Once in a Blue Moon: Part 2

  • January 29, 2288

    I think I’ll never get tired of walking into Diamond City. The “city” was still a shithole but at least every time I walked in it was becoming my own shithole faster and faster. Of course, the city was resisting. Hell, someone had already started to build a new shack on top of the scorched ruins of Piper’s place, as I made my way there to see what was going on, the local priest walked outside and declared:


    “Shame, isn’t it?”


    “What is? The ruins or the lack of respect?” I turned towards him. He was an old black man of many faiths and very little loyalty. Truth be told, this was the first time we ever talked.


    “Both.” He sighed, “Everyone knew Piper would meet a bloody end, I guess the mayor just hoped she would come across it outside of town.”


    “A bloody end? I thought she burned to death. Something about an oil lamp spilling onto some old paper.” I replied, faking my best innocent act as I pulled a cigar from my pocket. Where the hell was Silvia?


    “That’s what the mayor likes to tell people, yes.” He adjusted his habit and looked at me; “Want a light for that?”


    “Sure” He took out an old lighter and lit my cigar. Bloody thing probably belonged to some pre-war priest. Fucking thing had a picture of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus. Virgin my ass. That bitch was one hell of a scammer.


    “I’m surprised you managed to get hold of one of those; the city has been on lockdown ever since that Suit guy rounded up his gang of raiders and embargoed the place.” He said as I felt his eyes sizing me up. He had his suspicions. Not that much of a problem. Piper did too.


    “Raiders? You sure, these guys seemed a lot more civil.” An arrogant smile managed to slip past, “A bit old school perhaps, what with all the suits and Tommy guns, but at least they’ve got better taste in decor.”


    “I won’t argue that, but a raider’s still a raider to me. Doesn’t matter whether they like their art deco to be of the bloody variety or not.” He spat on the ground in front of my feet. Brave motherfucker! “As long as you point your gun at someone to take their livelihood, you’re a raider to me.”

    “Then what, my father, do you call the guards in this here “city”?” I took another sip of my cigar. It was getting bloody cold out here. Was she really gonna have me wait till the bloody moon was out?


    “They’re here to protect us, even if some of them do get overzealous.” He stared at the bits of blackened metal and burnt wood across the street. “Don’t you think it’s odd no one heard any screams that night?”


    Oh, there was plenty of screaming alright. Just none during the fire itself. I almost grinned at the thought. Sly bastard of an oldtimer probably got a kick out of it.


    “Girls were probably fast asleep.” My turn, “Or already dead.”


    Before I could get an answer out of the old priest, the radio sitting on a small coffee table next to his door started prattling as the local host announced the next song. Blue Moon, by Billie Holiday.


    “Love this song, don’t you?”


    “I would be lying if I said I didn’t, my son.” He grinned, “I think your lady has arrived.” He pointed at the slender figure of Silvia approaching us.


    “How did you know I was waiting for her?” I replied.


    “Nowadays only people in love take the effort to put on a suit like yours.” He smiled and then turned towards Silvia as she slung her arm around my waist. Her fingers tasting my behind. “I would watch out with this one, miss. Has a nasty smoking habit and word goes around that he’s a bit of a gunslinger.”


    “Oh, I certainly count on it, my father.” She smiled, “Would you excuse us, there’s a table in the upper stands with our name on it.”


    “Of course.”


    I tipped my hat to the priest in farewell and made my way up the stand with Silvia by my side.


    “You’re late,” I whispered into her ear as we passed the elevator leading into the mayor’s offices. The idea that the bastard would have a better view than me until I blew up the Mass fusion tower, was kind of disgusting.


    “I’m sorry dear, here I was believing you were French. So, I thought I would be here first.” She replied, in a similar hushed tone. “Anyway, why are we whispering? Afraid I’ll give away you’re the one responsible for the shortages?”


    “No, I know you can keep a secret. What you can’t keep is my wallet.”


    “You’re no fun” she pouted as she returned it to me. She was wearing an outfit similar to what she wore last night. A beautiful dress under a ragged fur coat, she fit right in with the stands. That said, her bowler hat sort of clashed with the rest of her outfit.”I thought we were going to have some fun tonight.”


    “Business first, pleasure second. And believe me, the sooner we’re done here, the happier I am.”


    “What makes you think we can’t do both at the same time?” She rested her head on my shoulder and began humming the tunes of Armstrong’s “La vie en rose”.


    Cooke called his place the Colonial Taphouse. I had never been there before; the Mayor’s guarantee of good conduct and all of his grease was not good enough for the upper standers. Today was different; I had bled them and their city dry. It’s difficult to pay for guards when you have to pay Rook’s food prices. Especially if you’re into deathclaw steak and omelettes. Besides, Wellington, Cooke’s Mr Handy waiter, was hibernating in a charging pod, turned out there wasn’t a whole lot of demand for cold beers on the terrace in January. Who would’ve thought?


