Lorraine was stunned that she had sung her heart out for an audience of only one at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville.
“Big Jimmy! I thought I was supposed to make my Nashville debut tonight. I spent a fortune on my new outfit, and no one even saw it!” Lorraine whined.
“I saw it, Sweet Thang. And you looked delicious,” he purred.
“But what’s next? I thought this would be the launch of my singing career. How can I take off without an audience?” Lorraine had sunk into a chair and had her head in her hands. She narrowly avoided poking out an eye with her false nails.
Big Jimmy scratched his head and stepped back, afraid that Lorraine would launch herself into him. “I guess I shoulda told you that all the music venues in Nashville are closed to audiences because of Covid. I just like lookin at you.”
Lorraine was fed up. “You lied to me!”
“No ma’am, I didn’t lie. I told you you would be the next big thing in Nashville, and you are pretty big. I like a girl with meat on her bones. Don’t like these Skinny Minnies. There’s nothing to grab onto. You are the biggest thing ever to perform on the stage at the Bluebird Cafe. I didn’t lie!”
“How dare you!” huffed Lorraine. She jumped up and hauled off and slapped Big Jimmy across the face. Then she turned on her heel and wobbled out the door on her high-heel cowboy boots. She summoned an Uber and soon found herself back in her hotel room.
She opened up the hotel mini bar and poured herself a stiff drink, threw it down, and then made another. There was nothing left to do but to return to Black Mountain. But before she could do so, she decided to call her friend Black Mountain Robie who knew everything, including everything that was happening in Black Mountain. She would ask Robie whether she dared call Frederick or whether he would tell her to get lost.
It was late, but she knew that Robin was a night owl. She dialed her number, and Robie picked up. “Hi Girl! It’s Lorraine!”
There was a long pause, and finally Robie spoke. “Lorraine! Where the hell have you been? Everyone has been so worried about you. The police think that Frederick killed you and disposed of your body! They have been harassing him since last winter.”
“Robie, should I call Frederick? Does he hate me?” Lorraine asked, taking a long drink of her Bourbon.
“Yes! Call him tonight. He will be so happy! Also, you need to grab him back from your neighbor, Ellie. She set her cap for him and has been moving in on him ever since you disappeared.”
A tear came to Lorraine’s eye and she wiped it away with the sleeve of her revealing shirt. She suddenly realized how much she loved Frederick and how foolish she had been to run away.
“Well, Robie, how are things in Black Mt?” Lorraine asked.
“Martial Law, Lorraine! Government takeover and cover-up. Things have gone to hell here. Come back! We need you in the Resistance.”