|Twenty Dollars To Fear (standard:humor, 1454 words)|
|Author: Jimmy Mason||Added: Sep 19 2007||Views/Reads: 1898/1093||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|A moving truck's break down causes a most memorabel night at the local bar|
Devlin Baker jumped out of the twenty five foot U-Haul on to the sheet rock shoulder. The hood of the truck was billowing white noxious steam, coming from the cracked radiator. Devlin looked around at the little town he had found himself on the outskirts of, and released a whistling sigh. He turned back to the open door and fished out the card with the 800 number, and then slammed the door shut. Sticking the card in his pocket he began trotting towards this godforsaken little hamlet in the middle of the all too featureless plains of Illinois. Coming into town Devlin saw a restaurant and made that his destination. He muttered to him self. “A phone. Maybe a beer.” He judged the distance at about a mile. “Perhaps a shot even.” Devlin finished smirking to himself. The town seemed to consist of this block with the restaurant, and four other blocks, the surrounding area was corn and soy bean fields. Devlin couldn't recall seeing a sign as to the town's name or population, but in his opinion there were probably twelve living people in the town of “Nowhere”. A strong wind blew across the cornstalks and the dry sound mixed well with Devlin's laughter at this thought. Above the door was a sign reading McLanagil's Eatery & Tavern lettered in bold dark red letters with green trim. Devlin opened the door and a set of brass bells rung him in to McLanagil's. Five tables peopled the floor along with four booths, From one of these a young couple regarded Devlin with curious eyes. Along the bar counter their were 14 stools, five of which were occupied. Devlin already liked the atmosphere in McLanagil's the multitude of neon beer label signs added a colorful light to the interior. Standing behind the bar watching Devlin approach, is a rough looking, barrel-chested man, red headed, with glittering emerald colored eyes. “Something I can help ye with stranger?” Asked the bartender with a thick Irish accent. “Do you have a phone?” The man looked him over. “Aye, the telephone is back there.” Devlin fallowed the cocked thumb and saw the pay phone on the wall next to the bathrooms. Devlin slapped the counter lightly. “Thank you.” He walked back to the phone pulling out the card, He nodded to the five men sitting together at the end of the bar, and they nodded back. As he picked up the receiver and began dialing the helpline he herd the bartender call. “Are ye kids alright over there?” Devlin plugged his other ear with his knuckle but still herd them reply. “Yes Mr. McLanagil.” Devlin then herd one ring, two rings, then three and the line picked up. An automated woman said crisply. “We're sorry, all lines are busy right now, please hang up and try your call again.” Devlin slammed the phone into it's cradle, catching a glimpse from the bartender. He held up his hands and then tried the helpline once more. This time it didn't even ring she just came back. “We're sorry, this call can not be made at this time, please hang up and try again.” Devlin looked at the card puzzled and the voice came again, “ Please hang up and try again.” Devlin gently hung up the phone this time and walked back towards the bar. He took a seat away from the other five men, the bartender walked over and jammed his hand across the counter at Devlin. “Name's Shamus Nathaniel McLanagil.” Devlin took the hand. “Devlin Baker.” Shamus smiled. “What can I get ye to drink?” “A beer and a shot of whiskey.” Devlin figured he couldn't drive, so why not have a drink? He looked down the bar as Shamus got his order and saw that the five men were all looking at the same thing. The man in the middle of the group has a farmer's almanac out and open on the bar, they all seemed intrigued. The man closest to Devlin said to Shamus. “It's an evil moon tonight Mr. McLanagil. You may want to close up shop early.” Devlin laughed along with everyone else at the bartender's reply. “I pay no mind to that kind of blarney, Mr. King. Now eat your peanuts and shut up.” A beer bottle and a shot of whiskey was set in front of Devlin. “Thank you Shamus.” “Your welcome sir.” Shamus leaned on the bar. “So tell me Mr. Baker, What brings ye to me tavern so late in the afternoon?” Devlin slammed the whiskey and walked it home with the beer. “I broke down just outside of town. I'm on my way to Ohio and now I'm trying to contact the U-Haul people.” Shamus stood back up. “Well there is a hotel here in town. Just in case you don't contact them.” He headed down the bar ready to serve. Devlin took another drink of beer and looked out the window. Dusk had come to the world and a large orange hunter's moon was already working it's way above the horizon. A thought occurred to him. Jane would be worried about him, this breakdown was going to set him back a few hours. He got up beer in hand and walked back to the pay phone. McLanagil came over and refilled Devlin's empty Click here to read the rest of this story (48 more lines)
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