Strange Times at the Blind Donkey

Posted: July 1, 2014 in Fiction
Tags: , , , ,

A different flash piece. The challenge was to use rubber duck, blind donkey, and scarecrow all in the same piece. 500 words or less. This is what I ended up with.

I didn’t see the stranger until they were standing next to me. All I had wanted was a quiet drink at my local watering hole, The Blind Donkey. A few of the other regulars were there, all sitting by themselves, minding their own business. Nice and quiet, not surprising for two o’clock on a Wednesday afternoon.

“Gimme a Rubber Duck,” the stranger said, a stick thin arm like a scarecrow invading my personal space. “Better make it a double.”

Denise, the bartender, looked up from her crossword puzzle and blinked at the stranger. “A what now?”

“What kind of bartender are you that doesn’t know how to make a Rubber Duck?” The stranger’s voice was high pitched and warbling, the kind of voice makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

Denise cocked an eyebrow and looked at me. I shrugged, as if I knew what the hell the weirdo wanted.

“Look, take one part Midori, one part peach schnapps, and two parts cranberry juice. Shake that bad boy up, and voila, a Rubber Duck.”

I swiveled in my seat, looked the stranger up and down nice and slow. Nice fitting suit, hair slicked back, tie just a little loose and sticking out like a fox in a henhouse what with the rest of us wearing jeans and flannels.

“Passing through?” I asked. Denise looked through the bottles behind the bar, finding some bottles she blew the dust off of.

“Obvious, huh?”

Taking a sip of my bourbon, I nodded. “Oh no, not at all.”

Denise finished mixing the drink, poured it over ice and placed it in a highball. “There you go. That’ll be, uhm, ten dollars.”

The stranger fished a twenty out, passed It over the bar. “Keep the change.” He downed the drink, and looked back at me.

“Hey, you don’t know where I could find Samuel Hollister do you?”

My heart sank a little. “Yeah, maybe. Why?”

“Well, I’ve got this envelope to give him.” He pulled it out from inside his jacket pocket.

My heart sank a bit further, my stomach feeling like it’d been dipped in ice water. “What is it?”

“You’re Mr. Hollister?”

“My dad’s Mr. Hollister, but yeah, I’m Sam Hollister.”

“Oh good.” He handed me the plain white envelope, finished his drink and headed out the door.

“Well, what is it Sam?” Denise asked.

“Hand me that paring knife will you?”

I slit open the envelope, pulled the paper out as I felt my whole body get tense. There were just two words on the paper: FOUND YOU.

Time for me to move on.

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Comments
  1. Sandy Monroe says:

    It’s like an episode from a hard-boiled noir story. Interesting and compact. Congratulations!

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