I was inspired today by a creative writing challenge I found on ermilia. The challenge is straight forward – look at the purple martini and see what comes to mind. Here’s what I wrote.
“Here, drink this. It will make you feel better.”
The words were spoken in a soothing tone that caressed the ears. Briny sat perched on the edge of her seat. She looked at the cocktail that had forced into her hand. It seemed innocent enough. “I’m sorry, I never much liked the taste of alcohol,” she said with an embarrassed glance at the man opposite her. He was not bad to look at, she though distractedly. Tall, well-muscled. Wavy, brown hair framing features that were slightly roguish. Under ordinary circumstances she would have allowed herself to lock with those imperious brown eyes all night. Under normal circumstances she would have died from embarrassment over her loose t-shirt and baggy jeans combo. But tonight was not the night for mooning over some stranger like a naïve teen or worrying about her dress sense.
Briny leaned forward to place the glass on the marked wooden table that separated them, free hand catching her loose locks of blonde hair as they swung forward almost ending up in the drink. “Are you sure you are alright?” He asked in that same soft tone. Briny’s freckled cheeks flushed slightly. Quickly she nodded, tucking her loose hair behind her right ear in a nervous gesture. “I’m just really embarrassed, getting caught up in that kind of situation,” she replied, looking at her reflection in the clear glass. Even in the warped reflection, she could see how red her usually striking blue eyes were from crying. “It wasn’t your fault,” he said comfortingly, “after all no one expects to run into one’s boyfriend on day he’s supposable working only to find he’s really seeing the wife and kids.” Briny flinched at his words. While they were spoken in a soothing manner, there was a distinct under current of accusation in them. “That’s why I’m embarrassed!! How could I have not known?” The man smoothly took her hand as she slapped it down on the table. “That’s just it, isn’t it? You didn’t know because he didn’t want you to know,” he said, large hand gently grabbing hers, “Actually, you have been quite lucky. That man, he goes by several different aliases around here. He works in the bars picking women. He butters them up, he gets them to love him, and then, well then he starts borrowing money from them. You may feel like you’ve been cheated but in truth, you’ve been lucky. He’s left a lot of women like you in debt.” Briny’s eyes had widened with shock by this point. She pulled her hand free from his, coving he mouth in speechless horror. She eventually remembered to breath under his relentless gaze, it felt as though he were willing her to understand with his gaze alone. “How do you know this?” Briny eventually choked out. She felt, amongst the horror, shame and grief, a small seed of anger growing. The man had settled back into his chair with his arms crossed in a relaxed fashion. “He’s picked up a few of his victims here. I own the place so I keep an eye out for dangerous factors. A few of his exes have come in looking for him from time to time. Always disrupt business but as what the sleaze does isn’t strictly illegal there’s not much I can do.” The seed of anger had become a roaring fire by this point. The bastard had been asking for money recently, after all. She was suddenly fiercely happy she hadn’t given him a single cent. “Shit,” she swore, biting a thumbnail, “I wish there was some way I could get back at him.” There was an odd smile on the man’s face. “I shouldn’t worry if I were you. To tell you the truth, I‘ve just about had enough of his behaviour myself. He will be taken care of. Have a sip; I wasn’t lying when I said it would make you feel better,” he said sardonically. Briny glanced at the forgotten drink. Maybe a little inebriation was exactly what she needed after all. She picked up the glass, raising it to her lips. “I never got your name,” she paused. The man was eyeing the cocktail in her hands.
“Vejovis.” He replied simply. Briny stared at him, glass still pressed to her lips. Was that a real name? “Sounds like a stage name,” she said, taking a sip of the sickly liquid. Vejovis chuckled softly, clearly not the first time he had heard that response. Briny swayed in her seat. Quickly she placed the cocktail down. Must be more tired than I thought, she supposed, rubbing her eyes. “Sorry, I think I’d better be on my way…” she began to say before keeling over unconscious. Vejovis moved fast, catching Briny before she hit the table head first. “Time to pick her up,” he called into the back room. On cue, a large man in a security uniform entered from the office door. “Shall I take her to the alter room?” he asked expressionlessly. Vejovis picked up the cocktail with a smile.
“Yes, and be gentle with her. She is our precious incarnation of Fraus, after all.” The bouncer nodded and gently lifted Briny’s unconscious form. “I’m not sure I believe she is the goddess of treachery and fraud, Vejovis,” the bouncer stated doubtfully. Vejovis massaged his neck with his free hand tiredly. “Fraus always starts out as innocent. She corrupts so easily. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve healed her, or gotten revenge for her for that matter,” He replied, watching the contents of the glass as he swirled the drink in his hand. The bouncer shook his head and moved to leave. “Don’t go overboard this time,” he warned over his shoulder as he exited the room with the prone woman. Vejovis sipped the drink thoughtfully, “Did you miss ambrosia, Fraus. I’m afraid it always hits you like that the first time. But you really will feel better in the morning; as good as a goddess in fact.” Vejovis drained the last of the ambrosia cocktail and then proceeded to make some calls about a certain conman.