- Chapter 5 -
Madonna On The Rocks
7 YEARS EARLIER
The smoke infested pub was crawling with drunken locals and scandaly clad women. When Madonna Riviera stepped in she turned heads and made the women's faces turn sour. She ignored the patrons and sat down on one of the wobbly leather stools that lined the massive oak bar.
The man behind the counter was washing cups when Madonna took a seat across from him. He had a big head, and the back of it was crippled with fat. He was bald and sweat beads glistened on his forehead. Madonna smiled and flagged his attention.
He swung his drying towel over his shoulder and walked strangely towards her. He had a odd limp and his arms dangled at his side.
"How can I help you, lass?" He asked, and Madonna quickly picked up on his Scottish accent.
"A true Scottie, I see."
"Haven't been in me home country since I was a wee boy" He winked and offered her a menu.
Madonna disregarded the wine list knowing beforehand what she was going to order.
"I'll have a whisky on the rocks, please"
The bartender smiled and began to prepare Madonna's drink. She looked around the room, scanned the people that surrounded her and assessed the potential for danger. There was none. She turned back to the bartender just as he placed her drink in front of her.
"One straight whisky for the lady. It'll be three fifty."
Madonna winked and the man behind the counter stopped blinking for a minute. He was mesmerized by the twinkle in her eye. It was so reassuring, like a mother's caring touch after an injury. He smiled and shrugged.
"How rude of me, lass. Drink's on me." He told her before going back to washing his cups. He turned towards Madonna a couple of times and looked at her funny but would then mutter something to himself and continued his chores.
The young woman was sipping on her drink when the door to the pub swung opened. Madonna adjusted her dramatic purple collar and smoothed out her pitch black skirt. She puckered her lips and greeted the man that sat down next to her.
"I didn't expect you to show up, Zachariah."
The man named Zachariah was older then he looked. His hair was slicked back into a greying ponytail and his face was outlined with a dark grey beard. He had circular glasses that rested atop his awkwardly crooked nose. He looked frail but Zachariah had power like no other. He ordered a pale ale and turned to Madonna.
"Why did you call me again, Mrs. Riviera? Didn't I make myself clear last time?"
"Yes, you did. Elizabeth was very adamant about your decision. I called you here hoping you would reconsider"
"My wife and I will not allow you to experiment on our son." Zachariah answered firmly, looking his companion right in the eyes.
"Your not afraid to look into my eyes; knowing what they can do, what they can make you do?"
"You don't scare me, Madonna. The Agency made a terrible mistake in appointing you to this prophecy."
Madonna adjusted her purple square glasses and drank what remained of her whisky and slammed the glass down. The ice danced around in the bottom of the cup.
"You can't prevent this from happening, old friend," she spat out the last word with such venom that she would shame the deadliest of snakes, "the messiah is on his way as we speak and your son will cross path with him. Not even you can stop this."
Just before leaving the crusty looking pub, Madonna turned around and winked in Zachariahs direction. A small sparkle crossed the room and for a moment, it was like time stood still. She brushed her blonde hair behind her ears and smiled.
"You will bring John to the public library tomorrow at six sharp. You will come alone. And then you will forget John forever." The words came out of her mouth with such sweetness, much like an old jukebox tune that made any listener lose his thoughts to better times.
Madonna turned around and slipped on a pair of oval sunglasses over her light grey eyes and stepped out of the pub.