Fiction Excerpt, just testing the waters and exercising the writing muscles. Thanks for reading.
I was sitting at the bar in my neighborhood pizza joint.
Doing my best to mind my own business even though everyone around me wanted to debate politics which has a tendency to turn ugly quickly since no one agrees on anything and everyone thinks it’s okay to be an asshole about it. They probably figure since the guy who is “winning” is doing it, it’s okay for them too.
There’s a woman at the end of the bar, to the side where those who’ve ordered their food to-go, come to get it. Considering this is the only pizza place in this neck of the woods, heck, the only food this far out, and it’s debate night, the to-go counter has been busy. She got her things spread in front of three seats at what can become a very busy bar. Her iPad is propped up next to a note pad and pen and she hasn’t put her phone down other than to sip her glass of white wine. Not even when she starts her small talk with those just wanting their food.
The first guy who stopped in was a Trump supporter. Or maybe he wasn’t a Trump supporter, the only thing I kept hearing him say was how much he hated Hillary and there was no way he could vote for such a liar. Interesting choice of words considering we’d just watch a debate where the other *guy* tried to magically make his past lies go away by saying it ‘never happened.’ I wonder if he can get Beetle Juice to appear too.
The woman points out a few of the lies Trump has told and gets the guy worked up and I can’t help but grin as I watch his face turn red under his hat, emblazoned with the logo of a very expensive nearby resort and golf course. The kind of guy who is part of the problem in my opinion – he just can’t give a woman the same leeway, or pass the same judgement as he does a white man. He probably treats anyone of color the same way too. Only the white guys in his world or path get the ‘go-ahead, be a dick, it’s okay’ pass.
Thankfully the bartender is keeping an eye on the situation and gets the now turnip colored man his food and out the door. I know I didn’t want him exploding inside.
And then the second to-go customer walked in and the woman engaged in chit-chat, quickly turning to politics. This time the man was a Hillary supporter, and this time the woman at the bar pointed out a few of his candidates flaws, attempting to rile the guy. Amazingly, especially in this neck of the woods, the guy didn’t take her bait. Of course, that made me nervous, because I certainly didn’t want to get into a political debate with a drunk flim-flammer who was only going to poke and prod me for her amusement.
Over the bar, three T/V. screens were tuned to sports, now that the debate was over I assumed. The story being told was about Jose Fernandez, a very sad day for baseball.
The bartender, a young guy who looked to be in his early 20’s, and could have been a baseball player in his school days, who knows? He had the build. And he seemed saddened too, by the news.
But it was the woman at the bar who kept us in the moment. She started by asking the bartender, “Young man, do you know anything about what happened?
“It was a boating accident, that’s all they’ve said so far,” he kept watching the screen, the scroll bars adding their own narrative to the story being told above.
“Well, I’m sure there was something involved.”
The bartender cocked his head, “so far they’ve said nothing. And he seemed like a good guy.”
The woman interrupted him though, “baloney,” she held up her palm, she didn’t want to listen. She polished off her wine and held out her glass, signaling her desire for another round the whole time with her other hand in the air like a crossing guard at an intersection.
We had to wait for her to quietly belch before continuing. “You watch,” she said. “They’ll find something, drugs or alcohol. Accidents like that don’t just happen. I mean, I’ve had accidents like that, but there was a reason.”
The bartender finished refilling her glass and she took another sip, this time a much shorter one. “It’s the reason I’m walking now.” She paused and placed the glass back down on the bar. “Because I’ve had accidents on the way to AA.”
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