Here you go, number 3 on our fifty word list.
Impaired Driving: 03
The Grandion is a small pub on Aster Street, squashed between a late night deli and an empty store that gets bought and sold every two and a half months. It is not as grand as its name suggests, and does not serve anything fruity, or something that needs a lemon twist, or a cherry on top, and instead sticks to salted peanuts and cold beer. To go along with its wide menu, the Grandion has a healthy variety of seats, ranging from booth to barstool and everything in between. The only thing in between is one out of three banged up, square tables on the floor. The crowd is small if anything, and usually comes in waves after five o'clock on Fridays, Saturdays and, if there's a game, Sundays.
The bar, having come into ownership of two new TV's since the season started, was bustling and warm, full of pot bellies and loosened ties. A poor soul sits at the bar however, hunched over a now warm beer and several empty bowls of salted peanuts. His hair is greying, and there are dark circles under his eyes. If he were to stand up you would see his unhealthy thinness and would have read the defeat his shoulders spelled out. He rapped his knuckles hard on the polished wood of the bar, signalling for another beer.
"I think you have just about had enough for tonight Terry." The owner of the voice was the middle-aged bartender; towel on her shoulder, hand on her waist. She was a tough-as-nails old crone who only softened for her granddaughter, and hadn't had need of a bouncer since she was fresh out of school. Misjudge how hard her fists could fly, and it could mean the end of your drink supply and a cold section of pavement to pass out on. "And I don't just mean the beer, aren't you supposed to be watching your cholesterol?"
Terry pressed his lips together thoughtfully. As the festivities raged on behind him he mumbled a response, watching her from beneath his shaggy mop of hair. "I got fired today."
Terry was not a lucky man. Through school he fit between crowds, always welcome at a table but never for a party/invite-a-friend-vacation/his own graduation party. Well the last one was a bit of a stretch, his father forgot to pick him up from work and only remembered when they brought the cake from the fridge and didn't have someone to blow the candles out, that's all. College went mostly the same, only including dorm roommates that didn't spend anytime in their own bed, being locked out of lectures and burning almost everything he tried cooking on a hot plate. Out of all his education came a temp position at the local agency for ten years (not very temporary, if you ask me). After those gruelling ten years full of plain cubicle walls and scratchy suits, he got himself a job as a construction worker. One of those sweaty men you see holding the stop sign in the heat of the day, until they decide to slowly rotate the pole in their hands so that you can move at a snails pace. He wasn't very good at this job, as others noticed, so he got bounced around a lot until they created a position for him heckling prices down and delivering blueprints.
"But you hated that job" said the bartender, tugging down the towel to wring it in her hands. She always had a soft spot for Terry. His love life was almost non-existent, and they were both aging…
"Yeah but… it paid the bills… Now…" He ran his calloused fingers through his hair for the numerous time that day. "I guess I'll just have to get a job as a janitor and hope no one throws up in the halls, Isabel." He slid off the stool reaching back for his wallet, only to groan. "My wallet…" he looked helplessly at Isabel.
She smiled gently "I'll put it on your tab."
"You don't start tabs for anyone, Is."
"You're not just anyone. Go home Terry."
Terry's luck had caught up with him again. His face was pressed into the glass of his car door, fogging steadily under his beer-smelling breath. The police officer was ordering him to 'sir, if you could step out of the car', and walk in a straight line with his arms our. Of course officer, he thought spitefully. Maybe if this goes well I'll be so drunk that I'll stumble, flail, punch you in the face, and get put behind bars for assaulting a cop. However, his luck was not interested in ruining his life all together, and he managed to walk a wobbly line without flailing, punching, or assaulting
"Could you recite the alphabet backwards for me sir?"
Alphabets were something Terry had been good at while he was still young enough not to have grey in his hair. In college he spent a more-than-is-healthy amount of time in the library. Enough time to learn the aged librarian's first name. Enough time to let her make him Jasmine tea when he stayed at school for another spring break. Enough time to get him an un-official job alphabetizing returned books for less than minimum wage, and tea and cookies after he was done. But she had died one rainy, wet spring evening, drinking tea in the staff room. Alphabets didn't come as freely as they once did with Terry.
As he was being cuffed for drinking under the influence, he thought he felt the hood of the cruiser shake underneath him. Am I so drunk?.. Contrary to his thoughts, Terry soon saw something that explained everything, and could possibly make his night worse.
Terry squinted out of the eye that was not pressed against cold metal, and could clearly make out a large shape. His body was thick and looked to be made out of large cubes. As the monster gave a roar and tumbled back, the streetlamp he tipped over sparked and exploded, illuminating the face of a local villain Cinderblock.
The officer thought so too.
Terry stood in wonder as the brick-brained monster rumbled over to him. With no one to restrain his anymore (he vaguely wondered if running that fast was part of police training) he could easily have stumbled his way to safety, but his knees chose that particular shake of the ground to give way, and soon he was watching a pair of gargantuan cement feet come closer and closer, until his alcohol caught all the way up with him and felt generous enough to knock him unconscious.
Unfortunately, he didn't stay that way.
His vision was blurred. He saw blue. A lot of blue. The exact same shade of blue that Rose-the-librarian's hand-knit, floor-length, button-up sweater was. Accompanied by the same scent of Jasmine that always followed it. Terry, she was saying. Terry wake up. You've got a class in five minutes and I'm not signing for another late slip. Wake up. Wake up Terry. Terry...
"Terry? Terry Walker? Wake up."
He was staring at the ivory-pale face of Raven. Teen Titan for years, Jump City Hero. Revered despite her young age. Not rosy-cheeked Rose, Librarian, Grandmother of one, and server of tea.
