Not Your Average Bar Fight

After getting into an argument with another patron at a local bar, the person challenges you to a fight out back. Because you’ve never been in a fight before (and don’t want this to be your first time), you come up with a more creative way to settle your dispute.

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

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97 thoughts on “Not Your Average Bar Fight

  1. andfurthermore

    Hot breath steams up my glasses and I try not to let the stink knock me out before his fist does. We’re standing toe to toe now and I’m wondering why I chose this moment to lose my bar-fight virginity. I’m thinking it was the shots. Definitely the shots.

    Air is thick all around us and the smoke in my nostrils is burning like the whiskey in my chest. Oh, well. everyone has to die.

    “I’m not leaving.”

    He grunts and scratches at the whiskers under his chin, then examines the gunk he collected in his nails.

    “Don’t think ya have much choice.”

    “I suppose out here in the sticks you haven’t heard the news, but segregation ended.”

    “Oh I’m not kickin ya outta here cuz yer black, I just don’t like strangers at my bar.”

    Liquid courage fuels my continued protest, as I begin to note all exits.

    “Look man, I came all the way out here to visit my sick grandma. There are no other bars within like 50 miles.”

    “Guess ya got a long road trip head ya.”

    There’s not a blinking eye in the joint. The same question is on everyone mind, inlcuding mine. Am I going to dance with my burley date or am I going to live another day?

    I cock my head to the side and crack my knuckles, because it makes me look tougher. Or so, I think. Thoughts of eating a lemon helps set the stage on my face and I start to play my favorite fight movie soundtracks in my head.

    Cigarette smoke envelopes my face for the second time and I have really had it with this guy.

    “I was here before you, buddy. I’ve been at the bar drinking quietly most of the night. It didn’t seem to bother anyone else for me to be here. So I don’t know what your problem is, but it’s only you that seems to have one.”

    “I don’t care bout er’ybody else, I don’t want you here. Clear?”

    Steel-toed boots rub out the cigarette he pushed from his lips.

    “We’re not clear. Maybe we should step outside and review the information again.”

    Beads of sweat roll down his rosacea laden, behemoth cheeks and he seems inclined to take the beat down out into the cool autum air.

    “We can take this out back.”

    He nods at the door and I extend my arm for him to lead. Two steps into the dark and I lock the doors behind him.

    Crsip bills buy the whole bar another round and gives the bartender a hefty tip. I sit, I drink and I find the number for the local sheriff to report a suicidal drunk outside of Molly’s.

  2. 3boyswritermom

    My friend Kelly and I sneak away from our families and go for a few drinks. Despite being the oldest people in the bar we decide to stay. We order cosmos and enjoy light conversation. After our second drink we contemplate going home until I learn karaoke is about to begin. I love karaoke.

    I walk over to the DJ and request a song book. While I’m waiting a kid in her twenties wearing a tight dress and spike heels grabs the book from my hands. As she turns to walk away, her bleach-blond hair whips my face. Anger builds inside me. Rather than confronting her, I return to my table holding another song book.

    After several minutes I pick a song and write it down on a slip of paper. Kelly delivers it to the DJ. I can’t help but notice the blond girl as she sashays up to the karaoke booth. Unlike Kelly who quietly dropped off my song selection, Blondie makes a spectacle of herself.

    When Kelly returns to the table with fresh drinks, I confess to being nervous.

    “You’re going to be . . .” Kelly is cut off when someone slams their hands against our table.

    “You need to pick another song.” The blond girl hisses. “Everyone knows that’s my song.”

    “Get away from our table.” I tell her.

    “You steal my song and now you’re going to tell me where I can stand? How about I drag your old-lady ass outside?”

    I can’t help but laugh at the situation. “I don’t get into fist fight with girls young enough to be my daughter.”

    “You both picked the same song. Why don’t you have a sing off?” A guy at the bar slurs his suggestion.

    The girl considers this then calls the DJ over. He agrees to a contest and opens it to everyone in the bar. Three of us sign up. Blondie advises me to leave once I lose.

    She takes the microphone first and I’d be lying if I said she was bad. The bar patrons like her.

    I’m next at the microphone. When she begins heckling me, I quickly go from feeling stupid to being determined to win. The crowd cheers when I’m finished and several people high five me on my way back to the table.

    The third girl is a timid looking thing. Her voice is anything but timid. There is no doubt she is going to win. Before the last note plays, the blond girl slips her coat on and storms out of the bar with her friends in tow. She holds up her middle finger on the way out.

    The talented singer puts the microphone down and makes her way to my table. “Last week that bimbo and her friends wouldn’t let me sing. My friends brought me back to put her in her place.”

    I’m feeling pride only a mother can feel when a bully is taken down.

  3. nessa1267

    Anne,

    Thank you so much for replying as I was hoping that someone would reply and give feedback. You are absoutely correct in saying that I should have developed more time why the bully agreed to my dual instead of just agreeing as we know most bullies don’t. Again, I love feedback because writing is something I enjoy. Thanks again.

  4. annefreemanimages

    Hi Nessa. Similar to some of the other entries, your character challenges the bully to another kind of dual instead of a fight. I, personally, would like to see more development on why the bully agrees to the alternative dual. Some sort of buy-in by the bully, because I’m not convinced that the bully would agree to it. Maybe instead of spending the time establishing that you went to the bar because of your sister and her potential antics, you could just be there and see the bully. That would give you more time to develop the interaction between the protaganist and the bully, and time to build up some tension between the two. Just my two cents. I liked the idea of the WWE champ.

    ~Anne

  5. complimentarynuts

    I elbowed my way through the crowd to reach the bar. The dull glow of the neon sign cast a halo behind the babe pouring drinks. I could only wonder what sort of heaven could be found there. I signaled for service and waited my turn, enjoying the view. Having a few shots of whiskey was the idea. Having the first shot fly out of my hand on to the guy beside me- not so much. I suppose I could have claimed it wasn’t my fault since he did bump in to me. But, being that he was at least a foot taller than me and outweighed me by a full person, I wasn’t going to make a big deal about it. I prayed he wouldn’t either.

    Wrong.

    He wasted no time turning towards me. It’s amazing how much clarity you have in those moments of fear. I could see the cracks in his dried lips, the veins that littered his already broken nose- and the very apparent anger that was in his eyes.

    Some people might think me a coward, but the truth is- I am. I happened to like my facial features where they were. The last thing I wanted to do was fight this guy.

    “Looks like the drink’s on you,” I joked. I got a growl in return for my comedic efforts. “Okay, you’re clearly not happy. Let me buy you a beer and we’ll call it even.” He was sizing me up and I could tell he was thinking about something other than beer.

    “Either you let me buy you that drink or move on. Time’s passing and I’m still sober.”

    Shaking his head, whether trying to clear his head or make sense of what was happening, I wasn’t sure. “You’re nuts. Trying ta’ pick a fight wit’ me? I don’t hit pussies. Now go get me that beer and a shot of whiskey while you’re at it.” He turned to his groupies, laughing at his clever banter.

    I reached out to the nearest shot glass that sat ignored and nodded for Angel-babe to fill it up. Whiskey shot in hand, I tapped my burly friend on the shoulder, showing him the shot glass as he faced me, then downed it in a single gulp.

    “You don’t hit pussies?” I couldn’t get nose to nose with him. Chest to stomach would have to do. “Know what? Me, neither.”

    He came at me, hands ready to rip me a new one. Without blinking, I ripped open my shirt and flashed my very ample bosom. It was enough to stop him in his tracks and gave me enough time to place a well-aimed kick to his groin. He fell, shocked look still frozen on his face. I turned towards his groupies, but they had begun to melt quickly in to the crowd. A hand gripped my shoulder and I found myself staring at Angel-babe. Placing a jacket over my shoulders, he whispered,

    “I’m off in ten.”

  6. nessa1267

    I knew it, I knew it, and I never should have gone to the bar with my sister. “I need you as my designated driver and promise to have only a couples of drinks”, claimed my sister.

    Upon entering the bar, the first person in my view was Alicia Fox; the same Monday night WWE wrestler diva which can be seen weekly on TV. It wasn’t surprising that Alicia had become a famous female wrestler as she definitely bullied me as well as other students enough in high school. Alicia along with her brother bullied kids daily and many were frighten of them.

