20080227

Attention Prize Winners!

a message from Robert McEvily

First, congratulations! Second, not to worry! Prize checks will be in the mail beginning on Tuesday, 3/4. Please send your mailing address to me at robertmcevily@yahoo.com. If you have any suggestions about a future contest, feel free to let me know. That goes for everyone - looking forward to hearing from you!

6S - C3

Robert McEvily wants your feedback!

20080215

Mixed Drinks

by Steve Talbert

While stirring my mixed drink with a carrot, I realized that I had just made a terrible mistake. When my eight-year-old daughter, Gwen, asked me if she could make me a "healthy" beverage, I unwittingly said, "Okay," without comprehending the free rein of experimentation that I had given to a bright, creative (bless her heart) young girl. In hindsight, I know that my biggest blunder was saying, "Surprise me," because the phrase carries different connotations to a child. I expected lemonade, OJ or, perhaps, milk, while Gwen was mixing prune juice, tomato juice and who knows what else — although I did detect hints of Worcestershire sauce and vinegar. Lesser men might have refused the concoction, but I couldn't hurt my little girl's feelings, so I held back the tears and the urges to gag, while I quickly gulped the nastiest mixed drink that I had ever imbibed. The moral of my story is simple: Never, ever — not in a million years — allow your eight-year-old to mix you a drink, especially if it's supposed to be something "healthy."

6S - C3

VOTE HERE for Steve Talbert.

Mixed Drinks

by Jennifer Weber

So very gently she removed the pink melamine cup, its innards rust-colored from years of service as a receptacle for coffee, from the cupboard and placed it on the Formica beside the tall plastic container sheltering the pallid substance ominously labeled Formaldehyde. The skull-and-crossbones juxtaposed with the dread four-syllable word (the definition and common use of which she had learned from her intended victim) leered knowingly as she installed the roach-brown quart bottle of beer next to the funerary juice. The idea had occurred to her the moment the cylindrical bottle of embalming fluid had been unearthed during one of the family's weekly junkyard forays where anything from living room furniture to costly perfume to bawdy paperbacks might surface at any given time from the mounds of dreck in which these objects had been immured by time and societal apathy. She had contemplated the possible solution to her problem almost constantly since then, aware that his alcoholism and her steady job as underage drink-fetcher provided the perfect opportunity to mix one of his preferred adult beverages with something slightly more potent. Appropriately, as she plotted murder the shabby house was preternaturally quiet and eerily still. When the urine-yellow liquids coalesced in the stained cup she wondered for the hundredth time whether sirens would begin wailing within minutes of his taking the first sip, which would turn out to be his last... right after his greedy fingers, filthy like the pink cup and guilty as sin, accepted from her hands the last thing his hands would ever take from her.

6S - C3

VOTE HERE for Jennifer Weber.

Mixed Drinks

by Tharuna Niranjan

I was big into experimentation that year, my first brush with all things exciting, it was all new to me and why not - in all my ten years then, I hadn’t met anyone like her before. We called it science, all our ideas; we loved the experiments, we tried to best ourselves each time, never to outdo each other, mind you – we were in it together, we were tight. We were quite scientific, I must say: we carefully observed, diligently noted down our observations, patiently ran trials, quickly monitored results, and triumphantly declared SUCCESS; we never had failures, you see. In that spirit, she filled each test tube with utmost care and precise measurement, while I prepared the notes with utmost diligence: liquid type in the first column, quantity in the next, followed by time consumed; all twelve rows neatly filled. She gulped each drink down with much bravado - as observed from the contortions of her facial muscles - we then hopped onto the ultimate flight of fancy, tightened our safety harness, eager to study the effects of a thrilling rollercoaster ride on a ten year old human body containing mixed drinks. The expected results column had listed dizziness, nausea, vomiting, vision impairment, incoherence and sleep induction as possibilities; when the ride was over, I felt her limp body next to mine, she wasn’t moving; in all excitement, I had declared this experiment too a SUCCESS.

6S - C3

VOTE HERE for Tharuna Niranjan.

