Pirates, Pistols and Dead-in Jobs
By Regina Puckett
Jill rushed through the mall but slowed down a tad when she almost knocked a toddler over in her panic to reach Chips and Fish Ahoy. She couldn’t imagine what had her best friend so upset. Over the phone there had been a longwinded rant about pirates, booty and gold. Heather was usually a very calm person, a little ditzy, but calm.
The moment Jill finally had the restaurant in sight, the movie theater located next door began emptying of patrons. Instead of everyone moving on and out of the way most of them stopped to chat in large groups as if none of them had anything better to do than hang around in the mall hallways for the rest of the evening. She had to shove her way through the crowd to finally reach the doors of the fish restaurant.
She pushed through the double doors but stopped in the entryway long enough to search for Heather. It would have been easier if the place hadn’t been decorated to resemble a tropical island. Ferns were hanging from the ceiling throughout the entire place and if that wasn’t bad enough they were also in planters behind each booth.
When she finally located her petite friend, she was waving like a manic from behind a potted plant. To stop Heather from creating so much unwanted attention Lisa hurried over and slid into the booth with her. Lisa settled into the hard bench and immediately checked out the Chips and Fish Ahoy cashier. “So that’s the guy you think looks like a pirate?”
Both Jill and Heather look over toward the medium height college age kid working behind the fast food counter. His most outstanding attribute was his teeth. They were so white that if the lights in the restaurant had gone out for any reason the place would have still had enough light to eat by.
Heather sighed loudly and rested her chin cupped between her palms. “Isn’t he adorable?”
Jill squinted to study the guy again. Maybe her contacts need cleaning because while she had to admit he was cute, she just couldn’t picture the clean cut blonde as a pirate. “Exactly which pirate do you think this fire-cracker looks like?”
Heather fluttered both hands in the air as if swatting away flying bugs. She finally choked out, “Remember that movie we saw last summer?” In her quest to think her eyes rolled so far upward the only thing visible now were the whites of them.
It was hard for Jill to admit but her best friend wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer. “You might want to narrow the selection down for me a tad. We saw several movies last summer.”
Jill crossed her arms across her chest and waited as Heather tapped out an entire song with the heels of her shoes. It might have been annoying if it hadn’t been such a lively tune.
Finally, after several minutes of tapping and thinking, Heather slapped a hand onto the table top. “It was called Fire, Rum and the Gold Pistol or maybe it was called Gold Rum, Thunder and the Pistol on Fire.” She wiggled her fingers in the air like she was conducting an orchestra and nodded so hard her hair actually fell out of its ponytail holder.
To forestall any more of Heather’s unfruitful and lengthy thought processes, Jill nodded as if she knew which movie her friend was talking even though she didn’t have a clue. “The one with the sail boat. Wasn’t it stranded somewhere near Key West with a trunk of gold or something? Maybe it was just a trunk of skulls.”
That statement only made Heather furrow her brows again. That was never a good sign. They had been good friends since first grade so Jill was well aware of the fact that if her friend tried too hard to dig any information out of that tiny brain of hers they could very well be there all night. Jill waved a hand in front of Heather’s face to get her attention. “It really doesn’t matter. If you think the dude looks like a pirate that good enough for me. You should go up there and ask him his name. You’re not going to make any headway with him sitting over here behind this potted fern.”
A look of horror crossed Heather’s face. “My mom would never let me date a pirate.”
Jill blinked and stared opened mouth at her friend. She finally shook the cobwebs out her head and stuttered. “But he’s really not a pirate. He’s working the lunch hour shift at Chips and Fish Ahoy. Your mom would be thrilled to pieces for you to finally be dating a guy with a job. I don’t even think she would mind very much that he smells like fish and hush puppies.”
Heather waved her arms and hands in the air as if she was directing an orchestral. “I can’t take him home. My mom would have to install a new alarm system and she wouldn’t be able to sleep at night.”
Jill just knew she was going to regret asking but she had to anyway. “Why?”
It was then everything went to hell in a handbag. Heather stood and said of the top of her lungs. “Because he’s a pirate!”
Every eye in the fast food joint turned in their direction. Jill smiled and waved at a little boy with a French fry hanging out of his mouth. She was now thoroughly mortified. She stood and hissed through clenched teeth. “Will you sit down? You’re making a spectacle out of yourself.”
She almost had Heather talked into sitting down again when her friend pushed her backwards and shouted. “Don’t you see? He’s working the cash register. He’s going to steal them blind. I have to go get help!”
All Jill could do at that point was watch Heather run from the restaurant. Jill took refuge behind the potted fern as Heather pushed through the double doors and sped out of sight.
She stayed there hiding not knowing if she should hide there until the place shut down for the night or is she should wait and try to discreetly sneak out as soon as the coast was clear again. She was so busy pretending to be invisible she didn’t notice when the clean-cut blonde slid into the seat in front of her.
“Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of rum, Matey.” He was smiling so broadly his blue eyes had all but disappeared into a series of deep laugh lines.
All Jill could say to that was, “My friend thinks you’re a pirate and she’s gone to get the police.”
He grinned and winked devilishly. “I get that a lot.” He stood and offered his arm. “I’m off work for the night and there’s a new movie starting in twenty minutes. You want to go with me? I’ll buy you popcorn.”
She stood and took the offered arm. “The movie with pirates, pistols and rum?”
He grinned. “That’s the one.”
Lisa nodded toward the door. “Let’s get out of here before the police show up.”
They only made it a couple of steps before Heather returned with a mall cop in tow. Lisa nudged the not-pirate toward the ladies restroom and when he wasn’t moving fast enough she shoved him through the door.
The moment the door closed behind them the blonde cashier waggled his eyebrows at her. “Does this mean that I’m going to get lucky?”
Lisa stared at him without answering. She opened the door again just a little and took a quick peep around the edge of it to check to see if the coast was clear or not. All she could see through the tiny crack was the back of the cop’s hat so she quickly closed the door again. She leaned on it and studied the good looking guy standing in front of her. “What’s your name, Skippy?”
He offered his hand for her to shake as if they were at a business meeting or someplace formal instead of a dirty ladies room. “It’s Jack. Jack Sparrow, but you can call me, Hook.”