us. He was actually the bigger of the two and I didn’t know if they were
friends–they had just come in together.I had given the writhing one–a head taller and forty pounds heavier than
me–the first shot and it had almost been my undoing. One of these days
that stunt was going to get me killed; but not tonight. Stunned, I gave
him the second too, measuring his long, slow, loping punches that seemed
to come from across the street.I should have been out of there an hour ago. There wasn’t anyone worth
talking to, the jukebox was broken and the only woman in the place was
the bartender who had missed a belt loop and spent most of the evening
watching an Elvis movie with her back to me. The one with Ann Margret.
Not bad but not worth staying for. But then, had I left when the thought
first struck me, who would have been there when he started in on her?
Asshole deterrent-that was me. Shitty fucking hobby.
The third shot was mine as I slipped inside his left and busted his
liver twice with hooks then a right cross that crushed his nose as he
fell past. Oldest combination in fighting–cave men knocked each other
out with that shit. Fact that he didn’t see it coming just showed he
didn’t know what he was doing. Used to getting his way with size and
“We’re cool”, he answered. “Just met the asshole an hour ago–didn’t
think I liked him.”
“You coming back in?” I moved toward the door.
“Not my kind of crowd.”
“I got that.”
“Why don’t you come with me then?”
“…..’Daniel’s’ probably. Maybe ‘Glows’, late….”
“Really not my kind of crowd.”
The big guy smiled, a strange flicker around the corners of his eyes,
and shrugged. “That’s where I’ll be.” He turned and walked off without
Inside, the bartender ministered to the knuckles I had split on the
asshole’s face. She used cotton and peroxide from a first aid kit and
caught the runoff with a beery bar rag. Her own knuckles were slightly
swollen from arthritis but her nails were done in a deep pine green that
caught her eyes and the tail of a reptilian tattoo that slithered below
her rolled up cuffs. Why hadn’t I noticed those before?
“I’m glad you came back in”, she said without managing a smile.
“Me too”, I answered, pretty sure I was lying.
have been produced by a number of defunct theater groups and
his fiction and poetry have been published by a number of defunct
publications such as The Mill Hunk Herald, Cream City Review and
Flipside. His novels have all crashed and burned and he never finished
the big screenplay. He has also written poetry to commemorate weddings
which have ended in divorce.