Mixed Drinks

by Marie Mosley

Mike lives to use the store's loudspeaker. I can tell by the intense look on his face when he sees a kid flipping out by the pickle jars; it's like he's willing the flailing arms to sweep some Vlasics off the shelf so he can announce that we need a cleanup on aisle six. I think his loudspeaker lust is what makes him keep applying for a management position - he probably dreams about wearing the manager's headset and spending his days broadcasting corny puns about people who park in the fire lane. Dorky as he is, though, I have to admit that he made me laugh once. A few months ago, an old guy crashed a cart into an endcap and destroyed an entire display of half-price liquor. Mike commandeered the microphone at the customer service desk and hollered "Mixed drinks, aisle 10!" with such joy in his voice that I couldn't help but giggle as I went to get the mop.

6S - C3

VOTE HERE for Marie Mosley.

Mixed Drinks

by Madam Z

Mixed drinks are for sissies! I like my whiskey straight. No sissy ice cubes either. Hell, I don’t even need a glass. Just pass me the bottle. Glug, glug, glug... aaaaahhhh.

6S - C3

VOTE HERE for Madam Z.

Mixed Drinks

by Deborah Katz

We serve Kool-Aid at the Sunday School socials, but peppermint schnapps makes a nice minty drink when they’re mixed. We serve decaffeinated cola products at the Teen Youth Dances, but Rum really enhances the flavor. At the Senior Adults' Dinner, iced water with lemon is the beverage of choice and can I just tell you how great Vodka kicks that up a notch? There’s this crazy little punch the women at Church serve at our midweek activity, which simply cries out for a mix of Amoretto liqueur. And don’t get me started on the “newest bestest diet pill" knocked back with Mountain Dew served in a covered cola cup when we meet for early morning scripture reading. I should probably have a strong, black coffee to sober up for these events, but I’m a Mormon and we don’t drink coffee.

6S - C3

VOTE HERE for Deborah Katz.

Mixed Drinks

by Jeanette Cheezum

I was excited at the thought that tomorrow I would turn twenty-one. I got on the phone and called all my friends in hopes of a celebration. When some of my friends said they would meet me at the hottest spot in Virginia Beach, I knew it would be a night to remember. Everyone gathered by nine and we danced and danced. I decided to go to the bar and buy some mixed drinks - I proudly handed the bartender my license; he giggled and fixed the drinks. “Well, young lady you’re old enough, but I see your license expired three months ago,” he said.

6S - C3

VOTE HERE for Jeanette Cheezum.

Mixed Drinks

by Stephen Book

There are days when I have nothing left — no excuses, stories, or trite platitudes — to explain away what is so painfully obvious to me and everyone else: I am a fool’s fool. Today happens to be one of those days. And not just today, it seems, but rather the last six months of my miserable and somewhat worthless life, starting with the night I lost my mind and proposed to Beth Ann Platte, who was the first and only for me, if you know what I mean. I thought she was the one who would make me happy, but what I didn’t know then, and yet I do now, is that Beth Ann is not only a self-absorbed person, she also apparently suffers from an extreme case of paranoia, daily accusing me of cheating on her and checking my cell phone for all in-coming and out-going calls, so sure that she would catch me in the “act." The honeymoon over, the nightmare in full swing, I finally had enough of it last week and told her I was leaving. It seemed reasonable when she requested two days ago that we sit down at the dinette table, have a couple of drinks and talk about a peaceful separation; unfortunately, though, as I gaze upon her cold body lying on the floor next to mine, my last wheezing breath seeping out of my burning lungs, I understand all to late that with Beth Ann there is no such thing as a peaceful separation and a “mixed drink” can be a deadly cocktail.

6S - C3

VOTE HERE for Stephen Book.

Mixed Drinks

by Kerrin Piche Serna

I know what the real problem is here. It's that I can't seem to get enough black eyeliner onto my eyes; I keep inking it down and smudging it around and it never ever gets black enough. So, after the wedding I think I'll go find a bar, some bar that smells like armpits and peanuts and is dark and safe as the underside of a picnic blanket, and I'll schlump myself over a drink and wait for the black to eat up my eyes. That way, after the white bright sticky frosting light of the day, I'll have a nice dark place to rest and go blind and stir my cubes of ice so they tinkle like bells. Like bells! And I'll think about how glad I am that my last vision was of him, looking so happy, so happy and burning white, and how happy I am for him, I really, truly am.

6S - C3

VOTE HERE for Kerrin Piche Serna.