    Even though Alicia was now a WWE celebrity, I chose to act as though I didn’t see her due to memories of the past. My sister and I walk over to the bar and began to have a good time even though my sister had more than a couple of drinks as she had promised. After coming from the restroom and noticing the bartender about to hand my sister her fourth drink, I pick the drink off the counter telling my sister NO. Even though I was driving home, she still had to walk out the bar and I wasn’t going to be responsible for stumbling or leaning against me trying to walk to the car. In moving the drink from my sister as she was still reaching for the drink, I accidentally spill alcohol on the dress of a lady whose back was facing me. Quickly I jumped up saying “I’m sorry” beginning to wipe the alcohol off the lady when I heard the words “Dammit” as she was turning toward me.

    Trying to apologize was useless and as always, Alica was ready to fight. As her voice grew louder, customers gather around to see what was going on. The bartender tried reasoning with Alicia explaining it was just an accident but she wouldn’t hear of it. She grabs my blouse saying, “We will take care of this outside just like old times”. She definitely still remembered me or she perhaps remembered the face of a child whose butt she used to kick in high school. I tried mentioning how I watched her on TV and was so happy about her success but she told me to shut up and step outside.

    Once outside with customers standing around, I mention to Alicia how she would whip my behind as she had in school and now with her being a world wide WWE champ, I wouldn’t stand a chance. I challenged her to a ten-minute push up challenge. If she won, she could receive the pleasure of jumping on me as in high school but if I won, she has to confess on national TV of her being a bully and how she would use her celebrity status as an anti bullying platform to help kids across the country. Initially she laughed but many of the customers agreed with my ideal and began to cheer the ideal. I push 500 push-ups in ten minutes to Alicia 410. Surprising, Alicia is now an anti bullied spokesperson.

  7. Matt

    I didn’t like the way the guy was eying my girlfriend. He kept leering at her and kept his eyes locked on her rear end way too long. There was no way I was going to beat this guy in a fight but if he grabbed her ass one more time I wasn’t sure if I would be able to hold back. After the third time I finally had to say something even though my girlfriend told me to ignore him. I yelled at him over the music to leave my girl alone. He stood up and up and glared at me. He was probably in his late twenties around six foot five and built like a linebacker. At six foot and a buck eighty five I was no match for this guy. He was about ten feet away and there was no place for me to run. He was on me in an instant. He grabbed my shirt at my chest and balled it up in his fist as he pulled me within inches of is sweaty bald headed face, “I know you aint talking to me!” he snarled. As my life started to flash in front of me a couple of bouncers appeared from the crowd and stopped my imminent death. They ushered him back to his table all the while the behemoth was shouting and pointing at me that this wasn’t over. It also looked like his three friends wanted to help dismember me as well.
    I had to level the playing field anyway I could. I noticed he was nursing a bud light so I told the bartender to bring them some tequila and keep it coming. I told the him that if they asked who the drinks were from to point to the strawberry blond in the red dress across the way. I noticed he had been man handling her as well and she had a much bigger boyfriend. They readily accepted and all together downed the shots and chased it with a swig of beer. The bartender refilled the shot glasses and away they went. These were all big dudes but I hadn’t noticed them eating anything for the two plus hours since they arrived. A crowd had gathered around them chanting “More! More! More!” and ten shots later he was starting to feel the effects of Jose Cuervo.

    The girl in the red dress walked by and he grabbed her and pulled her to the table. He started groping her from top to bottom as she fought to get away. Her screams got the attention of her boyfriend who got to the jerk before the bouncers could arrive. He must have been a martial arts black belt because with only three hits he had the groper on the floor and bleeding from his nose and mouth. The lights where on but nobody was home. The bouncers escorted Bruce Lee and the blond out. If you can’t beat’em, get someone else to do it.

    Comments please

  8. rob akers

    Captain Bill Rimes and his best friend Rick Locker clinked their half-filled dirty glass of the amber pseudo-bourbon while reclining in the flea infested chairs. The seedy whore house was in the industrial district of Santiago and struggled to contain the frantic action of Bill’s young crew. The men wondered aimlessly around lead by the Navigator who was 25 years and 150 pounds grander than the local talent who forged a substandard living on their backs. Rick sensed motion to his right as the bar enchantress made herself a seat in his lap. She got down to business.

    “You go back room?”

    “How much?”

    “60 for room; 40 for me.”

    “Room Okay but 40 not enough.” Rick said planting the hook.

    “More?”

    “More.”

    “100 for me?” She hesitated to ask more of the man with the bushy white moustache.

    “More.”

    “200?” With hope and excitement.

    “More.”

    “300?”

    “Yes, but I only take cash.” Rick held his palm out.

    A flash of confusion streaked across her face. “No, you pay me!”

    “No thanks. Good Bye.”

    Captain Rimes worked hard to contain his laughter as the dirty old whore waddled back to her throne. The friends clinked their glasses once more knowing this would be their last night to terrorize the world together. In the morning, they would board the C-130. When they landed, Rick would be hosed down in celebration of a career of that spanned 48 years of service to the nation and thousands of nights like this one.

    Bill saw movement to his left as his young Loadmaster and old Navigator were being carried from the back rooms by the scruff of their necks, dripping blood from their noses and summarily dropped at Bill’s feet by an oversized Chinese bouncer.

    “These men have not enough money. You Pay!” The broken words flooded out as he shook his fist at Bill.

    “What is he talking about Deacon?” Bill asked fully expecting to be next on the karate chopping block.
    “Q-Tip and I were just talking to the ladies when Kung-Fu legend demands that we pay up. He says we owe 1,400 dollars. I have 3oo and Tip has 200.” Deacon forced a bloody smile.

    Bill and Rick exchanged a look. “Where are the other guys?”

    The Navigator who was better known as “The Sneakin Deacon” pointed to the back room. With an eye on the bouncer, Rick pulled his 6-5 frame out of the chair and disappeared behind the grimy curtain. He returned 3 minutes later with the naked servicemen as Bill spoke to the bouncer and manager.

    Bill collected four men and 985 dollars. “Do not move from this spot, do not buy anything from anyone and no drinking. Rick and I are going to the ATM. We will be back to rescue you.”

    Reeking of Cuban cigars, Bill opened the door of the soon to be closed club for Rick who held a nearly empty bottle of Johnny Walker Blue and a pocket full of bail money.

    comments welcome.

  9. Mackie

    I entered the bar. It was late. Inside, neon lights try vainly to cheer the gloom, a smell of dank beer and wet carpet. Smoke hung like mist over a swamp. An odor of urine came from a dimly lit area. No need to ask anyone where the toilets were.

    “What’ll it be?” from somewhere in the fog. The barman. Unfriendly son-of-a-gun, I thought, and walked towards the voice.

    “Beer,” I said to a fat guy dressed in black. He was bald, his head polished and reflecting the blue neon. It made him look like an extra-terrestrial. I examined the guy more closely – he had a mug like mashed dough – a boxer who retired too late.

    “You from here?” he said to me. Same unfriendly tone.

    “Nope,” I said, discouraging any further conversation. I took the beer, had a swig, and surveyed the place. Depressing. There were several guys at the far end of the bar watching a basketball game on TV. The natives looked unwelcoming, their conversation muted, appraising me with what appeared to be suspicion.

    “You look familiar.” The barman again.

    “Yeah? Like who?” I asked, then answered my own question, “The only guy that can shut you up?”

    “Dunno,” the fat man said, “maybe some idiot I knew.”

    “Can’t be,” I answered, “You need a brain to remember.”

    The watchers stopped looking at the TV. Faces peered over beer bottles, conversation ceased, boredom replaced by an air of expectancy. The basketball commentary droned on, disjointed and eerie in the sudden hush.

    “Outside,“ the barman said to me, “We’ll settle this outside.“

    “Your loss,” I said, following him to the back door. I knew he could kill me easily, but remember trying to inflate my size; I guess you call it standing tall, dumb-ass me.

    We were both outside now. “Just like you, you fool,” the barman says to me, and I say, “Gimme a hug, Frankie” I grabbed my only brother in an awkward embrace – more of a playful wrestle – my older, broken, ex-heavyweight friend. We hadn’t seen each other in a couple of years.

