I don't know why I was there. I don't like country music, don't drink and can't stand the stench of stale sweat. Why any one would bother coming to such a place was beyond me. I didn't really have a choice in the matter though. About three miles back my car suddenly pulled a mutiny and died. Forcing me to in the pouring rain and cold just to arrive at a bar and to find out the local tow truck company was closed for the day. Why was everything but a bar closed on a Sunday?
Some old country crooner's song was pouring out of the old fifty's style jukebox in the corner. The bartender was leaning against the bar polishing the same glass he'd be working on for the past hour. A few older men sat around the room. A small group of them were playing poker at a table, the rest were seated across the bar. The only woman in the room was wearing too much makeup, enough perfume to choke a rhino and smoking more cigarettes than the whole room put together.
The most depressing thing about the whole spectacle was the fact it was only four in the afternoon. I had a feeling even after nightfall the room wouldn't fill up any more. Only a few die-hard locals bothered to come out in the rain to get here, every one else will probably wisely stay home.
I looked completely out of place. Most of the people there were wearing jeans and flannel shirts, I on the other hand was dressed in a once upon a time pressed charcoal gray suit, no longer polished black leather dress shoes and a silk tie that even the best clean up couldn't save. Mud was coating my shoes and the cuffs of my pants; my brief case wasn't much better off. I was too afraid to open it; chances are all my papers were nothing more than a mush. After the second mile the handle broke off suddenly and it dropped it into a puddle, it was still dripping water.
Huddling more into the bar and trying not to shiver so much I nursed my drink, a simple rum coke. Ordinarily I wouldn't have bought it, but after the day I had I needed it badly. From the moment I woke up the day had been bad. Not only had my alarm clock been messed up by a brown out that happened while I slept but my water heater also died in the night. At least the cold shower helped me wake up. Then of course my boss didn't accept my excuse for being late and fired me the instant I walked in the door. Company policy he had said. Three strikes and your out can't be late at all. Even by a minute. God my job sucked.
Well, at least I could be comforted by the fact I didn't have to go in the next day. Or more so could have been if I hadn't gotten that call. It was a lawyer calling to tell me my great uncle Seymour had died. I was a little confused of course. The only time I had met the guy was when his wife died. My family went to her funeral and we stayed the night in his house. I still had nightmares from it. The place looked like it was just waiting for the Hollywood crew to appear and film a horror movie. He had said barely two words to me the whole time. As far as I could tell he ignored my family and me most of the time we were there. Apparently he had finally died and I was included in his will.
Since I was now free I decided to go and work out the legalities right away. It was only a half-day drive to my uncle's place. That's where the lawyer said he'd meet me. I was supposed to meet him in the next ten minutes. Unfortunately due to the weather his cell phone wasn't working. I figured that out pretty quickly after calling him a few times. So I had to wait out the storm so I could call him again. Hopefully it would pass on soon. It was so bad by now it was hailing, far too dangerous of weather to be moving out and about in. I couldn't even go to a hotel to stay the night, at least not yet.
I finished up the last bit of my drink and slid it away from me. The bartender stirred from his place and moved over to me. "Another?" He asked motioning to my glass.
I nodded slowly, tired already from my day's events. He poured me a new drink and plopped it down in front of me. Not bothering to place it on a napkin. I sighed and sipped at it. That music was giving me a headache. As far as I could tell it had played only two different songs over and over again. Before I could be driven insane by the inactivity of the room and the inanity of the music the door opened. The whole room turned to look at the new comer. Much as they had for me, I of course looked as well.
At first the individual stood just out of the doorway staring in. The rain and darkness silhouetted the figure, revealing only their vague outline. Then slowly they moved in, at first I couldn't really tell what I was looking at. A rain slicker covered the person from chin to feet, the toes of the boots just barely stuck out from under it. A hood covered their head and face, hiding it from view. The person reached up and slid the slicker off, revealing a site that seemed to shock the room as much as it did me.
She looked both exotic and very down to earth all at once. Around her neck hung a few necklaces, a large silver ankh, a pentagram almost as big and a jade circle. The large coat she wore was made of animal skin with fir around the collar; it was made in the style of a trench coat and did nothing to flatter her shape. A matching animal skin pack was slung over her shoulders with what seemed to be a flute sticking out of the top of it. Another strap crossed over her chest, this one belonged to a guitar case. Under her coat she wore a very old very patched up navy blue silk dress shirt; her pants were similarly ancient looking and patched up. They appeared to once be loose carpenter pants, just a little bit too large for her. Then again her whole outfit looked like it came from a larger person's closet. The shoes she wore appeared to be a cross between army jungle boots and steel-toed construction boots. The woman under all the mismatched clothes didn't fit the image they conjured.
