans and a tight fitting t-shirt which had the letters FCUK brightly embroidered in multi-coloured sequins.

‘Here he is at last, I was wondering where you’d got to,’ she slurred. ‘I’ve been on my own you know. There’s nobody else here, except for a bunch of stupid lousy ghosts I shouldn’t wonder,’

‘Over the hills and far away,’ Verrs replied in a song, laughing as much as he felt he could get away with.

‘This is our last Saturday night out and you go AWOL you bloody swine, for Christ’s sakes, Verrs, I know you’d bail on me. Now go straight to your room and get changed...’ she pointed her finger like a knife at the door ‘hold on a minute you can go like that, just take that stupid ruck-thingy off,’

‘It’s only five o clock, Daggs,’ he looked at her venomously and even though he despised her, he could not help find her attractive. She had fine, even features, everything was in proportion, nothing out of place. Nothing ever out of place.

‘So, so what? You’re ready aren’t you? We’re only going to the local. Men don’t dress up,’

‘Too early,’ he said sulkily. She looked like the living form of a perfect sculpture finished in smooth white marble. She was an anatomical specimen with no errors or abnormalities.

‘Oh I see, like that is it? You can’t be bothered to show up and now you’re bailing on me. Well I don’t need you Verrs, you’re a pig. A f***ing pig,’ she shouted.

He sat down in an attempt to diffuse the situation. On the side table was an empty bottle of cider. He watched her wobble around on her high heels. ‘Do you want a coffee?’

‘No I don’t want a pathetic middle-class coffee, I want a drink, a good long hard one. You know what I mean?’

‘Yes, I know, Daggs,’ he laughed.

‘This is our last night you know,’ she said her words fading, she flopped down on the sofa, as all her energy going out of her. She laid her head on the armrest, her eyes half-closed. He got up and opened the window. ‘What you doing?’

‘Sleep,’ he instructed. If she slept now they might be able to go out later on. He got a blanket, paused to look at her and put it over her shoulders, she was elegant even when resting; he should paint her while he had the chance.

‘Thanks,’ she murmured. Saying nothing he went into the kitchen and made a pot of fresh coffee and as the water came to the slow boil he thought of Lana and how he would paint her. She would sit neatly on the grass in front of him, she was prim, natural and self-composed. Her simplicity and honesty interested him. Was she as naive on the inside as her looks implied.

He took the tall stainless steel coffee pot, two cups and a jug of milk in to the front room on a tray. Daggs was fast asleep, her mouth open, a look of serenity on her pallid white face. The coffee aroma wafted around the room mixing perfectly with incoming fresh air as a hangover cure, and Daggs stirred a little. Lucas poured himself a coffee, hoping the sound of it would rouse her. He thought of the mythical list and how he might find it, his eyes half closed as he took a first sip. In the back of a diary with her passwords was the most likely place or on her phone.

‘Pour the girl a coffee then,’ Daggs ordered sitting up and stretching. She looked at her watch. ‘Six thirty,’ she yawned. He poured her a mug, making his eyes only look into hers. She took a sip and looked at him through narrowed eyes.

There weren’t many of the old crowd at the Golden Carriage, the tables were empty, most had gone home; not many lingerers. Old Len sat in his usual seat, in a dark corner, reading a paper and sipping his half of stout. ‘Hello gorgeous,’ he said to Daggs as they came through the double swing doors. He smiled admiringly, his eyes lighting up for a few brief seconds, making him look young again.

As was their normal protocol they both got their own drinks. ‘It’s your last night?’ the barman asked as he poured their drinks.

‘Sadly, yes,’ Daggs said. They sat in their usual place, the big wooden table in an alcove that was central to everything. They waved and said occasional Hi’s. Daggs said emotional good-byes as she hugged and kissed each of the bar staff as they appeared, like they were all her best friend in the world; Verrs formally shook hands and said little.

‘You’re a cold fish,’ Daggs said munching cheese and onion crisps, her eyes still bleary.

‘Me?’ he said, pointing at his woolly tank top. Here we go again, personality assassination he thought, starting to prepare his defence he didn’t have.

‘Yeah, we’ve been coming to this place for three years?’

‘Soon be forgotten,’

‘I’ll remember it. Happy memories,’

‘I will miss it in a way’

‘Lighten up and stop being so awkward. Go with the flow and relax. Take things as they come and don’t worry about anything. Don’t over-think everything,’ she said taking a big gulp of cider. She felt her head go again, the room span, weeeeee.

‘Sure,’ he said. They both sat in a moody silence looking around the pub and at their phones. The minute hand of the pub clock moved slowly on.

‘Darts?’ she said tentatively.

‘Yes, OK, Daggs,’ Lucas snapped. He grabbed the darts up from the bar and started practicing. She watched him, smiling and laughing. She finished her drink and then sauntered over to him, he’d hit some big numbers. ‘301?’

‘OK,’ she said. She threw a few darts, a couple fell on the floor, one hung on precariously outside the board. She threw a few more and eventually got them to wander lazily into the board. Len and the barman watched her graceful, but inaccurate action, they watched her every move. ‘Let’s start,’

‘Yeah,’ Lucas said. He threw steadily, hitting twenties and doubles and soon had his score down to a hundred and ten and was ready for checkout. Celia threw wildly, only getting two darts in the board at a time and languished way behind on two hundred and thirty-seven.