    Just then, a bang; a firecracker I thought, but my legs jelloed and I crumpled in a heap on the wet ground.

    “Saved you the trouble, Frankie,” I hear from someone holding a gun nearby. “I didn’t like the look of the bum the moment he walked in.” Meanwhile, I’m thinking through the pain that this is what you get for trying to be a joker.

    There were two outcomes from all this. First, I was OK – a minor wound – which is more than I can say for the shooter by the time my brother was finished with him. The other? I can’t ever tell any joke that begins, “Did you hear the one about the guy who walks into a bar…”

  10. hillsworth

    “Excuse me,” I say, hobbling to the bar for two more beers. “Sorry, sir.” I bump into a big man. When he turns around, I notice the splash of beer that is soaking into his light blue western shirt. “Let me buy you another, sir.” I reach out and grab the bottle from his hand, noting the brand.

    His friends are laughing and his face turns red while he’s clenching and unclenching his fists. “Hey maggot. You just spilled that all over me.”

    “I know, sir, and I apologized. That’s why I’m buying you another.” I set all three bottles on the bar and raise my hand for the bartender. He sees me and nods his head in return, opening a cooler to get a beer. By the time he gets to me with the drinks, the big man is at my side.

    “You think buying me another beer is gonna do it? I have half a notion to take you outside and clean the sidewalk with your face.” There is a commotion when his friends hear this.

    I nod my head in agreement and hand him his bottle. “Well, sir, all I can say is that I tried to do the right thing.”

    “What is it with all this ‘sir’ stuff? You in the military or something?” He takes a pull at his fresh bottle. “You a big tough guy, huh? Come on, tough guy, let’s step outside.”

    Cooly, I respond with “Enjoy your beer, sir,” and I turn and limp back to where my buddy is waiting. I no sooner set them down when a huge fist bounces off the table, upsetting both our beers.

    “Couple of queers? Two fags, I bet.” He tilts his head back and roars laughter and his friends follow suit. Another gulp and the bottle I bought for him is empty. He slams it down on our table.

    “Let’s go, both of you. I’m feeling so good tonight, I think I could whoop you both, at the same time.” He motions toward the door.

    My friend swings his legs to the side of his chair. “Undoubtedly, you could, sir.” He bends over, unstraps his left leg at the knee, and lays it on the table. “Car bomb. Fallujah.” He sits back up and unstraps his left arm at the elbow, laying it beside the leg. “Eight men in my platoon weren’t so lucky.”

    A hush falls over the entire bar. Now it’s my turn. I reach down and unstrap my right foot and lay it on the table. “Only two of us survived. We were taken prisoner and tortured for thirteen days.”

    The big man just stares at the prosthetics on the table.

    “You still wanna fight a couple of ‘fags’, sir?” I ask.

    He hangs his head in shame. “Sorry guys, I didn’t know.” When he raises his head, his eyes are ready to overflow. He fumbles with the buttons on his shirt, opening them slowly, revealing a mangled chest. “You see, I was there too. Booby-trap. I know what you’re going through. I apologize.” With this, he reaches out his hand and we both shake it. “Bartender,” he barks, “another round, on me.”

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Comments, Concerns, Critiques welcome.

  11. annefreemanimages

    FIGHTIN’ WORDS
    A Rett Bonneville Short Story
    By Anne M. Freeman

    She was waiting for me at the bar. She’d raised a stink earlier with another woman who fled after their confrontation. I didn’t have that choice. I was the entertainment.

    “Hey, ass-wipe.” She moved into my space, filling it with the stink of beer, cigarettes and spittle. I looked quickly for the bartender, but he was busy filling pitchers of beer with his back to us.

    “I’m talkin’ to you, bitch,” she sprayed. “Yeah, ya think yer so fuckin’ la-di-da. How ‘bout we go outside and find out what the hell la-di-da’s good for!” Her bloodshot eyes glowed with rage.

    “Did I do something to upset you?” I asked, not caring about the answer, just trying to keep the talking stage going until the bartender realized what was happening.

    “Ya think its fuckin’ funny singin’ yer ass-hole songs, makin’ fun of folks livin’ in trailer parks, callin’ us trailer trash! Well, how ‘bout I trailer-trash yer fuckin’ face right now!” She grabbed my blouse with both hands, her grossly painted and pierced face straining hard. Now I was really scared … and suddenly ashamed. My face burned.

    “I … I’m sorry. You’re right. I was an ass.”

    “That’s right, bitch. Now yer gonna be more than sorry.” She shifted her stance and I prepared for the worse.

    “Crystal, let her go. Now,” the bartender commanded.

    Crystal shoved me away, then spit on me.

    He said, “Sorry, Rett. I’ll take care of her.”

    “No, don’t!” I said quickly. “I was wrong and Crystal was right.” I turned to Crystal. “Give me a chance to make it right, Crystal.” She turned her back on me. She’d wait for her chance.

    I ran to the bathroom to clean up, my insides twisting as I washed my face. Then I saw my mother’s face, frowning at me. “Loretta Jean, you were wrong and you better find a way to make it right,” she warned.

    Bolstered by her words, I strode out of the restroom and up on stage, grabbed my guitar and walked up to the mike.

    “I have an apology to make,” I announced. Some of the patrons stopped and looked at me. “Crystal, I’m sorry I disrespected you and anyone else who lives in a mobile home. I was wrong and I’m sorry.”

    The bar went quite. Crystal looked panicked – she didn’t know how to react. I had to act quickly before her panic turned into more rage and violence.

    “I’m dedicating this next song to Crystal. I wanna to hear some voices, people, because I’m rippin’ out my rendition of Gretchen Wilson’s great anthem, “I’m Here for the Party!” I slammed into the opening chords:

    *I may not be a ten
    But the boys say I clean up good
    And if I gave ‘em half a chance for some rowdy romance
    You know they would …

    The crowd was now hooting and jumping, and Crystal was suddenly up on some guy’s shoulders, pumping her tattooed fists into the air.

    ###

    * “I’m Here for the Party” written by Kenny Alphin, John D. Rich, Gretchen Frances Wilson, ©Warner/Chappell Music, Inc. / Sony/ATV Music Publishing, LLC

  12. taldickinson

    It was a Saturday night when I met Tony. I don’t know if his name was really Tony, but he looked like a Tony to me. He had a street-tough veneer and gel in his hair, and the kind of physique that suggested all those muscles were compensating for something. On this particular Saturday night, Tony was not in a good mood. He said it was because I’d been hitting on his woman but I think he just wanted an excuse to get violent. Personally, I’m a pacifist, so Tony’s blatant aggression was simultaneously upsetting and fascinating. But mostly upsetting. I’ve always been delicate, as Mother used to say, and I didn’t relish the idea of a fight.

    In an attempt at peace, I tried to explain the situation to him, tried to apologize about the misunderstanding, but he kept rambling over me with threats and taunts and insults, clearly unwilling to be reasonable. Although Tony’s irate face obscured most of my vision, I could see my friend Jack from the corner of my eye. I could also see Tony’s girl, the reason for this confrontation, and she looked smug as she watched the conflict escalate. I didn’t expect her to intervene, but at least Jack was ready to defend me. I wasn’t really sure how, to be honest, because as far as I knew Jack, like me, had never been caught in a physical altercation, but it was comforting to know he was a loyal friend.

    “You still eyeballin’ my woman, asshole?” Tony demanded with unnerving intensity.

    There are certain times in a man’s life when he’s made to question what’s inside him. Apparently hiding deep inside me was a keen cunning for self-preservation. And living next door to that was a homosexual. Both of them made themselves known in an instant.

    For the next sixty seconds of my life, I was gay.

    Startling everyone (including myself), I planted a kiss square on Tony’s frowning lips. The closed-mouth kind — I’m not an exhibitionist after all. After a few seconds I broke away and, channeling my inner diva, gestured flamboyantly. “Honey, that’s how I hit on someone.” After a brazen wink that surely looked more ridiculous than flirtatious, I swept past him dismissively and latched onto Jack’s arm. “C’mon babe, these crackers got stale.”

