Story Time

Night cityscape of Austin, Texas with title Attack of the Hobgoblin

It’s 17 February, the third Thursday in February. That means it’s time for a story.

Today, newsletter subscribers receive Attack of the Hobgoblin in their inboxes. Danita first appeared in Midnight in Line and Form. She’s ready to rock in 2020.

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Attack of the Hobgoblin

Danita lifted her long dark hair off her neck and sighed. “Oh, Chiquita. I love this place. So glad you came with me tonight.”

Sonya stood as the waitress arrived with another round of drinks. “Me too, Aunty. You were right, I’ve had my head in the books too long.” A beautiful young man with shimmering sunrise skin and bright eyes glided to the table and took Sonya’s hand. Sonya giggled and spun with the man onto the crowded dance floor.

Danita smiled and looked up at the countdown clock. Only twenty-one minutes until 2020. “It will be a good year,” she whispered to herself.

“We can hope so,” the waitress said.

Danita looked up to see her stone-faced old friend, Shirley, place the drinks on the table. “You look too blue for such a party, Shirley.”

Shirley sniffed. “Our last party,” she said.

Danita took Shirley’s hand. “What’s this? It’s true? I thought it was just a nasty rumor. Sit down, you must tell me.”

Shirley shrugged. “Boss says the Phantom’s Menace closes its doors for good after last call tonight. Something about expanding the business into other areas. Whatever that means.”

Danita downed half her margarita before banging it on the table. “This is wrong. How can he make you work when you will have no work tomorrow? How can we party knowing the doom that waits for us tomorrow?”

Shirley pulled a bar stool close to Danita and sat. “That’s the thing,” she said. “We still have jobs. He’s being very hush-hush about the whole thing. It’s so weird. He says no more bar, but we’ll still be working for him.”

Danita gulped down the rest of her drink. She didn’t drink like she used to, and even though Shirley made sure her drinks had less tequila than most, a buzz clouded her thoughts. After staring at her empty glass until her vision cleared, she said, “Look, maybe this will be good, but if not, call me. I just started a new job. I’m Secretary to the President of Communications for the entire University Medical System. I have contacts.” She pulled her phone out of the back pocket of her silver lame skinny jeans and tapped the screen. “There, scan.”

Shirley reached into her heavy cleavage, squeezed together with a too-tight bustier, and pulled out her phone. She tapped and read her screen. Smiling so much she impressed Danita with her lovely white teeth, Shirley said, “You’re a good woman, Danita. Thanks.” She twisted to look behind her as though she could hear someone calling her name. “I’d better get back to work. You going to drink the champagne?”

“No,” Danita answered, shaking her head. “I’ve had more than enough. Just a Topo Chico.”

Shirley jumped off the stool, adjusted her bustier, and winked. “You got it.”

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