Mixed Drinks

by Linda Courtland

White Rum was tired of Diet Coke's attitude. "They only want you because of me," Diet Coke would gloat, as young hardbodies asked for her at the bar. Rum turned to Vodka for comfort, but Vodka voiced his own heartache: "I'd give anything for a sugar substitute; the cloying sweetness of fruit juice is driving me mad." Later that night, Rum and Vodka summoned all the spirits and during a sacred ceremony, the liquid in each bottle magically changed places. As he dove into fresh-squeezed orange juice the next morning, White Rum reveled in the vitamin-enriched goodness before being whooshed into the mouth of a Vodka-drinker. He had hoped to discover a wondrous new land, a sparkly place where simple carbs could run free, but Rum learned something surprising about people that day: inside, they're all the same.

6S - C3

VOTE HERE for Linda Courtland.

Mixed Drinks

by Deborah Breitman

She was a cosmopolitan woman. Her bathing suit was severely cut and expensively sexy. She caught and held his eyes, examining his square jaw and full lips. With a come-hither toss of her hair, she invited him, tall in his black and tan swim trunks, to join her. He crossed the sand and sat beside her. There would be sex on the beach today.

6S - C3

VOTE HERE for Deborah Breitman.

Mixed Drinks

by Brian Steel

The sun was in the mood for setting, but shone its last few rays of light into the small kitchen of Bill and Julia Sweeney of Ashland, Wisconsin, and coated the brown tablecloth between them in a warm, temporary glow. “We’ve only got another week left,” he said, looking around the kitchen, “but we can move in with my sister and her family.” “We’ll have to sell the car when we get there,” she said, “but I hear Milwaukee’s got real good public buses.” “Hey honey, there’s half a bottle left in the cupboard from last week. I’ll tell you what, you get the SoCo and I’ll get the soda.” She smiled and pushed herself up from the wobbly card table, and as he fished for the half-empty liter of ginger ale in the back of a nearly empty fridge, he vowed that tonight, for at least a couple of hours, they would taste what sweetness they still could, if only to stamp out the bitterness on both their tongues.

6S - C3

VOTE HERE for Brian Steel.

Mixed Drinks

by Greta Igl

I brought you here for a reason. I need this - the rum and Coke, the dim light, the table just public enough to force me to keep it together. I found the letter, the one that says I'm a terrific girl, so sweet, but that you still love her, that it isn't the same. I watch you drink your CC and soda and I think this is it, this is the end, all I have to do is say it. But then you smile at me, ask ready to go?, give me that easy, hungry grin that always makes me feel like, with you, I could be part of something bigger. I swallow, nod, tell myself what I need to hear, that she doesn't want you, so for now you're still mine.

6S - C3

VOTE HERE for Greta Igl.

Mixed Drinks

by E.Y. Kwee

You want to know a secret? I’ll tell you a secret. All my friends who’re so cool, who listen to Lucky Charmz and Lazarus X and think they’re cool, they listen to underground music that no one’s ever heard of and no one wants to hear of cause it sounds like a bunch of garbage, if we’re gonna be honest here - me, I pretend to like it, and I really do like some of it, but I also secretly like mainstream rock and reggae and techno and country and some classical and, god forbid, pop. So I sit in my room in the middle of the night, when it’s dark and the headphones over my ears shut out the world like it’s just me, and I listen to the music that I want and I mix it; I mix the pop with the punk and the rap with the country and the hip hop with the cellos and violins and if my headphones are the cups then my ears are the mouths cause they drink it in like a smooth smooth milkshake. You wanna know why I mix it? I mix it because it sounds better that way and maybe, someday, if I’m lucky, I’ll find that if I drink in enough of this mixed-up mania through my ears, it’ll reach down into my heart and fill up the spaces and pull it back together again cause man, I really need to get over myself.

6S - C3

VOTE HERE for E.Y. Kwee.