    The ploy was successful in every way. Tony and his woman were too confused to react and Jack…good ol’ Jack was laughing so hard he couldn’t confirm or deny the ruse as I dragged him out the door.

  13. vcp773

    My hands are plunged into my coat pockets; chin down, as I hurriedly make my way. The narrow streets of this town funnel the winds creating dancing sand cobras in the darkened corners. I knock the dust off my boots as I enter the bar and take a quick glance around. All I can see is eyes and I don’t recognize any of them. That is good.
    I signal the bartender with a flick of my finger.
    A weathered shot glass gets laid down in front of me. The bartender pours out a dirty liquid that reminds me of the brown river water growing up in Louisiana. “Hell it didn’t kill me then” I say to myself and knock it back.
    When I straighten up there is this man standing in front of me. His hands are moving quickly but not as quick as his mouth. I cannot understand a word he is saying. It sounds like he is speaking another language and I can smell the river water on his breath. He pushes me in the shoulder. Repeatedly, and points to the door.
    I have never been in a fight and I imagine that this is what he wants to do. “Ok Ok” I say, “let’s go.” I turn and walk towards the back. I get to the door and turn around and look him in the eyes. I open my jacket. His eyes are wide with fear. I pull the ripcord. Boom.

      1. annefreemanimages

        Woah! Caught me off guard. Surprise ending there! I personally find it more difficult to read present tense because most stories are written in past tense, so it interfered somewhat in my ability to go with the flow. But that is simply my reading bias.

        ~Anne

  14. jdh247

    There she was, propped up at the bar drowning her sorrows, my arch-nemesis, the bane of my existence, the thorn in my side, Kathy…my mother in-law.

    “Lord help me,” I whispered to myself, taking the empty barstool beside her.

    She downed her drink and slammed the empty glass against the counter, “I hate you,” she said fiercely; her fiery red hair surrounding her face like a flaming halo, “I mean I really, really hate you!”

    “Wow, that’s a big surprise there,” I said unconcerned, as I flagged over the bartender, “Give me something strong and make it a double, it looks like I’m gonna need it.”

    Kathy’s eyes narrowed into slits, “You think I’m joking, don’t you? Well, you won’t be laughing when I whip your ass.”

    “I’m not going to fight you Kathy, you’re drunk.” In my twenty five years I had never once been in a fight and I definitely didn’t feel like starting a new tradition tonight.

    “You may’ve fooled him, little girl, but you ain’t foolin’ me,” she said, waving her long finger just inches from my face. “I know all about your past.”

    I pushed her finger away, “I don’t know what you’re talking about, but I’m sure you’re wrong anyway.”

    Her lips curled over her teeth, “I’m gonna tell him everything I know about you. Then he won’t be so quick to defend you anymore.”

    “Oh really, and what exactly do you think you know about me?”

    “Enough to ruin you,” she sneered, “I will ruin you!”

    “Ruin me? Well we’ll see about that,” I pulled the cell phone from the back pocket of my jeans, and dialed the familiar number. By the time my husband answered on the third ring, I had worked myself up into a very convincing sob.

    “Your mother,” sob, sob, “Just threatened to beat me up! Oh Randy, what do I do, I love you, but I can’t take her abuse no longer!”

    “Put her on the phone sweetheart. I will handle it, she won’t hurt you anymore, I promise,” he said soothingly.

    “Promise you won’t be too hard on her love, she is your mother after all.”

    “Only what’s coming to her,” he returned.

    “I think he wants to talk to you,” I said, handing her the phone. She took it, and before she had it pressed to her ear Randy was screaming. I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing.

    “I always win. Remember that next time you try to ‘ruin’ me.” I whispered, as my handsome date pulled me to the dance floor.

    1. jdh247

      It never fails, after I press that post button, all of those little mistakes suddenly flash bright neon. Grrr. Anyway, I’m sure you will see them too.
      Please feel free to leave comments and thanks for reading.
      jdh

    2. annefreemanimages

      Hi JDH, I like how she handled her mother-in-law, especially the phone part, and her sum-up at the end about always winning. I didn’t understand the purpose of the date at th end. It seemed to be unrealistic that she would get away with that, too. Just my take. Nicely written.

      ~Anne

  15. Icabu

    Sweat rolled down Brian’s back as he stood facing Angela’s ex-boyfriend in the parking lot of Lou’s Bar. Angela had warned him of Renny – he was a thug, even to her. Lou had kicked them out for shouting and shoving. Now that they’d taken it outside, it was put up or get pummeled time.

    Although Brian was taller than Renny by about four inches, the thug probably had double Brian’s wiry one fifty in heft. A toe-to-toe match was definitely not in Brian’s best interest. The Cro-Magnon look of Renny led Brian to believe he had a good chance of redirecting the confrontation from brutal forces.

    “Angela’s my girl,” Renny sneered. “Been mine for a month now.”

    “I don’t belong to anyone, Renny,” Angela snapped back. She smiled at Brian. “He treats me nice. Not like a piece of property.”

    Renny turned and took a step toward Angela, a low growling noise coming from his throat. Angela backed up until she bumped into a car.

    Thinking fast, Brian jumped between Angela and Renny. He raised his arms and one knee in the ‘crane’ position he’d remembered from that ‘Karate Kid’ movie. He deftly hopped up and, with a Matrix-like defying of gravity, swapped his raised leg. Sticking the single-leg landing, he thanked those years of gymnastic classes.

    “Wha’ the shit?” Renny backed up a couple steps. “You know that chop suey shit?”

    Keeping stone-cold concentration on his face, Brian channeled Bruce Lee and lowered into a classic, karate-ready stance, remembering to bend just the ends of fingers in for devastating effect. He skittered around until he had Renny away from Angela, the thug wary as he turned with Brian.

    A breeze blew into Brian’s face with a foul odor that crinkled his nose. He wasn’t sure if the odor was from Renny or the Dumpster to their right. A fly buzzed around Renny’s head making him swat at it ineffectually. Then the thug launched at Brian. Since he’d blatantly forecasted the lunge, Brian easily leapt to the side, adding a three-sixty, mid-air pirouette. Landing nimbly, Brian was back in his crouch where Renny had last stood.

    A fly buzzed around Brian’s head now and he could see Renny watching him carefully, waiting for his attention to divert. Instead, Brian’s hand shot out and snatched the fly as he stared into Renny’s beady eyes. He saw the astonishment in Renny’s Paleolithic features. Brian was pretty amazed himself. Not knowing what else to do, Brian popped the fly in his mouth and swallowed. It was an impulse move that he quickly regretted as it felt as if the bug had lodged halfway down his esophagus. Valiantly, Brian resisted his gag reflex.

    “You a crazy sumbitch,” Renny decreed and crossed the parking lot, jumped into a beat up Ford pickup and left, spraying gravel across several cars.

    “You were amazing,” Angela purred, now at his side.

    Brian smiled into her doe-eyed face, hoping there weren’t bug wings in his teeth.

  16. Chilo

    I was just minding my own business, as usual, at this Mexican bar down the street where I live. I was checking out the girls when a man the size of an ape approached me.
    “What do ya think yur doin’?”
    “I’m sorry. What do you mean?”
    He grabbed me by the collar and lifted me off the stool, “Ya know what I mean. Ya have been eyeing me girl.”
    “I don’t even know which one it would be -“
    “Ya callin’ me a liar?”
    Clearly he had been drinking way too much liquor. His breath was a stench of axe and olives.
    “If you will kindly let me down, I can explain myself.”
    “Explain it out back runt.”
    My knees buckled with each step toward the back of the bar; a sandwiched alley with one exit. I was beginning to perspire and my heart pulsed so fast. I was sure this is what having your heart ripped out felt like. I wasn’t scared because it was my first fight (which I’d rather avoid), but because he was not going to see things my way, and I would land in the hospital with my arm twisted backward.
    “Well?” he placed his hands in front of his face and began dancing.
    Think, think, think… “Uhhh, how about we settle this the old fashioned way?”
    “What ya talkin’ ‘bout?”
    “You agree that fist fights are so old… and there is another way to settle any argument?”
    His eyes looked around to the people gathered for the big event, “Yeah, like what?”
    At least he was hearing me out.
    “Like how about we settle this by having a race to see who makes it to the end first, wins.”
    He stopped dancing and looked around again. A woman in an extra short glittery red dress, no straps, and long legs held her hands in prayer and nodded her head.
    “Awright, you got yurself a deal.”
    We had two barrels placed at the end of the alley and we made a runner’s stance at the other end. The bartender popped a bottle and we were off.
    At first, I thought my idea was stupid because he was right next to me laughing. So, I mustered up the courage to run faster than he did, and when I passed the finish line, I didn’t bother to look back. I just kept going, never to return to that bar again.