‘What am I doing wrong?’ she said to herself out loud. She watched Lucas’s slow steady throwing and tried to copy it. It worked to an extent and her scores went up slightly. She closed the gap. Lucas hit another twenty, an eighteen and a five. ‘Not bad,’

‘Come on, I’ve seen you play better than this, Daggs,’ She threw again and her darts scattered about. He threw again and hit seventeen and ten, leaving a double top to finish, but he missed, his last dart landing outside the wire.

‘Close,’ she said snatching the darts from him. She threw them without looking and by chance scored a solid fifty. In reply Lucas’s forty became twenty, the twenty a ten and then the ten a five.

‘Damn it,’ he said angrily.

‘You’ve had four goes at checkout. What’s the matter? Watch this,’ she said mockingly. She had whittled her score down to fifty-five.

She flung the first dart with barely enough force and it landed lazily in the bottom of the board in the three. ‘Oh well, bad luck,’ Lucas said.

‘Hit the top, hit the twenty,’ the barman shouted at her as he cleaned the glasses. She threw her second dart high and with more force, but without thinking or taking aim properly. The dart arced through the air, flying quickly and dug deeply into triangular black segment of the twenty.

She had thirty-two left or a double sixteen. She carefully took aim, weighing the dart in her hand, trying to make her body still, her breathing calm. All was quiet, all eyes were on her. But at that moment a tall man with curly hair burst in and stood at the bar. She looked at him and he at her, they smiled knowingly and in reaction she let the arrow fly. In one smooth action her eyes and hand followed the flight path through making it go where she intended. It’s feathers spun, it’s little silver barrel glistened and it’s angry tip thudded into the board.

‘Yes, oh yes, oh yes, oh yes,’ she said, jumping up and down.

‘Lights out,’ Len shouted, chuckling showing his dirty teeth.

The man with the curly hair did a slow hand clap ‘I came to say good-bye.’ he said calmly in a deep smooth voice. He looked at Lucas seriously as they started kissing. Gradually she slipped off him and they stood face to face. ‘Can we have five?’ he said holding up his hand with open fingers to Daggs. She nodded, looked embarrassed and then they quickly went outside. Outside they stood on the corner of a side alley and hugged and became two unseen shadows. Her cidery lips reached up to his dry lips as they embraced.

‘I’m going to miss you,’ he said, pressing her to him so he could feel her.

‘Yeah? but you’re married remember. I’ve got no one,’ He had no answer and in the quiet the wind blew down the alley bringing in a soft rain.

‘I’d like to disappear down these empty streets with you,’ he said dreamily. ‘What?’ she said listening to his heart thumping. ‘And not return at all,’

‘Oh yeah ha ha, nice,’ she said half-laughing. He kissed her hard, squeezing her and pushing her up against the wall so her back felt its cool wet surface, his hands caressed her. She watched him as his gentle caressing became desperate groping. She pushed him away. He was red, sweating and breathing fast, like he’d been running. He was hot and flustered. ‘look at you,’

‘Yeah,’

‘Is this how you want to say good-bye?’

‘No,’ he straightening his linen shirt and jeans. After a minute he said ‘You’ll meet someone else, some good looking young guy,’

‘Hah. Maybe,’ she said flatly without smiling. He took half a step closer to her and she to him. ‘I shouldn’t really, I should go,’ She said looking up and down the street, she let out a long sigh of resignation.

‘No, you shouldn’t,’ he said unable to hide his smile.

She looked at him ‘Oh well,’ she whispered, her hand tingling with excitement as it reached out to him. Three minutes later she was back in the pub.

‘All good?’ Verrs asked.

‘Oh yeah, all good,’ she said smiling into space.

:::::

Later a group of lingerers breezed in and took Daggs with them. She came back to the house after closing time. Do you want to come? she had said to Verrs, but no he wouldn’t come. She was annoyed.


© 2021 Tertia


Author's Note

Tertia
In the next chapter a ghostly presence is felt

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"he thought of Lana and how he would paint her." Has the author created a provenance for this "Lana"?

Len is abrupt almost a non-sequitur.

Posted 3 Months Ago


Who is Len with dirty teeth? Did not see how he fit into this story. Normally I would find a long description of a dart match to be pretty boring & this chapter wasn't nearly as compelling as the two that came before it, but still I must commend you for making this long snooze fest into an interesting account, if you're into darts. I personally could not reckon your many references to scoring & I felt it would've been a little improved to focus on interactions between the players rather than the score. I also felt the transition to going outside to say goodbye was a nice authentic touch, except I'm got a little confused when you said he hated her, early in this chapter. Kinda hard to draw a bead on what this coupling is all about . . . who likes who? who hates who? why are they messing around like they want to screw, but then hate each other? This muddiness could be clearer (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie

Posted 5 Months Ago



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Added on February 16, 2021
Last Updated on April 19, 2021
Tags: relationships, emotions, discovery, wild, jealousy, life, trust, lust, people, love, attraction, linger, desire, story, chapter, promises, freedom, reputation, morals, friends, feelings, Read


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Tertia
Tertia

United Kingdom



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