Mixed Drinks

by Diane Brady

The surviving six, four men and two women, had waited roughly 12 years in the school's underground bunker, and now their perseverance would soon be tested as they readied the spacecraft for departure; the estimated year was 2084, and they were growing anxious to leave the once green planet. A mathematician, two medical researchers, a graduate electrical engineer, a poet laureate and a prominent U.S. historian worked silently with final preparations. The war was sudden, for peace had dominated the world for almost 60 years, but when anger erupted between members of the World Council over who would succeed The Grand Master, someone reacted carelessly, and before it could be stopped, nuclear explosions, strategically preset, detonated on every continent. Details of the upcoming launch were embedded into the group's collective consciousness so when the moment arrived they acted in concert, flawlessly, without emotion and remained focused until they rose well above the toxic atmosphere and were safely headed towards deep space and other worlds. "All systems OK," said the engineer as he flipped switches and then removed his helmet; "It's about time we celebrate, don't you think?" After all the years of planning, all the years of fantasizing how and when they would escape, the arguments they endured over the design and what to name their vehicle, the poet laureate stood to offer her blessings with an eloquence none had remembered hearing on earth; when she finished she handed each colleague a plastic bottle of water, opened a foil packet and poured the blood-based red powder into their containers; "Drink," she said, raising her bottle; and so the surviving six - four men and two women who had gone to work at the university one beautiful April morning and found themselves inside a nightmare before noon - swirled and mixed the bloody cocktail and then together savored the elixir they hoped would bring eternal life.

6S - C3

VOTE HERE for Diane Brady.

Mixed Drinks

by Melody Gray

Saturday morning, and Dad is off to the Pop Shop to pick up our new selection of mixed drinks for the coming week. We all get a choice of what flavor we like, and it's a chorus sung out in unison as he heads for the door, Black Cherry being the favorite. I can still see the yellow crate that fits all those little stubby glass bottles; and what a treat those mixed drinks are for us kids. The taste of an icy cold Black Cherry drink being swigged back with the sounds of Rod Stewart or Fleetwood Mac in my ears, and the feel of the long orange shag carpet between my toes is a sensory over load to my twelve year old body. It is a simple pleasure for as long as it lasts, although it's not long enough because Black Cherry is always consumed the quickest, and then we are left with the green, pink, brown or orange drinks. But, Saturday morning will come once again bringing with it the anticipation of a Black Cherry drink; but I often wondered why Dad didn't buy all Black Cherry?

6S - C3

VOTE HERE for Melody Gray.

Mixed Drinks

by Mike Hawko

The night's last drink did not come from the coins left in our pockets. We were stirred together, two things once so separate, now in a swirling liquor of tired and drunk, of shoulders bumping together and muttered apologies. Lights hung down from the walls and ceiling as fizzy golden carbonation above our heads. We two were sweet and strong, and I had never tasted anything like this. We went down easy and warmed the stomach and we gave each other the courage for whatever happened next. Safe and intertwined in a tall glass all our own, as the music died down to a quiet murmur, as the deepening darkness became foreshadow for the dawn, we floated there, mixed drinks.

6S - C3

VOTE HERE for Mike Hawko.

Mixed Drinks

by Lisa Miller

I handed him a scotch on the rocks as he walked in the door after work. Still gun shy from our fight the night before, in which I did all the yelling while he either sat silently or mumbled lame apologies about not being good with feelings, he raised his eyebrows and smiled a tiny bit as he wondered if the drink was safe to drink. "I know it's hard for you to talk about your feelings, so I'm going to liquor you up first," I said. He agreed to use his outside voice and I agreed to use my inside voice so we'd meet in the middle volume-wise, since neither of us wanted to waste a perfectly good Saturday night fighting when we had more important things to do. And then he said, "About the drinks - aren't you having one too?" I agreed to have a few, knowing that if a "few" turned into "some" turned into "lots," we wouldn't be talking until the hangover wore off sometime around 8pm on Sunday.

6S - C3

VOTE HERE for Lisa Miller.

Mixed Drinks

by Nathalie Boisard-Beudin

It was fascinating like an old melody, the type that runs up and down your spine and sends you back to unlock some golden secret memory. Every time Harry prepared cocktails for her, he appeared possessed by a rhythm from another era – just a trace of Cole Porter – a dancer on a very thin line, teasing her addiction with a deliberate shimmy of his shaker. He had that grip on her – she knew she wasn't an alcoholic, really – something animal never quite satiated that kept her at the bar late into the night: drinking up his wondrous elaborate concoctions but even more so drinking up the sight of him, the glow of his energy, the sensuality of his moves. An inebriating tango, a smouldering salsa of vodka, cream and tribal beat. A swirling world that sucked her in with colors and special rhythms, night after night. It was only later - much later - after she had been rushed to the hospital that it was discovered that Harry laced his cocktails with heroin.

6S - C3

VOTE HERE for Nathalie Boisard-Beudin.