  17. soupmomma

    She strutted into the bar on spiked heals and magnetically drew my eyes to her hair. Beyond laughable, it was criminal—no one wore hair like that since 1984. And her posse looked like they just bombed an audition for a Flock of Seagulls video. It was utterly impossible to believe that the date on my iPhone read 2012. I leaned into my friend Emily.

    “Emily, did you get a load of that group of women that just came in?”

    “Huh?” Emily slurred. “What women?”

    “Don’t look now, wait until I finish talking. Behind us, first table from the back wall. You can’t miss them– early Madonna wannabes. Don’t…”

    “OMG, Claire…”

    “Em! I told you not to look. Turn around and pretend to stare at the bartender.”

    “I don’t mind staring at the bartender, he has cute butt.”

    Emily turned and leered at the backside of the bartender. I gazed into my wine glass and hoped that the Bighairazons didn’t notice us. After a few deep exhales, I felt a tap on my shoulder and my stomach clenched with immediate recognition—Chief Beehive.

    “Hey,” she snarled. “Whatcha looking at?”

    I clasped my fingers around my chardonnay and tried to smile. “I’m sorry; we didn’t mean to be rude, it’s just that your friend back at the table looks exactly like my cousin Celia.”

    I looked at Emily and prayed that she would keep her mouth shut and not even think about lighting up a cigarette. Aqua Net lady’s hair looked highly combustible.

    “Claire, you don’t have a cousin Celia.” Emily knocked over her martini glass as she turned to face Big Hair. “Weren’t staring, just wondering if your hair had its own zip code?”

    That was all it took. Big Hair’s nostrils flared and the sudden tension in her face popped a false eyelash. “Outside, frump sisters. We’ll show you what happens to nuns that stare.”

    Emily played in the appletini puddle oblivious to her surroundings. I was on my own. Quickly, I grabbed my bag and pulled my business card out. “Look, I’ve never been in a fight and down plan to start now. I own a spa/salon downtown. If you forget the fight, I’m offering free haircuts and messages to you and your friends.”

    “Big Hair grabbed the card from my hand and laughed– an evil too much lipstick laugh. After forcing her hand into the back pocket of her wallpapered on jeans, she pulled out a scrunched up piece of paper. “You give me a haircut? Here’s my card, princess. It ain’t no fancy downtown spa, but you and Miss Drunken Pris show up at my place and we’ll see who can do hair. Monday, six o’clock. You bring your scissors and I’ll bring mine.”

      1. Mackie

        sm– Loved the way you intentionally create the characters as ‘over the top’ types, because it sets the stage perfectly for the deliciously cynical dialogue. Nice build-up too into the very amusing end.

  18. funoodle

    My first time posting…Critiques welcome!

    A glance at my watch, half a beer, and an order of pulled-pork nachos. That’s all it took for me to tell you what I really thought of her.

    “…And not only that,” I boomed over the gay-disco ‘80s jukebox jam, “She can’t hold her liquor, either. She’s been in that freakin’ bathroom for fifteen minutes!”

    I took a fast, violent swig of my Fat Tire pint, putting a physical exclamation point on my verbal indictment.
    I couldn’t really see your facial expressions because of the low lights and grimy blue cloud of unfiltered cigarette/ cigar/reefer smoke. But I heard your words, each syllable popping off clearly like gunfire at sunrise.

    “If you wannuh talk shit, like you’re talking now – if you wannuh keep on like that, we can take it out back.”

    You were serious, weren’t you? I put my elbows on the bar and leaned forward, intrigued and terrified. What if I beat you? What if you beat me? Either way, couldn’t we just drop it and talk about…Something else?

    “I think you’re all talk. I think you’re saying that to intimidate me. But you know what?” I inched closer toward you, arms sliding slightly down the bar, eyes squinting, fake smiling: “I’ll meet you outside.”

    I drained the beer, sniffed deep, and stood up from the stool. You did, too. The screech of the moving bar stools on sticky linoleum overrode Donna Summer’s pleas.

    “Charice! ‘Scuse me, Charice!” I waved at the bartender. “Can you hold my stuff? I gotta go outside for a sec.”

    “No probl’m, sweetie,” she said, busy putting the final whip-cream touches on three blow job shooters.

    I didn’t see you, but I knew where your eyes were. Slowly and mindfully, I picked out my wad of fives and ones. I fished out my pennies and nickels. A few quarters pinged on the glossy oak of the bar. I slid over my cigarette-case billfold. And then I stuck my thumb and index finger in my back pocket, like a crab’s pincer, or a toy claw grabber, and pulled out that final item. I held it up to the light, gazed at it like a charm for a few seconds, and slid that over, as well.

    “Well, won’tcha look at that.” She said with warm eyes, that motherly awwwww tone.” Y’all look like the happiest couple this side of Nacogdoches.”
    “We were, girl, we were.” But this was no time for a tender moment. “I’ll be back in a few minutes. Have a Jack’n Coke ready for me, huh?”
    We were at the park, near the dock, sun setting, you holding me close to you. The old guy walked up and told us how we reminded him of his romantic days. He offered to take our picture.
    I guess seeing it again was just too much for you. I swooped into the bathroom to recompose myself.
    At least you had the decency to tell your current you’d be waiting out in the car.

    1. annefreemanimages

      Hi Funnoodle. First, I liked when you got into the setting near the end, the pennies and nickes part. I didn’t know who the “you” was that the main character was talking about. Since I couldn’t discern “you,” I was unable to follow the story line.

      ~ Anne

  19. Leond

    Strictly, the fight began between us after I accidentally spilled a glass of lemonade in his lap, a social faux pas, I freely admit. Still, I do not think that it in itself merits fisticuffs. Perhaps a sociologist might find within our obvious educational and environmental differences several clues to a fundamental, if subliminal tension present between the two of us antecedent to the unfortunate misplacement of the liquid.
    But all of this is merely a helicoidal way of approaching the topic truly at hand, i.e., the fact that I found myself challenged to an altercation by a man whose size and muscular build were positively brobdinagian, in comparison with my own.
    “Do you wanna fight?” were his precise words. The question, I could tell, was merely rhetorical.
    Since he had broached the topic mention in such a forceful way, I found myself compelled to answer, although not in kind.
    “No.”
    “Well, that’s too damn bad, then, ain’t it?”
    I considered correcting him on his use of the dubious word ‘ain’t’ but decided that on the whole it would not be entirely productive to quibble with phrasing.
    “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to.”
    My apology was ill-received. “I don’t care if you meant to. You did. Maybe you can comfort yourself that I don’t mean to break your pretty little face.”
    Although clearly rude, there was something compelling in his materialist way of seeing the world. I thought of defending myself on philosophical grounds. Then I thought of blubbering like an infant. Then I thought of something a little more clever.
    “Fine, if you insist, let’s fight.”
    He regarded me. “You’re not getting up. I can’t fight a seated man.”
    “You can in the contest I’m proposing. In fact, you may have to.”
    “Contest?”
    “I see that you plan on fighting me physically. I understand your reasoning, in that you are playing to your strength. But I think that there might be some slight honor, perhaps, in playing to my strengths instead?”
    “What do you mean?”
    “Well, you desire to humiliate me. Hit me, and you humiliate me on your terms but not on mine. I’ll think myself triumphant. But if you fight me at something I’m good at and win, I will truly recognize your alpha male superiority. Also, I’ll pay for dry cleaning your pants.”
    He seemed curious. “What’s your strength?”
    “Of my series of small talents, I choose to name writing. My challenge to you. Let us both create an account of this series of events, since we hold it in common. Then we will post the two accounts side by side on a public forum and ask people which is better. The winner… wins.”
    After some further argument, he decided to take my bet. The above is my entry. As you can see, it is full of strong English prose, Latinate vocabulary, and an understanding of the human psyche. Obviously, it is superior to what he has written below.

