A Wink and A Smile

Janine smiled until her cheeks felt like they would pop like two pink bubble gum bubbles. How she hated the smell of these dirty old men. It was something south of fermented varnish.  She took their menus as they made their dirty jokes. She winked at them and turned away. She got two tables away before she rolled her eyes. She shuffled the menus carefully blocking her face from the other customers. The manager stepped out onto the floor. Dan scanned the counter tops checking for stray straw wrappers that weren’t there, and so picked at a few specks of salt instead. Janine placed the menus back into their cubby and shoved a smile back onto her face. Her hand grazed something sticky.

“Eww.” She pulled out her hand and shook it for effect. “Let me put this order in and I’ll clean out the menu cubby. Something’s sticky in there.” She laughed. She thought she sounded almost sincere.

Dan strode to the cubby and began dissecting it. He scowled. “If people washed each menu off before putting them away, this wouldn’t happen.”

Janine tried not to focus on Dan’s cheap black loafers. There was a visible worn spot where his big toe stuck out. The gold flaked off the chain in front.

“You’re right.” She smiled through her memories of the morning when they were so slammed. He criticized her speed and organization skills, all while watching from the safety of the cash register, until people started filing out. He then went around and made notes of all the crumbs on the carpet while she took people’s money and refilled coffee. Christy called in sick again. Dan hadn’t found anyone to come in to replace her yet.


I used “Wink” as my prompt today. 12 minutes. Pick a word and write. It’s fun. You’ll like it.


About the author

Carley Hibbert

I just finished writing my first novel The Villain's Assistant. I'm preparing to submit it to an interested publisher.

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