Mixed Drinks

by Rachel Green

There was nothing quite like a cocktail party in an English country garden on a June afternoon. The mansion behind the host glowed with the heat of the sun, but the terrace upon which a dozen assorted dignitaries were about to champagne and strawberries was shaded by a pair of enormous Judas trees. Louis straightened his modest morning suit, smiled and nodded to the waiters to open the bottles. Corks popped and champagne flowed as freely as the Styx and the dignitaries; two bishops, three deacons, four parish priests, two rectors and a visiting American evangelist, drank freely and were dead less than seven minutes later. Louis was pleased. He’d poisoned the grapes twenty years ago, nursing them along from harvest to bottle to this very moment where the apocalypse began.

6S - C3

VOTE HERE for Rachel Green.

Mixed Drinks

by Prachi Jain

For years he sat near the family room window smoking cigarettes and strumming his guitar. "Practice makes a great musician," he would say. While Mom worked two jobs to pay the rent and to bring food to our table, dad would just play guitar and move his dirty knotted hair from side to side. Mom and I learned to leave him alone with his decaying human faculties and moved on with our lives, hanging on to our delightful relationship. We fared all right. Life was hard but there were moments of elation too, like you obtain from mixed drinks, and delight and decay survived together.

6S - C3

VOTE HERE for Prachi Jain.

Mixed Drinks

by Crorey Lawton

"Excuse me, did you get my fuzzy navel?" She leaned over the faded fake burl of the table in the booth, her delicate hands pressed into the wet sheen spread unevenly across the surface. "Erm," I stammered, forgetting for a moment that my teammates were in the booth with me. "I ordered a Manhattan..." but my voice trailed off as I realized that the sweet drink I had been sipping on was not what I ordered. "That's OK," she said, leaning in, "because I was not expecting what I got, either." Removing a hand from the table, she made it an offering to me, saying, "I'm Sophia."

6S - C3

VOTE HERE for Crorey Lawton.

Mixed Drinks

by Lyn Carceo

Do they call them mixed drinks because of what they do to you? I've had menehunes, Polynesian drinks named for Hawaiian leprechauns; good stuff; rum smooth, but watch yourself. With all mixed drinks, you have to pace yourself and know your limit. I've seen people handle their first drink with no problem, but be passed out and under the table with the second. Mixed drinks bite; no wonder they have names like "scorpion bowl." I'm a beer and wine person myself, so I usually pass on mixed drinks, but, as with any alcohol, I know my limit; do you?

6S - C3

VOTE HERE for Lyn Carceo.

Mixed Drinks

by Teresa Tumminello Brader

As he sits in his office, Bill’s daytime fantasies about Michelle don’t go beyond taking hold of her hand or brushing a stray lock of hair off her face. He has an urge to buy her things and take her places; he would like to see her reactions. What he would give her and where he would bring her are mostly formless impossibilities, though he does picture the two of them sitting at a wrought-iron table on the balcony of Ernst CafĂ©, an oasis amidst the jabbering after-work crowd. Breezes float down the pedestrian-only street as Bill and Michelle sip Southern Kisses. The sweetness of the drink fills Bill’s mouth. But when he pulls out of his hopeless reverie, only a bitterness on his lips remains.

6S - C3

VOTE HERE for Teresa Tumminello Brader.

Mixed Drinks

by Claire Harder

She looks down with solemn eyes as the bartender flees to another order, unaware of what he has left behind. The full, rich Sangria feels like the beginning of a secret, a holy libation to be drunk when no one is watching. It is dark, bittersweet, ritualistic - reserved for the lonely alcoholic in need of absolution. At last she lifts the Sangria to her lips and takes a Eucharistic swallow. The burgundy wine slips down her throat to rest somewhere in her torso. It reaches beyond mere tequila and rum to plumb the depths of her soul.

6S - C3

VOTE HERE for Claire Harder.

Mixed Drinks

by James Steerforth

All things considered methodically, soberly and objectively, life was dreadful. There was nothing to last, least of all feelings and relationships and love; the only certainties were the daily drudgery of work that leached all energy out of him, the wounds festering away that were immune to any kind of healing, the new wounds getting cut as the days went by, and, to round things off, inevitable physical and mental decay, with death's black eye winking at the end. So out to the bars, away from finding himself and solitude unbearable, in search of some alcohol-induced enjoyment. Where and with whom might Francesca be? She who had gone to Australia when a new, exciting job opportunity presented itself, coolly betting on him being too tied down, too immobile, too lacking in adventure and imagination to come along, taking their little daughter with her. He twisted the stem of life's simile, a mixed drink in a half-full/half-empty bulbous glass, smiling a knowing, alcohol-fueled inane smile.

