So there we were. Me and my best friend, Katie Lynn. Waiting in line to get into Spanky’s, the fancy new dance bar on Fourth Avenue. Per usual, we were decked out. In mini skirts and high heels.
had done our hair that day. Mine was so short it looked like a baby bird’s. Katie Lynn’s hair resembled Billy Idol’s in the front, except it was almost black, not white. But in the back it hung in waves almost to her bra strap. Guess that means she had a mullet, but back then it was cool. Kent
I wiggled out of my shoes. “These heels have to go,” I said. “Least ‘til we get to the front of the line.” I sighed. “Looks like it’s gonna be awhile.”
All of a sudden, Katie Lynn whipped around to face the building. She grabbed my arm, taking me with her.
“Don’t look now, but your brother, Judas, and his pothead pals are headed this way.”
I cringed. “Aw, man! Maybe they won’t see us.”
Unfortunately, Katie Lynn is pretty hard to miss since she’s six foot one in heels and kind of looks like Wonder Woman. Judas paused next to us on the sidewalk. Slid between us and the wall. We brushed our fronts off. In case some of him got on us.
“Evening, lady,” he said to Katie Lynn. He sneered at me. “And girl.”
I glared. He curled his lip. I stuck my tongue out. He wobbled. His eyelids were flying at half mast. I knew what that meant. He fished a roll of Certs out of the front pocket of his Levi’s and unpeeled the wrapper. Bit off the top mint and held the rest out to Katie Lynn. She shook her head and opened her mouth to display her Bubble Yum.
He raised his eyebrows a couple times. “Lucky gum.”
I snorted and crossed my arms. “Ga-ross!”
Judas put one hand on the wall and leaned. A moment later he dropped his arm and straightened, probably because he figured out leaning made him a whole lot shorter than Katie Lynn.
“So, Katie,” he said. “I see you’re wearing your Western bra.”
Katie Lynn squinted. “My what?”
“Your girls,” he said, pointing at her chest. “The bra’s hitchin’ ‘em up and movin’ ‘em out.”
I smacked him with one of my pumps. “You stink, Judas,” I said. “You’ve got so much beer on you, I can’t even smell your Old Spice.”
Judas rubbed his arm and scowled.
I flicked his chin. “Haven’t you figured out yet that when you get high, you develop a mysterious hole in your lip?”
Judas burped and blew in my face. Dangled his pointer finger an inch from my nose. His eyes began to cross as he tried to focus on me and his finger.
“I’ll get you for this tomorrow, you know.”
“Hey, Jude,” Katie Lynn said. “Why don’t you do us a favor and get lost. And while you’re at it, take your Muppet Pals with you.” She flipped her long dark hair in the direction of his friends. “Go find some girls who actually want your company.”
I huffed. “Yeah, if there are any!”
In a second, something changed in Judas’s eyes. The ornery glint got mean. I heard his molars clack together. He took a step toward Katie. And another. I watched her lashes hit her brows.
“You know what I want, Katie Lynn?” he said. “I’ll tell you what I want.”
And he did. I thought I would die. Right there, in front of all those people waiting to get in Spanky’s. He said stuff so nasty my ears curled in on themselves.
Katie Lynn didn’t speak. Didn’t even twitch. I gulped. Nibbled a fingernail. After a minute of silence, Judas started jacking his jaws again.
“And if you were real nice,” he said as his eyes narrowed to slits, “You’d let my buddies watch.”
My mouth fell open and it was like I blinked in slow motion, because when I opened my eyes, Katie Lynn had Judas pinned to the brick wall. His arm was twisted behind him, and she was forcing his fist toward his copper curls. Judas screamed like a ninny and cussed a blue streak, all at the same time.
Everyone around me started clapping. “Woo hoo!” they yelled. “Get him, girl! Kick his butt!”
I couldn't make out what Judas was saying because his mouth was crammed into the bricks. I leaned closer but was careful to stay out of punching range.
“Uncle! Uncle!” he mumbled. He tried to turn his head but Katie increased the pressure on his arm. A whimpery grunt escaped him. “Guys! Help me out here!”
I searched the area. Spied his buddies across the street. They huddled together and kept their eyes on Katie Lynn, ready to bolt if she decided to turn her superpowers on them. Finally, she let go of Judas’s arm. Gave him a shove. He flung his hands out to keep from busting his knees, but his right arm didn’t seem to work quite right and he hit hard. From the ground he threw Katie Lynn one more super dirty look before he scrambled across the street.
I put my fists on my hips and squinted at the pack as they made their way down the sidewalk.
“Run, ‘fraidy cats, run!”
I stepped back in line and adjusted my skirt. High fived the girls who gathered around, giggling and congratulating.
“Those goobers remind me of sand crabs at
,” I said. “They come out at night, but when you shine a light on ‘em, they skitter back in their holes.” Myrtle Beach
Katie Lynn pointed down the block. My gaze followed her finger. One of the flannel-shirted guys had fallen off the curb into the street. Judas and the others gathered him up. I took a dozen steps toward them. Cupped my hands around my mouth.
Judas flipped me off without turning around. I smirked and headed back to Katie Lynn. There she was. In conversation with a tall, good looking guy in a dress shirt with a skinny purple tie. I smooshed my lips together to redistribute my gloss and held out my hand.
“Well, hello," I said. "I’m Dana, and you are?”
He took one of my hands and one of Katie's. “I'm Jonathan,” he told us. “I’m the manager here. I want to personally thank you ladies for dealing with the riffraff. May I escort you inside? Get you a cocktail?”
I bumped Katie Lynn with my hip and let my shoes drop. Stepped back into them and ran my fingers through my hair to re-spike it.
“Why yes, Jonathan. That would be lovely.”