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The Cold Shoulder (or Wrist)

     A lot of weird things happen in this town. Especially in this here bar. It's like an epicentre for complete and total outlandishness. Take, for example, what happened to my buddy Jack a couple weeks ago. He and I were just sitting at the bar, knocking back a few drinks that night, as usual. Jack's wife had just divorced him, so he had a little more reason than usual to fill himself with the rotted grains. I, of course, joined him in the drinking binge.
     After Jack had about five or so shots in him, he began to get a little ornery. He started yelling at me about his divorce and how he had trusted that woman who he was married to for a whole of “five long months.” I, having not yet drunken nearly as much as Jack, told him to sit down and settle. He did, and he tried in vain to push his tousled hair, which is normally slicked back and rather sleek looking, back into place.
     After that episode, he started sobbing, as many bitter drunks do, about how he was married for “so long” and how he didn’t know if he could ever go out with a woman again. I, wanting to rid myself of this friend of mine who had become an inebriated idiot, told him he could start now.
     “Just look around in here. There are plenty of women around. I bet one of them is desperate enough to consider you as an option,” I told him after finishing off my third Bud of the night.
     “Yeah, I guess you’re right,” is what I thought he said, his speech being quite slurred and hard to understand. So, the pathetic drunken thing got up, greatly calmed down now, and looked around, his eyes (and mine, as well) finally settling upon a woman. She was sitting alone at a table with a large cup of some black liquid, which I assumed to be Guinness. He walked over to the table, and I, deciding this could be an interesting spectacle, tried as best I could to listen in.
     “Hi, I’m Jack. How ya doin’?”
     “I am well,” said the woman, without even looking up.
     “So, what’s your sign?”
     The woman looked up at him with cold, steely eyes for a moment, and stated clearly and evenly,  “Stop.”
     Jack staggered away and came back to his stool at the bar, about ready to give up. I decided I liked this girl’s style, and wanted to see more. I knew Jack wouldn’t mind me using him as a guinea pig in a sort of social experiment much, since he’d be too drunk to remember much of anything anyway.
     “You’re not about to give up that easy, are you? I bet she’s just playin’ hard to get. Get back there and try again.”
     Jack, being in a state in which he was very susceptible to suggestion, complied and walked back to the table.
     “Look, maybe we got off on the wrong foot.”
     “I was not standing, and you appeared to be on both feet.”
     Jack looked like he thought about this for a while, and, drunken slob that he was, replied in his usual brilliant manner, “Uhm, yeah.”
     The woman continued to stare at her glass of thick, dark liquid with those eyes of hers. It was the eyes that really intrigued me. They were a cold grey, like stone or cement, and the whites were so incredibly white, so institutionally white, they looked as if they’d been made in a hospital or a laboratory. Her face looked equally cold, her pronounced cheekbones jutting out like the edge of some piece of machinery. Her nose was, like her speech, straight and to the point. Her lips looked like something from an Andy Warhol painting, unnaturally red on this pale face of hers. She wasn’t traditionally beautiful, I’ll admit, but there was something nonetheless very alluring about her.
     Jack, not really sensing his unwantedness, sat down across from her. While he did, she didn’t so much as look up at him. She just kept staring at that glass of hers, every once in a while, taking a sip. When she lifted the glass, the light reflected off, creating tiny swirling rainbows in the glass. He started to talk to her again, but I couldn’t really hear what was being said, because somebody had the amazing timing to turn on the juke box at just that very second. Jack would seem to ask her a question, or make some comment, and she would, without looking up, pause for a second, as if to process information, and then give him a cold response which was none to his liking. This continued for at least ten minutes, at which point Jack’s face seemed to have shifted in colour to a bright crimson.
     I didn’t see what happened next, because I had passed out (I was, after all, drinking the entire time). When I came to, I saw Jack on the floor, screaming, with the woman’s hand around his throat. The hand was not, however, currently attached to her arm. It was broken off at the wrist, but there was no bleeding. It was shooting off blue sparks where there should have been blood. The woman was standing up, and had the same cold expression on her face, or what was left of her face. The left half of her face was missing, revealing metal underneath.
     To this day, I don’t know if this was real or if it was just the beer, but at that point I decided I should go home and go to bed. I never asked anyone about any of this, not even my good buddy Jack; it was one of those things that you just don’t want to know about. Jack wouldn’t remember anyway.