Her hair was pulled back into a thick French braid that hung down across her chest to just past her hips, even though it was slightly damp it still had a beautiful sheen and luster. Its color couldn't seem to make up its mind weather it should be copper, bronze, silver or gold and ended up being a mix of them all. Her skin had a light healthy tan but still seemed fair and helped set off her amazing eyes. They were the color of blue star sapphires and filled with a glow of intelligence, with just a little mischief. She seemed so young and innocent, but the way she moved was like a well-seasoned warrior.
Slowly moving into the room she saddled up to the bar and asked in a gentle but strong musical voice.
"Can I get a glass of water please?" Her manners were very polite and she met the bartenders eye's as she spoke. For a moment he seemed captivated by her gaze then he went about getting her a glass of water.
The woman glanced around the room casually, taking in the scene. She smiled when the bartender put down her drink and thanked him in that same soft lovely voice. She sipped at her drink as she looked about; only after carefully observing the room did she settle her eyes on me.
I suddenly felt like a mouse facing off with a snake. Her gaze was aggressive, intense and powerful. I could feel something like an electrical pulse flow through my body, just from the weight of her stare. Never before in my life had I met a woman, let alone a man with eyes like that. I felt as if she was looking deep into my soul, reading me. It made me feel vulnerable and weak. Then all at once she smile and the sensation left me.
"You look about out of place as I do." She leaned against the bar as she spoke, now relaxed. Reaching down she picked up her braid and flipped it over her shoulder.
Unable to speak for a moment I just gapped at her, luckily the moment of eloquence passed and I found my tongue again.
"At least I'm no longer alone." I smiled at her slightly and moved over to her side. "Can I join you?"
She looked me over carefully then chuckled. "You seem perfectly able to perform that action. No need to ask me."
I couldn't help but laugh. "You know my third grade teacher did that. It drove me nuts." I took a deep breath and with much playful effort said. "May I sit with you?"
"Yes sir, you may." She seemed very amused with me. At least I had yet to insult her. That was always a good sign.
The woman watched me out of the corner of her eye as I sat down. Maybe she wasn't as relaxed as I thought she was. Then again she could just be very suspicious of mud-covered strangers. I motioned to the bartender for another drink. He took care of my order while I turned to her and gave her another once over.
"What brings you here? I can't seem to picture you as the type to hang out in places like this. Though, I could be wrong." I gave her my best friendly curious smile. She didn't seem too convinced by it.
"The weather got to bad so I had to move indoors for a while, no use in getting my self killed for no reason." She finished off her water and slid the glass away. When the bartender put down my drink and moved to refill her glass she shook her head no.
"How about you, why are you here?" She raised her eyebrow at me, only turning her head to talk to me.
"Well, my car broke down up the road so I walked until I arrived in town. Unfortunately everything was closed but this bar. So I'm stuck here until the weather clears up and I can go to the hotel and get a room for the night." I sighed, not happy about my situation and saying it aloud made it seem all the more unpleasant.
She swiveled around in her seat, faced me and stuck out her hand. "I'm Morragon."
"I'm Edgar." I said taking her hand I gently shook it, or would have if she didn't give me a Russian hand shake. It felt like she was going to break my hand. Before that happened she pulled her hand back and gave me a sheepish look.
"Sorry about that. I'm used to getting into pissing contests where you have to always show who's the strongest. Did I hurt you?" I looked down at my hand; it was red where she had gripped it.
"No, I'm fine… I guess." I flexed my hand and was relieved to see it still worked. "You're pretty strong." I looked back up to her face.
She smirked. "For a woman?"
I stammered for a moment and shook my head quickly. "No! I didn't mean it that way!" She laughed at me softly and patted my knee.
"Calm down. I'm only joking. If I was really offended I would have hit you." She winked at me and leaned back against the bar.
I relaxed a little, though her comment bothered me a little. She was serious. As I considered her words she shifted towards me. "How about when this storm lightens up we go back to your car and I'll see if I can get it running."
"You know how to fix cars?" This surprised me a little; it was pretty rare for a woman to know much about cars. Then again in this day and age it was also pretty rare for a man to know much either. I sure as heck knew next to nothing about cars.
She laughed lightly; it was a soft pleasant sound. "Yes I do, my father taught me."
