The Earl

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Let me introduce you to 'The Earl' and hopefully you'll understand why we dread his arrival.

Submitted: January 10, 2017

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Submitted: January 10, 2017

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Earl

 

Tonight should be the night he graces us with his presence, and we are taking turns to keep watch. At the first sign, we’ll spring into action and by the time he walks through the door the place will be abuzz with social interaction. We are all just hoping and trying not to attract ‘The Earl’s’ attention tonight.

 

Seven different pubs he frequents, a different one for every night of the week. This is my local and I never go to the other six, but I’d imagine the scenes would play out pretty much the same. Let’s just hope he does not change his routine to a mix ‘cause then we’d be in a nervous state every single day.

 

I really think I should explain a bit. It’s not that we’re an antisocial bunch. This is a nice friendly bar and newcomers are always welcome, or at least politely tolerated. It’s not a bar for brawling or out-of-order drunkenness – at least not on the nights that The Earl’s not here.

 

When he first came in we were fine with him. He said his name was The Earl but we just thought he meant that Earl was his name. He soon put us straight on that one! Okay, so he comes in dressed up in a suit and tie while all the rest of us are in jeans or tracksuits but if he’s nobility I’m a ballerina not a brickie!

 

He’ll walk in, straight up to the bar. Double scotch....knock it back. And another.....knock it back. After those first two doubles he’ll slow down a bit and take a good look around. Don’t mistake that for wanting to be friends though. The Earl is seeking out a target.

 

He’ll try to get in with a group, hopefully be included in a few rounds of drinks. You have to watch him too, because it seems that he has a tendency to forget where he puts his glass and any left unattended are fair game – finders keepers sort of thing. It’ll be picked up and sucked dry before the real owner has a chance to notice what is going on. And then, before it comes to his turn to buy a round, he’s off to latch on to another unsuspecting group.

 

The trouble for him is we’re all wise to his tricks now! After the drinks there will be the hard-luck story, some kind of tragedy that has left him pushed for cash. We’ve all been sucked in over the last six months and I’ve not heard of one of us getting even a cent paid back. Sure, nobody’s lost a lot of cash but The Earl has proved to be totally untrustworthy.

 

And then there is the betting! He’ll try to get someone to bet with him on anything – even down to how long it will take a moth to hit the light bulb. Now, we’re not anti-betting or anything but this guy pushes it to the limits and he’ll always manipulate the results so that he’s the winner. I have never known him not to win a bet he makes, which totally defies the odds and takes away the whole point.

 

The call goes up! The Earl approaches.

 

Action stations, everyone. Grab your glasses, get deep into conversation with anyone or everyone. And whatever you do, do not make eye contact. Just one glimpse and The Earl will be on to you, and by the time you manage to shake him off you’ll be a good few dollars, and a good few drinks, worse off!


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