    “So Silvia, how do you want to do this?” I asked my companion as we approached Cooke’s front door.


    “We just have to ensure he doesn’t sleep with Paul’s wife again.” She declared.  “Paul isn’t the kind of guy who would like to have a death on his conscience but other that I think there’s space for a bit of creativity.” Her eyes glistened playfully. “Let’s improvise a bit!”


    She opened the door, took me by my arm and rested her head on my shoulder. I missed having a beautiful woman by my side.


    The taphouse was a simple space with brick walls, a long bar and several tables. Old, tattered paintings were plastered onto the walls to imitate a sense of grandeur; A useless effort. But, everything considered, the place was cosy. In a corner, a jukebox was playing “Take Five” by Brubeck. Several patrons had gathered around tables to play cards, enjoy a cigar or drink something far more enjoyable than that swig the Russian downstairs sold. Despite its rustic flaws, it reminded me a lot of the kind of shady place you would see in the old movies. I liked it.


    Henry Cooke stood behind the bar, cleaning a glass as we approached.


    “What will it be? Mr Lafoy, right?” He asked, leering at us from under his old hat. He knew who I was but seemed puzzled by Silvia. I couldn’t exactly say why though. Did they know each other?


    I nodded, “As long as it isn’t Moonshine or Mirelurkz related, I’ll have some.” I laughed.


    “Can’t say I blame you, sir. And for the lady?”


    “One green fairy please,” Silvia replied, ordering a glass of absinthe.


    Cooked acquiesced and took two bottles off the shelf behind him. As he started pouring us our drinks he apparently couldn’t help but foster his curiosity.


    “Mr.Lafoy, I don’t believe we ever officially admitted you up here,” He smiled, “So, I, for one, would love to know what your business here is tonight?” Straight to the point. A very fine man.


    “A friend of the lady told me he’s looking for a ring. He says you’ve been eyeing it a bit too often lately.” I smiled. Going straight to the point is fine and all but sometimes I just don’t feel like it.


    “I’m sorry, but that doesn’t ring a bell.” He laughed at his vile attempt at humour. “What is this friend of yours called, Milady?”


    “Paul, his name’s Paul.” She smiled like a vixen, then took the glass of absinthe from the bar and toyed with it while things fell into place.


    “Oh,” Henry paused, “That ring.”


    “I see you finally understand our predicament here.” I took my glass and took a sip. It tasted a bit like whiskey but sweet. It wasn’t really my cup of tea but it wasn’t too bad either. “What’s this anyway?” I asked, “Whiskey on the…” I looked at the bottom of the glass where I found something that could only be described as cancerous blueberries. “The rocks?”


    “It’s a dirty wastelander.” Silvia declared, “Kind of appropriate isn’t it?”


    I smiled and watched Henry shrivel ever so slightly before reshaping his composure.


    “You can tell Paul that I won’t touch his wife again. Next time he has a grievance, tell him to grow some balls and ask me himself.”


    “Perfect” We declared in unison.


    “Now, unless you want to enjoy another drink I would love it if you two could kindly fuck off.” Henry clearly wasn’t used to this kind of intrusion. Turns out someone walked into town that’s not afraid of him. Too bad.


    “Fair enough.” I declared. I turned to look Silvia in the eyes. “Now that business is over, let’s dance shall we?”


    “Oh, I would love to.” Excited she dragged me off my chair towards the jukebox. Someone was getting impatient. “I thought you would never ask.”


    She stared at the music selection on the jukebox for a while before that all too familiar Mona Lisa smile suddenly appeared on her face.


    She pushed a handful of buttons and the machine started sputtering a song I wasn’t too familiar with.


    I looked at her puzzled, she smiled and took my hands. “Follow my lead.”


    “Not for free. What song is this anyway?” I smiled as I assumed the leading role.


    “I’ll give you a hint; the man’s a legend back east. Some say a god.” She said as if it was some tongue-in-cheek joke I ought to know about.


    But, the voice that started singing told me everything I had to know. “The Lady loves me” by Elvis and Ann-Margret. I think it came from some old movie I never cared to watch.


    She loves me, she loves me not

    She loves me, she loves me not

    She loves me, she loves me, she loves me


    As the tempo increased, Silvia took the lead again and we embarked on a slow wing. As we moved, her rosy scent filled the room.


    The lady loves me and it shows

    In spite of the way she turns up her nose

    I'm her ideal, her heart’s desire

    Under that ice, she's burning like fire

    She'd like to cuddle up to me

    She's playing hard to get

    The lady loves me, but she doesn't know it yet


    As the song went on I couldn’t help but smile. This wasn’t that bad.

    -The gentleman has savoir-faire

    He does indeed. I smiled...

    As much as an elephant or a bear


    -I'd like to take him for a spin
    Back to the zoo to visit his kin
    He's got about as much appeal as a soggy cigarette
    The lady loathes him but he doesn't know it yet

    My smile widened; “Very funny, Fox”. She bit her red lips, trying to contain her laughter and as we danced she started singing along to Ann-Margret’s lyrics.