"You sure you want to go back out into that weather just for me?"
She shrugged at my question. "Why not? Might be fun. Besides it's a little while before full dark hits and it would be nice to have something to do till then."
The bartender walked over to us. "It's stopped hailing now, though its raining hard again. Forecast says it will be like this all night."
She hopped off her chair and looked to me. "Well, then lets be off then." She removed her back pack and pulled out a new rain slicker, still in its store packaging. "Here, where this."
I didn't argue and quickly removed it. It took me a few moments to figure it out and put it on. By then she was waiting for me by the door. I grabbed my brief case and jogged over to her. "Lead on." I motioned out the door and she smirked.
Out side it looked almost like night, there was a strange ambient light that came from no where but lit up the dingy dark world around us. Clouds rolled over our heads and rain poured down. I'd lived in this area my whole life and never seen it rain this hard before. It felt like the heavens were opening up and releasing all their furry. If I met a man named Noah that day and almost wouldn't be surprised.
I pointed out the direction I came from and we trudged off after my car. We hugged the side of the road as we moved, but kept far enough off to the side to not be run over. Luckily the slickers had reflective tape across them hems. That way a driver would easily be able to see us. After the day I was having getting run over would suggest a higher power had it out for me. I stayed behind Morragon as we walked, she moved strongly and surely. It looked like she was far to used to being in such weather, let alone traveling in difficult situations.
After a half hour of dodging puddles, cars and constantly risking falling into rivers that weren't there before we reached my car. Or more so where it should have been. All that remained of it was deep tire tracks in the mud. It was no where in site. I just stood there staring jaw hanging. Morragon looked at me then at the tire tracks. "You sure this is where your car was?" I nodded dumbly, unable to formulate words just yet.
She walked around the spot where my car once sat, then moved over to my side. "Let's go back and get us a hotel room." I just nodded slowly and sighed. I could just doom my self by saying the day couldn't get any worse, but I knew if I said that I'd get hit by lighting or the moon would fall on my head. Nah, I'd get hit by lightning; if a moon fell it might hit Morragon. And apparently God hated me, not her.
Morragon nudged me back in the direction we came from, after a moment and I pulled my eyes away from the empty patch of mud and slogged back to town. I barely felt anything any more. The rain beating at my back barely registered to me, the mud pulling at my feet didn't even catch my attention. I just walked, like a puppet being pulled on strings. I didn't want to think any more, that meant acknowledging how much my life sucked.
I was a little surprised when we stopped moving. Looking around I found my self standing out side of a hotel lobby. I could see Morragon inside talking to an older man behind a counter. After a few moments she walked out to me. "I got us a room. Come one."
She walked off and I followed her. "A room? Just one?" Morragon paused and looked at me. "Is that a problem? It's just cheaper if we share a room. There are two beds."
With out waiting for my reply to this she walked over to a stair well and walked up to the second floor. I ran after her and arrived as she opened the door to our room and walked in. When I moved in side I wasn't too astounded by the décor. The carpet was a soft mauve color, with matching wallpaper, even the comforters on the beds went with the trend, only breaking it slightly by adding a little bit of white flowers scattered across them. A TV sat in front of the two beds, right down the center, it wasn't very big but it was better than nothing. Morragon was already removing all of her gear. I couldn't help but stare. She placed the guitar on the bed gently then tossed her large back pack beside it. Then she pulled her coat off with a long sight, obviously happy to have it off. She flopped down onto the bed and untied her boots carrying them into the bath room, I quickly followed suit. No need to track mud all over the place.
I looked back up and stared at the floor. Miraculously not a single bit of mud was on it. This didn't make much sense to me; she had just as much mud on her shoes as I did. But somehow managed not to get it anywhere. I shook my head and quickly dismissed it, probably some reason for it. I walked fully inside and moved into the bath room just as she was walking out, she placed her boots in the sink. They were spotless but very wet. With a sigh and knelt down and turned on the tub, with out much ceremony or care I dunked my shoes into the water. The expensive leather shoes were far gone by then so why bother to treat them gently. After getting all the mud off of them I placed my shoes beside Morragon's.
"Do you mind if I take a shower first?" I leaned around the corner and glanced into the room proper. She was sprawled across the bed spread eagle staring at the ceiling. She gave what looked like a shrug. "Sure go ahead. You probably need it more than me."
She sat up. "Come here. I got some shower things you can use. Unless you want to attempt to wash your hair with a half an ounce of shampoo of unknown origin." Morragon smiled at me playfully. After the day I had her smile made me feel better, at least a little.
