A Chance Encounter by LiteralGrill (critique requested)

With travel came the opportunity to sample local whiskeys. Barry hadn’t become a lawyer to maintain perfect sobriety, and a stiff drink was just what he needed to warm up. Despite packing a proper jacket, he had still found himself underprepared for the cold, barren leafless tree doing little to resist against the frigid winds that had nipped at his face.

“Maine in April… What was I thinking?” he mumbled to himself as he exited the cab, looking at RJ’s Pub. A simple building with its original brick exterior, he moved quickly to the door and a tiny bell that hung from it rang as he entered, signalling the bartender a customer had arrived.

Barry took a brief moment to truly enjoy the warmth before sauntering over to find a stool at the bar. He noticed with a quick glance he was currently its only customer. Not that he minded, after a long flight and with how hectic he knew his forthcoming weekend would be he welcomed the bit of quiet.

“Hey there I’m RJ, and before you ask yes the one the pub’s named after.” the bartender said with a chuckle. “You’re not a familiar face, new around here? Also, what might I get you?”

Barry allowed himself a small smile, as he he admittedly was going to ask just what he expected upon learning his name. “Just passing through, but can I get a whiskey? Anything made here in Maine you think is good.”

RJ grabbed a tumbler and put in a bit of ice, as he said, “Well, we have some from Liquid Riot that many folks enjoy, but my personal favorite is Fifty Stone.”

“Well, I can’t argue with an expert, the Fifty Stone then.”

A few savored glasses later, Barry found himself nice and relaxed. RJ had mostly let him be while he enjoyed his drinks, tending to the few other customers that had wandered in. Idly rubbing a finger on the rim of his glass, Barry found himself singing softly along with the familiar tune coming from the pub’s speakers. “We can decorate or climb, or find some way to get around. ‘Cause I’m still on your side, from the bottom of my heart…”

The tiny bell fixed to the door rang with its familiar tinkling to signal a new parton had entered the bar. Barry went to take a quick glance at the newcomer but found himself startled to find she had already made her way to the bar so quickly.

“RJ! Weird to see this place on a Thursday!”

The bartender turned around and a quickly cracked a grin. “Jane! It’s not Friday, what are you doing here?”

“What aren’t you happy to see me?” she joked, settling down quickly on a bar stool. “First, the usual if you would. But I’m going to a convention on Friday and I didn’t want you to miss my beautiful face too much if I didn’t come in for a week.”

RJ sat down a glass of what Barry assumed was whiskey in front of her. He noticed she seemed to be dressed quite formally,and he wondered what job she might have to make her feel the need to have drinks at the end of every work week, something he could easily identify with.

A little playful banter between the bartender and Jane and another glass of whiskey later Barry’s curiosity finally got the better of his introverted feelings and he decided to strike up conversation.

“I can’t help but ask, is that a good whiskey I see in your glass? RJ there told me to try the Fifty Stone and it’s good, but if I’m missing out on something better I would love to know.”

She looked over with a small smile on her face, and he quickly found he was unable to pull his eyes away from the green brilliance of hers. “Liquid Riot, Old Port Bourbon.” she said is a comedic impersonation of an advertisement.

He saw her brush a little auburn hair to the side of her face and felt slightly flattered as he noticed her eyes wandering slightly over him. “Ah he did mention that, I figured I should just sample something local while I’m traveling through since I’ll only be in Maine for a few days.

“Oh nice! What brings you to Maine then?” she asked, genuine curiosity ringing through her voice.

“I’m going to an event to talk a bit on being a lawyer and legal matters.” he said. His answer was not altogether untrue, but he was a bit embarrassed to admit it was for a furry convention to a random stranger.

“What a coincidence, I’m actually a paralegal!” Jane replied.

“Then I apologize in advance for all the assholes like me you must deal with on a daily basis.” he responded with a small chuckle.

Her laughter rang out through the room, and he couldn’t help but smile from how infectiously happy it was. “Alright you’ve got me, there’s a reason I come here for something a bit more normal to relax at the end of the week.”

