On the Subject of Snow

It was below freezing as Tommy skated his way across the parking lot and up the three stairs to the waiting surprise. He had never been a morning person which was why he had taken the job as head bartender of The World, the leading Female Impersonators bar in Vancouver, even though he did have excellent grades and could have been making a lot more money in accounting or law. He often wondered if he could adjust but he figured awaking up at Ten-Thirty on a Wednesday wasn’t too bad he definitely didn’t sleep his life away and the money was pretty good here too considering, it seemed appropriate. As he rapped at the frosted pink glass door he was almost proud of himself for his quick arrival, he noticed the young man who had fallen asleep at the top of the stairs, his faced looked almost angelic. 

“Ruby?” Tommy edged himself down into the mail slot. Tommy quickly peeked over toward the sleeping boy, at this angle could clearly see the red blisters that had formed on his cheeks, he wanted so badly to take him in his arms. He turned back and peeped through the slot inside. “Ruby it's freezing out here are you in there? you're not answering the phone.”  Tommy straightened up feeling slightly silly about yelling through a mail slot in front of company, no matter how dead to the world. “Did you know there's a kid sitting' out here?” ‘Oh my gosh, what if he’s dead?’ Tommy thought to himself before deciding enough was enough.  “Come on Rubes we are really worried. I know you're in there. I can see the light on and I'm using the key.”  With that he unlatched the lock and pushed the giant door open.

Most of the door was tampered glass but due to recent vandalism the bottom half had been replaced with a solid metal panel that added sufficient weight it was taking everyone a moment to adjust to. It wasn’t until the sudden heat from being inside had begun to melt the piles of snow on his jacket and knit tuque that Tommy realized how bad the weather outside had become. 

Removing the wetness Tommy began his search for the missing woman. “Have you even looked out there yet? It just started coming down.”  The back room light wasn’t the only indication she hadn’t left last night. The series of light switches that controlled the intricate systems of chandeliers and mood lighting -Ruby had insisted on installing all the electronics herself- was located on the wall closest to the door, the dimmer dials were behind the bar along with a set of switches that controlled the same system. All the switches by the door were still in the on position but the lights were out, so Tommy knew Ruby had used the Bar switch to turn out the lights. Years of watching CSI had come in handy only in situations such as these, to hell if he could remember if he’d unplugged the flat iron before he left the house.

“Metro said we could be in for like a foot of snow to stick over the next two weeks.” His own wetness dripping a bread crumb trail as he weaved through the bar. “Can you even imagine that? Vancouverites can't drive as it is, lets put a million people downtown in the snow.” He found the idea quite a foreign subject but enjoyed sounding opinionated all the same  “If you thought it was going to be hard to get around the West End before, just wait... ”He ducked under the bar instead of walking the extra three feet to the hinged door. “Come on I'm worried about you Ruby.” He knew she could hear him, if she wasn’t dead that is. ‘Oh gosh please don’t be dead!’ his mind back on the boy outside. “The snow is really piling up and that poor kid out there does not look like he was expecting it. I figured he's probably homeless or something but still, he doesn't look like he's from here.” As he rounded the corner he realized again how dim the back room really was when all the vanity mirrors were off and it was just the florescent tube lights. “Seriously Ruby where are you?”  

A shot of panic took over his entire body when he saw her laying underneath the make-up station, A star still plastered to the top of the mirror read ‘O’Desa Diamond’ 

The End

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