Kickin’ Bossa Nova
Brazilian Faye was old enough to be Molly’s grandmother, but Faye was still a curvy old coochie with her bleached hair, thick mascara, and lips slathered in Revlon Fire & Ice. Molly figured she must have been something in her day, still strutting around the pool in a teensy bikini, proud of her Brazilian wax. She was a tough old bird, didn’t take shit from anyone and she made Molly smile. But Faye got lonely because her aged beau, Mort, was always at the track or away on gambling junkets.
“Come with me to Hernando’s tonight, you need to kick some bossa nova,” Faye said, as if they were girlfriends. “You’ve been too quiet, girl. Time to get into some trouble.”
Molly knew Faye sang at Hernando’s almost every night. She supposed it wouldn’t kill her to keep Faye company. Time to meet a new man, shake the blues, start over one more time.
The piano bar was surrounded by wannabes who took turns singing Latin ballads pounded out by a tired pianist whose big brandy snifter invited their tips.
Molly was disappointed that most of the patrons were closer to Faye’s age than hers, but they looked well-to-do and Molly wasn’t averse to marrying rich. Her mother always said it’s as easy to love a rich one as a loser. Mother never took her own advice but that was another story.
The dude who caught Molly’s eye was already glomming her from his table. He wasn’t part of the sing crowd, but when they connected eyeball to eyeball, he ambled over. She checked him out — probably around fifty, twenty years her senior but with a flat stomach and still some hair on his head. Well-dressed, expensive watch and good shoes. She had learned the ten tell-tale signs of finding Mr. Right-On by reading Cosmo. His face was so average she couldn’t say he looked like anyone. He looked like, well, anyone, but he wasn’t bad. His name was Jerome.
So she let him buy her a drink or three, and they hit it off, exchanging the usual blah-blah. He liked that she still wore mini-skirts and boots. He liked her long black hair. He wasn’t shy and seemed to know his way around women. Molly introduced him to Faye who gave him a wary stink eye, but it was her turn at the mic. Faye crooned Quiet Night of Quiet Stars while Jerome ran his hand down Molly’s back.
“I’m a little psychic,” Jerome whispered. “If I can tell you your birth date, will you come home with me?”
Molly snickered. “The exact date and year?” She was confident because she knew she looked a lot younger than thirty. “Where do you live?”
“I have a house in Santa Monica. It’s near the beach; you’d like it.”
Molly grinned, flirting with the idea of a beach house in her future.
Jerome excused himself to the men’s room and when he returned, he dropped a bill in the snifter and said, “Ready to go?”
Molly laughed. “You haven’t given me my birthday yet.”
“No? Didn’t I tell you? December 2, 1950.”
Her jaw dropped. How did he know? Could he truly be psychic? He hadn’t touched her purse or seen her license.
Faye was singing Mas Que Nada when they left. She was a little off key, but not bad. Molly waved. The beat was rousing and Faye was radiant in her element.
Jerome’s house was as promised — a sprawling California ranch, with views of the Pacific from the west windows. He lost no time introducing her to the bedroom and opening a bottle of champagne (albeit Californian). Molly let him undress her, but felt uneasy as things were moving too rapidly for him to be Mr. Right. She was a little high however and pushed her misgivings into the I’ll Think About It Tomorrow box stashed behind her brain.
“You’re very beautiful,” he cooed. “I love your body.” He turned her from left to right as if examining a side of beef. He hadn’t removed his own clothes. He poured a little champagne on her stomach and licked it off. It was cold and ran off onto the fancy bedspread.
“Tell me how you knew my birth date,” Molly said, trying to stall. Her antenna was picking up on something weird.
He cocked his head and laughed. “Easy. I’m a sheriff’s deputy. I just called the station from Hernando’s pay phone and they looked up your license.” He shot her a look that could only be described as pernicious. Cat and canary.
“Now I think it’s time I shave you.” he said bluntly.
“What?” Molly sat up in bed.
He bounded into the bathroom, saying, “Naked as a baby’s ass is truly sexy.”
In no time, Molly got her underwear on, and shrank against the closet door when he reappeared with a straight-edged razor and a shaving cup.
“Please! No!” The noise in her head was like rush hour traffic on the 405.
A sheriff’s deputy probably wouldn’t even be investigated when they found her hairless dead body on Mulholland Drive.
She needed some grit. She remembered Faye’s tough chutzpah, and snarled, “You’re not going to shave me, got it? I don’t even know you. Just take me back to Hernando’s.”
“After I shaved you, I was going to fuck you senseless,” he said, looking petulant and wounded.
Her hands still trembled, but she was now fully dressed, searching for her boots. Jerome hadn’t made a move against her, so she was breathing again.
He cursed and grumbled, “I thought I had your M.O. down.”
They drove in silence and he dropped her at Hernando’s.
Faye was at the mic again. Her lyrics carried across the room “…tall and tan and young and lovely, the girl from Ipanema…” Seeing Molly, her skinny eyebrows shot up in surprise. She smiled widely, her blonde head bobbing, keeping time.
Molly slowly made her way through the crowd toward the piano. She caught a glimpse of herself in Hernando’s mirrored wall. Tall and tan and… what had Faye said? Too quiet? Time to get into some trouble? Check it out! Molly tossed her long curls, lifted her chin and swung her hips to the beat, kickin’ bossa nova with a vengeance.
Beverly A. Jackson’s poetry and short fiction can be found in over eighty literary journals, online and in print. She was the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Literary Potpourri Publishing company, Lit Pot (e-zine), and Ink Pot (print journal and e-zine) until 2006. Currently she is seeking representation for a suspense novel, Blue Lake, and working on a third new novel titled Canyon Flower. Nominated for a Pushcart and a Vera by Jellyfish Review, she has a special place in her heart for this venue. See her blog at www.beverlyajackson.com.
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