So, Teaser Tuesday is back and I’m going to do a little switching. One day ‘Bedlam’ and the next day ‘Windemere’. This should help spread some stuff out and garner interest for The Spirit Well next month. We’re starting with good old Cassidy and Lloyd, who I hope will return to being published next year.
Walking along the deck of the Teal Empress riverboat, Cassidy does her best to balance a tray of drinks and not break an ankle in her heels. Having always worn sneakers, she feels ungainly and awkward in the shoes. The rest of her waitress uniform is much more tolerable, the black pants and sleeveless dress shirt reminding Cassidy of a tuxedo without the jacket. She is not happy with the crimson tie, which is continuously blown into her face whenever there is a strong wind. Moving among the relaxing gamblers and their families, she maintains a smile that her temporary boss insists will get her tips. She has already found that earning the plastic chips is easier when she finds a drunk and bends at the waist. None of the interested patrons have dared to go any further than compliments and brief stares since the mercenary still has her pistols on her hips. Even with the horrible footwear, Cassidy begrudgingly admits that she is enjoying herself and she would not mind going for another ride when she is not racing across the south in order to kill someone.
Unlike his friend, Lloyd is tempted to take his chances with swimming the rest of the way to New Orleans. The only thing stopping him is the sight of large alligators and his supervisor telling him about the time she had a leeches stuck to her back for two days. Being deemed scary and socially destructive by a lazy man in human resources, Lloyd has been assigned to the janitorial staff. His coworkers have taken full advantage of him being the new guy and not a fulltime employee. Every disgusting clean up job has been handed to the killer, including cleaning a body out of the paddle wheel. He is currently polishing the smokestacks, which he senses is a pointless job since they are painted. Instead of giving up and returning to the laughter of the other janitors, Lloyd takes advantage of the view and quietly watches well-dressed patrons below.
“Take a break, Mr. Mercenary!” shouts the supervisor over the walkie-talkie. The woman is standing next to Cassidy, who is counting her tips. “Your friend is at lunch and wanted to talk to you. Remember that we have you on septic duty after lunch, so don’t eat anything that you don’t want to taste again.”
“Aye-aye, Captain Pit Stains,” Lloyd replies before shimmying down the smokestack. He flexes his aching fingers, which are covered in polisher and filth. “This is all fun and games, but I’ll get my revenge one day. Not by my own hand. More in that the universe will act as my agent and have you get eaten by whatever animal you collect to ward off loneliness in your old age. I suggest hamsters because the suffering would last longer.”
“You seem to be making friends,” Cassidy mentions as the supervisor storms off to choose a new victim to boss around. She hands a cup of ice water to her friend, who drinks it so quickly that he nearly throws up. “I told you to take one of our new canteens. This is only our second day on here and you look like hell. Fake an illness or something to get out of work. It isn’t like this is a real job for us.”
“I will not rest until that employee of the month parking space is mine!” Lloyd announces, startling all of the patrons. A pair of jogging women chuckle at the outburst, but fails to return the man’s exaggerated wave. “These people are too stuck up, so it’s probably for the best that I’m kept away. Speaking of work, how are you getting so many tips? For someone who wasn’t happy about this, you’re racking up the trade-in chips.”
Cassidy bends at the waist to fix one of the straps on her shoes, resulting in a passing man tossing her another tip. “Apparently, these heels make my ass look amazing. Figured I’d use this to my advantage and earn us New Orleans beads. My coworkers have been telling me that the city has its own economic system that revolves around these necklaces. From the sound of things, Mardi Gras never ends there. Wish I could see the look on Cami’s face when she passes into a place of debauchery and excess.”
“Hoping she has an aneurysm?”
“No because then I couldn’t strangle the life out of her.”
“Your threats are getting milder.”
“Well, I’m running out of ideas.”
“I’ll give you some new ones over lunch.”