by Shalea Montamez
Georgie nearly dropped the tray of drinks when he walked through the door of the Antic. His white dress shirt and black slacks — complimented by an unruly bun — looked completely out of place for a Texas themed bar. Georgine felt herself drawn to his intoxicating exotic looks immediately.
She saw that he watched her over wire rimmed glasses as she distributed the drinks to the people at table three and then zipped over to him. As usual, her thin lips stretched into a large, toothy grin.
“Hi! Welcome to Antics. Can I get you something to drink?”
He raised his chin. “Evening. May I have Silent Essence?”
Georgie’s smile froze as her blue eyes locked with his own. She had a startling realization; she couldn’t hear his thoughts.
He was a Silent.
After a pregnant silence the man lifted an eyebrow in confusion. “Is there a problem, ma’am?”
Georgie shook her head vigorously, throwing him another false grin.
“N-no sir. We don’t have any stocked at the moment. Is there anything else I can grab?”
One the Silent told her he only wanted a cool glass of iced tea, she suppressed the urge to sprint back to the bar. Why is he here? She wondered. Is he here for me? After a quick glance at him it was clear he was still observing her.
Silents were supernatural creatures. It was a virus that had infected humans, halting the death process at rigor mortis. Therefore, creating cold, stiff, monsters of children’s nightmares. A normal human couldn’t identify one, but Georgie wasn’t completely normal herself. That was one reason she feared them.
They might want her for their own use.
“Dru,” Georgie whispered loud enough to hear over Bob Dylan’s rendition of All the Way. Druselle the bartender’s gaze drifted for a moment to acknowledge the waitress’s presence, while humming along to the music. Druselle herself was a Silent; her only desire was to live among humans. “There’s another Silent here. Table five.”
Stiffness crawled through the air, into Druselle. She ceased humming, all the color draining in an instant. Not even her cherry red lips held their previous vibrance. Georgie’s eyes rose and locked onto the relaxed silhouette of the stranger. Druselle was Sawnem’s only residential Silent. Only Georgie — her most trusted friend — knew of her secret. After all, it took more than one person to run a business on the outskirts of Louisiana.
If this Silent caused trouble, it could ruin business and bring attention to Sawnem from others of her kind.
The two women could not keep their eyes off of the scar the Silent possessed. That was where Silent’s began the process of becoming savages. Druselle’s nostrils flared in contempt.
He winked at her with one shimmering eye.
There was only one reason Georgie and Druselle had grown so close. Georgie possessed a talent — if one could call it that. She could read minds, as crazy as it seemed. Druselle was a peaceful quiet when Georgie listened to her. Not a peep escaped, and it soothed the young blonde. In turn for Georgie keeping her supernatural nature a secret, Druselle protected her.
“He asked for tea, Dru,” Georgie said gently, pulling the redheaded woman’s attention. If she lost her cool, she could reveal her true nature. Georgie understood this only too well. It only took a moment for Druselle to recover. She poured the drink and handed it to Georgie without uttering a word.
As Georgie walked away, Druselle grabbed the blonde. “Thank you.” Druselle stared somberly.
Georgie nodded once. “My duty.” And then she whisked away the other four beverages on the counter.
Georgie carefully balanced the tea in front of the Silent. , as he gazed up from his current read. “I’m Georgine,” she introduced herself unsmilingly. Lowering her voice to a whisper, she expression morphed into a grim resolution. If her cousin Penny was here, she’d soften Georgie’s features like putty.Unfortunately, Penny wasn’t here.
“I’d appreciate it if you’d keep my boss’s secret. We can’t have customers knowing she’s not human.” Her strange change in attitude gathered a few smug guffaws from locals who thought she was just embarrassing herself. They thought she was being as crazy as usual.
With understand written clearly in his eyes, the Silent nodded and gazed thoughtfully at Georgie.
As the two strangers locked themselves in a solemn understanding, Arlene pushed past her leggy, blonde coworker. Arlene was a skinny, pixie cut woman with crows feet and dyed black hair. She smelled like cigarette smoke and booze, never failing to flirt with anything that looked a smidgen non-local.
