Karmic Zebra

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Where: Pearlies Diner

When: November 16, 2012; Early Afternoon

What: A chance run in leads to an… odd conversation.

Early afternoon at Pearlies doesn't see a lot of business. True, the popular hours are breakfast, lunch, and dinner; so it isn't expected that the in between times be busy. A sprinkling of patrons occupy the place, an older pair at the counter and an obvious tourist family at a table. And a lone young adult tucked into a booth.

That would be Zan, alone at the moment except for some work he has covering part of his table and a half empty cup of soda. He twirls a pencil between two fingers while his eyes graze over the lines printed on paper. Though every so often he pauses to cross out a line or make notes in typical near-illegible writing.

The door chimes and in walks one of the regular customers of the diner. Bailey gazes about as she enters. "Afternoon." She waves to the wait staff that she recognizes, making her way to one of her favourite booths. That is, of course, until she sees a familiar face. A…smile crosses her face as she walks to where he sits, his booth, and plops herself down opposite him. "You know, I once met a guy who claimed he was a zebra. You think he could've been one in a previous life?"

Zan's eyes flick upward when Bailey sits across from him. "Only if he believes in karma," he answers as he completes the bit of editing he'd been working on. His eyes skim over the line again, another moment taken to consider his work before he leans back and gathers his papers together. "What's going on, Bailey?"

"You see, I dunno about him, but I'm not so sure I'm sold on the whole 'karma' thing." Bailey shrugs. "Then again, with everything…maybe it is." She glances up and waves to a waitress. "The usual." And that's all she has to say. Giving Zan a look, she rests her arms on the table and leans against it. "Strange things have been happening, Zan. Strange. I mean like…mass rats and…other things. Well, and asshole dads and strange ass brothers tryna show up all o'er the place."

"Is it even remotely strange that I can completely relate to your idea of strange things?" If only Zan could make a joke out of it, but unfortunately for Bailey he's entirely serious. He motions to the waitress for a refill before continuing. "Raleigh and I saw a flood of rats come out of the sewer. I've got video of it. And I would entirely agree on the second part, except my dad means well sometimes and my brother… is just an ass."

"The rats I saw way back, couple months ago, were just flooding my apartment complex, outside of it. Weird, that. I mean, seriously. Got a bite or two for my troubles and had to go to the doctor to make sure I wasn't infected with anything!" Bailey rolls her eyes, though thanks the waitress when her coffee arrives. "Well, I thought my dad meant well before. But now I know he's just no good." She leans back and takes a sip of her coffee. "So, what's the mayor's boy up to today?"

"I think dads usually mean well, just not in the way that would do well." Zan pulls his backpack up from beside himself, and starts putting his papers back inside. "Mrs. Crain gave me a grant to make a movie a few months ago, so I'm working on some script edits. Soon as… I get something sorted out, I'll hold auditions. For now, this is as much as I feel like focusing on."

"You wouldn't think so in the situation I'm thinking of." Bailey raises an eyebrow but says no more. "Mrs. Crain? Possibly of the Crain corporation? Well, she's one rich bitch with lots of money to burn, isn't she?" She tilts her head a little. "Movie? Auditions? What sorta dealio you makin' there?"

"The Mrs. Crain," Zan confirms with a smirk. "She's… definitely not lacking, and was far more generous with her grant than I expected, since I went into the meeting without a budget plan and a rough idea." He puts is bag aside and takes a drink from his cup. "Auditions. It's a thriller-suspense kind of movie. About an amateur filmmaker working on his first movie on local urban legends and myths that end up haunting the filming."

"What's the deal with your dad," he asks, after a moment.

"So…it's gonna be nothing like Michael Jackson's Thriller, then?" Bailey smirks, sipping her coffee. "Well, at least you don't gotta pay her back for the money. That ain't half bad." She nods, looking thoughtful for a moment. That is when her food, a bacon cheeseburger and fries, arrives. "Thanks, hun!" She says happily to the waitress, putting down her coffee and moving to put ketchup on her plate. There's a glance at Zan at the question of her dad. "My dad? He's an asshole, didn't I mention that? I thought I mentioned that!"

"Nothing like Thriller," Zan affirms with a smirk. "More like Paranormal Activities, only without the unexplainable camera being on and everywhere all the time." He leans back in his seat and folds his arms over his chest. "You mentioned. But you failed to elaborate. Like I can elaborate by saying my dad is entirely unsupportive of anything I do. His idea of showing happiness for me is to remind me to keep my grades up and tell me how not right it is that I'm dating his assistant. How's your dad an asshole?"

