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Old 10-02-2009, 11:10 AM   #12
MaMiller
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Today, I'll introduce you to the eccentric crew at O'Flanagans Inn in Victory Cove, Maine

...from Widow's Tale

Serena reached across the bar to swipe under Coop’s mug, throwing a fresh napkin down beneath it.

"Rena, honey, can you get me anothah?" Harriet Morgan’s voice boomed from the far end of the L-shaped bar.

Harriet exhaled into her clenched fist, wriggling her fingers to entice circulation. As she approached, the woman nodded at Cooper and then unwound her scarf to reveal a hefty secondary chin. "You didn’t pick up those extra traps, Coop."

"So you closed your tackle shop," he muttered, "and came down to O’Flanagans to bring ‘em to me?" Coop’s narrowed eye caught the twenty-ounce mug sitting before the robust woman. "And the thought never occurred to you that you might tip back a few while waiting here."

"I don’t need your sorry ass as an excuse. You know damn well I got me a keg undah the counter at the shop." Harriet’s cheeks were unnaturally rosy, and in just the right light, her gray hair appeared blond.

"Weathah’s hell out there today," Harriet rambled on. "I ain’t got no business, so why not come down and drink in good company." She tipped her head at Serena.

Coop snorted as some of the white froth caught on his mustache. "Well, I’m flattered, Harriet, I really am, but the missus has been good to me." A quick grin flashed a golden tooth. "I’ll die a loyal man."

"I ain’t talking about you, Bittyfield, so shut that mouth before I come over there and shut if for you."

Serena laughed. It felt good to watch Cooper and Harriet in their verbal volley.

The door to the tavern opened. Wind penetrated the bar, propelling napkins off the polished surface to spiral in erratic bundles on the floor. For a suspended moment a shadowy stranger stood eclipsed by the harsh sky outside. The door slammed shut and left the brooding figure to glare at the proprietor of O’Flanagans.

"Well, if it isn’t the grieving widow."
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