I spent more than twenty-five minutes
Writing this one for OLWG#60
Lucifer tipped his Windsor-backed chair against the wall and put his boots up on the table. He took a long draught of the ice cold beer he held in his left hand and watched the image of a barefoot young man trudging up the road, heat shimmered around him and his worn blue shirt was wet with sweat. The devil waited for the barefoot dude to arrive.
It’s hot outside, but inside minions and imps crowd the cool and darkened room; they huddle near the doors and windows, hover behind him, they crowd back of the bar – lest their master might desire another drink. They stare mostly at the floor, or the walls and never look directly at the devil. From time to time one or two will venture a quick glance at the holographic image of the young man. As he walks they can see the dust billow upwards with each step when his foot hits the ground. His feet have become coloured red by the dust as have the legs of his denim trousers, from the knee down. He looks hungry and thirsty.
Time passes. No one seems to be in a hurry. It is quiet ‘cept for the occasional giggle or snorts from one of the minions who will slap his hand over his mouth to maintain the silence.
Finally, the image they’ve been watching fades. They hear the sound of someone stepping up on the wooden porch outside. The young barefoot man opens the door. As he steps inside the minions coalesce into the form of a bartender who turns his head to look at the young man. The devil, himself, raises his eyes and studied the newcomer. They all nod, a silent acknowledgement of one another.
The barkeeper thing speaks, “Come on in and close the door, boy. You’ll be heating up the room if you don’t hurry.”
The young man steps further into the room and twists to close the door behind him. That done he turns back around and looks at the barman.
“Speak up, boy,” the recently formed landlord implores, “what’ll it be?”
“If I could trouble you for some water and a place to sit down for a piece?” the boy replies.
“Gonna buy anything?” the barman asks.
“And I ain’t no charity! Don’t plan on buyin’ somethin’ – then you should keep on moving.”
It was time for the boy to drop his gaze to the floor and as he turned back towards the door Lucifer dropped the front legs of his chair back to the ground with a loud bang.
“Hey – come on, Lucky” the devil addressed the bartender, “it’s not like you’re crowded today. I’ll buy him something.” He looked at the boy, “what do you want son?”
“I just want something to eat,” said the boy, “and a glass of water, if it’s not too much trouble.”
“Lucky,” ordered Lucifer, “you heard the man. Grill him up a burger and fetch him a beer, fuck the water. Man’s gotta have a beer to cut the dust and the heat in these parts.” He turned to the barefoot dude, “Come on over and join me, lad. Lucky’s shit as a conversationalist and I could use someone intelligent to talk to.” He beckoned.
The young man tried to brush some of the dust off his sodden shirt. He gave up and grinned, “Thanks, mister,” he said and he pulled up a chair to the devil’s table.
Lucky brought him over a beer, setting it down in front of him; then he headed back behind the bar and got busy at the grill.
Satan raises his bottle, “Cheers,” he says to the young man. “What’s your name boy?” he starts. “Where you from? Where you going? Wanna be rich? Ya wanna be famous? Tell me what your heart desires…”
This week’s prompts were:
- I just want something to eat
- Speak up, boy
- your call is important to us