I’m back to Flash Fiction this week. Just over 750 words to cover a few moments of time shared by three people in a bar in San Diego
Written for OLWG #20
Near Balboa Park; autumn afternoon, clear skies, light sea breeze –
“Hey, bud,” he hailed.
I paid him no mind.
“Hey, hey, bud,” he shot again.
I stopped, made eye contact, “My name’s not Bud.”
“Ida been surprised if it was. Come over here a minute wouldja? I wanna put a bee in yer bonnet. I wanna tug on yer coat a bit. I wanna make ya an offer ya can’t refuse.”
I moved about half a step in his direction.
“What?” I asked.
“Couple bucks, mebbe? Some spare change?”
“Let’s step in here,” he indicated the red door to the barroom he was standing in front of.
I looked at the neon sign in the window: The Red Door.
I had lots of time, a drink sounded good, and it wasn’t a dark alleyway that he was luring me into so I followed him inside.
“This is better,” he said, “Less interruptive.” We made our way to a Naugahyde booth at the back and slid in on opposite sides of the table.
He waved at the bartender, “Hey tarbender; Red Stripes. Cain’t be too careful,” he said, “we don’t want a lotta people in on this deal. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime.”
A thin, fair skinned, dark haired girl floated across the floor to our booth and slid in next to me. My new friend rolled his eyes, “go away Nadine, this don’t concern you.”
“Aren’t you going to introduce me to your friend, Ace?” she asked.
“Nadine, this is Bud… Bud this is Nadine. Now get lost Nadine, we’re talkin’ business.”
“My name’s not Bud.”
“That’s OK,” she said, “my name’s not Nadine” she extended her hand and we shook.
The bartender ambled over with three Old Fashion glasses that he sat in front of us. Ace talked him out of a cigarette. The glasses had some kind of whiskey in ‘em. It certainly wasn’t beer.
“What’s this?” I asked.
Not Nadine picked up her glass and took a sip, “Southern Comfort,” she informed me.
Ace lit his smoke and drained his drink; he motioned the bartender for another.
He looked at me “I got a truckload of, shall I say, commodities that I need to sell quickly. I’ll make ya a really good deal.”
He stopped talking and we sat on opposite sides of the table, looking at each other. Finally he picked it up again.
“Whut ya say, Bud. Ya in?”
“My name’s not Bud.”
“Whatever, are ya in?”
I looked at Not Nadine. She was leaned back comfortably in the seat smiling and shaking her head. I looked back at Ace.
“What kinda commodities?” I asked.
“Oh, you know, the regular kinda shit; appliances, TV’s, stereos, toaster ovens, mixers,” he watched my face, “Oh, and some power tools too. Drills, Skil saws, sanders, and the like.”
I picked up my drink and took a sip, grimaced, I hate Southern Comfort.
“I’ll need to see the goods, and I’ll need to know the price.”
“Sure,” he said, “let’s go.” I looked at Not Nadine who was still shaking her head.
I reached for a napkin and pushed it across towards him. I set a felt tip marker on top of the paper napkin, “Whole truck full?”
“Write down on that paper what you want for the entire load then fold it in half and give it back to me.”
Ace uncapped the pen and shielding the paper with his right hand, he thought for awhile and when he made a decision; he tucked his head down and wrote something down with his left. He folded the paper in half and pushed it back towards me. He put the pen in his pocket. Not Nadine watched both of us carefully.
I didn’t look at what he had written; simply covered the napkin with my hand, “No doubt, you have represented a fair price here, Ace, but I can tell you right now that you’ll be lucky to get twenty-five percent of this figure from me. You still want to talk?” I watched his laryngeal prominence, also known as his Adams apple; move up and down as he pondered my offer. Finally, he nodded. “OK then,” I said, “let’s go look.”
Not Nadine slid from the booth, “Can I come?” she asked.
“It’s all right with me if it’s all right with Ace.” I said, “OK with you, Ace if Not Nadine tags along?”
This week’s prompts are:
- my name’s not Bud
- Southern Comfort and smoke
- pull on your coat