6S - C3

VOTE HERE for James Steerforth.

Mixed Drinks

by Tom Conally

Rob was my friend but he was unpredictable as evidenced by the court mandated sensitivity training he had to attend stemming from a road rage incident last month. He had called me earlier today and asked me if I wanted to go get some mixed drinks and party with him. He picked me up after dark and said he already had a supply of mixed drinks we could use. After a bit we pulled into a driveway unfamiliar to me but there sat the car whose driver had cut Rob off and he had reciprocated by running it off the road ending in the road rage charge and sensitivity training. Rob reached in the back seat and pulled out a bottle with a cloth stopper, a Molotov cocktail which he lit and threw at that car. Now I knew what he meant by mixed drinks.

6S - C3

VOTE HERE for Tom Conally.

Mixed Drinks

by Adam J. Whitlatch

I start off slow, a couple beers, maybe a shot of Jack, but then my friends start shoving all kinds of concoctions in front of me; I’ve never had Canadian Pussy before tonight (the liquid kind, mind you). And although I’ve had my fair share of blowjobs, this is the first Blowjob I’ve ever gotten from a shot glass; wait... why are all the girls laughing at me? What do you mean “It’s a girls’ drink?" I down my third Washington Apple in one gulp as I watch the cute redhead on the dance floor in the apple bottom jeans; maybe later I can interest her in a little Sex On The Beach, but first a little more liquid courage, please, bartender. After a few more shots I finally staggered over and asked her for a dance, but when my friend came over and asked me if I wanted a Redheaded Slut, I pointed to my partner and (a little too loudly) said, “No thanks, already got one!” How the hell did I wind up on the floor and what do you mean what happened to my eye?

6S - C3

VOTE HERE for Adam J. Whitlatch.

Mixed Drinks

by Bryce Carlson

When it comes to killing people, I like to do it with two things: a Bombay Sapphire Tonic on the rocks accompanied by a quarter-inch thick slice of lime and a little known element that always gets the job done - kindness. I literally smile at people until they develop liver spots and begin to decay. Two reasons: 1) Horribly unhappy cynics suffering untimely deaths put a smile on my face and, 2) The last thing these poor souls should see before they pass on to the other side of the rainbow is a glistening set of veneers under a pair of pronounced cheekbones. But for that matter, every person should have a Polaroid smile as their final memory. So when unsuspecting individuals take a harsh gander at me swishing my gin around, mixing the lime perfectly with the melting ice and tonic water, I set the old love daggers in my skull and watch them slowly perish. Then, I finish my drink.

6S - C3

VOTE HERE for Bryce Carlson.

Mixed Drinks

by Joe Roche

He’d bowled in to the party at around eleven, even though everyone else had managed to make it for the asked-for eight. His smug face disgusted me as it contorted into an “oh am I late?!” faux-coy apology that was devoid of any sincerity. He had the perfect haircut and the perfect clothes and he knew that the eyes of everyone in the room were on him as he entered, swaying slightly in a pretence of half-drunkenness and deluded self-importance. It was this self-importance that meant he didn’t notice when someone spiked his Guinness with about two shots’ worth of Jack Daniels. He grabbed the can from the side, downed a huge gulp, and instantly his eyes bulged and vomit erupted from his mouth and nose all over the beautiful girl he was talking to. In the ensuing minutes he left, covered in vomit, she cried, also covered in vomit, and I almost pissed myself laughing, not covered in vomit but hoping that he’d never find out that it was me who had mixed his drinks.

6S - C3

VOTE HERE for Joe Roche.

