I owned and managed the Sun Dance Pier. Locals called it “The Boogie” but on the license it’s ‘Boogie Beach Crab Shack.’ At sixteen, I started waiting tables, then moved to the bar. Now, I was way past that, but I looked hot and saw the whole situation, so I’ve been the owner/manager for the last ten years. People with the sight, the true sight, were hard to find. To be fair, I could have made a good living in Cassadaga, a town an hour away that catered to psychics and healers, the edge eyes and the full seers, but I enjoyed the sea, even the darker sides, so I played this hand. The longevity wasn’t promising, the last manager didn’t make it to fifty-five, but who knew. Well, somebody in Cassadaga did, but I didn’t plan to ask.
Heavy steps struck the pier, announcing Poseidon, who sported a long white-blond mane, a speedo, and my resultant inner wince. God complex, personified. Why he wouldn’t wear board shorts was beyond me.
“Patra! Still seeking Cleo?” His roar of laughter foretold of a lengthy night of mismanaged alchemy.
“Welcome back, Sea King, looking for your usual?”
“Indeed I am, and a side of beauties,” his wink made me smile.
“Just because we painted the town before doesn’t mean I’m on the menu tonight, but several merwomen are here. Go charm them; they’re in the mood to party.”
“On it.” With a squelch he walked toward the door and it shimmered, letting him access the magic pub.
I suppose the backstory would help. Boogie Beach was the lost soul of Florida’s beaches. Decent surf without the draw of Daytona, although we got their overflow, nor the intellectual panache of Cocoa and the Space Coast. Boogie, or Boogey as my magical patrons called it, had the distinction of being on, as in right the exact hell ON, the line between reality and extraordinary. I ran a pub on the doorway to everything. Shifters, witches, merpeople, the Greek contingent, you name it. If it drank, it showed up and I could see it. That’s my entire skill set. Finite. I couldn’t magic my way out of a tough spot. Wits and crossed fingers were my complete arsenal. For the most part, it’s an honor to be seen as belonging to both worlds, but magic was both light and dark. Someday, I’ll run into the wrong entity, and that’ll be it. In a nutshell, that’s why I didn’t have a kid. It’s not a risk I’d run, because darkness seized opportunities, had no boundaries, or gave any fucks, flying or otherwise. The sight was mutual; I saw them, they saw me. Ergo, running this life solo. Fewer people got hurt and I’m screwed no matter what.
C’est la vie.