I walked over to her side as she dug through her bag. After a moment of hunting she pulled out a plastic bag full of various feminine items. It was everything a lady loved and a man didn't understand, one of those odd poof balls that took the place of a simple wash cloth, some fruity smelling body wash and equally sweet-scented shampoo with matching conditioner. Not to mention a few razors with those weird strips of various different types of "skin conditioners" and pink shaving cream. She held the bag of estrogen laden items to me.
"Sorry I don't have anything more manly for you." She grinned slightly. I think she was getting a kick out of this. Taking the bags with a sigh I wordlessly moved back into the shower. I swear I heard her giggle behind me as I closed the door.
My clothes stubbornly stuck to my body as I peeled them off, I toss them carelessly into a pile in the corner of the room. Naked I turned to the shower and turned it on, it took me far to long to figure out how to get the damned thing to work right, let alone to the right temperature. It never felt so good to take a warm shower before in my life.
I was starting to feel better when suddenly the temperature of the water shot up. I cried out and leapt out of the shower falling on my back legs splayed up in the air. It took me a few moments to recover from my shock. The door I was crumpled against shuddered as Morragon pounded on it.
"Are you ok!?" I groaned and stood up. "Yeah I'm fine. Someone must have flushed a toilet or something." I groaned again and stuck my hand into the water. It was back to the nice warm temperature again.
"Oh, you scared me. I though you were hurt or something." Relief filled her voice.
I looked down at my chest; it was bright red from the heat of the water. It had been so hot I was nearly burned. Grumbling I climbed back into the shower, stubbornly intently on getting clean. Luckily it didn't happen again. The stuff she gave me didn't even smell all that bad. Very feminine but pleasant. After scrubbing fully clean I stepped out of the shower and dried off with what felt like the cloth version of sand paper, that and the towels were barely big enough to cover my self up. I ended up tying two towels together so I could be decent.
Morragon was curled up on her side watching TV; I walked past her trying not to blush. When I arrived at my bed I found a pair of boxers sitting on it. I glanced over at Morragon curiously.
"I hope they fit you." She gave me a little smile and hopped to her feet moving into the bathroom.
I didn't really feel like asking her why she had them and just put them on. I feel fact first into bed and laid there for about ten minutes. It felt nice to finally rest. The water ran steadily for around an hour, she must have needed a shower bad. But I didn't blame her; it felt nice to warm up after such a wet cold day. I felt the past of warm air as she opened the door, I rolled over and watcher her as she walked out.
A small towel barely covered her up. But she didn't seem to mind that at all. She turned her back to me and I gapped. Over her left shoulder a giant scar was half covered by the towel. It looked like some large animal had tried to take a chunk out of her. I could see where its teeth and dug into her skin and ripped back out, it hurt just to look at. My eyes scanned over what skin showed, another scar covered her right shoulder, this one was less frightful but just as painful looking. I'd never known any one who had been shot but seeing the large almost circular scar I could only guess at what kind of gun had caused it. Other scars peeked out around the towel, so many I was afraid to see what was being covered.
She picked up the blow dryer supplied by the hotel and went to drying off her long hair. Wet it looked like glossy brown color. Watching her move made me forget about the scars that covered her, even as I discovered new ones. It should have repulsed me but instead I found my self becoming curious. What kind of life could she be living to so be covered in such marks? She seemed so gentle and wise but her body told of a harsh and painful life. Her eyes told me nothing, they were full of calm the kind of eyes of a person completely at peace with them selves and the world around them. I had a feeling this was just an illusion, an image she hides behind so no one will find out the truth.
Once her hair was dry she moved over to her bed, as I watched her she started to remove her towel. I quickly rolled over blushing. She laughed. "Come now, surly you've seen a naked woman before!"
"Of course I have. It's just… I don't really know you. So I don't really have the right to look." She laughed again. "If you say so."
I heard the bed creek as she climbed in, I tried as best as I could not to look at her. The temptation was too great. It probably had to do with the fact I haven't had a girl friend in over a year. It had been so long since I'd seen a real live naked woman. Before I could give into my temptation the lights when out. I sighed in relief. On one hand I hoped that when I woke this day never would have happened. But on the other hand, that would mean I never would have met Morragon. I knew next to nothing about her and I was already spellbound. I wanted to know more about her, this strange woman who was sleeping peacefully only a few feet away from me.
I sighed and let the darkness take me away. At least this horrid day was over, and tomorrow could only be better.