Friday Fictioneers – Love Is A Mystery

(Author’s note: Nothing again. Have a great week, and enjoy today’s fictioneers…with a song that many of you will likely never have heard, but will fall in love with.)

inside-the-diner

© Roger Bultot

Love Is A Mystery

by Miles H. Rost

He sat at the counter of the diner, waiting for the other customers to leave. He’d be the last customer in there before the sign was flipped closed.

He took his last sip of coffee, when he heard the clicking of heels got closer.

“Miranda, it’s good to hear your shoes again.”

Miranda snorted, as she helped her date from the counter chair.

“No luck finding someone new?” she asked with a sneer

“Nah. Just found myself down here. Waiting for you to come get me.”

She smiled. She didn’t know why, but she just couldn’t give up him up.

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She’s A Mystery To Me

by Miles Rost

“She has taken over your life, Stu.”

The light conversation between Anatoly Churkhin and Stuart “Stu” Yorkszin took a dark turn with the phrase that Stu just heard from his longtime colleague.

The sounds of the diner were drowned out by the silence between the two men, two veterans of the 70’s KGB corps. Since retired to rural Kentucky, both men plied their trades in different fashions: Stu was a law clerk with expertise in international business in Lexington, while Anatoly involved himself as a hostage negotiator for the Covington Police Department.  The diner, an old-style luncheonette just off the interstate, was a convenient meeting place for both of them. It was in the middle of nowhere, and they could keep their conversation between them and no one else.

“Anny, how do you figure that Chelsea has taken over my life?”
“She found you 6 months ago. Within that amount of time, she has your schedule wrapped around hers. Do you remember what Yuri Andropov told us back in the day?”
“I don’t know, but I wish he would have Androppedov the earth earlier than he did. He caused more trouble than he was worth. He becomes leader, we become nothing.”

Anatoly looked at him crossly and sighed.

“You are not listening, Stu.”
“I am not listening because she is not taking over my life. She is sweet and kind, and she loves me for all my faults.”
“But, do you really know her? Do you know what is in her past? You don’t seem to know. I do.”

Stu looked at him, as he was pleading his case. He chuckled, knowing that his one-time partner in spying was about to pull out his “I Spy” card.

Darkness falls and she will take me by the hand. She will take me to some twilight land, and she’ll give me what I need. Which doesn’t involve sex.”
“Are you hearing yourself speak? You don’t know her that much! I know this because you don’t talk about her history!”
“I know her history.”

Anatoly bore his eyes into Stu’s, and gave him a deep warning. Stu just looked back at him, a reassuring smile on his face.

“Then tell me, Mr. KGB Agent of the Year 1973: What do you know about her history as a “historian”?”
“She wasn’t a historian. She was an agent for the FBI, an analyst for the area we called Kazahk. She retired from that job in 1996.”
“You already knew this?”
“I wouldn’t have started dating her if I didn’t. Come on, Anny, do I look like Konstantin Chernenko?”
“More like a Ukrainian Orson Welles.”

The guffaw coming from Stu brought all eyes in the diner onto him. He sheepishly looked around, and smiled as his portly frame did the rest. To those in the diner that day, he was merely imitating Santa Claus. And that perception was good enough for Stu.

“Anny, you need to understand that we’re no longer KGB, FSB, or whatever acronym they’re calling themselves today. We are not allied with Putin. We are retired, with no more running and hiding.”
“But, Stu…”
“My friend, Chelsea is a mystery to me. It’s a mystery how a 50 year old woman can deal with a 70 year old warhorse like me. It’s a mystery how she can do so many things for me, and yet love me without reservation regardless of my past.”
“This woman, this Chelsea, she really must be something special.”

Stu just looked out the window as he took another sip of his borscht.

She’s a mystery girl. She’s my mystery girl. And I love her for it.”

Jukebox Hero

by Miles Rost

A rainy and cold night was typical in this part of the world. This neighborhood, in particular, kept being hit with rain.

When it was rainy and cold, many people would flock to their neighborhood diners and have comfort food. It was one of the few things that was normal in this part of the city. People were able to be people for a while at these places, without having to hide or deal with the mish-mash of politicians and authoritarians attempting to brainwash people with the musical excrement called “nue pop”. They heard of a revolutionary legend, a “jukebox hero“, but they knew it was only a legend.

At the Central Diner, there was a packed crowd of people eating in silence. Folks that ate their chili and soups looked out at the dreary rain-soaked streets, wondering if there was any possible way to make their world better. They sighed, and continued to eat.

The bells on the door chimed, as another patron walked through the door and took his seat next to an old jukebox in the corner. He looked up at the bored, blonde bombshell of a waitress came over and asked him what he wanted.

“I’ll take a Pepsi.”

“We haven’t had that for years.”

“What type of sugar do you have?”

The waitress looked at him blankly, and walked over to the short-order chef. After a minute of animated conversation, she walked back over to the young man. She leaned down and whispered into his ear.

“We have one Jolt left. It’s in the back. You’ll have to go back yourself to get it.”

The young man did as she mentioned, and walked back. With help from the short-order chef, he found the Jolt Cola that he was looking for, and proceeded to walk back out, hiding it in his trenchcoat sleeve. He proceeded to sit back down at the end, and gave the waitress an order for a double bacon cheeseburger with a tower of pickles. She looked at the order, looked up at him, and just sighed.

The young man looked amused, and turned around to look at the jukebox. It was currently sitting idle. It was plugged in but not turned on. It was a Wurlitzer Zodiac, and it looked like it was of the newer variety before they stopped being made a few years ago. He looked at the songs and the names on it, and noticed one of the listings written in.

“Revolution Song” was the name written on it. Where the artist was, was written the name of “Preston Black”.

The young man flipped the switch on the machine, knowing it would take a few seconds for it to start up. No one actually noticed as the jukebox powered up, or as the young man took a swig of the concealed Jolt Cola. After about 15 minutes, and just as his double bacon cheeseburger arrived, he stood up and whipped his trenchcoat and hat off. He was dressed in a leather biker jacket, with his hair combed in a greaser-like style. For those who may have been a bit older, he looked a lot like The Fonz from the old TV show “Happy Days”.

One of the patrons just happened to look up, and notice him. He gasped, and proceeded to point the man to anyone he could. Within a minute, all of the eyes of the diner were on the young man.

He smiled, and proceeded to kick the jukebox in a “sweet spot”. Within about 15 seconds, and after he took a big bite of his double cheeseburger, a cacophony of sound came blaring from the jukebox. Many of the people in the diner winced, but then returned to normal. They realized very quickly, that this was not any of the “nue pop” that was being propped up by the current media-government. This was classic stuff, and the people knew about what was happening.

As the guitars and mandolins in the song played, the young man kept devouring his cheeseburger and the fries that came with it. As he finished, he pulled out the bottle of Jolt from his jacket and proceeded to gulp it down.

The people were astonished, first that a guy like this could actually drink a bottle of high-caffeine, high-sugar, high energy Jolt Cola, but moreso that they were in the presence of a legend. They were in the presence of the last great American singer: Preston Black.

“My song is called The Revolution Song for a reason,” he called out to everyone, “It was a call to arms. To reject what was being offered by the media and those who want to control you. Today, it’s your day to stand up, and send them a message. Reclaim the Central Neighborhood for your own, and help others reclaim their neighborhoods!”

He raised his hands, and the people in the diner cheered.

The song ended, and as he left the diner, he kicked the jukebox one more time. It was now in the people’s court what they were going to do, now that they knew the legend of Preston Black, the Jukebox Hero, was true. He was, in fact, back. And now, the people had to act.