For some unknown reason, I signed up to write a sweet romance for August for the Summer Reading Trail. At the same time, my internet pal Perry Block complained that the mermayds in “Blood of Mermayds” weren’t Daryl Hannah. So, Perry, here’s a bit of what I’m working on for August:
Perry made a note on his smartphone: Set up store online to sell T-shirt that says Yes, I’m dining alone. He could have one in each color. He could be his own best customer. Maybe he’d give himself a bulk discount. After a moment’s thought, he added: Ties, for formal lone dining.
When the waitress brought his Crab Fest Sampler Platter, he tried to strike up a conversation, but the seaside restaurant was full, and she didn’t have time for more than pleasantries.
Of all the people at all the tables, inside and out, he was the only one alone. Well, people didn’t tend to go to restaurants alone, did they? People didn’t tend to go on vacations alone.
He had lucked out with a table toward the end of the dock outside the restaurant, so he could turn away from the couples and groups and lose himself in the view.
Oops! He’d better pay attention to his plate: A baby potato was rolling across the table. Before he could rescue it, it pitched off the oilcloth and over the side.
An arm came up from the water long enough for its hand to snag the morsel, then withdrew.
Perry froze, certain he hadn’t seen what he’d just seen. He put down his knife and fork, eyes still on the eddy where the arm had — or hadn’t — appeared and disappeared.
He picked up a segment of corn on the cob and dropped it over the rail.
The hand popped up and grabbed it.
He tossed over a piece of fried okra. The hand retrieved it. After a couple of seconds, the hand came up and tossed the okra back onto the deck. He nodded his approval. He didn’t like okra, either.
No bubbles. There are no air bubbles. How can there be no air bubbles? Is it a dead person? Do dead people eat their vegetables so they’ll grow up to be big, strong dead people? Do they eat scallops? Well, not if they keep kosher, obviously….
He flicked a scallop overboard and was absurdly pleased when the hand snapped around it and it wasn’t rejected.
Must be some kid goofing off. No air bubbles is a good trick. Pretty funny.
He picked up his smartphone and pretended to talk into it so nobody would think he was crazy, talking to water with no air bubbles in it.
“Why don’t you come up and join me at the table? I don’t think it’s sanitary, eating underwater like that.”
A pale blob approached the surface. It was a face. A female face. A young, gorgeous, beautiful, sweet, female face, with wide blue eyes, a pert nose and red lips. Her hair was long, blonde, and wavy. She grinned impishly at him.
Is that going well for you?
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Write a scene in a restaurant.