According to tradition, I should welcome you to Eden Awnings: Mermaids and Motors. How was that? Anyway, it is almost Christmas, so Merry Christmas! If you haven’t read the last in the Eden Awnings Serial, you can find it here https://victoriamayburybooks.ca/2020/12/04/eden-awnings-night-fright/.

Also I hope you enjoy Eden Awnings: Mermaids and Motors. I’ll go now.

Eden Awnings: Mermaids and Motors

Joelle did not sleep well, if at all. Every little noise caused her to bolt awake and the light bothered her to no end. Nevertheless, she kept the light on and worried about what could have been in her room if anything had been. She had “seen things” before but this felt different. . . slightly. By the time morning came, Joelle felt even more weary than when she’d gone to bed.

Once she had stumbled down the stairs, Joelle registered the scent of fresh coffee brewing. In her sleep deprived state, she moved towards the kitchen, nearly running into her father.

“Good morning, J.” He greeted her, looking at that morning’s paper. She grunted in reply as she searched for a mug. A soft clink behind her caught her attention. Joelle turned to see her father produce a clean mug. “Looking for this?” Andrew’s eyes held a glimmer of humor until he saw her face. “Did you get any sleep?” Concern laced in his voice but before Joelle could answer her father continued. “I heard that you have an interview at a restaurant in town. What was it called? Sirens and Ships?”

“Mermaids & Motors.” Joelle replied as she flopped into a wobbly chair near a little corner table. Her father nodded sagely while fixing her a cup of the aromatic brew. Soon, Andrew set the cup in front of his daughter.

“Do you feel ready for a job?” He asked her, pulling up another chair to the corner table. “There is no shame in waiting a bit and getting used to Eden Awnings. You could take the time and make friends with the people whose lawn you threw up in.” His eyes laughed silently while Joelle took a long sip of the coffee. She gave no response to his joke; she was just so tired. “Or we could work on making a little garden in the front here.” He gestured towards the bay windows in their living room. “Of course, it would have to be on the days that I’m not at work.”

Joelle shook her head and shrugged. “I’ll go to the interview but I don’t know. I’m barely functioning as it is. I don’t think Mr. Waters or any owner would see me today and think I’d be a good worker.” Her shoulders slumped while she silently finished her coffee.

“Well, I won’t pressure you into working. You still have time to be a kid, Joel.” Andrew ruffled his daughter’s messy hair and turned towards the door. “I have to get to work now, see you tonight.” Joelle mumbled a goodbye as the door closed. She rested her head on the table but heard her mother’s shoes on the stairs.

“Joelle! It is almost time to go for your interview!” Her mother called. Joelle waited for her to walk into the kitchen. Soon, she heard her mother gasp. “Joelle! You need to get ready right now!”

An hour later, the bubbly Moka and the dragging Joelle walked up to the waterfront restaurant. Joelle looked at the parking lot, full of oil stains and drag marks. The restaurant didn’t look much better in her opinion. It was styled to look like a fishing cottage with antique nets and a sign that held a mermaid with a once vibrant green tail and purple shells. The faded sign read: Mermaids & Motors.

“This is where you want me to work?” Joelle asked incredulously.

Moka nodded excitedly, hopping from foot to foot. “Isn’t it wonderful? So niche and beautiful here!” She spun in a circle gleefully. Joelle wondered if her mother had lost it when her thoughts were interrupted by a decidedly masculine voice.

“Mrs and Miss Deno, I presume?” Joelle felt her skin crawl as she turned to see a large man in his fifties with thick graying locks standing at the door. She gulped at the sheer size of the man. Sure, he did have a large belly but he could easily be 300lbs of pure muscle. Something in her told her to run and Joelle would’ve but her mother was already making introductions.

“Hi! I’m Moka Deno, from the store last night.” Her mother shook hands with the greasy man, smiling like a girl in a candy store. “This Joelle Deno, my daughter.” Moka gestured at Joelle who gave the man a slight nod. Her mother continued talking a mile a minute. “She was the one I thought might work well at your wonderful restaurant.”

The man chuckled. “I’m still shocked to hear that a little thing like you has a teenage daughter. Let’s go inside and begin the interview, shall we? I’m Mr. Waters if you forgot but you can call me Tri.”

“Well, you can call me Moka.” Mr. Waters chuckled again and held the door open as Joelle’s mother skipped into the dark interior. He looked at Joelle and gestured for her to follow. She came towards him but before entering, stopped.

Joelle strained to look him in the eye and spat out three words. “She is married.”

He shrugged. “So am I.”

Joelle, her courage dried up, quickly walked to where her mother sat waiting for them. Nevertheless, Joelle kept her eye on the restaurant owner. “Now, I thought you two had forgotten about me.” Moka smiled in her sweet way as Joelle sat beside her.

Mr. Waters chuckled and looked at Moka before turning his attention to Joelle. “I suppose we should start the interview so your mother can get to work.”

Before Joelle could stop her, Moka interjected. “Oh, I don’t have a job yet. I’m looking for a position that would aide in learning how to be a chef. Do you know anybody with that position open?” Her honeyed accent drawled.

The man smiled. “I do happen to know one person looking for someone to fill such a position.”

“Oh? Who?” Her mother’s dark eyes widened in excitement.

Mr. Waters pointed in his direction. “Me.” He announced, grinning. Joelle felt worry eat at her as her mother and Joelle’s would be employer had an interview. And so, it ended with Moka getting the job and there being no position open for Joelle.

The two of them exited the restaurant, Moka’s excitement showing through her voice.

“Isn’t this exciting, Joelle? I’ll be able to work and learn how to be a chef!” Joelle smiled and nodded as her mother continued. “I knew you wouldn’t mind staying home alone; school is starting soon and you’ll need to buy supplies. I think this will work out much better, besides you are only going into grade eleven. You don’t need a job just yet.” Joelle nodded but didn’t hear a word her mother had said. She didn’t like Mr. Waters or the fact that her mother worked for him, not one bit.

Thank You!

I hope you enjoyed Eden Awnings: Mermaids and Motors, the next installment of the Eden Awnings Serial will be in the new year which is crazy to think about. But, I will only be posting the next chapters of the serial once a month because I want to write other things too. Next Friday, I’ll be posting on Christmas day the history overview of Ursa. Yes, it is nerdy but no I don’t care. Also, please comment or share this with your friends, it really helps to boost my spirits. Thank you for your time! Merry Christmas!!!

Victoria R. Maybury

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