Long Beach, WA : July 2006 Sunset photo, picture, image (Washington) at  city-data.com

“Casey?” Tiffani ventured, daring to crack a half-grin at the very tall, and very elegant woman now seated at the long, L-shaped bar. The daylight spilling in from the windows that lined the bar and dining area, meant to give people a perfect view of the beach and boardwalk beyond, highlighted the features of the woman that now sat before her. From what she remembered of Casey, and there was much, unfortunately, she’d always been a big woman, even in high school, but she hadn’t been particularly pretty, as her nose had been too bulbous, her face had been too round and pitted by acne, and her curly mop of hair had been unruly all the time. Oh, and she’d been a very heavy young woman.

This woman had none of those qualities, but it was definitely her.

“Casey Runuh?” Angie said, her eyes widening a little further. In response, the woman at the bar smiled a bit as she leaned forward, her large but well-proportioned frame making her appear almost like a giantess from one of the many fantasy stories that were seen to circulate in the media these days.

“I’m glad to see that you two recognize me,” she said in a silky purr that was nothing like the woman they remembered, “Because I remember you two as well.”

Silence fell hard between the three women as the sounds from the kitchen behind the wall at Tiffani’s back could be heard as clanking and clanging and the rattling of dishes took precedence at the moment.

“That was a long time ago Casey,” Angie said, her voice somewhat subdued, “and we were being stupid teenagers.”

“There’s no doubt of that,” Casey said with a nod, “But there’s no doubt about what happened afterwards either. You do remember, don’t you? The judge found you two not guilty, and my father was convicted of rape.That’s not something you tend to forget.”

“Casey-” Tiffani began, but the other woman raised a single hand to stop her from speaking, and the fire that burned in her gaze was enough to keep Tiffani from continuing.

“Seeing as I just moved home after burying my mother and making certain my siblings are well taken care of, despite the fact that we’re all adults now, I figured I would give you the courtesy of showing up to remind you that you still have a debt to pay. I mean to collect this time, and as hokey as it might sounds, hell has come to Long Beach ladies. You’ll find out what that means in the days to come, I guarantee.”

With that said Casey stood up, pushing the stool out with one hand as she offered them both a steely glare as her grin faded like the last wisp of sunlight before a winter storm. Neither Tiffani or Angie could say anything as Casey appeared to glide from the bar, not even offering them a glance before she was out the door and headed towards the elevator, or so they would guess.

(to be continued)

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