Mucha Bravado

photo Busboy_640x355_conquistadorwc.jpg
Image credit goes to awesome artist, Steve Epting. He’s also an illustrator and he currently works for Marvel Comics.

Green note: La vida loca’s not for me: flying here, being there, mostly incommunicado, barely making deadlines. Worked on this story in bits, still working on it…maybe…

“Bunny! Get your ass out here!”

Bunny jumped, nearly dumped the cocaine piled high in his pinky nail. He lifted it to his right nostril and sucked the powder into his head.

Bunny!

“Jesus, Hanford, can’t you give a guy a moment’s peace in the john?”

“Not when there’s tables need bussing! Tables seven and nine need bussing now! Eight’s coming up, then three and eleven, and we got a line out the door!”

“Alright, alright, just a minute!” Bunny hollered back. He snorted one last nail full of coke, capped the vial and jammed it back in his sock.

“Boy, you better quit jerkin’ off and get on out here or your ass will be in the unemployment line!”

Bunny checked his nose in the mirror and pulled his sleek black hair into a ponytail. He unlocked the door, gave it a violent outward shove and came skittering out.

Hanford jumped back, could move fast for a paunchy little man.

“But I just started workin’ here, boss man!”

“Hell’s fire, boy, you’re one hopped-up son of a gun! Hence the name ‘Bunny’ eh?”

“That’s not it, boss,” Bunny said. “It’s on account of my gift to women, if you catch my drift.”

“It sure ain’t on account of your brains, working a busboy job.”

“Are you kidding? I got an IQ of 145.”

“Sure you do,” Hanford said. “Now get on out there!”

“Seriously, boss!”

Hanford lunged at Bunny. “Git!

Bunny ran away laughing, grabbed a bus tub on his way past the kitchen and strode into the dining area.

He headed for table seven and began clearing it. A plate slipped out of his hand and he grabbed it just in time to buffer the noise of it hitting the other plates in the tub.

Bunny shot a glance at the couple at table five to see if he’d disturbed them, but there was such intensity there, a tension that seemed unlikely to be broken even by a stack of dishes crashing.

The man’s face looked haggard but his hands were on fire. The index finger of one hand repeatedly jabbed at the paperwork in the middle of the table while the other gesticulated angrily. And his voice, though low, was fierce, spitting, barely under control.

The woman sat quietly, her shoulders sloped and her hands lay limp in her lap, as if she had no energy to do anything more with them, ever. Only her lovely, watery eyes gave expression to her soundlessness.

Bunny rushed his full tub back to the kitchen, grabbed an empty on his way back to the dining room and began working table nine. He couldn’t keep his eyes off the doe-eyed woman, kept stealing pieces of her in glances. She looked so perfect and sepia-soft, so delicate of frame and mind. Bunny’s heart cried for her. He wanted that heartless dirtbag of a man to hurt as much as she did.

Bunny felt anger heat his head. He ran another full tub to the kitchen and came back to table eight where he could get a closer look at the goings-on. He loaded the tub as quietly as he could, collected bits of the dirtbag’s cutting words.

The papers turned out to be a first draft of a divorce petition, and Bunny watched Dirtbag keep pushing them toward his doe-eyed wife, insisting that she read them, add input. She wouldn’t touch them, and Dirtbag looked like he was fixing to blow a gasket.

Bunny ran his tub back and returned to table three, ready to nail the guy to the wall if he started any trouble. But Dirtbag had crumpled. He was now a hunched mass, elbows on the table, head in hands, fingers threaded through salt-and-pepper hair.

Doe-eyes sat forward and took up her water glass in a delicate hand. Bunny watched the sensuous way she brought the glass to her sweet, full lips, watched them receive the glass’ edge and melt against it. He’d seen that before, just like that.

Bunny went through a catalog of actresses in his mind, trying to place her moves. He watched her set her glass down softly. Then she reached her hand toward Dirtbag and touched his arm. Bunny braced himself.

Dirtbag lifted his tired head, looked at her, quizzical.

“I’ll have nothing to do with this paperwork because I’ve done nothing wrong,” Doe-eyes said.

Bunny’s heightened, vibrating senses all funneled into her soft, sad voice. He’d heard it before. He went back to his mental catalog of actresses. Dirtbag said nothing. Doe-eyes spoke to him again.

“I swear I’ve never been unfaithful to you, Charles, and I will not admit to an offense I didn’t commit.”

“That’s it!” Bunny said aloud. He rushed to the couple’s table, said to Doe-eyes, “I know you!”

Doe-eyes looked appalled. Charles sat erect, prepared to defend.

“Just who do you think you are?” she said.

Bunny winked at her. “You don’t remember our Spanish Fantasy?”

“How dare you invade our privacy with your ridiculous—”

“I dare no more than you,” Bunny said. “I believe it was a ‘well hung conquistador type’ you asked for when you called the escort service, and naturally they sent me.”

“Do something, Charles!” Doe-eyes snapped.

Charles stood up, got eye-to-eye with Bunny. “You’re way out of line, sir. Leave us now or I’ll get you fired.”

