" You said it saved your life ..." I said sticking my finger through the bullet hole in the well worn lighter.
No flint, no fluid, there was no way that Zippo should have worked. Ric had a pull on his drink, then spoke slowly as if choosing his words carefully.
" First you should know I'm not dead ... not yet ... and neither are you, technically ... there's a few loose ends.
After the last set, if you're still here, well ... then that's it my friend, that's all she wrote."
Ric stood abruptly to shake hands with Charlie Parker who was about to be introduced by Serge Trouserin. Choire the talking dog was draped over his arm, his rear paws dangled and his tail twitched.
" See it's not half bad down here at the Modern Lounge," said Ric sitting down next to me again,
" The best of everything and all the greats. Not what you were expecting, am I right? " I didn't answer.
"I'm assuming you aren't ready." said Ric. He didn't wait for my "Damn straight I'd like another sixty years and then die peacefully in my sleep -- if it's all the same to you.”
" Your Ginger ... she's been here past closing time, so the books would generally be shut on her, but the dog likes her. There are a few up line managers we never see and of course the Guy upstairs, but down here the Dog's in charge. He thinks she got a raw deal ... Don't ask. Anyway, she lit up like a candle when she saw you and she wants to go with you."
Bird winked at me from the stage and started to blow 'Now's the Time' on his alto sax.