Posted by: Thomas Drinkard | August 7, 2013

Another Non-Action Scene from A Thriller

These scenes are from Overload.  They serve to further introduce the principal protagonist and lighten the mood .  The enigmatic  Frost is the  protagonist of the book; a former Special Forces intelligence and operations man—as a description of him in the book says, he is, “a minimalist with words. Each word or phrase he offered wrapped a thought like paper enclosing a package—good or bad.”

The next morning, precisely at 10:30—midmorning, he’d said—Sharon lit up my intercom light.  
 “Hey, Boss, Mr. Frost is on line one. Is he the guy who nailed those druggies who were hanging around your house a year or two ago?”
 “Him.  Put him through.”
 “Mike, will lunch at Crazy Johnnies be good? One O’clock?”
 “Fine, I’ll be there. Get a table on the porch if you get there first. It’s still cool enough and that’ll give us more privacy,” I said.
 “See you there.”
 Sharon tapped on the door and came in my office.
“That man who just called, Mr. Frost, is he coming here?”
“Not right now.  We’re having lunch over in Fat City, at Crazy Johnnies.  He may come back with me.  Why?”
“He’s friendly, but kinda scary.  He’s kind of dangerous-good-looking.  Really polite and quiet, but when he turns those gray-green eyes on a woman, she gets the idea that he may know what color of panties she’s wearing.”
“Wouldn’t know.  Never wore panties.”
“Ahhh, you know what I mean though, Boss.”
“Yes, I do.”
“I hope you can get him to come by.  Sarah hasn’t seen him and I don’t think she believes me,” she said.
“I’ll do what I can,” I said.
Sharon treated me to a big grin and a wink.  I knew she wouldn’t cheat on her husband but when she went out the door she gave her shapely butt an extra wiggle for me.  An old buddy once taught me a fine bit of philosophy, “Never screw the help, it makes them uppity.”  Good advice.
Her remark about Frost wasn’t unusual. He affected men that way, too—though not with the panties.  Women took his gaze as sexual. Men often reacted by either distancing themselves or being obsequious.
I got to Crazy Johnnie’s about a quarter to one. Frost sat at a table just around the corner from the entrance, on the left side of the porch. When I came in sight, across the street, he hoisted his mug in salute and pointed to one across the table.
“Mike. Have a beer before lunch.  Maybe we’ll order another with the steak tip sandwiches.  I already ordered.  Best thing on the menu.  Know you like them anyway,” he said.
I sat down with him at a table for four.  He’d turned it so that we could sit across the table from each other and still see the porch, sidewalk and street.  Neither of us was comfortable with our backs to a crowd or door.
The beer he’d ordered for me was right.  Abita Amber in a frosted mug. It hadn’t been outside very long, ice was still sticking to the glass. We sipped in silence for a minute or so.
“Can you go to Johnny’s tomorrow? I said.
“He needs me, yes.”
“Probably needs both of us,” I said.
“What’d he tell you?”
Before I could answer, a waitress came.  She was probably a college student earning a few bucks.  Short auburn hair, white shirt open a couple of buttons to proudly display the freckled tops of ample boobs.  The short skirt showed shapely tan legs.  She put our sandwiches down.
“Is there anything else y’all need?” She said to Frost.
“Not just yet. Check back. May need some more cold beer.”
She flounced away, only looking back over her shoulder once.  She was certain he knew the color of her panties.

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