    There was some twit at a bar. He spilled a drink in my lap. Then he jabbered on about writing. Then some giant telepathic dinosaurs came and crushed him, because dinosaurs are cool, and there’s no reason my writing shouldn’t be cool too.

    Author’s Note: There will be more to this story. But first I have to go punch a twit.

  20. onaway

    He left and his girl hopped a seat closer to me and I knew I was dead.
    “Don’t worry about it, he’s drunk.”
    “I’m not worried about it.” She was so good-looking… this was impossible.
    We both took a sip from our bottles. I tried not to let her see me seeing her blonde hair lying onto her red sweater. I passed her the ashtray with the back of my hand and read the beer label I’ve read a thousand times.
    Suddenly she jumped up and moved away. I could tell she had made eye contact and was afraid. Somebody slammed my left shoulder. “Let’s go. Get up.”
    “No… I don’t want trouble.”
    I checked the doorman and yes he was watching this unfold and clearly was uninterested in throwing out a regular good ol’ boy. I suddenly found myself too far out on the ice as usual.
    So I followed him out. What else could I do? They would have thrown me out if I refused to go, and I couldn’t sink any lower on that bar stool. They had also stopped serving me, which really pissed me off. He walked out the door backwards, all excited to ‘throw down’ in the parking lot of some shit-ass bar. I’m sorry if he was offended but it’s not my fault he’s a dumbass.
    I pulled the Colt from my waistband and shot as soon as it was pointing in his direction. A lazy aim. I remember the orange and yellow flash seemed to light up the whole parking lot. My chin was down and from the corner of my eye I could see the red upholstered seat of the car I was standing by like it was daylight. The chrome golf-tee like lock was pushed down. The ‘pop’ of the gun was nothing compared to that bright light. I thought about firing again just to see some other things in the dark but I didn’t. I went back inside, robbed the place and drove away. Just another Tuesday night.

  21. Adamcon8

    I sit up on my elbows in a daze, staring at the giant bottom of the beasts’ boot slamming towards me.

    I yell out, “Wait!” as I quickly realize what is about to happen. The squeak from my mouth startles me a bit, as it does Goliath, stopping him from pushing forward.

    His voice is low as he grunts out a “What?”

    I start to push myself up and try to apologize, brushing the dirt away from me.

    Sitting still, looking around for any spots I missed, I say, “I’m sorry for bumping in to you. I should have watched where I was going.” He looks down to the dark blotch on the bottom of his white polo, and then back to me. I can see his fists clenching a little tighter.

    Finally to my feet, he pushes forward, taking giant steps, as if he’s going to run right through me.

    “Now wait!” I yell out as I back away, arms up as if I’m going to stop this train.

    “Maybe we can work this out. Here.” I reach around to my back pocket and pick out my wallet. I open it and take out a fifty dollar bill. His eyes squint as if he doesn’t actually believe what I have.

    “Here. Take it. I really don’t want any trouble. It’s the only thing I have.” He starts to walk towards me, almost cautiously as if this were a trick. He towers over me at this point as I nervously not to him to take it. He glares at the bill, flaring his nostrils at me until finally he swipes it and stuffs it in to his front pocket. He pretends to go in for a punch, and as I flinch, a smirk dashes across his face. The shake of his head turns him around as he walks off with the counterfeit bill.

  22. Jesse

    This is my first WD prompt, please let me know what you think 🙂

    “Ricky, are you ready to go?”

    I glanced at Sam briefly and returned to my monitors. “Yea,” I said slowly while clicking through to the next report.

    “It’s already past five, the happy hour ends at six.” She sounded annoyed.

    I turned my head and caught her staring at me, her foot tapping the floor.

    “C’mon Ricky; the reports will still be there tomorrow!”

    “All right, all right, I’m coming.”

    I closed my monitors and rose from the chair. Sam joined with me as we left the office and walked to the martini bar.

    “You know, Ricky, getting out every once in a while can actually help you concentrate at work. I know how tight your deadlines are and I can see you loosing focus.” We waited at the crosswalk for the signal to change.

    “I don’t see how,” I replied. The signal flipped and we stepped into the street.

    “Letting loose and relaxing restores your mind, Ricky. Going to the bar with me tonight will rejuvenate your work tomorrow.”

    I opened the door and waved Sam in. “Yes,” I said, “but I’m still losing time here could be spent completing my analysis.” I followed Sam in, turning towards an empty booth along the wall opposite the bar.

    Sam set her purse down and reached into it, pulling out a pack of cigarettes. “Why don’t you go get us drinks, hmm?” she asked.

    I turned toward the bar and edged my way between two patrons.

    “Excuse me,” I called, but the bartender didn’t respond. “Excuse me,” I called louder, raising my hand slightly. The bartender glanced at me in acknowledgement and continued mixing a drink. “Can I have two martinis, please?”

    “Sure, vodka?” he asked, pouring the drink he was working on.

    “No, gin.”

    He nodded and started mixing the drinks. I turned to Sam; she was puffing on her cigarette with one hand and texting with the other.

    The bartender placed the drinks in front of me. “Ten bucks,” he said. I paid him, grabbed the drinks and turned from the bar just as a large man walked into me trying to reach the bar, spilling the drinks on myself and on him.

    “Hey, nice on Paul!” someone called from behind the large man. His friends were laughing at his misfortune.

    He looked down on me in rage. “You better apologize for that buddy,” he said.

    “Apologize? You walked into me!”

    “Hey Paul, are you going to let this guy get away with that?” the friend called.

    “Naw, I’m going to teach this punk a lesson,” Paul said without turning away from me. “Let’s head outside. Now.”

    “Listen, I don’t want any trouble,” I said.

    “Well too bad, because you found it.”

    “Hey, hey, listen,” I glanced around the room, trying to think of something. Sam was still texting, oblivious to the situation. “What if I could get you a night with her?” I asked, nodding towards Sam while backing away from him.

    Paul glanced at Sam. “Yea,” he smiled, “that would work.”

    “Okay, just wait here and I’ll go talk to her.” I went back to Sam and slid into the booth.

    “Hey, I was trying to get us dinks and overheard this guy say he thought you were cute,” I glanced at Paul so she could pick him out. “What do you think?”

    “Oh, he’s cute.”

    “Good, I’ll leave you two alone to get to know each other.”

    I stood and moved toward the exit. Sam looked at me, then at Paul, then back at me. I was already halfway through the door.

    Maybe I could finish my analysis tonight after all.

  23. Nahaul Winchester

    The guy in front of me looked about ready to explode in rage, or punch me in the face, maybe both. I wasn’t even suppose to be here, but my older brother had told me about this bar exclusively for our own kind so me, being the curious 15 year old psychic I was, just had to go.
    “I’m sorry,” I squeaked, trying to dodge my way around the older man. Every time I side stepped it was as if he doubled. I was assuming this was his power, duplication, or a Gemini as my step-father called it. I accidently made his beer explode in his face when he was hitting on this girl, who laughed at him before disappearing into thin air. It’s not like I had meant to do it, it’s just I’m Psychodetonate, in other words I can make things explode with my mind, on accident most of the time. Whenever I get worked up really. And I was showing off when the incident happened, aiming for the empty glass bottle behind him, but the idiot stepped in the way and ended up getting his pint shattered. “Please don’t hurt me. I don’t want to explain to my parents why I’m all bruised up.”
    The Gemini returned to one, but still pissed. The bartender metaphorically burst into the fight, or stand-off really. “Instead of fighting, how about a round of darts? Winner pays for the next round ok?”
    “Not a Kentic are you?” The Gemini questioned.
    I shook my head, “No sir, at least not fully, and I don’t have the powers.” He grunted before we walked over to the dart, I don’t know would it be considered a court, it looked like that to me.
    “Playing to one hundred, you’re up first kid,” He grunted at me, handing me the darts, some jabbing into my hand.
    Ten darts later, by some miracle, or maybe the telekinetic who had been flirting with me earlier, I had managed to beat the Gemini, and bought a round of drinks for the three females, telekinetic, bleeder, and cutter, and myself. As the Gemini walked out of the pub he pulled me to the side. “What’s your problem?” I growled at him.
    “Hey kid, tell your mum to keep a better eye on you, my son shouldn’t be in a pub this late on a school night.”

