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The Furies (standard:drama, 2444 words)
Author: Bobby ZamanAdded: Oct 27 2002Views/Reads: 2323/1582Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Actions never stop haunting a person.

THE FURIES – Bobby Zaman 

Two types of men came in to Whistler’s.  The winners and the losers.  In
days of old it was different.  High rollers, celebrities, and 
businessmen flocked like bees to honey.  The place was jumping every 
night of the week, and lines wrapped around the block three times over. 

The winners came in early, around seven, right after their six-figure
office jobs were done.  The losers walked in, usually after drinking 
somewhere else, to spend the rest of the night here, paying with bills 
crumpled up like prunes and grousing about being born. 

Goodwin Parks could care less for either faction.  The winners ordered
Miller Lites and stiffed him on every round.  The losers wanted the 
pricey liquor, Maker’s Mark and Bacardi, mumbling they’re good for it, 
when they weren’t.    Goodwin would pour them the cheap well stuff and 
heavily water it down.  They’d grumble about the first round or two.  
After the third and fourth, they wouldn’t know the difference.  Neither 
party made little to no contribution to his earnings. 

It didn’t matter to Goodwin if the winners got run over by trucks after
leaving Whistler’s.  Their insurance premiums cost more than his rent, 
and whomever they’d leave behind would be set for life.  All right - 
despite irritation, he held a soft corner for the losers.  It was the 
lack of hope in their eyes.  At least the winners had something to 
cheer about – a decent place to crash, meals, cash flow, security.  
Sure, it’s the job description of human nature to keep all of its 
subjects perpetually complaining, but Goodwin seldom found it easy to 
relate to the sob stories of a winner.  The losers couldn’t boast 
assets beyond the pruned dollar bills stuck in the bowels of their coat 
pockets.  Sheila felt for them.  Sheila would talk to them for hours on 
nights she’d stop by to keep Goodwin company during the slow hours.  
She was a nurse at Northwestern and kept eclectic hours. Goodwin’s 
tolerance was an extension of Sheila’s affection for the losers, who 
were anything but losers to her tender, beautiful heart. 

Excuses? Sometimes there just are none. 

It was a mistake.  His judgment was clouded.  There was stress, there
was the lingering horror that Sheila might be pregnant, a year ago, the 
Spring night, when Goodwin could think of nothing else, his head was 
clogged with questions, some of them repeating like a stuck record.  
How would they afford a kid? Give up life for the next twenty years? 

It was a bad judgment call.  The man was a winner.  He came in later
than the others, alone, morose, already tipsy, in need of the strongest 
stuff Goodwin could serve him.  He’d put down a hundred and instructed 
Goodwin to keep it coming.  Goodwin did.  Too much of it.  When the man 
left Whistler’s he could barely stand.  In such cases Goodwin usually 
offers to call a cab and insists that the person doesn’t drive, to the 
point where he threatens to call the cops.  It was a darn foolish move 
to over serve an already tight patron, one that was as down and blue 
like that winner. 

The winner, who had mentioned at some point that his name was Sheldon,
because he was imitating someone calling him that as part of some 
random story he was babbling, didn’t bother to take his change, which 
came to a hefty eighty dollars, staggered out of Whistler’s, got into a 
black Durango across the street and sped off. 

He heard the news in the morning.  Sheila’s habit was to turn on the TV
to the morning news.  It was more of a reflex than habit.  She’d reach 
for the control with her eyes still shut, switch on the set and set it 
to Channel Nine.  It did have a soothing effect.  Goodwin didn’t have 
to wake up till noon and the chatter of the anchor’s lulled him into a 
deeper sleep.  Sheila was quiet.  She did her thing, got ready, and 
left without making a sound. 

The morning after Sheldon zigzagged out of Whistler’s, the news zapped
Goodwin out of sleep like a bucket of cold water. 

“Moments after leaving this bar on the city’s north side,” said the
fresh-faced anchor with a Polar wind interrupting her speech, “Fifty 
year old Sheldon Ramsey got into his Durango set for home.  He didn’t 

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