"Can you hear me?"
"I think that was an 'I'm in pain' groan. But it could very well be an 'I'm drunk and don't appreciate the flashlight you're holding' groan too. What do you think?"
"Beast Boy get out of here."
"Geeze, I love you too."
"You have caused enough trouble for me today."
"What?! I didn't even try and put pink dye in your wash load today!"
"Go and bug Robin or something."
"Can't. I put pink dye in his wash load today."
"Oh come on, cut me some slack! It was an accident, I swear!"
"Don't yell.Terry, are you okay?"
"How do you know this guys name?"
"Because I can read, moron."
Terry opened his eyes to the agitated banter between Raven and --now kneeling beside him as well-- Beast Boy. Raven was holding his newly received pink slip in her hands, rumpled and wrinkled, and smudged with dirt.
"Your cape smells like jasmine." Terry said to her.
The two looked down at him, surprised.
"Your heard the man Rae. Your cape smells like jasmine." Beast Boy leered at her, rocking forwards on his toes. She shoved him and he fell -pouting- onto his but.
"A friend spilled tea on me." she replied to him reaching around to unlock his cuffs. "I didn't have time to change."
"I knew a gal who made me jasmine tea. Best friend I ever had. But nowadays, jasmine tea is hard to come by. Whoever found some went through a whole lotta trouble for it."
"At least someone appreciates my efforts." Beast Boy grumbled from his place on the ground.
"Listen, the paramedics will be here soon. Do you have anyone they can get a hold of. Relatives?"
"Not really. But I got a friend at the Grandion. They can drop me off there."
"Terry? I thought I sent you home, what are you doing here? Oh god you look terrible. What kind of trouble did you get yourself into?" Isabel rushed around from behind the counter, her worn, blue floor-length sweater flapping behind her. She hastily dropped the empty bottles she had been carrying on the countertop, and hurried to his side. "You're bruised all over." she said, turning his head this way and that. "What in the world happened to you?"
"I just ran into a little trouble."
"It looks like you had a head on collision with trouble. Are you going to tell me about it?" Isabel's eyes finally wandered down to his wrists, purple and bruised, and widened even more.
"How about I tell you over tea."
"Oh all right. You still like jasmine with two sugars?" she disappeared up a corkscrew of stairs, her voice echoing down. When she came back she carried a flimsy box of tea. "Just like Gran used to make it?"
"Just like Rose used to make it." he agreed. "You know... She was always talking about you."
"She was?" Isabel set a mis-matched tea set on the counter. The china patterns were all different, and the paint was chipped on all of them. "What did she say?"
"Well she'd talk about your career plans, being a bartender and all. 'That girl never took no for an answer, especially from a boy'. I heard tales about when you were a kid, and you played in the mud with the boys, instead of dollies with the girls. But you always made time for tea."
"Jasmine tea." she smiled, holding her tea cup. "She kept bugging me that spring. I was done school that year, and she always wanted me to bring her lunch... I think she wanted us to meet. Especially the way she talked about you. She'd tell me you were such a sweet young man, and so shy too..." she looked at Terry over her steaming tea. "I'm sure that if she had a little more time alive, she would have gotten us together."
"Well," said Terry, setting down his own worn mug. "Maybe we should honour her unspoken wishes."
Maybe it'll work this time. Beast Boy thought, dropping the tea bag into a mug of scalding water. Maybe she won't think I poisoned it, and she won't try and dump it down the sink. He watched the bag slowly leak colour into the water, the smell rising into the air. Maybe she'll kiss me...
That wasn't going to happen. With his luck he'd be fortunate not to get it thrown in his face. In fact come to think of it-
"Did you spit in it this time?" Raven was standing in front of him, arms crossed, hood down.
Beast Boy scoffed. "I didn't spit in it last time."
"You just wanted to pour it on me."
"Dude I told you, I tripped!" he said, exasperated, gesturing wildly. "And I mean I did have to go to a lot of trouble to get it you know. I had to pay this smelly old guy like fifty bucks just to find out where they sell it, and then when I make it for you, you try and dump it and how would you feel! That's like the time that Starfire made all of us that giant tamaranian meal that took her, like, all day and then we threw it all up half an hour later-"
"But that was food poisoning. There were bacteria in there that is considered food poisoning everywhere with a health code."
"Yeah but!... she still went to all that trouble. And she started crying when Robin had to run off in the middle of him comforting her..."
"Are you telling me that you're going to cry?"
Beast Boy shot a look at Raven, who was trying not to smirk.
She wasn't very good at it though.
"Fine." he grumbled. "I'll drink it myself." he picked up the steaming mug and tried to flounce away without spilling any. He didn't get all the way around the counter when Raven stopped him.
"You know Beast Boy, that's too much tea for just me. Why don't you get another mug." She almost smiled at him.
So as Raven divided the tea, and Isabel came from behind the counter to sit beside Terry, I'm sure Rose would have smiled from up there, wherever that is, knowing that jasmine tea did more than just soothe away a young teenagers college stress. Knowing that jasmine tea, however hard to find, was worth the wait, no matter how old you are.
Alright so i drifted abit from the main theme, but it's done, and thats more than what i can say for my other stories. i've been busy, and sick and sick some more, and just plain lazy, so progress is slow. I've lost my fifty word list, all i've got is the plot outlines for the first ten on a white board in my room, so it's up to gaara-o-sand to provide me with his copy of the list.
It starts out with some random drunk, so i hope that didn't deter you from keeping on till the end.