“No, seriously, I know her! She’s Amora, got a blue butterfly tattoo on her left hip!”

Charles turned to Doe-eyes, raised an eyebrow. “Amora?”

She flushed bright red.

“Finally, that vulgar tattoo has paid for itself as a handy identifier,” Charles said.

“No!” Doe-eyes cried. “It was a lucky guess!”

Charles snatched the papers from the table. “My attorney will be in touch,” he said and walked out.

Fin

Read an alternate ending to this story here.

FridayFlash
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21 responses to “Mucha Bravado

  1. Haha!! Good ol’ bunny, keepin’ an eye on the situashun in case the lady needs some help, an’ when sticks his oar in… well, he makes waves of course.

    I bet “Amora” wishes they’d gone somewhere else to discuss that divorce, anywhere but there. :)

    • Love the right-on phonetics, Steve! Bunny, he must have as many oars as a rowing team, and “Amora” she’s a reg’lar wave-makin’ mo-chine! Choppy waters for the convergence of multiple fortunes. Had to be destiny :-D

    • Wasn’t it! I’m thinking it was a win all the way around, especially in the comeuppance department!

  2. Regular guardian angel, that one. At least if he’s half as good as he thinks he is, she got a decent night out of it.

    I hope we get treated to some further adventures from Bunny. He feels like the sort of character that can get painted very quickly, and yet you can spend countless episodes learning about.

    And having known a couple of Mensans, I can totally believe he has an IQ of 145 and buses tables.

    • Great comment, Katherine, good and true points, all! Bunny was easy. You put it perfectly.
      I know he’s got a whole lot to offer, entertainment-wise. In that regard, and the fact that he’s incorrigibly full of big ideas and bullshit and he has some “loser” in him, he reminds me of a more virile version of Sam Rockwell’s Chuck Barris.
      He could very well be a daft Mensan.
      And yes, prime for an encore : )

  3. Ha I like Bunny and his bravado! I guess doe eyes didn’t count of being recognised ^_^ Nice story.

    I spotted a little typo for you I think “Sure you do,” Hanford said. “Not get on out there!” Should Not get on out there be Now?

    • I’m glad you liked Bunny! He’s a right piece of work, easy to create, so a great on-the-fly kind of character. Of course the trouble with on-the-fly is missing typos, so thank you so much for apprising me of that glaring one!

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  5. Of the conquistadorish choices offered by Francisco Pizarro…”Friends and comrades! On that side [south] are toil, hunger, nakedness, the drenching storm, desertion, and death; on this side ease and pleasure. There lies Peru with its riches; here, Panama and its poverty. Choose, each man, what best becomes a brave Castilian. For my part, I go to the south.” Bunny and Amora appear to have taken the high road.

    • Yup, no line in the sand for them – it’s all just one big, seamless beach! Thanks for coming by, EllaDee – you always have some cool bits that either refresh my sorry memory or enlighten me : )

  6. Ooh, ooh, ooh, I Like it. How the tables turned there in the restaurant!

    I love the term skittering…I must go for a skitter myself. I wondered on the “Bunny” moniker, nice call there.
    This line…”Only her lovely, watery eyes gave expression to her soundlessness.” Beautiful and had me softening also to this veiled, butterfly collector. The ink on her canvas, her betrayer.

    • Oh I’m glad you liked it, Miss Jules.
      So you got the Bunny connection sorted… I bet there’s a better British bit of slang for it, as I’m inclined to think you guys have far more entertaining expressions than us Americans!
      Loved your last couple of lines. Made me want to skitter : )

      • I think we’d just say “e’s a bit ov a lad!” or “A walking hormone” or “He’s dipped his wick more times than a hobnob in tea.” I don’t think we have a particular slang reference! If I was being the fine mouthed, upper class bint that I am, then I’d say he was a Lothario or Romeo :)

    • Funny you should say… I considered writing one more line, something like, “As soon as the restaurant door closed on Charles’ heel, Bunny turned to Doe-eyes. ‘So, you wanna go out?’” but I left it down to his coke habit. Thanks so much for having a look over here, Icy : )

  7. Oh snap, sympathy for her got done in a blink! Bunny is a funny, with his IQ ( cause I totally believe someone called Bunny. And who wouldn’t!) , sharp memory and mucha bravado there, quite the character. He held that situation pretty nicely. I’d be happy to see him again, seems like he’d be a more extensive in development character, which is also fun I think. Great flash this week, Miss Alister!

    • Mucho gracias, Cindy. There’s not much think-work to this one, just pure fun! I do agree with you and Katherine, that Bunny would be a welcome repeat offender, prime for voluntary unfolding and, in turn, a sure source of continued merriment : )

  8. Working in kitchens for a number of years, I know people just like that. Some of the things I have seen and been present for are enough to amaze.

    Would not surprise me in the least to see this happen in many of the restaurants I have worked in.

    • Oh I believe you in a big way, I’ve seen just enough to know you’re right on! Restaurant people, hairdressers, theatre people…seems any who work weird hours to please the pubic in a creative sort of way, they can be anywhere from a bit Bunny to barking mad! Thanks for coming by, Jon : )

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