Mixed Drinks

by Veronica Alderson

Two people sitting in a bar. “Hey kid,” he said, “did you know women are like a bowl of mixed nuts, you can’t have just one.” The man sitting next to me commented as I sat stunned and scrutinized his shaggy blonde hair which curled around his ears and a lock of gold draped across his forehead as he leaned into his drink, he cocked a brow, a heated glance held my gaze for a nanosecond, he smirked, his full lips pressed into a seam, his head shook back and forth and the golden highlights shimmied in the dimly lit smoky bar. “No," I answered, “mixed drinks.” I heard and felt my husky voice reverberate in my throat while I swirled my fingertips in the salty grit coating the mixture of nuts, flicking an almond across the top, and finally out of the bowl hitting his glass, wiped my fingertips with the bar napkin. I rose from my stool and slowly dragged my sunglasses away from my face and flung my hat off, flounced my hands through my hair, bringing my long brunette tresses forward, purposely laying them to hit the tops of my breasts as I relished his astonished gaze, my heavy woolen coat slid off my shoulders and I smoothed my hands down the silky bodice of my blouse making sure to emphasize the fullness of my flesh and then I caught his stupefied eyes, my lips quivered in the corners of my mouth as I spoke, “I said mixed drinks because that’s my drink in your hand and by the way I’M A WOMAN!”

6S - C3

VOTE HERE for Veronica Alderson.

Mixed Drinks

by Richard Rippon

To avoid a major hangover, never mix the grape and the grain is what they say. You know how bad you feel the day after, when you�ve had wine and beer, then maybe a few shots to wind up the night? Now add five litres of human blood to the cocktail, now how would you feel come sunrise? There's the crucifying hangover to begin with, but additionally you also have to contend with a certain amount of clotting in the throat region. Parched doesn't come into it and I'm spitting up slimy proto-scabs for hours. At least I am relatively comfortable in the dark confines of my coffin, though it is only the prospect of bursting into flames that prevents me from popping out for a Big Mac meal.

6S - C3

VOTE HERE for Richard Rippon.

Mixed Drinks

by Paul Condrey

It was in Luckies Bar and Pool 47 miles east of my temporary place of residence over mixed drinks that I spoke with the old man they called Cortez that frequented the bar about life, lost loves, sorrow and the time that he swore he had been abducted by aliens as he slept in his bed. The stream of light shining through a slit in a window that had been covered with cardboard struck a line through the room that revealed years of untidy keeping only for a second before the specks floated on. Cortez said with great definition in his voice: "Ya see Wyatt, I myself am a rain dog, meaning dat, I ain't got no home, I'm lost and I can't find my way anymore. You see, when a dog gets caught out in a rainstorm for long enough, dat familiar smell of home gets all washed off of dem and da way dey came to be where dey at, and dey just can't never get back home." I nodded slowly and let my mind mow over what he had told me, a stranger in a bar that he was just drunk enough or didn't care enough not to pour his soul out about the fact that he no longer had firm grasp on his life and that he didn't even know what doorway or bench he would lay his head down on next. It was in this moment that it all became suddenly clear to me in my half drunken state; I too was a rain dog and I had found a man that I could call a friend in Cortez here in a shitty bar over mixed drinks, so far away from my closest relations who I'm sure were walking around, living their lovelorn, jilted lives like the dead that they are to me now, and like that place is to me now.

6S - C3

VOTE HERE for Paul Condrey.

Mixed Drinks

by Meera Kannan

From the time Mixy gave birth, she seemed really aggressive. So much so that she was no more scared of and in fact a threat to the son of the b**ch that hovered around chasing her. Motherly instincts, perhaps. Eddy was there too, fathering the tiny amusement and responsibility, that now lured all, by her low decibel, delicate meows, sheepish sort of smile and tiny stars of hardly-open eyes. With her devoted parents keeping a watchful, protective eye on her 24/7, "Mixed" as we christened her (a sheer non-creative fuse is all we could spare time for; having about 20 odd cats and 30 odd kitties to care for - but hey, don't judge our love for her by that), the drooling son of a b***h was forced to resort to an all-day regime of only eating vegetarian, no-hunting-required food and doggy doggying the other b***ches in the garage. Given that, Mixed is now left loose for the careless learning of life; she now drinks on her own too, cleverly reaching for her kitty bowl.

