Watching while Lucky and Luc drank at the bar, Charlene sent two of her boy toys off to fetch the Dodge driving stranger. The two boys had been waiting patiently for a lull in the conversation until one of them tapped Luc on the shoulder. Luc turned around to look at the interlopers.
He asked, "Can I help you?”
The first boy spoke, “Ms. Kincaid would like to invite you to join her table.”
Luc turned to look at the entourage at the table and locked eyes with Charlene.
He said, "She owns a little Mercedes convertible, doesn’t she?"
"Yeah, an AMG GT."
"The please tell her I’m not interested." Luc turned back to his drink and his conversation with Lucky, the bartender. The bigger of the boys put his hand on Luc’s shoulder to spin him around. With a single motion Luc bent back the boy’s arm, turned him around and sent him flying down the aisle. Luc turned to the other boy.
"Tell your Ms. Kincaid that’s she’s already cost me enough time and money."
Seeing the commotion, Charlene got up and went to the bar.
As she approached she noticed something odd in the spirit world about the many demons milling around the stranger. There were several that were trying to attach themselves, but none of them could get close to him, not even one demon larger and more ferocious than any she had ever seen.
Charlene came near and asked, "Is there a problem?"
Luc replied, "No problem. But I would like to know how you were able to skate through traffic cop bingo. That cost me a lot of money, lady, I’m still trying to get over that."
Charlene replied soothingly, "I’m so sorry. Let me see if I can make it up to you. My name is Charlene. Charlene Kincaid, and I will gladly buy you a drink and tell you how I did it."
Luc stared into her eyes, momentarily hypnotized before returning to his senses. "Tell me how you did it first."
"Darling, it’s not what you know, or who you know, it’s knowing what people don’t want you to know that counts. This is especially true with policemen and other officers of the Crown. Come, let me buy you a drink for your troubles."
Charlene turned and started walking back to her table. Her tight fitting pencil skirt accentuated the serpentine motion of her movements.
Luc muttered to himself "Well, if you put it that way."
A space cleared for him across the table from Charlene. The boys that approached him at the bar and two more took up places behind him.
Charlene asked him, "So, I’ve told you my name, what’s yours?"
"Pleased to properly meet you, Luc, with the very pretty purple car."
Charlene reached out and shook his hand still marvelling at the demons swirling frantically all around him.
Lucky arrived with a fresh round of drinks and she clinked glasses first with Luc, then with the girls on either side of her. The two girls made a production out of chugging their beer mugs while the others youngsters cheered and egged them on.
Luc pushed back his chair, :Listen, Charlene, this is really not my kind of party. I’m just going to excuse myself."
Charlene rested her hand on his and replied, "Don’t go yet, you haven’t finished your drink."
The boys behind him edged closer to his chair, the biggest one crowding in closest. Luc went to stand up and the big one held him down with a hand on his shoulder. "Ms. Kincaid said she would like you to stay."
Luc doubled the boy over with an elbow to the groin and then reaching up around his neck, pulled his forehead down onto the table with a wet smack. The boy fell, unconscious and fully stretched out onto the floor. Luc stood up from his seat and took the last swallow from his glass, then turned to leave.
As the other boys reacted with shock and turned to confront Luc, Lucky the bartender spoke up "Boys, I’d leave that one alone. He just dropped the biggest one of you without much effort."
The boys paused and then moved aside to let Luc pass. He dropped a twenty on the bar and nodded goodbye to Lucky.
Charlene heard the rumbling bass note of the Challenger starting up before being overtaken by supercharger whine and screaming tires.
She had to find out more about this man with the starving demons.
She had only ever seen one other man totally clear of demons. His name was Ken, an airforce veteran.
She had watched him, at this very bar, trying his hardest everyday to drown the demon attached to his back. Until, one day, he stopped coming in.
She had seen him again on the street with his wife, Janet, loading groceries into the back of his Chrysler. With her spirit vision she saw that the fat demon that had seemed so comfortably hooked on his back, was now frantically trying to reattach itself to feed its starving form.
She saw Ken look back with some longing towards the saloon as the demon bit at him again and again. But as Janet touched his arm to gain his attention she saw something else.
A glowing spirit of love spread from Janet to Ken, and as he returned her gaze that spirit amplified and radiated from both of them. The demon was flung away and had to gather itself before it set back to its futile attack.
Charlene briefly caught Ken’s eye and nodded to him. Even with her cold, dark heart, Charlene still sometimes cheered for the good ones. There were so few of them, after all.