    1. annefreemanimages

      I enjoyed the story. Fun powers. I would have enjoyed a different ending, though. I found I didn’t want the guy to be his father. I wanted him to let the kid in on some secret power or idea because he was so good at dart. Just my personal reaction. Nice job.

      ~Anne

  24. rickischroeder

    I really should have just gotten up and let the big man have the stool, but my head was spinning from the Tanqueray and my feet were tired. Perhaps I would have been more accommodating if he hadn’t shoved me on the shoulder; perhaps not. Either way, I kept my butt firmly planted on that stool as I downed a piece of ice from my near empty glass and stared straight ahead. Ignoring the hulking intruder to my right, I willed him to plod away. He did not.
    My glass of ice shot across the bar as the intruder slapped it with the back of his hand. He lowered his bearded face to mine and I saw reckless fury in his ice blue eyes. Unable to hold eye contact, I focused just to the left of his bulbous nose. Before the oaf could speak, the bartender was in front of us demanding we take our business outside. Small yellow teeth appeared on the big man’s face in what could only be his attempt at a smile.
    “My thoughts exactly”, he sneered.
    I looked at the bartender in desperation. I was not a fighter and I was not about to let this lummox pummel me. Quite frankly, out of principle, I still did not want to relinquish my stool. I did the only thing I could think of. . . I moved my fingers furtively and cupped my ear while I shrugged me shoulders. Yes, I pretended to use sign language. God help me, I pretended to be deaf.
    The big man’s eyes grew wide and he stood straighter and studied me for a moment. He burst out laughing and laid his meaty had on my shoulder. He told the bartender there was no cause for concern and we’d be well behaved. He found another stool across the bar and brought it over to mine. He nudged me and when I turned to look at him he asked me if I read lips. Unsure of how to proceed, I nodded my head.
    The big man informed me that he had no pity for the deaf. He was, in fact the son of a hearing impaired man, and, wouldn’t you know it, well versed in sign language. My cheeks flamed red at this revelation. He chuckled at my embarrassment and said that had I really been deaf, he still would’ve taken me out back and pounded me. It was my ridiculousness and desperation that saved me. He then leaned a little closer to me until we locked eyes. He told me flatly that if I wanted to make it home safely, I would now get up and give him back his stool. I stood up from the stool and took a few steps away from it bowing slightly. I told the man I actually did know some sign language. I smiled and flipped him the bird; than I ran as fast as me feet would carry me.

    NOTE – just soined this website today. This is my 1st attempt at writing in years. ANY feedback would be appreciated.

  25. jmiff328

    I wasn’t surprised when the goon next to me stood from his weathered bar stool and announced boisterously, “If you think you’re so tough then les take er outside.” It was the second time in a month this had happened. I began supplementing my income with bar wagers on college basketball after graduating from Kentucky. The bets were heavily favored and worded so that winning was inevitable, for me.

    I start by betting drinks. I lose these with vigor and a fake sense of annoyance. “A shot says he makes the next three he takes.” “I bet a boiler-maker that he dunks in the next thirty seconds.” The bets made him over confident and extremely drunk. At this point I pull out my last few dollars and tell him that I have to go home shortly but how about another few bets. “Sure, it’s your money to lose buddy” he says. The next few bets are made with real money and the tide begins to turn. “Twenty dollars says that someone will make a three in the next five minutes.” The goon is drunk and slurring his words. I cleaned him out of about two hundred and let him know I had to leave. “You ain’t going no where.” He slurs. His posture had moved considerably to the left and one of his eyes couldn’t seem to focus. I had to think quickly to get out of here with my dignity , and most importantly, my money.

    I followed the buffoon outside along with a crowd of around a dozen people who had overheard our previous exchange. I backed against the brick face of the building and waved him forward. “I bet you can’t dent the brick with a punch.” I said. He looked at me with amusement and still some anger lingering. He strutted to the wall and pulled back his fist. “What do I get if I dent the wall?” he said. “Your money back” I replied. He nodded in agreement and pulled his fist back farther. It came forward with extreme speed. I remember thinking, I would hate to get hit by that thing. His fist veered right, far off course of the wall and headed straight for me. My fears were about to be realized.

    1. Jesse

      I liked the ending. I wished it went farther, I wanted to know how the fight turned out 🙂 There are a few grammar mistakes, such as running dialogue from multiple people in the same paragraph, but you already indicated you knew that.

  26. markfaith

    Comments/Suggestions are appreciated. Thanks, Mark

    He was big. Huge like one of those mountain men from folklore. He leered at me when I strolled into the Wooly Bully bar with Daisy Pickett on my arm. She held the title “Miss Hog Hollow” three years in a row. She was the prettiest girl within a one-hundred mile radius, probably because she was the ONLY girl within a one-hundred mile radius. Her smile unleashed protruding front teeth and she had noticeable facial and arm hair.
    “How about a booth?” I said. We slipped into the same side and I ordered a pitcher of beer. “I Got Friends In Low Places” sang from the jukebox. I had in sight the mountaineer who was staring fondly at my Daisy. There was a twinkle in his eye and I know I saw love birds circling his head. He looked at me in such a frightening manner that I knew he desired to do me bodily harm. He wanted to name claim to my Daisy and I imagined him knocking me and her over the head like a Neanderthal and dragging her away to a new and better life.
    He ambled over to the jukebox. The sound of the coins being swallowed by the machine ended as the song “Love Hurts” filled the bar. He turned and grabbed Daisy as she returned from the ladies room. He towered over her and pulled her close and began to slow dance, trying to grind his lower torso against her stomach. She broke away from him and hurried to sit by me as he followed her. He caught up with her as she reached her seat and tried to extricate her from the bench. I stood up and my face met his chest. He pushed me down and I collapsed like an accordion into my seat.
    “Lay off of my girl!” I stammered as I bounced back on my feet. “She doesn’t want to dance with you.”
    “Sit down you little snot!” he bellowed as he grabbed me by the throat and raised me off the ground, my face in front of his.
    I was fond of my ass and did not desire to have it end up where my nose belonged.
    “How about we settle this like gentlemen?” I said. I was not sure how much of a gentleman he could be but it was worth a try.
    “What do you have in mind?” he asked.
    “How about a thumb war?” God had brought us this far so I decided to go for it.
    “A what war?”
    “A thumb war. It’s the cool way to settle differences.” I said. I looked at Daisy and she responded right on cue.
    “It’s the only respectable way,” she chimed in. She took out an eyebrow pencil and red lipstick. She held my right thumb and drew a face on it and then did the same on the inebriated Shrek’s hand.
    “Now face each other and curl you forefingers and grip each others hands. Then look each other in the eye and recite ‘one, two, three, four I declare thumb war!’ The first one to hold the other one’s thumb for the count of three is pronounced the winner of the duel and honor is satisfied.”
    “Okay, let’s go!” the mountain man grumbled.
    Daisy stood back and refereed. Within seconds I had overtaken my nemesis’ thumb and declared victory. With little fanfare he retreated back to his table. He sat there staring at his thumb as Daisy and I slunk out into the night.

    1. jmiff328

      I liked it. I would say the easiest part to take out would be the officers first comments. They are self explanatory with the ending. I hope that makes sense. Overall it was a fun read. thanks for sharing and I hope you continue.

  27. saintsooner82

    The doors to the Gray Mule Saloon creaked open like the soft wail of a lone coyote far off in the distance.
    I kept my head down and my hat pulled tight across my brow and stared into the golden brown shooter glass below my chin. I took a small sip and felt the soft burn of the whiskey as it snaked down my gullet.

    The man’s boots clopped across the floorboards and stopped beside me. He leaned up against the bar. “Y’all have anything chilled in here? I been out all day chasin’ this damn ghost of a man, this ‘Black River Killer,’ and my throat is full of trail dust.”

    I kept my head down.

