4:00 Diner: Velvet

He was late to get up but he had to. His head was so tired from working late already and it swam and begged for caffeine. So, bitter or not, he headed for the Diner in his mind.

He left his upstairs quarters and nearly fell down the stairs leading to the Diner. Something, again, like Sparky’s visit yesterday had thrown the Diner off. The “Joe’s Diner” sign was, glaringly bright pink and there was a sweet, enticing aroma in the air around the entry way. Someone had also planted some lip marks on the glass of the entry which he thought was very weird but in a cool sort of way.

He reached for the door handle but, before he pulled the door open, he could see she was there…Velvet. “Explains a lot…” he said to himself, knowing who Velvet was and what he was in for once het got inside. He opened the door and stepped in. DeIDre was behind the counter in a lurid red dress with black fringe highlights and make up so heavy it looked as if it had been shot in place with a cannon.

And…there she was. Velvet. The one person he had the hardest time dealing with had decided to make an appearance and, of all times and places, now was NOT the time NOR the place..and she was sittingin biith number 6; his favorite place which he did not appreciate.

As an act of defiance, he deliberately went and sat in the same booth, opposite her and looked her right in her beautiful green eyes. “Like flowing, liquid emeralds”, he thought to himself..”they sweep me away to…STOP IT!” he yelled inside his head. She was already getting to him.

Velvet was, after all, a hard woman to ignore. She wore a very tight, pink runing suit—always zipped down below her bra line (probably to show the color of bra she was sporting; she liked that attention) and a figure that would stop a clock cold. Her hair was the deepest, most glowing shard of red he’d ever seen and she had the face of an angel. She always seemed to show up when he was excessively stressed or tired—she knew when he was lonely too.

DeIDre came over, ash at the end of her cigarette bobbing along without falling, and started the usual “What’ll it be Love?”. “Today.”..he paused..and looked again at ths two emerald pools an the smile of a lover in passion and..”STOP, STOP, STOP IT!” he yelled again. Velvet said nothing. She did’nt usually. She would either wink at him, or play teasingly with the zipper to her top (sometimes sliding it down a little too much) or stand up and come to his side of the booth and sit with him while stroking his hair…she did NOT need words to say anything.

“WHAT’LL IT BE LOVE??” DeIDre said again; becoming impatient, and he finally was able to speak properly. “I’ll have the “Can’t Help Myself” platter with a side of Impulsivity and racing heart sauce…in fact, make it two sides of that will you please?”

“Coming right up”, said DeIDre. “You bet it is” he said in reply….and he looked again at Velvet’s zipper….”STOP IT NOW!” he screamed inside again. He had work to do and no time for play. At that point, sensing he was in a state of pent up confusion, Velvet rose from her seat and…as predicted, came and sat down–actually she slid in–to the side of the booth where he sat.

He was in trouble now and he knew it. His heart begin to race as she reached for his hair and his breathing was out of control; lie he had crossed a desert and was panting for water. She began to draw nearer to him and stroke his hair. His temperature must have jumped 20 degrees by now….

DeIDre returned and said immediately, “Get out of the way, girl!…he needs this not you!”. Velvet slid back out as DeIDre put the mirror and special sauce container that only he knew about close to him so it would be easier to reach.

He was just about to being the inticing experience with Velvet when something big hit the Diner….and hard The lights went out and on again. The entire place shook like a leaf in a thunderstorm. DeIDre was thrown to her backside (which was a considerable feat), and he and Velvet were thrown up out of the booth and into the floor.

“What the HELL was that?!” he shouted…DeIDre looked grim. She knew…and then; it came into the Diner. The door creaked openon a broken hinge and a thick, noxious, and completely black cloud of what looked like smoke but was wet, and oily, slowly flowed into the Diner.

DeIDre and Velvet recoiled. Whatever this was terrified them. Suddenly, two red, glaring spots appeared through the black fog and a voice, like the sound of thunder and snakes said lowly and with power “THIS PLACE IS MINE NOW…YOU HAVE A DAY TO BEGONE…OR YOU ALL WIL NEVER SEE LIGHT AGAIN……..”. The smoke entity lifted two tentacles from the fog of it’s body and grasped the supports of the ceiling. It pulled and the entire Diner rocked, like the cradle of an insane infant; cracking and bending the supports.

Suddenly, DeIDre and Velvet stood to their feet–despite all the tremors and now darkened Diner…the lights had blown out. DeIDre said “You.ll never take this place from me” she said with a voice sounding as cold as a tombstone; “It’s mine and you have no power here”. Velvet folded her arms together and stood resolute; then her entire body, including those emerald eyes, began to glow with a pink light so bright and glorious is cut through the smoke and shot through it to the outside of the diner, It got brighter and brighter until it was as blinding as the sun…the smoke entity flew from the entry–taking the doors with it in a final act of power, and said in a voice much weaker but still full of venom; “ONE Dayyyy leftt…It WILL be miinneee……I’ll return…”

The light stopped and Velvet bent down, her pink top straining against her bosom, and picked him up to his feet. She gave him a stroke o his head and then a gentle kiss, like the kiss of a dove’s feather; and strode out of the diner–she looked tired; but also more inticing from the back than he had noticed.

DeIDre simply dusted off her uniform, which had been torn and even burnt a little, her cigarette ash still intact though; and said to him “Sorry, Love..e have to close for now–have to clean up”. He said in reply “What about what that thing said–about coming back?”

DeIDre replied “Let the bastard come…I’ve got a lot of backup. This is myy place and he wants it–BADLY–but WE will NEVER let him through…not to worry, Love–now off with you!”

He dusted off his coat, straightened his shirt and slowly, shakingly, left the Diner and began his low climb up the stairs to his life. “Tomorrow…”he said to himself. “What’ll that be like; that thing…” but he wouldn’t let himself think anymore about that; it seemed to be a fear thing that he didn’t want to dwell on. He changed his thinking to Velvet’s kiss. And all seemed right again.

At least until tomorrow…..

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