Lush melodies drew her to the door of the lounge, the friendly smiles enticed her inside. Chardonnay hadn’t intended at stopping here, as was on the way to her usual haunts for a night of clubbing. There was something about this place that captured her imagination though, and just one drink wouldn’t take too long. But just in case, she typed Might be late onto her iPhone. Hmm, no signal she observed. That’s weird.
She glanced around the place, the ambiance was wild, almost like it belonged in a Mickey Spillane novel. She was a little self-conscious as she made her way to the bar, as her clothes didn’t exactly fit into her surroundings. But hey, a little black dress fits in anywhere, she reassured herself.
As she reached the bar, the barman cast a suspicious eye at her.
“Can I have a house white please?” she asked. This merely resulted in the barman’s expression changing to puzzlement.
“Make it a Manhattan, Louie,” a sharply dressed gentleman seated at the bar said. “And put it on my tab.”
“Um, okay,” Chardonnay said a little suspiciously. “Thank you.”
“So what’s your name Doll-face,” the rugged stranger asked.
“Chardonnay, like the wine,” she responded.
The man stared quizzically for a moment, and then said, “That’s an unusual name.”
“My mom, loves the stuff,” she replied with a shrug and a feigned giggle. “You know I have never been in a theme bar before,” she said.
The man gave another brief look of confusion and then said, “My name is Edgar, but everybody calls me Edge. What brings a girl like you into a place like this, Chardene?”
“Chardonnay,” she corrected. “I was on my way to The Galaxy,” she said, “but stopped here because of the music.”
“The Galaxy?” he queried. “That dive ain’t a place for a dame like you.”
“Um – thank you,” she said, again unsure of how to respond.
“You know the mob has their finger in that pie,” Edge said. “Though it’s a good place to find information sometimes, as long as I’m discrete.”
“Information?” Chardonnay asked.
“Yeah, I’m a P. I.. Maybe you’ve heard of me – Edge O’Malley.”
“Oh, that Edge,” she said with feigned admiration, in an attempt to play along with the establishment’s theme. This might be fun to do some night with Zoe and Cari, she thought. We could dress up and it would be a ball, playing make believe.
“Well Edge, thank you for the drink, but I need to get over to The Galaxy and meet some of the dames from the office,” she said.
This again drew an uncertain look from Edge, but he shook her hand and said, “You take care of yourself, Doll.”
Chardonnay then made her way across the lounge, and out into the streets of 1947 Los Angeles.