    The bartender slid a beer into his hand and the man flopped a coin down. He placed a tip into the glass bowl in front of me.

    “’Scuse me for leaning across you there mister.”

    I took another sip and emptied my glass. I held up a one for the barkeep and he came by to top me off.

    “Not a talkative fella I gather?” he said.

    I twisted the glass in my fingers and raised my head up but kept my hat low enough to shield my eyes from his.

    “You ain’t said anything worth responding to,” I said.

    “Look son, all I done here is try to conversate. I been out for four days and you’re the first soul I talked to, short of this here bartender. If you’re gonna be nasty, maybe we should step out back and teach you how to be decent when an officer of the law speaks to you.”

    A smile slid across my mouth but I doubt he saw it; he just stood above me breathing heavily. I could feel the anxiety in the room grow but my blood ran cold.

    “My apologies,” I said. “I tell you what, I ain’t no fighter. Would you believe I never been in one? But if you still feel rotten about me running afoul of your better sensibilities we can step out back and I can help you find this man.”

    I saw a smile break underneath his black mustache out of the corner of my eye.

    He chugged his beer and patted me on the back. “Son, you done redeemed yourself.”

    We placed our glasses on the bar and I let him walk a few paces in front of me.

    The streets were dark and empty and the only sound of the evening was the song of the cicadas in the trees.

    “I saw him head into that pasture out past them stables,” I said.

    I tilted up my hat enough so the glow of the evening moon caught my face and waited for him to look back.
    The man paused and turned back to face me. I smiled as the recognition finally caught his eyes, but it was too late. My gun was already drawn.

    I looked him square and squeezed. The hammer fell and he hit the dirt before I could aim another round. I walked over to him and fished through his pockets. I found the wanted poster in his pocket and took his star, his gun and his extra rounds.

    “You see, this picture of me,” I said, “it’s a little out of date. Happy hunting officer.”

    1. PicChic

      Great Read! Really, very entertaining. If it were in a book, I’d be hooked. It doesn’t hurt that I love westerns and don’t go for vampires and trashy plots. LOL
      Just a tiny suggestion…well two actually. Instead of “The mans boots” use something more descriptive like “Dust covered boots clopped accross the floorboards”. This helps prevent every sentence from starting with the same few words. Which brings me to suggestion #2, Think of a sentence, then try to start it with a descriptive word or phrase that appears later. For example, when the two step out back, the sentence could be “Cicadas sang in the trees as we stepped out into the dark, street.
      Now I have to ask…why isn’t he in a hurry to get the heck out of dodge? Also, I’d love to know why he shot the lawman. Is he just a ruthless killer or did he know him and just settle a grudge?…or….
      Keep WRITING!

      1. saintsooner82

        Thank you PicChic! I appreciate the input/suggestions. I agree with you on the descriptives and that’s definitely something that I would add given more space. I was already over the 500 words so I had to chop description in favor of some simple stage direction! But given more space I would do more with it for sure.

        I’m a big western as well as a noir fan so I’m not surprised that’s what came to me given the prompt.

        As for your questions…the protagonist struck me as a Jim Thompson styled killer: amoral, ruthless, cold but clever. He knew the lawman would eventually show up at the bar so he was waiting until the trail grew cold and he came into town to wait.

        Maybe I’ll continue? Thanks again!

        (One more thing, check out “The Sisters Brothers” by Patrick Dewitt. Great western novel I recently read that I think you may like.)

    2. TrevorTobin

      Excellent!! This is easily my favorite so far. Even though you had little room to do it in you still developed the characters very well, through the dialog. Also the way your characters talked made them very believable to me.
      I got right into the story and I love the little twist at the end.

      Good Job!

    3. JR MacBeth

      Dang, that was a good read! I’ve never attempted Western, and I’m not sure why. I loved the various TV shows of the ’50’s – ’60’s era, and this story made me think about how much I enjoyed those classic programs. I think you done inspired me to give the Western genre a shot!

      1. saintsooner82

        Haha, I appreciate the kind words! Best of luck to you. I’ve never really written Western either but that prompt just screamed it to me as I read it. It was fun to write and I think I may attempt it as well.

  28. cb0825

    From between his yellow caffeine stained teeth, came his hot whiskey breath and it was like slow motion. “Let’s take this outside if you have a problem,” he said to me.

    The man was easily 5 inches taller than my 5’9” height, probably had me by at least 45 pounds and looked like he ate college guys like me for breakfast. What was I going to do, go out fight this behemoth? That is just not an option. Quickly I surveyed the bar for any other option that would suffice. That’s when I saw it: the 1992 Addams Family Pinball Machine.

    This machine, well it was really a work of art. It was one of the first of its kind to have automatic flippers, which were not only controlled by the button but also flipped randomly. I had fallen in love with this machine when I was a kid hanging out at the mall. It was sleek and black, but what really drew me to it was the graphic of Thing flipping the pinball on the side.

    If I had any chance of getting out of this bar alive, or even will all my teeth, I had to get this man to play pinball. What was my game plan here, did I ask him nicely surrendering my dignity, or do I play it tough?

    “Look here, Joe Bob or whatever, everyone in this bar knows who will dominate outside. Is that really how you are going to flex your muscle? Why don’t you beat me at something where we are a little more evenly matched? Pinball, if you win, I never step foot in this place again, if I win, well, I walk out of here alive.”

    The grin on his face said everything. He had been playing this game as long as he had been hanging out at this bar. “Sure kid, let’s do this.”

    We flipped, bounced, hit targets, got extra balls and tried not to tilt. After 3 balls each give or take, I came out victorious.

    “Well, a deal is a deal. You may walk out of here son,” he said to me.

    I felt great, I had defeated the giant. I headed to the door with a skip in my step, and I would never again make the mistake to pick a fight like that again. I opened the creaky door and stepped over the threshold. Just as the cool air hit me in the face, the empty hollow glass bottle hit me in the back of the head. My face hit the damp concrete and just before everything went black, I realized I was not victorious.

  29. mariagavila

    I’m not going to lie… I was scared. My coke and rum and the occasional beer, had me feeling invincible, but even then I was not stupid. I had always found a way to get out of a fight and now my mind raced with ideas of how to manage just that.
    I looked at my opponent… Marcia, I think was her name… and sized her up. Yeah, she was bigger than me and if she hit me, it was surely going to hurt. And pain was one thing that I did not enjoy.
    “Look,” I slurred, “you are in no condition to be fighting anyone. Look at you, you’re drunk.”
    “Not anymore than you,” she said and stood up.
    Whoa, I thought, she’s a lot bigger standing up… What do I do? What do I do?
    “You’re scared,” she continued, taunting me. Getting all up in my face.
    Then she started doing the “fight dance” infront of me and that’s when my lightbulb turned on. We would have our fight on the dance floor.
    I figured I had a better chance of winning with my two left feet than with my untrained fists. Besides she didn’t know that I had just won the International Dance Competition (in my dream, last night).
    So I stood on my wobbly feet and looked up into her eyes. “I have a better way to settle this, right here, right now.” I prayed that my voice sounded stronger than I felt and noticed that I had caught her attention. She pulled up her fists, ready for combat.
    “Not that,” I said, “out there on the dance floor.”
    The crowd that had gathered around us, immediately opened up a space for us to walk through, kind of like a red carpet laid out for the stars.
    She looked so dumb staring at me as if I had lost my mind. I didn’t wait for an answer, I walked past her and hollered for the dj to play my song.

    I moved my drunk limbs as best I could to the rythym. Anyone who saw me probably thought I was having an epileptic attack, but I didn’t care, she would either dance or leave. At least that was my plan.
    So much for planning, right. She joined me, but her spasms where worse than mine. She doubled over and let go of her drinks, dinner and maybe even lunch. The stench that followed was unbearable, but I had won!
    “That’ll teach you, to watch who to talk trash to the next time,” I said to her back and wobbled to the door.
    I heard hoots and hollers as I did one more dance around her, walked out the door, and joined her in the “doubled over” dance.

      1. mariagavila

        Thank you for your comment. This is only my 3rd attempt at posting here, (not that I’m counting)… lol… but your comment has really boosted my confidence. Thanks again for taking the time to read and encourage me.

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