Fun Fictional Distractions
It was about 2pm, really early for anyone who bartends, and really quiet, too. That's what Charlene loved about this time of day. Everything was clean from the night before, and no one was here yet. It would be another hour or so before the regulars would start wandering in, or so she thought.
The doors were still locked, and her ears perked when she heard a knock. Who would be looking for cheap beer this early? Through the glass, she saw a human man standing between two wolves, all three of them in black suits.
"What the hell?" She muttered.
She had a bad feeling about this, but this guy was looking her in the eyes with stolid don't-try-me face. She used the key to unlock the door.
"Agent Sanders, Department of Homeland Security," the man said, slowly barging his way into the partial opened door.
"What's your name, please?" He said, turning to look at the bobcat lady, who was scowling at him nervously.
"Charlene," she said softly. "What do you want?"
"We're looking for a reptile, Argus Dale. Do you know him?"
"I don't know everybody who comes in here," Charlene said stiffly.
The man shot a sideways glance at one of the wolves, who nodded back.
"Well if you do run across Argus," Sanders said, "We need to ask him some questions."
Charlene startled a little as Sanders reached into his inner jacket pocket. To her relief, he pulled out a business card.
"Call this number if you have any information, please."
Charlene nodded as she took the card, looking down at it. She looked up at Sanders.
"Why? What's going on?"
"It's part of an ongoing investigation," Sanders said, standing a little taller and stiffer.
Charlene nodded. She hoped he couldn't see that she was shaking a little.
"Okay," she said, "I gotta get ready to open."
She was being very careful to keep eye-contact.
Sanders nodded to the wolves, who turned and walked away from the door. He followed them, and Charlene for her best to close the door slowly behind them before locking it.
She took a long, deep breath and leaned against the door a moment. The three agents got into a black ground vehicle in the parking lot. Charlene watched, hoping they would leave, but they didn't. Unconsciously, Charlene put a hand to her chest. She turned and went back behind the bar, to the register where her phone was stashed. She opened a messaging app, activated voice capture and said,
"There's feds here looking for you. I don't know what you're up to, you sonova bitch."
She hung her head and sighed.
"Be careful out there, okay?"
She hit send.
She stalked to a window, ears down, and peaked over the ledge. Still there. She sighed loudly.
"Why, Argus," she said sadly, angrily, "why....."