He’s a pedestrian-looking fellow, average height, middle-aged, dark hair. Make that a dark hairpiece, Abigale smirks to herself, looking him over. He’s wearing a stupid off-green polyester suit with an ugly brown striped tie loosened at the neck after a full day at work. The new arrival pauses inside the door, his eyes adjusting to the gloom of the lounge as he surveys the space at 8:00 p.m. on a midweek night. Odd contrasting feelings well up within Abigale Godwin. She wants to continue her internal smirking at the dope, enjoying a feeling of…of…not exactly contempt, but perhaps superiority. And yet…she hopes the man will approach her—him, someone, anyone—to help break the aloneness she feels (and fears she may well feel for the rest of her life…admitted or not). Her borderline sense of contempt…it fades as the fellow walks straight up to where she sits at the bar. He places a hand on the back of the chair next to Abigale and inquires: “Buy you a drink?” There’s an impish grin on his face. She is charmed, despite what she was thinking of him only moments earlier. “I’m sorry,” she says, “I just ordered a drink.” She pauses, then forges ahead: “But I’ll buy you a drink.” The grin is still on his face as he responds: “I’m elated…and you’re too kind. May I sit next to you?”
She doesn’t know if his request is simple banter or a genuine gentlemanly gesture, but she smiles and nods toward the chair next to her. “Please do,” she says. He tells the hovering bartender, “Makers Mark and water on the rocks, please,” then turns to Abigale Godwin, formerly CEO of a major high-tech industrial company, and says…“So, what’s a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?” His grin is far wider, and he’s resisting laughter. “Well, well, well,” says Abigale in a musing voice, “a sense of humor! Do you mind if I fall in love?” She’s grinning from ear-to-ear in spite of herself. He switches to diffidence: “Well, um, I…try to try, at least.”
There’s more than a hint of self-deprecation as he slides into the seat next to her and holds out a hand: “Darnell Swann,” he says. She takes his hand and is immediately embarrassed by the words that pop out of her mouth: “Like the bird?” “Hey!” he says in mock-surprise. “There’s a question I’ve never heard before!” They both laugh as Abigale tries to cover her embarrassment. “Two N’s,” he says. “Not the bird…but maybe an ugly duckling.” There’s that self-mocking humor again. Abigale is delighted. “Not at all!” she says. “You look perfectly presentable to me!” I want him to like me, she realizes with a start. The normal dose of internal sarcasm, a form of self-contempt, isn’t flowing strongly through her now, not as it usually is. Someone to talk to! she thinks.
And talk they do.
Algerine Onyx is the nom de plume of an alien "transitioned intelligence" that decided to become a "storyteller-for-humans." Originally of the species "Achron," Onyx is one of several hundred such entities currently loose on earth. To find out more about the author and its original species, the Achrons, read its first book "Achron Kindness" (available on Amazon).