Tuesday Tales is a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their WIPs based on word and picture prompts. Our prompt today is corn. The snippet is from a paranormal romance currently being reworked and featuring the goddess Epona, who has been injured and cast from her fae realm into the human world. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.
Epona wrinkled her nose at the smell of the so-called gentleman. He reeked of cheap corn liquor and sweat. Stiffening her resolve, she forced herself to remain in his arms as he stumbled around the dance floor with her. “Ouch.” How much longer would her poor feet last?
He slurred the words. “Sorry, doll, didn’t mean to step on your toes.” He hiccupped. “Ah shucks, the music stopped.”
If only he’d imbibe another gallon and pass out cold before his turn came again. The house received ten cents for this? She deserved her weight in gold at least. She heaved a sigh of relief when the dance was over.
“How you doin’, Angel?” Benny eyed her, his bushy eyebrows raised, adding additional furrows to his forehead.
“Fine, thanks, Benny.”
“You don’t have to lie to me, sister. I saw the loon you were just dancing with. Gotta take the good with the bad, though.” He grinned. “Not everyone can be as handsome and charming as me.”
Epona smiled, cringing inside.
Margie sidled up to Epona and Benny. “Mr. Riago just came in.”
Benny straightened up, his face becoming a picture of hostly propriety. He rushed toward the boss.
“So he’s the owner.” Epona took note of a dapper, silver-haired man of medium height whose body language bespoke an attitude of ‘my way or the highway.’ “His suit looks like it cost more than this whole place.”
“It probably did. Gee, he sure is giving you the eye. I wish he’d look me over with such interest.”
“You can’t be serious, Margie. You like the man?”
“Who said I like him? A girl’s got to look out for herself. Damn, another tune’s starting up. See you later.” Margie swirled off into the arms of a short, bald man.
As Epona glanced around for her next partner, Benny and Mr. Riago approached her.
“Angel, Mr. Riago here wants the next dance. Show him a good time, hear?”
Riago gave his hat to Benny and extended his arms with a smile. “May I have this dance, Angel? Charming name for a charming lady.”
Epona nodded and allowed him to enclose her in his arms. An overpowering scent of citrus met her nostrils, followed by a cloying undernote of floral.
“Did your hi-jinks in the ocean result in a cold? Benny said he fished you out.”
“No, it’s the smoke in here. Almost all the men insist on being chimney stacks.”
Riago laughed, a deep, hearty sound. “You speak your mind. I like that.” He twirled her around. “Where are you from, Angel?”
The question caught her by surprise. Wracking her brain, she remembered what Margie had said. “Oh, scads of towns, mostly up north. I like it down here in Florida. The beach…and all the sunshine.”
“Good. I hope you’ll stick around. A woman like you can be a real draw.”