Friday, February 27, 2009

The Bar at the End of Lonely St.

It is a cold blustery day in a little town of no consequence to anyone including the people who live there. The wind howled outside of a small bar causing the walls to groan. The bar had long since fallen off the beaten path and saw few patrons, especially on nights like this.
The bartender stood behind the bar leaning against the back counter mindlessly polishing glasses with a dirty bar towel. His attention seemed to be divided between the low hum of the TV and the two women sitting at the bar. The woman named Mona leaned in to speak to her companion as if they were sharing state secrets. Her companion Piper leaned away from her uncomfortable by the intrusion into her space. They were an odd pair. It was obvious that they did not know each other well. Neither lady said much to the other one, mostly they awkwardly sipped their Bacardi and avoided having to speak causing seemingly infinite pauses in their conversation.
Piper began to look around the room out of boredom for something more entertaining then her soft spoken companion whom she had little in common with. Her aware and curious eyes inspected the dingy little room. Pictures were haphazardly placed all over the walls covered by a smoky grime from the years when the bar was less desolate. The few rickety tables and chairs had seen their better days and where marred with juvenile graffiti. A dart board in the corner blinked tiredly giving a strobe effect in the too dim room.
Piper mindlessly fidgeted with the coast that was supposed to be under her drink. She briefly wondered why she had even bothered coming here in the first place. Mona was not really her friend, in fact they hardly knew each other at all. Piper had only met Mona a couple hours earlier when she helped her change her tire in the grocery store parking lot. Mona insisted on buying her a drink and officially welcoming her to their small community. Piper didn't want to go but in a town this small you couldn't afford to burn bridges this soon.
So here they sat two women with nothing in common and no desire to follow through on small talk. A cold draft of air swirled into the bar as the door slammed against the wall grabbing the girl's attention. George walked through the opening with his shoulders hunched against the wind and his hands jammed into his pockets. He nodded to the bartender who began pouring two finger of whiskey neat for him. George sat in a chair in the corner of the room with his back to the wall. His seat provided him with a view of the entire room though he looked no where besides at his own glass.
"Who's that?" Piper whispered to Mona.
"Be careful of that guy." she said in the same soft spoken voice "He is a man with a past."
Piper's mind began racing about all of the sordid details someone could have in their past to warrant a warning such as that. She studied him carefully out of the corner of her eye. He appeared to have not shaven for a few days and his hands were weathered and blunt. His eyes were thin slits under heavy brows and his face worn and tired.
Again the door slammed against the wall and a gust of wind mercilessly rushed through the bar. Another man stepped through the door. Henry wore a jacket that was too light for a night such as this. His face was alert and aware of its surroundings as he too nodded to the bartender and too a seat at the table in the adjacent corner of the room. Henry also placed his back to the wall, but he made no attempted to hide the fact that he was looking around the room as the bartender delivered a two fingers of a 20 year old scotch to him.
"Who's that guy?" Piper again whispered to Mona hoping for more details this time.
"Be careful of that guy too." She said her eyes narrowing slightly as she looked at him "He is a man with no past."
Piper adjusted in her seat so she could see him more clearly. He was somewhat handsome and put together seeming, but a air of falsehood surrounded him. Piper thought he was as fake as his tan, but wondered why he was so intently focused on the man across the room. She discretely looked back over at George. He was no longer looking at his glass of cheap whiskey now his eyes were steadily focused on Henry. The air crackled with electricity and tension and the bar remained deathly quiet besides for the low hum of the TV in the back ground.

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