I enjoy Halloween, although not nearly as much as some of my regulars.

Take Fannie, for instance. (She’d likely like it, to be frank.)


We have some of the usual sorts of seasonal stuff at Floggin’ Brews. I do not tolerate cobwebs in my place, and Boss won’t abide the fake polyester kind that abounds in Hallow’s Eve decoration. (She got some caught around Her head once, and that was that.) I even carved a pumpkin this year; let’s just call my effort enthusiastic if not artistic.

A local BDSM group (yes, it’s called the BDSM Group) was having their usual last-weekend-in-October big blow-out do last night, so FB was pretty quiet. We had a few kinksters in the Theatre — not everyone likes big crowds of folks when they play, and I cannot blame them. I like it personal when I indulge.

There are those who have complimented me on my good reputation in the kink community. I work very, VERY hard to maintain that. I stay out of drama, and when someone asks my opinion I try to be judicious about it. I have been accused by a few of harboring rapists and predators in my bar, mostly because I do not agree with their standpoint on an issue. That’s fine. I keep as firm a hand on my moral compass as I can, and I do make mistakes.

(One of Frannie’s partners had a bad break-up with an ex that resulted in the police getting involved. Because of this, the partner was banned from several groups (but not others and I didn’t forbid him entrance), and this got me branded as a harborer. So be it.)

Anyway, Ret was out tonight (I think she had a date), and I didn’t anticipate a big crowd, and I was enjoying an unusually quiet Saturday night. We had a couple of chess games going, and someone asked if I could use the bar Go set.

“Sure. Do you play much?”

“Uh, no,” the guy with the shaved head and tribals on his neck. “But it looks interesting. Do you have a book of rules?”

“Not that a beginner can get through easily. Try It’s a good start. Do you need a partner?”

“Yeah, if anyone would put up with a beginner.”

“Hey, Frannie. You wanna have a go with Go with a new guy?” She was here instead of the Big Party because the deal with her partner, I suspect. “Start with the 9×9 grid on the back. That’s a lot easier to learn on.”

He ordered a Surly Furious, and she was nursing an Aviation. (I personally adore creme de violette, and I always have in stock.)

The two of them sat down and started to play. Soon they were talking and cutting up a little. Good on them. I love it when chemistry happens.

They played Go, and then they sat and talked and laughed a bit. He finally got up and left, smiling and thanking me for the set. Frannie cleaned up and took the glasses to the bar and sat in a bar chair. (I hate stools.) “Did you just fix me up?”

“Not me. I know you play Go, and he was looking for someone who could teach him. And you looked like you could use some company.”

She looked at me and then smiled. “Yeah, maybe.”

“Hey. You’re good folk. Just stay clear of the drama, yeah?” She didn’t look up at that; we both knew what I was referring to. There was a silence.

“How do you do it? How do you avoid the shit, Mikhel? How do you keep that rep of yours?”

“I will tell you my secret. I rarely do pick-up play. That’s it.”


“Yeah. I have to know someone pretty damned well before I let them in that far. I have to know which way they jump in a situation. And I almost always listen to the yellow and red flags that go off in my head.”

“Yeah. Yeah, I guess that’s a good plan.”

“Life’s a long one, F. There is plenty of time to find the right people for your life. You don’t have to accept just anyone into it.”

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