“Just the end of the week? You are far stronger than I am, but I usually just drink at home.”

“What can I say? RJ has been a good friend for a long time, and giving the bar a little boost is the least I can do. However,” she said, pushing her empty glass to the side, “I can’t have as much as usual, I have to get home as tomorrow is going to be so busy!I hope you have a good time in Maine... “ she trailed off realizing she hadn’t gotten his name.

“Barry.” he finished for her. “It was nice to meet you, even if only briefly Jane.”
She left money for her drink on the bar and watched as she left the bar, a little sad he hadn’t had the opportunity to talk more with such a vivacious woman in a field he could really understand. He looked over at RJ, waving him over as he picked up his phone to call a cab back to the hotel. “How much is this going to be?”

Pine Fur Con had been everything Jane had hoped for and more. She had gotten to see so many colorful fursuits, unable to resist herself in taking pictures with many of them and sharing them on Twitter. She had even braved the dealers den and splurged to get herself a tail and paws, knowing she’d have to explain to her husband later but that it was entirely worth it for the joy she felt at having them.

She looked at her con schedule yet again, making sure the panel with Boozy Badger was indeed at two o'clock and that she would be getting there on time. After all they’d joked about on Twitter together she knew she had to see him while he was in town.

It made her think back to the bar, and to the man she had met there. She had to admit, he had been quite handsome but she was loyal to her mate and noticed by the ring on his finger he must have been too. Still she thought to herself, it will be funny to tell Boozy there’s an event with a bunch of lawyers in town the same day as the con.

She got herself a seat in the room the panel would be held and couldn’t hold back a giggle, seeing the once everyday lawyer in his new partial fursuit. Not a furry my butt, she thought to herself as he started to introduce himself to the room.

Many questions and answers later, she couldn’t quite shake the feeling she recognized the muffled voice coming from the suit. Did I tune in to some stream he did once or something and forgot? The thought quickly left her mind as she thoroughly enjoyed the panel, and as people shuffled out of the room at its conclusion she quickly made her way towards Boozy.

“Boozy!” she said loudly to get his attention. “It’s Puma Legal, from twitter?”

She saw his head turn slightly from a conversation he was having with another panel attendee and then it quickly did a double take. “Wait a second, Jane?”

She was confused a moment, as she had never mentioned her real name to him, or in public before knowing how Twitter could be. “Wait how did… Oh my god Barry!”

They both gave each other a huge hug, neither of the two able to stop laughing for several minutes. When she could finally catch her breath she choked out, “Oh my god how did I not know it was you at the bar? You were having whiskey and everything!”

“Well I should have had an idea too, a convention on the same day as mine, a paralegal? What were the odds!” he chortled.

“God wait till you have to tell Quotation the story of the sexy goddess you met at the bar.” she said, wiggling her eyebrows jokingly.

This just caused Barry to laugh even harder, finally catching his breath long enough to say, “You want to go get a drink and talk proper this time? After I get this damn fuzzy suit off first of course.”

“What? But you look so dashing already, I don’t know if I could be seen with in public any other way!”

Both of them laughing, they headed out of the door and towards his room, both so happy at a chance encounter turned into such a wonderful story for the future.

A Chance Encounter (critique requested)


13 September 2017 at 07:09:05 MDT

A while ago @Keyorden on Twitter commissioned me to write some 'spicy fanfiction' about Boozy Badger and Puma Paralegal meeting in person!. If somehow you don't know who Boozy Badger is at this point you REALLY need to get on Twitter and check him out, he's funny and an overall genuine and great person. After being 'confurted' over to the world of furry, several others in the legal profession came over as well, including Puma Paralegal who is a witty and wonderful person to keep track of as well.

But onto the story! As of course I don't know their actual names, some fun random things have been thrown in here to make this story work. Obviously this is just a work of fiction but it was fun figuring it all out. I hope you all enjoy!

Submission Information

Literary / Story