Mags Davidson pulled into the parking lot. Although banned from performing her daily duties, per Slick Mitchell, and his obsession with Tommy's bottom line, Mags entered the Tommy compound and pulled in front of the doors to meet Val Jones for lunch.
The little silver sports car purred as it idled, and in the rear view mirror, Mags watched Alejandro and Wilton Scott acting out something she couldn't hear, but nonetheless found massively entertaining.
Mags was still laughing as she grabbed her cell phone from the passenger seat, and sent Val a quick message.
I'm here. Get your butt outside before Slick sees me. Love, Mags.
The phone hit the floor with a thunk, and Mags reached toward the farthest recessess of the passenger-side floormat, where the smart phone lay.
Come to Mama, you worthless piece of crap, Mags mumbled.
"What the hell!" Mags yelled.
"Holy shit!" she heard Miles Longworth yell.
"Good Lord, Mags has been thoroughly pancaked!" Alejandro screeched in a dialect that sounded part Middle Eastern, and part, "I may have crapped my knickers."
"Is she alive in there?" Miles inquired, trying to peek in the window that was one-tenth its original size.
"You know, most retail deaths are caused by merchandise falling from top stock. There may be undocumented cases of deaths in the parking lot, but I'm not sure I know any," Wilton Scott offered.
"Now may not be the time, Wilton," Miles whispered.
"Of course, sir. My utmost apologies," Wilton replied.
"Shut the fuck up and get me out of here!" Mags said. "And please do it before Slick sees me."
"Mags has dropped the F Bomb," Wilton remarked.
"Where've you been, Wilton? That's pretty much a daily occurrence," Alejandro declared, without a hint of any accent at all.
"No kidding?" Wilton asked.
"Nope. Not kidding. In fact, if Mags donated a quarter to animal rescue every time she dropped one, not only could the average shelter adopt out every animal they have, but they could probably afford to send one to the International Space Station," Alejandro suggested.
"Now that would be cool!" Wilton declared.
"Hello? Remember me? The F-bomb dropping front-end manager who narrowly escaped death a few minutes ago?" Mags yelled.
"Why, of course," Wilton said. "My apologies, Miss Davidson. How may we be of service?"
"Seriously?" Mags asked. "You could get me the eff out of here, and that only gets the kitties a dime, Alejandro, so don't be raiding my purse for a twenty-five center, got it?"
"Loud and clear!" Alejandro said.
"Where's Miles?" Mags asked.
"Back here!" Miles yelled from behind the automobile.
"What's up back there?" Mags asked. "Tell me I am leaking gas now. Tell me I am going to burn the heck up like a modern day Joan of Arc. I don't have any patience for martyrs, except Kitty, of course."
"Kitty does have her hands full with those old ladies. That grandmother is a hoot, but as understanding and accepting as I am of the idiosyncracies of the human race, I have to say that entire situation would probably send me running for a distillery," Wilton stated with compassion.
"Great, Wilton. Why don't you pick up a nice card for Kitty. I'm sure Hallmark makes a nice, "Sorry you're a martyr, keep away from open flames," kind of all-occasion, support-lending, rape the consumer for four dollars and seventy-nine cents kind of card, but for now do you think you can help me figure out how to get out of here?, and Miles..... What the heck is he doing back there?" Mags asked, as the car jolted.
Wilton pouted a bit, and took a couple of steps toward Miles.
"I've removed your license plates," Miles said.
"Why?" Mags yelled.
"They have your name on them," Miles mumbled.
"Good point," Mags quipped. "Now someone get me out of here, and call a tow truck."
The pickynick table customer, who had until now remained silent, piped in. "Already got one comin', folks. Hilda's son Bubba is coming out with his wrecker. Ought to be pulling in any second, and if it's leanin' hard to the left when it comes a rolling in, y'all might get to meet Hilda. Sometimes she rides along. She especially likes this area for its fine drive-thru establishments."
"My baby is not going anywhere with anyone named Bubba," Mags whispered to Miles, who shrugged.
"Let's just see how it goes," Miles soothed, reaching for Mags' hand through the tiny window space.
All involved kept vigil with Mags until a blue wrecker arrived, leaning heavily toward the passenger side. "There's cousin Hilda now. Bubba is a master mechanic. Should have been a runway model, that young feller. Don't know how Hilda birthed something like that. Kid loves cars though. Could have had a whole fleet of them if he'd a posed in his undies a few times," the customer said.
The wrecker pulled up, and the customer headed toward the torso of an enormous woman the vigil-holding posse could only assume was Hilda. Bubba exited the vehicle. Mags watched in what remained of the side mirror.
She gasped aloud.
"Hail Mary full of lead me not into temptation," Mags muttered.
Bubba looked like he should be part of a posse. A posse of fog-machine carriers, make-up artists, and nutrition-deprived Ford models. In a word, he was biblical. Johnny Depp good looks, abs that made Chuck Norris look like a soft-in-the-middle, late-night Dorito eating machine, and smudges of dirt, all in the right places.
"Baby, Mama changed her mind," Mags whispered. "But I'll find a way to ride along."