I swear it was 6:30 a minute ago. And now it is nearly ten. How is that time passes so quickly when you don't want it to? Hm, I suppose I shouldn't have been watching David Bowie videos on YouTube...
Oh well, at least I finished tonight's installment before the siren call of my warm, comfy bed got to me. And now, if you will excuse me, I need some sleep.
Part Seven: Tulip or Turnip
Mickey was astounded by how much could happen in one instant.
A brawl had broken out on the other side of the bar; Mickey tried not to listen to the dull thuds and sharp cracks of the fight or all the obscenities being flung about. He focused instead on the crisp edges of the folded paper and all they implied.
All the little oddities of the evening were starting to make a modicum of sense; the staring, the glares from the bar patrons, the advice of the bartender, and the actions of the lovely dancer all pointed to the insidious nature of his footwear and not to any prowess on his part.
But Mickey would have to nurse his wounded ego later as the fight was threatening to spill over the bar top. Amid a shower of broken glass and gin, Mickey grabbed the small piece of paper and tucked it beneath his wide watch band. Slipping the trick heel back into place, he glanced around to see if anyone had noticed his actions.
Ianto and Lulu were still trying to extricate themselves from the tangled heap they had fallen into, and everyone else in the place was busy getting their heads busted open. Mickey breathed a short sigh of relief and began to look for a way out of the mess he had found himself in. Risking almost certain injury, Mickey lifted his head above the bar and looked towards the door only to see a veritable ocean of fists and various weapons lying between him and the exit.
“Hey Mister, are you nuts?” Lulu latched onto Mickey’s collar and, with surprising strength, pulled him back behind the safety of the bar. “If you want to get killed, that’s fine, but do it after you turn over those wing tips!”
“Hands off vamp, I saw them first!” Ianto pushed Lulu roughly out of the way and made a grab at Mickey’s feet. Neither of these actions sat well with Mickey; he didn’t like violence towards women, no matter what they were, nor did he like young upstarts thinking they could walk all over him for the sake of a pair of shoes.
Despite his size, Mickey was incredibly fast and before Ianto could even lay a hand to the shoes, Mickey had seized his wrist and held it with an unshakable grip. The voice that issued from Mickey’s lips surprised him, but he was getting tired of the noise and constant attempts on his footwear.
“No one is getting these shoes until I am out of this joint.” Ianto recoiled at the ferocity of the statement and all Lulu could do was retreat behind her innocent expression. “So, unless you want one of these mooks to end up with these damned shoes you had better find a way to get me out of here.”
Ianto found it hard to think straight while his wrist was in such a position. His mind raced against the pain shooting down his arm from the crushing grip. All the stories from Rita’s past as a speakeasy whizzed through Ianto’s memory; he clutched at each one, hoping for something to aid him. There was something about an old escape route for the rum runners, but he couldn’t remember where it was.
“Sweet fancy Moses!” Lulu exclaimed from where she was peeking over the bar. “Whatever you boys are planning, you better act fast. Rudy’s here!”
In a sudden jolt of panic, Ianto tried to free himself from Mickey’s grip, only to succeed in banging his elbow against one of the ornately carved wooden panels in the back wall of the bar. To everyone’s surprise, the panel opened with a slight cough of dust.