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Nowhere, Texas (standard:mystery, 1214 words)
Author: GrindhouseAdded: Aug 07 2008Views/Reads: 2306/1231Story 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 

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