• Book 1 [Name TBD] - Chapter 1 - Billiards
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  • Participants        :       FSB Team

Ashik

My friend and I had never done this before. It was a cool night, not especially so, but a little frigid out, and the sun sets early this time of year. We stepped out of the cab at the appointed place, and looked up at the entrance of the stairs, and took one horrified look at each other as we ascended.

'Evenin' ladies', growled the bouncer, who by some misfortune, or more probably design, had lost an eye and most of this teeth. He flashed us a sickening lop-sided smile, like a drooling dog, and opened the door. What the hell have we gotten ourselves into, I thought. He opened the door in mockery of etiquette with his tattooed arm, and his belly blocked half of it, allowing entry in single file. Even then, I felt my skirt brush his thigh, shuddering ever so slightly.

Karen had met a gentleman online, and I use the term gentleman very loosely, as you shall shortly see, and offered to meet for a drink and a game of pool. Her obvious nervousness at the online dating game, made her beg for a chaperone. 'Oh, come on Leanna, it won't be that bad', 'It will be fun', 'If it doesn't work out, we can just leave and go somewhere else' – each time she implored me she sounded ever more desperate. I finally resigned myself to accompany her.

The pool hall resembled the 1920s classy billiard parlours of yore in exactly the same way house bricks resemble butterflies. Which is to say, not at all. It was smoke-filled and dingy. Is that gum I just stepped in.? Terrific. Nearly abandoned, there were a few bearded old blokes with cigarettes hanging from their mouths as they took their turns in disparate corners of the joint. Never get too close to the other pack's territory, I suppose, and the mutual distrust was palpable from the way in which they had their backs to the wall and held onto their cues – feet firmly at shoulder's width, sword planted firmly between, both fists clenched around their weapon. Perhaps I'm exaggerating a little, but the scene was a little frightening for the only two women to grace the establishment.

Near the entrance, at the middle of the first row of tables was the fellow in question. Upon first casting eyes upon him, it was safe to say that we were overdressed. He, on the other hand, wore jeans and company shirt – high-visibility vest slung ever so casually over the back of the barstool near a tall mushroom table, already replete with four empty VB bottles, and a sad, flat spirit tumbler  graciously pre-filled for the arriving guest. God, this is bad. Real bad.

Hi. I'm Dave, yo