|Nowhere, Texas (standard:mystery, 1214 words)|
|Author: Grindhouse||Added: Aug 07 2008||Views/Reads: 2002/1022||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|This is a serial-format mystery noir told in first-person by the characters involved. There are no heroes or villains here, only regular people who vary in shades of evil. If you're offended by language, violence, and sexual content, please avoid reading.|
Nowhere, Texas I'd been milking a whiskey and soda for about ten minutes before I recognized the slow, steady beating of rain against the metal roof for what it was. I was sitting alone, at a table in the far corner of some hole-in-wall grill and bar in Nowhere, Texas. Small town just off the interstate with a gas station, a few fast food joints, a hotel, and a stop sign. You probably know the place. I took another slow pull off my drink, held it in my mouth until it burned, swallowed it down while wondering whether I'd rolled up the windows in my car. It didn't matter, really; took a deep breath, sat back with my eyes closed, and listened to the distant twang of a Johnny Cash hit emanating from a jukebox somewhere. The smell of pork barbecue permeated the place, a smoky-sweet flavor that was going to cling to my clothes for days. A waitress asked me if I wanted another drink, and I told her that I did. She was small, probably no more than about sixteen, but not altogether unfuckable. Apparently I wasn't the only one who'd noticed. As she lumbered back toward the bar, carrying the weight and pains of late pregnancy, I checked the time. Eleven o'clock, or close enough to it. The place had about emptied out for the night, but the sign said it wouldn't close for another two hours. By then I'd be back on the interstate, this whole town a distant memory filed away somewhere in the deepest recesses of my brain. I hadn't seen anyone come in since I got there, and the two or three truckers who were at the bar when I sat down had cleared out by the time my first drink hit the table. Now there were a few old timers sitting around a table eating, a man dressed in cowboy attire drinking Budweiser at the bar, and a woman reading a book and dining alone. Depressing place, this town. I took the second drink from the waitress and dropped enough cash on the table for the drink and twice that amount in tip. It was the second time I'd done that, and she made sure I knew how much it was appreciated. She smiled, winked, and walked away in some kind of pathetic attempt at seduction. Small towns are full of teenage skanks looking to get the hell out, dreaming of big men with big money living in big cities. I called another waitress, Rita, over to my table and left a simple set of instructions, then waited until the first girl made eye contact and walked over to a side door leading to a wooden deck around back of the joint. I took a cigarette from my pocket and walked outside, lighting it before letting the door slam shut. The deck was empty and unlit, and sat above some kind of swampy marsh that ran about 100 yards back and into some low trees. I stood there looking out across the marsh, smoking my cigarette for about a minute or two, before I heard the door behind me open and shut. There was a short silence, and then I felt a hand on the back of my neck. I had her up against the wood railing which ran the length of the deck, fucking her hard and fast. She bit her lip and never made a sound, only dug her nails into my shoulders and grunted. I finished up quickly without bothering to make it last, and kissed her on the head before going back inside. We never exchanged a word. Rita saw me come in and pointed to my table, where Jimmy Reyes was sitting and drinking my whiskey. I sat down, ordered another drink from the newly-disheveled kid waitress, and asked Jimmy how he'd been. He didn't waste any time, wanted to talk about the job. I told him there was a quiet place in the back, out on the deck. He followed me out and closed the door. We talked for a few seconds. He insisted there wasn't enough money involved to make the job worth it to him anymore, and I told him he was wrong. We argued back and forth over the incessant droning chorus of swamp frogs. He was trying to tell me about a man who had approached him and was trying to blackmail him, something about bringing the whole deal down on him. I said he was full of shit and that nobody knew anything. He was trying to back out of the job, and I told him how wrong he was and how we only had a couple of weeks until payday. That shut him up, although I could tell he was still rattled. I made a mental note never to get mixed up in professional jobs with amateurs again. He moved between me and the door, heading back inside. The door opened on its own, before he could reach out and touch it, and light from the vast collection of neon beer signs inside spilled out onto the deck. In the center of this disorienting shower of blinking light was the silhouette of a short, petite-yet-bulgy female. Jesus, I thought, what Click here to read the rest of this story (37 more lines)
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