6S - C3

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Mixed Drinks

by Joseph Grant

It was a fool-proof plan, thought Yvette as she sat along the sidewalk tables of the restaurant, her face shrouded by the dark wig and sunglasses. She’d call over one of the new barely-out-of-their-teens waiters, tell the boy she’d like to send a drink to the man across the crowded bar but with explicit instructions that she was to taste it first and not to tell him who it was from and that there was an extra $20 in it if he carried it out precisely as she said. She looked at Walter through the window at the bar inside and thought of how Walter had been a nice enough second husband but remembered also how he had slapped her once or twice and had been surly of late and how there was the little need for him anymore and most importantly, a little matter of his insurance to collect. The only problem was that he was inconveniently very alive at the present moment but the drink would soon take of that and she could duck out before Walter even hit the ground. To plan, the waiter had looked away momentarily as she bent forward in her low cut dress and tasted it and she smirked wickedly as she surreptitiously emptied the poison into the glass, but now watched in horror as it was being brought to the wrong person. Good waiters, like men, are hard to find Yvette sighed to herself; knowing now as she gathered her purse and jacket that no plan was 100% fool-proof and Walter would soon be home with one hell of a story.

6S - C3

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Mixed Drinks

by Jax

Text Message from JOE (received 1:47am): so u think I am selfish? Samara Replies: Joe, I like u. I like that you make me laugh and that you are passionate and that you really don't dwell on what others think about you - it's very liberating to meet someone like that. But, in the last two encounters we have had you have taken upwards of a week or more to call or message and it seems like when you do that you are only after one thing. I can't knowingly enter a relationship with you if you have already proven to me that you are inconsistent, because later on when I get upset at you for being so inconsistent it'll be my fault for thinking you would ever change, and that would just make me feel like a fool. Text Message from JOE (received 1:58am): so� u still wanna meet up?

6S - C3

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Mixed Drinks

by Tammi J. Truax

"Would you like to meet for a drink?" her potential internet date queried, and with great trepidation she agreed to go on her fast date in years. The long list of do's and don'ts, many times mentioned in her women's magazines, rattled in her brain as she made her way to the lively watering hole he had suggested. As she made her way through the big oak entry way, one last rule almost escaped her audibly, never leave your drink unattended. After meeting her date with a smile and a handshake, she sat down and waited for him to order first, then said "I'll have the same," and made a point of matching him sip for sip as they talked. She found getting him to turn his back briefly to be rather easy when she returned from the ladies room, took her seat, and switched her drink for his. "Relationships are built on trust, don't you think?" she asked him soon after, as the last of the ice in their cocktails melted.

6S - C3

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Mixed Drinks

by Daphne Ash

It started in Vegas as a night on the town with my girlfriends and ended up with me waking up in a hotel room, a bald headed, tattooed, grossly overweight man sitting next to me waving a marriage certificate in my face and grinning. Maybe it was the three Margaritas that I'd started with at Caesar's Palace, the sultry tones of Celine Dion humming through my brain like a slow moving locomotive that lulled me into a false sense of sobriety. But no, I moved on to Singapore Slings and then to Paralyzers and finally Scotch Malt Whiskey, a hint of lime and topped up with club soda. Too much? I'm a five foot two, mousy brown hair, gray eyed woman of forty seven who weighs two hundred and ninety three pounds. No, I think it was probably just enough!

6S - C3

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Mixed Drinks

by Tovli Simiryan

He toured almost every night when he was young, but now he leaves home only when loneliness crowds him out. He finishes the performance, signs autographs, implies he still carries a torch for the few women admirers, now in their sixties, who stand so close their lips taste his thoughts and stain his satin dress shirt. The crowds aren’t as significant or young as they used to be, but bite into his magic with such sharp teeth, he is suddenly empty and craves the shadows of solitude once again. His performances have left him thin, practically emaciated. He survives with one sip of warm tea, while his followers enjoy mixed drinks intelligently provided by his promoter to foster belonging and the illusion the companionship of strangers is both unending and good for the soul. The crowd presses against his body, all eyes staring, all hands touching, but he never stops smiling and looks above it all, having picked a small spot on the wall that bears watching.

6S - C3

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Mixed Drinks

by Oceana Setaysha

She was the quiet, studious type until that night when the drinks came out. The first few beers left her stable but then they wandered into the kitchen to create colourful concoctions without thought to flavour or even effect. Down went the drinks and out came the secrets, the fears, the hopes and the dreams of this girl he would never see the same again. "Everyone thinks I'm perfect but I'll never be anything real," she said dry-eyed as she downed another of his mixed drinks. He sat and listened, not having to feign interest, as he found out more than he ever should have known and promised to keep more secrets than he could handle. The next day at school she refused to recognise him so he locked all her forbidden words in a secret safe knowing the only key was a good mixed drink.

6S - C3

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