The thick stack of Jacksons on the bar told her two things. That the pink-shirt-wearing-Mexican-beer-drinking asshole didn’t know when to quit and that she was about three seconds away from being able to pay her electric bill on time for once. She looked up at her uncle which was a mistake because she went from bending to caving in the blink of one twinkly blue eye. Who needed light to see by, anyway? “Okay, okay—”
“Hey, Sweet-tits—you gonna answer the question or stand there and jaw with Pops all night,” Pink Polo sneered at her and threw a drunken high-five at his friend.
She felt her uncle stiffen, watched his hand squeeze the yard glass he held, hard enough to crack it. She laid a hand on his arm and smiled up at him. “Can I kick his ass now?”
He dropped a kiss on top of her head and took the whiskey sour out of her hand. “Hurt ‘im, Mavie. Hurt ‘im real good.”
That was all the encouragement she needed.
She leaned against the bar and stood on her tip toes to close the distance between her and Pink Polo. She put her face close, so close she could smell the bottled piss he called beer on his breath. She ran her fingertip along his jaw, urging him closer. His eyes dipped to her mouth and he smiled at her. Must’ve thought he won.
Fat fucking chance.
“If your great-grandfather’s birthday is May twenty-second, nineteen o’two, then he was born on a… Thursday.” She winked at his friend, a frat boy in a Yankees cap and Puka shells—only slightly less drunk than Pink Polo. She lean back, dropped her feet flat on the floor and took the stack of cash with her, tapping the edge of the bills on the flat surface of the bar as she went.
Pink Polo glared at her. “Is she right?”
Yankees cap scrolled through the app on his iphone. “Hold on… wait—holy shit.” He looked up at her. “She’s right.”
The bar erupted into applause. Pink Polo reached for his pocket but she shook her head. “No more. I’m done for the night. Why don’t you and your friend have one on me, okay?” She pocketed the cash and slapped a couple of glasses on the bar and poured them each a finger of Jameson.
Yankees cap downed his shot. “How the fuck do you do that?”
Pink Polo’s hand lashed out and clamped around her wrist. “She’s some sort of retard, that’s how,” he said. The bar went quiet. Shit.
“You might wanna take a look at where you are, boys. This isn’t Vegas and you sure as hell ain’t swilling Martinis at Ghostbar. There’re no bouncers here to break it up before things get nasty… and trust me, they’re about to get real nasty.” She yanked her wrist free. “I think it’s time I call you that cab.”
Pink Polo took a lunge at her but was yanked back and tossed out of his stool. Thad Jacobs. This night keeps getting better and better. The crowd around the bar took a giant step back and watched Pink Polo bounce off the scarred hardwood floor. He made some sort of noise that sound like, “fuckin’ Irish pig,” and that closed the crowd in fast.
“He ain’t Irish—he’s a Jew, you Puka-shell-wearing piece of shit.” Quinn Galligan detached himself from the crowd.
Holy Mary, Mother of God…