Thank you for stopping in to read my #fridayflash. I posted a portion of Roger and Dani’s story a while ago, on my former site The Other Side of Deanna, but it was more of a character sketch (of Dani) than a story. This is the beginning of Roger and Dani’s story. It is rated PG according to my standards.
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Roger and Dani, by Roslyn Fain
Danielle O’Malley, a petite, but strikingly regal young woman, stormed out of the pub, yelling, “I don’t give a damn who hears me Hank, do you hear? I don’t care!” She jerked her apron off and threw it to the ground, getting it caught on the threshold when she tried to slam the flimsy screen door.
As she kicked at the apron, trying to loosen it from the nail it’d gotten snagged on, her sundress got caught on the tear in the screen. She held still a moment and released a heavy sigh, then jerked the dress free, hearing it rip and not caring.
It appeared she had calmed down, but then she gave Hank a few last words, “I absolutely will not put up with those skanky old men trying to grope me any longer, I quit!” With that she kicked the door, (intending to kick it shut but only succeeding in making it rattle in its frame), spun on her chunky-heeled cowboy boots, and stomped away, scattering gravel in her wake.
Roger had been about to enter the bar and almost got his nose broken when Dani had banged the door open. He’d taken a couple steps back and watched while she unleashed the tirade. Now she was marching towards the dirt road, oblivious of Roger altogether.
He stood helpless for a moment, unsure what to do, looking from the door to Dani, from Dani to the door, and back again. He took hold of the door handle and pulled it open, then, hearing her muttering curses on poor Hank, (not so much under her breath), he let the door close and followed her, cautiously as if tracking a bear.
“You all right?” he said, still a safe distance away.
She stopped and turned towards him so fast he instinctively held up his hands, as if in surrender. “Whoa, whoa, whoa,” he said, “I’m not Hank, I’m just a stranger.”
“Yea, well,” Dani said in a low voice, “You’d better be glad of that.” She stared at him a moment before turning back to the road and continuing on her way. At least she was no longer stomping.
Again Roger was unsure what to do. He really didn’t want to get involved in a situation that was none of his business, but something about the spit-fire of a woman drew him toward her, he felt compelled to keep her in sight.
“Hey look,” he said, still hanging far enough back to step out of the way should she come charging with flying fists, “I was just going to get a drink, you wanna join me?”
She stopped, but didn’t turn around. Roger stared at her back. She slowly swiveled. “In that dump?” she laughed.
“Well yea, that’s where I was going, but, um, seeing as how you most likely don’t want to go back in there we could go somewhere else. Jake’s maybe.”
Dani looked at him a bit closer then, taking in his tall, athletic frame, his dark Cherokee features, the wariness in his close-set eyes, which reminded her of a died-down campfire. She thought no, I’d best not, but she nodded, almost as if she were no longer in control of her neck muscles. “Yea, sure, why not,” she said, and with a vigorous laugh that caused her red-gold curls to bounce about her shoulders, “long as you’re paying.”
If Roger had known then what he knew now he would’ve let Dani keep on stomping down the road.