The Silent was more than enough foreign for her.
“I’m sorry if crazy ol’ Georgie is messing with you, sir. I’m Arlene. Could I serve you instead?”
She fluttered her lashes at the stranger, who stared past her. Arlene wiggled her hips and leaned on the wooden table, but the stranger continued to peer at Georgie curiously. The blonde only pulled her lips into a thin line, narrowing her eyes in caution.
It was a warning to keep his mouth shut.
“Thank you,” he said finally, breaking the tension between them. “I’m Judea.” Then he began to read once again, pushing his wire frames up his nose with two fingers.
Arlene turned purple in her rage of rejection, and stomped away — to the amusement of many patrons. As a forty year old woman, she should have more dignity, Georgie admonished.
As Georgie ambled back, Arlene casted a salted glare.
Druselle let out a rich laugh. “You sure got under Arlene’s skin.”
Georgie sighed. “I didn’t even do anything. She was the one who interrupted me.”
Druselle chuckled. “Arlene is just jealous, Georgie. You’re small, leggy and blonde. She’s gotten saggy and senile.”
Georgie let out a stifled giggle.
As the day came to an uneventful close, Georgie closed the door to her locker as her phone rang. It was just Penny calling.
“Hey, Georgie, you have a visitor. Can you hurry up home? You know I hate playing hostess.”
Georgine laughed. “It’s southern hospitality, Penny. I’ll be home soon, promise.”
With that, she hung up and gathered her belongings, calling out a well deserved farewell to Druselle. The tall red head sighed in relief. “I owe you one, Georgie.”
The blonde smiled warmly at her boss. “Buy me a cup of coffee tomorrow for the early shift and we’ll call it even.”
Georgie parked in front of the old ranch — a now converted house.
Georgie entered through the front door, sighing in content. She placed her coat on the rack, calling out into the lightless hall. “Penny? Who were you talking about? I’m not expecting anyone.”
Georgie felt along the wall, until her fingers grazed the switch and pulled. A pungent odor hit the blondes nose, wrinkling in distaste. Penny had most likely forgotten to take out the trash again, she mused.
As she flipped the kitchen switch, she screamed.
Penny’s body was sprawled out on the floor, her legs and arms bent at unnatural angles. Her mouth was wide open, with open, empty sockets where he eyes should have been placed. Blood painted the linoleum tiles and walls like a gory canvas.
“Help!” she shrieked.
A figure appeared in a flash, making Georgie stumble in fear and slip on blood. She squealed as her fingers met with a sticky, spongelike substance. It was Penny’s pancreas.
The figure hissed at her, barring his stained canines. She knew if she called out, no one would hear. She lived in Sawnem — a nothing town in nowhereville. Tears pricked her eyes as the Silent gripped her chin, his pointy nails digging into her soft skin. Covering her mouth with its cold palm.
“It’s Judea,” he whispered. “Don’t make a sound. He’s still close.”
“Are you alright?” Judea asked, after a quiet, wiping off the remains of Penny off of his jeans. He knelt down in concern.
Georgie was disoriented as her kitchen was covered in the gore of her kin who she had known in her life. Judea grabbed Georgie’s hand, stroking the top with his thumb. His grasp was firm and chilled.
“No,” she mumbled, eyes glued to Penny’s lifeless eyes. “What is going on?”
Judea frowned. “A powerful Silent was here. I felt his presence, and when I arrived, I heard your cry for help.”
Georgine began to feel crystal droplets dribble down her red stained chin. Judea wiped them away. “I shall make you feel better. I will sedate you.”
Judea softly turned her wrist, and placed his lips on it as if to kiss it. His teeth dug in sharply, and she gasped in pain. Soon her eyes began to droop, and her limbs became heavy. When Judea let her go, she watched as the wound healed before her own, weary eyes.
“I’m going to have a scar,” She stammered. Then she collapsed in a puddle of blood.