Keep it Casual

I spun the shot glass on the bar. My phone was also on the bar, face up. I had left the dance floor because the music was too loud to even recognize it as music. The decibels were lower here and only a few patrons sat.

“It’s not a toy,” the bartender said. She held a small towel with which she had been wiping the bar.

“I’ll get to it eventually.” I thought a night out was the break I needed. I had put on my tight and tiny white dress and taken my golden tresses out of their perpetual braid. I had ditched my usual retinue and lost myself in dancing for a time, but gods above and below it was loud.

A man sat down at the opposite end of the bar. He had come from the dance floor and was wearing a black jacket. He wasn’t sweating, and yet he took off his jacket. He ordered a drink. His short sleeve T-shirt stretched across impressive pects and his biceps were also very nice to look at. His dark skin was almost as black as his T-shirt.

He turned to me and raised his glass. I raised mine and we downed our drinks simultaneously. He walked over and sat next to me.

“Another round for both of us,” he told the bartender and smiled at me. His white teeth lit up his dark complexion.

“You are irrestible,” I said.

He tilted his head up and laughed, a deep rolling sound. “I wasn’t going for that look, but I’ll take it. I just needed a night out.” He put his phone on the bar face up.

“As do I. Call me Val.”

“I go by Nabali.”

I let his rolling accent and deep voice soak into my skin. When I laughed, I leaned against his strong arm. He eventually put his arm around me and we spent the rest of night exchanging humorous stories.

My phone was silent, but I kept an eye on the messages rolling in steadily. Nabali did the the same.

Nabali’s phone started to madly flash and a second later mine went so crazy the screen froze.

Nabali frowned. “This means I am required.”

“Me too,” I said. “Where are you going?” I asked as I checked my phone.

He looked up from his and said, “Baltimore Street.”

“Huh, Baltimore Street? Me too. Walk together?” I said as I headed for the door.

“I don’t think…”

“Then I’ll race you,” I said as I slipped out the door and transported myself to a collapsed multi-level parking garage on Baltimore Street.

Nabali appeared in front of me with his back to me.

“That’s a neat trick,” I said.

He whirled and looked at me with wide eyes. “What’s your full name?”

“Valdis,” I said. “Yours?”

“Ogbunabali.”

“Death God?”

“Yes, and you’re the queen of Valhalla, otherwise known as the Norse Death Goddess.”

I saw a few friends popping in. This must have been a terrible event for so many deities to show. Grim waved his scythe in greeting as he walked past and into the garage.

Nabali and I nodded at Grim.

“Why have we never met?” Nabali asked.

“I’d like to keep our relationship strictly non-professional.”

Ogbunabali grinned.


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