Last week, after R.J. posted Searching for Billy Knox, introducing one of our main characters, I promised to do the same for Regina Todd, and here it is. Regina’s interview is also included in a character interview blogfest on Echoes of a Wayward Mind. I found this fest yesterday thanks to Roland D. Yeomans. So please follow the links after you read here to support other authors interviewing their characters.
Regina’s interview is written from the perspective of a stranger who meets her three days prior to the point the serial will begin on Blood Reads, June 30th. This is a different format than I originally intended to introduce Regina, and I’m a little behind on the conversion to story format. So I’m releasing in two parts. Hope you enjoy and please come back tomorrow for part 2.
I met Regina Todd during my first trip into the Breakfast King. From a distance, I noticed her hunched over the counter, nervously spinning an empty juice glass. As I approached, her short tussled black hair and soiled orange and cream-colored uniform that matched the restaurant décor told me she must have just ended a long graveyard shift.
The only empty spot was beside Regina, so I dropped my Denver Post and slipped into the seat while staring at a snake tattoo on the girl neck. Not until a forty-something waitress behind the counter, around six feet tall, with big hair and giant sized bosoms caught me off guard did I break the stare. She carried a pot of coffee, so naturally I flipped over my cup. She left no room for cream, and I sighed while she handed me a sticky menu, encrusted with some customer’s leftover breakfast.
While I looked over their selection of omelets, Regina pushed the glass towards the flashy waitress and asked for more OJ.
“You sure you should?” asked the waitress.
Regina kept her head down, lifted the glass and slammed it back down. Everyone at the counter jumped in unison. “Half a glass,” she growled.
Less than a minute later, the waitress returned with Regina’s orange juice and slid it in front of her. “If Pete finds out.”
“Fuck Pete,” she snapped back, this time glaring at her co-worker. Then Regina pulled a flask from her apron pocket and filled the glass to the rim with a clear liquid I assumed was vodka.
“Rough night,” I asked.
She turned and looked at me with doleful blue and blood shot eyes, and heavy eyeliner and mascara smeared down her cheek. “My dad died last night,” she said, her lips pouting like she might cry.
I hate to admit I found her misery kinda sexy.
“Sorry,” I said and took a sip of my coffee. After that I reached for the Post.
“Don’t be. He’s a worthless bastard. Correction. Was a worthless bastard.” Regina leaned over and stuck her tongue in the screwdriver, then sipped from the overfilled glass until it was safe to pick up without spilling. “Only person who cares he’s dead is his bookie.”
“Sorry to hear that too.”
For a second or two she frowned, probably unsure if I was sorry about her old man being dead or his bookie being out his due. Then she lifted her glass in a toast and I had to lean away from her hand to avoid a collision. “Here’s to a quick trip to Hell,” she slurred.
The waitress returned, filed my coffee and took my order. Then she looked down at Regina. “Call you a cab?”
“And go home to a dead rotting corpse on my couch?” She lifted her glass, nearly empty. “I need a few more of these first.”
“I told you. Pete’s taking care of it. Go home.”
The waitress shook her head, then looked at the guy sitting at the far end of the counter. “Gus, can you take her home.”
“Ten minutes,” he replied in a foreign, probably Greek, accent.
Everyone at the counter sat in a painful silence for several minutes, sipping coffee, until I finally built up the nerve to ask, “Your Mom taking it hard?”
“My mom?” She huffed then chugged down the rest of her drink. “Killed herself when I was four thanks to the bastard.”
The guy on the other side of Regina shook his head, and at that point I thought about moving to a booth. But she kept talking and I didn’t want to be rude.
“Took colliding with three trees to do herself in from what my brother says. Last accident crushed her skull and killed my baby brother.”
The thought of it turned my stomach until she laughed out loud. “What’s so funny?” I asked.
“Sorry, I just had a thought that my mom killed herself to get away from Dad and now he’s about to join her in Hell.” She lifted her glass for yet another toast. “Here’s to the day I join them.” She took in a drink of air before her expression turned sour.
“Regina, don’t you dare vomit on my counter again,” said the tall waitress.
“Fuck you,” she said as she hopped down from her seat. “Fuck you all.” Then her legs wobbled and she fell into my arms.