A Night in the Lackadaisy

Chapter 1


"They are hosting a what now?" Amanda asked, over the counter. It was late, and she was about to close the bar and go home for the night, when Rocky had burst in, with a smile on his face. She had gladly poured him some scotch and listened to what he had to say. But hearing this was something out of the legends. Apparently, the only time the Lackadaisy would every host a party of this size was when it had an enormous profit boom, which only happened very rarely, according to Rocky.

"A party, one of the largest since the opening of the Lackadaisy," Rocky said, sipping his Glennfiddich. "Something about Atlas May's birthday. And, apparently, Miss May thought it would be generous to give out a few extra invitations." He fumbled around in his pocket, and found the club pin and showed it to her.

"Huh," Amanda said, twirling the pin in her hand. "And all I need is this to enter the club?"

"Yup," Rocky said, peeling back his coat and showing her his pin, which was neatly tucked away on a lapel. "But be careful not to lose it. Apparently, Miss May takes her craftsmanship very seriously. Or crafts-woman-ship. I forgot which one was which."

Amanda chuckled. "Don't worry, Rocky. I won't. Tomorrow night, right?" Rocky nodded. "You're lucky the bar closes early tomorrow," she said. She then pursed her lips as she thought of the next question. "Who's coming?"

"Just about every rich bootlegger and criminal in a 10-mile radius. We get them very often here, especially on the Mississippi," Rocky said, finishing off the last of his scotch.

"What do they have to say?" Amanda asked, still very intrigued.

"Just stories about their latest profits and close encounters with some…shady figures," Rocky quipped nervously. Amanda nodded.

"What should I wear?" she asked, twirling her cap around in her hands nervously. "I mean, not that you would be showing up to a party in a bartender's outfit."

"Just something that suits your style," Rocky said, leaning back in his chair and flashing her a toothy grin. "Me personally? I would pay top dollar for a tuxedo."

"You? In that?!" Amanda cried, laughing a little. She tried to picture Rocky in a flashing tuxedo, a white rose tucked away neatly in his breast pocket, and giggled silently to herself. "You would look dashing."

Rocky nearly choked, even though his glass was empty. "And you would look so yourself if you showed up in a flapper's dress," he said, a thin blush forming on his cheeks. Amanda hid her hands behind her face as she laughed.

Rocky sighed, feeling his cheeks cool off. "Well, I better get going," he said, standing up and throwing a couple of dollars on the table. "Thanks for the drink as always." He moved towards the door.

"Rocky?" Amanda called. Rocky stopped in his tracks and looked at her.

"Yes, Amanda?" he asked.

"I'm surprised how you are able to keep such a massive place like the Lackadaisy hidden," she said. "Especially in a busy café's wine cellar."

"That's the point," Rocky said. "And, it's also the last place you expect to look." And waving goodbye to Amanda, he disappeared into the darkness surrounding the waterfront.

Rocky slammed the door of his car and sat there for a few moments, pondering what to do. So far, it had been a simple task of convincing Miss May to craft one more invitation so that he could invite Amanda over, but now, it was a matter of LOOKING his best for the party tomorrow night.

"Think, Rocky, think!" he said, gripping his gray fur with all his might. "You're gonna have one chance this time to make sure the bar isn't screwed over, and you might as well take the damn chance! Be serious for once!" He caught a reflection of him in the mirror and looked himself over. Showing up to the party with clothes used in his rum-running operations wasn't going to work at all. He'd need something fancy, and something that wouldn't send the entire debt of the Lackadaisy into the stratosphere.

Suddenly, something hit him. He started the engine of the car, and plowed his way towards another of one of his favorite places to go: Ivy's house.

Maybe she can find something fashionable for him without tanking an entire speakeasy's meager budget.