"Shucks. I would've offered myself up for a role in something like Thriller." Bailey him a little sassy look before taking a bite into her burger. Once chewed and swallowed, she shrugs. "How's any dad an asshole? A cheating, lying asshole? Let's go on about your dad. I like hearing about other people and their problems. Makes me feel normal."

"So far from normal." Zan takes the straw from his old glass and puts it into the new one as it's brought to the table. "You should audition anyway. It's all amateur, I have no budget for paying actors. But it'll get your name on screen if that's any interest. Raleigh's handling make up for me and might audition too."

"Far from normal?" Bailey makes with a mock gasp and a mock look of being insulted. "Why I never. I'll have you know that I'm the closest thing to normal in my neighbourhood." She nods firmly. Considering the offer, she eyes Zan. "If you consider making me a ghost or a zombie or something…you'll have to run it by me first!"

"Are either of us really normal," Zan asks while shaking his head. "I'm trying to avoid typecasting," he continues with a smirk. "Just to be fair to anyone else who might want to be a zombie or ghost. I'll let you know when auditions are though."

"Yes, thank you. I'll have you know, outside of the…one life, I have a very active social life. And it doesn't all involve clubbing, either!" Bailey pops a fry into her mouth. "Plus, I've got talents galore. Like, did you know that with just a bobby pin, you can open up a bronze lock that you lost your key to?" She nods at him, giving him a look as if to suggest it's the most amazing feat in the world to be able to do that.

"Oh wow." Yeah, Zan sounds like he's completely feigning being impressed. "Picking locks, that's totally a skill I need in my movie." He shakes his head, then looks at Bailey, brows ticking upward a little. "What else do you do? And what's one life versus another? You aren't like an MIB when you don't work at the Corinthian, are you?"

"You bet your behind it's a skill you'll need in your movie!" Bailey nods a little, waggling her eyebrows suggestively as she does so. "MIB? Pah!" She clears her throat and looks away, almost uncomfortable. "I can't comment. Go about your business like it was never brought up. And remember…" Her head jerks back to stare at him, "Don't tell anyone of our existance." She holds it together for a few seconds before she's lets out a laugh. "Nah. If ya don't know what I mean, I can't help you, kid."

Zan, for a long moment, stares at Bailey like she might have lost a screw or two. "Yeah, okay," he says slowly. He waves to the waitress again, to catch her attention. "If you're talking about your talent, you already told me about it. Once. After that weird tech conference." The one they were invited to under strange circumstances.

"Don't 'yeah, okay' me, young man!" Bailey wags a finger at Zan. "And things change every now and then. People change." She chews on another fry as thinks for a moment. "You know…people are strange. One moment you think you know them, the next and all the world's spinning. Ya know?"

"Have you been drinking," Zan asks with a chuckle. He places a to-go order with the waitress once she comes over. A couple of burgers and shakes, also known as The Usual. "What do you mean, people are strange and all that?"

"Drinking? Of course I have, I've got the coffee right here haven't I?" Bailey roles her eyes. "Guess this proves that just 'cause you're a mayor's son don't mean you're all too bright. Psh." She tilts her head. "Well, look at you just ordered. A couple of burgers and shakes. That can't be healthy for someone. And plus, people surprise you and do things unexpected. They just do."

"Dinner for me and Rylie," Zan explains with a shrug. "Who cares if it isn't healthy, it tastes good and I don't feel like taking the time to cook tonight." To the rest of what Bailey says, he just shakes his head. "I guess. If you say so. Although, maybe you should lay off the caffeine, switch to decaf. Might be safer."

"You and Rylie eh?" Bailey chuckles. "How cute." She smiles a little and tilts her head. "Know what else is dangerous, 'sides from caffeine?" She looks him over. "Maybe I'll tell you next time we meet." She smiles sweetly. "Afterall, you've got dinner you've gotta take home."

Both brows arc upward again, though Zan shakes his head. "What else is dangerous," he asks while he pulls his backpack onto his shoulders. He nods his thanks to the server when she brings his food, and pulls out his wallet to pass along payment for the meals.

Pouting a little bit, Bailey says, "Come now Zan. What's life without a little mystery. You'll find out the next we meet. I promise." With that, she takes a long sip of her coffee, gazing across at Zan for a moment before her attention is drawn to her food once more.

"Trouble." The one word answer is like that Zan knows what happens with mysteries. He collects his bag and drink holder as he slides out of the booth. "See you around, Bailey," he says, turning away from the woman to head for the door.


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