    The lady's got a crush on me.

    -The gentleman's crazy obviously

    The lady's dying to be kissed

    -The gentleman needs a psychiatrist
    I'd rather kiss a rattlesnake
    Or play Russian roulette

    The lady loves me, but she doesn't know it yet
    She's falling fast she's on the skids

    -Both of his heads are flipping their lids

    Now that’s just rude. At this point, I had found myself singing along with Elvis. What a woman won’t do to you.

    Tonight she'll hold me in her arms

    What about now? I thought as I tried to pull Silvia towards me, an all telling grin on my face. She evaded my attempt and continued our little dance.

    -I'd rather be holding hydrogen bombs
    Will someone tell this Romeo
    I'm not his Juliet

    A lot of the dancing to Elvis’ songs was a bit grotesque in my personal opinion, but it was hard to deny I wasn’t having fun.

    The lady loves me, but she doesn't know it yet
    She wants me

    Oh, yeah she does.

    -Like poison ivy

    Needs me

    I smiled. Come on, Silv. There’s no denying it.

    -Like a hole in the head

    Everyone can see she's got it bad

    -He's mad!

    -The gentleman is an egotist

    I'm simply aware I'm hard to resist

    -He's one man I could learn to hate

    How's about having dinner at eight?

    -I'd rather dine with Frankenstein

    In a moonlight tete-a-tete

    Silvia leaned in, apparently trying to kiss me before quickly pulling out. I wasn’t fooled anymore, at this point I remembered where the song was heading.

    The lady loves me, but she doesn't know it yet

    Oh yes she loves me

    -Dig that shrinking violet

    Oh she really loves me

    -Here's one gal you'll never get

    She lo- lo- loves me

    -Would you like to make a bet?

    I said the lady loves me

    In the movie, this is the moment where Ann-Margret pushes Elvis into a pool.

    -The gentleman's all wet

    There you go, I thought. The music stopped and I felt her hands on my hip. “Now”, She whispered as another Elvis song started playing. The next thing I see is my revolver in her hand and people dying. I should chain the fucking thing to my hip at this point!

    I sighed, of course: “A little Less Conversation.”

    When the bullets started flying back, I pushed Silvia behind a table and flipped it; an impromptu barricade. She returned my revolver… By which I meant that she dropped it, jumped over the barricade brandishing a power fist she pulled out of nowhere and started smashing jaws in. All while looking fine as a flower.

    I scrambled for my revolver and made sure to support her from my cover. She was a beast with that thing. Chairs were flying, tables splitting, customers and Henry’s goons alike were screaming and doing their best to get out of the taphouse when Henry reappeared from behind the bar with a Tommy gun. Why did I leave mine at home again?

    I reloaded my revolver, pulled a dose of serum out of the hidden compartment of my suit and injected it into my heart. I was gonna need a bit of extra strength. I picked up the table and advanced towards the counter, firing blindly from behind my shield. It wasn’t entirely bulletproof but it did most of the job. I was going to need a doctor at the end of the night. If there was one thing I liked about the apocalypse it was that doctors didn’t bat an eye at the sight of bullet wounds anymore, let alone question their patients.

    Noticing I mostly missed the motherfucker, I rammed him with the table and smacked him on the head with my revolver, he would be out for a moment. I turned towards where I’d last seen Silvia to notice a power gauntlet on my stomach, and a beautiful rose scented woman whispering in my ear.

    “We’ve got to do this more often. This was fun”.

    She kissed me on my cheek.


4 Comments   |   Legion and 6 others like this.
  • Karver the Lorc
    Karver the Lorc   ·  January 25, 2018
    You had me at " Fucking thing had a picture of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus. Virgin my ass. That bitch was one hell of a scammer." :D
  • Teineeva
    Teineeva   ·  January 24, 2018
    As I'm going through a youtube generated playlist, I suddenly remember I forgot something important for this part: the music list. Which is especially recommended to listen to when going through the dancing scene.

    So for today, we hav...  more
  • Paws
    Paws   ·  January 24, 2018
    The opening is great with the priest of little faith and anticipation of seeing the lovely lady again, but without a doubt the dance and ensuing violence to the sound of A Little Less Conversation is the Tarantino-esque highlight of the story. Very visual...  more
    • Teineeva
      The opening is great with the priest of little faith and anticipation of seeing the lovely lady again, but without a doubt the dance and ensuing violence to the sound of A Little Less Conversation is the Tarantino-esque highlight of the story. Very visual...  more
        ·  January 24, 2018
      Thanks, Paws. I like to start these chapters by bringing them back into the overarching shit that was set up at the end of SoB chapter 19 to then continue with the more interesting Silvia-related shit. For the attentive, I left an important droplet of inf...  more