Saturday, December 18, 2010

Dancing on a Pinhead (Part One)

I'll post the second part of this tomorrow if anyone cares...

The Bleeding Hog inn was a dirty run down place. The second you walked in you were assaulted by the stench of stale beer, dirt, and whore perfume. There was always people there though, due to the beer and the whores both being very cheap.
The thing I remember most about that night, other than what I’m about to tell you, was how cold it was outside. Your breath nearly froze in the air, and the wind jabbed any part of you that wasn’t covered up with sharp little needles. Winter was hard for me. No one was really out and about that didn’t need to be and people probably thought I was nuts, but I had to earn a living. The only way I knew how, warm or cold, rain or snow.
I had made enough for a few scraps of food and a beer though. Better than I made on some days, especially during the winter.
Old Carlson was the bartender, a fat man with face full of jowls that shook when he spoke.
“You know the drill Sam, all we got is beer, money up front. Drink it and throw some more money down, or get the Hell out.”
He always looked annoyed, like you were bothering him by giving him business.
“You got beef on the stove tonight?” I asked
“Yeah, but it’s yesterday’s, and It’s cold.”
“I’ll take that and a mug of beer.”
“Five ginns.”
I just barley had enough. The cold beef was gone before I knew it, and I was still hungry. I sighed. If I wanted to hang myself I wouldn’t have the cash to buy a rope…
As I sipped my beer, I surveyed the tavern. Like on most nights, it was full of old men drinking to forget the horrible jobs they trudged too and from everyday, bums like me who had scrounged up a few ginns and were drinking their beers slowly to avoid having to go back out into the cold, and whores in the employ of Old Carlson. The place in general was pretty depressing, but the whores were the worst. All of them were long past their primes, trying to smile as they sat on some old man’s lap and fondled his balls. There was a rumor that Carlson paid them in nothing but room and board, the nasty flea pits you could visit if you had enough cash. Even when I had money, I hadn’t. If I needed to fuck something that bad, I’d find a knothole and grease it up. At least that wouldn’t give me the clap.
There was a new girl there that night. To my surprise, she was young. Not just young, but good looking. Not just good looking, but shockingly good looking. I watched as an old man pulled her down to his lap. They were all the way on the other side of the room and I couldn’t hear what they were saying, but I saw money exchanged. I sighed again. It was something different, but not by much. Some old inn, same old town. I turned back to my beer.
The scream that came almost the instant I turned my back was high pitched and womanly and I was shocked to find that it had come from a man. The old man that had grabbed the young whore, to be exact. He was on the floor holding his nose as blood spurted from between his fingers. From the direction he then turned, it was obvious that the girl had done it.
When he took his hands away to retaliate, I gasped. Even from where I was, in the dim gaslight of the Inn, I could see that his nose was completely ruined.
All of this happened in a very short time, too short for Old Carlson, who was at the tap filling a glass to react. But now he ran as fast as he could to where the altercation was taking place. The rest of the drunks in the tavern had gathered round and he pushed through them like they were nothing. Old man must have been stronger than anyone thought. I grabbed my beer and stood outside the circle.
“WHAT DID I TELL YOU YESTERDAY?” Old Carlson yelled, his jowls quivering in time to his words.
“He…” The girl started.
“He…he put his finger in my…”
“He didn’t pay enough yet to do that!”
Old Carlson’s face was beat red and he was breathing hard. He looked like he was going to explode and splatter the room with blood and fat. I had never seen him hit one of his girls, but I thought that tonight, we just might get an even better show. But then he calmed down. Or rather, he shoved his boiling rage down into his fat stomach.
“I want you,” He said in a low whisper. “I want you out of here. And if you ever come back, if I ever see your face again, I’ll kill you. NOW GET OUT!”
The girl didn’t say a word, just walked out and the bar patrons went back to their drinks. I just stood for awhile, staring at the spot where the girl had been. Old Carlson got real close to my face, his breath smelled like onions.
“You gonna buy another drink?”
I looked down at my glass. I had spilled it all out onto the floor and hadn’t even noticed.
“I…I guess not.” I muttered.
“Then get the fuck outta here before I throw you out.”
I set my glass down on a table and left in a hurry.

The girl was standing outside the pub, with her arms crossed over her chest. Even though I hadn’t cared much before, now I instantly felt sorry for her. Like I said before, it was below freezing out and she was wearing nothing but her skimpy whore’s outfit and she was already shivering.
“Hi,” I started. “You, uh, got a place to stay tonight?”
She turned to look at me with a motion that was so swift that I took a step back. Her eyes, god her eyes! Even in the dim light from the bar, their piercing green was so intense that I could have sworn that she was looking right through me. When she spoke her voice was sharp.
“You think you’ll get to fuck me is that it? That’s all I am right? A stupid fucking whore that got kicked out of the worst pub in town, so I’m easy pickings right? Fuck you! Get the fuck away from me.”
I started. “No no no, that wasn’t it at all! You just…you just looked cold is all.”
Her face softened and she sighed. “I really don’t have anywhere else to go. Old Carlson…”
“Yeah I know, everyone in town does. I have a separate room you can use. It’s small and not very warm, but at least you won’t have to sleep out in this.”
As if to punctuate my words the wind gave a howl that blew her red hair around her face and she shivered again.
“Okay, but no funny stuff! You saw what happened to that prick in there right? I’m not some weak…”
“Alright, I swear, I’ll keep my hands off.” I put my hands up like someone had pointed a gun at me. She smiled and my heart flopped into my stomach. As we walked the short way to my flat, I wondered what I had gotten myself into. Something about this didn’t seem right…


Justin said...

This is a great one! Part 2 please

Anonymous said...

Really intriguing. Do some drafting and finish ... please! :)