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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Abandoned

Tom has been working hard and may have indulged a little too much in the drink.

1849 words. Thank you for reading and please leave a comment telling me how I can make this story better.

Tom pulled into a parking spot before checking the time, He had ten minutes before the store opened so he sat back and listened to the radio as he drumming his fingers on the steering wheel. He only had eight hours before he had to be back at work. It had been six months since he had agreed to work this crazy shift, one day on the third shift and the next on the second. It was messing up not only his sleep schedule but his relationship. He was off a lot of the time when his wife was at work and when they were both off together all he could do was sleep. The money was good, but he was just about ready to tell his boss to put him back on daylight.

When he saw the clerk unlock the door he quickly got out of his car and hurried over to the liquor store. The clerk nodded to him as he entered and Tom nodded back giving a small wave. He knew right where his brand of whiskey was on the shelves so he reached the register at the same time the clerk did.

“Hey, Tom.”

Tom wondered if it was a bad sign that the clerk knew him by his first name. “Hey.”

As the clerk rang up the bottle Tom peeled off the bills from his roll of cash. They quickly finished the sale and Tom grabbed his bag before heading for the door.

“See you tomorrow,” the clerk called after him.

Dropping the bag in the passenger seat Tom started the car and drove home. Kathy would have left for work already so he had the house to himself. It was not a big place or even very nice, but for Tom, the fact it was his and Kathy’s home was all that mattered.

Falling into his recliner Tom turned on the TV before cracking the seal on the whiskey. He considered getting a glass but decided it was too much effort and drank straight from the bottle. He told himself he would have a drink or two before crashing.


A hand shook him awake.

“It is 3 Tom you have to get up.”

Opening his eyes Tom saw Kathy leaning over him. “Hey, beautiful.”

Her smile lit up her face. “I’ll put on the coffee.”

He nodded as he got out of the recliner stumbling slightly.

“Are you ok?”

Steadying himself on the arm of the chair he glanced down at the almost empty whiskey bottle. “Just tired and stiff baby.”

“Go get a hot shower while the coffee brews.”

Tom nodded taking him time so he would not stumble again. He made a quick stop to get clean clothes from the bedroom before getting a shower. The hot water help to clear his head some and mouth wash covered the smell of alcohol on his breath.

Kathy had his coffee on the kitchen table when he came in.

“I wish you would call off, you look exhausted.”

“I can’t we are short-handed as it is. I’ll be fine and I get two days off after tonight.”

“You said it was only for a week or two and it has been six months.”

“They hired new guys so it shouldn’t be much longer baby.”

She nodded, but her face said she was not happy about it. She went into the bedroom to change and once he heard the door shut he hurried into the living room. He empty what was left in the whiskey bottle into his coffee and stuffed the bottle deep into the garbage can.


Pulling out of his driveway Tom realized he was still drunk. It was not that big of a deal in the last six months he had shown up several times drunk with no one realizing. He would have to take the drive in slow just to be safe, but he was leaving early so that would not be a problem.

When he pulled into the parking lot he quickly pulled a bottle of mouth wash out of the glove compartment and rinsed his mouth out again. He was cutting it close, but the time clock was right inside the door so he could make it. He hurried across the parking lot as he dug his key card out of his jeans. He was just about to swipe it when somebody grabbed his shoulder.

“Fuck Tom you look like shit.”

Spinning around Tom found himself face to face with the shift supervisor, Mr. Daniels. “Just tired, I’ll be fine.”

“Why are you even here tonight?”

“I was on the schedule.”

“I thought Murphy told you. You are off for the rest of the week and then back to daylight.”

“Murphy didn’t tell me shit. What about all that time I’ll miss, I need the money?”

Daniels laughed. “You are being paid for the week and a nice bonus you did a great job. Now get out of here.”

Tom could not believe his luck, a week off with pay and a bonus. He smiled. “Thanks, boss.”

He hurried back to his car. He would go home and sleep with his wife, hell he would sleep for two days straight. He thought about calling Kathy but decided he would surprise her.

He was just pulling out of the parking lot when he remembered that his buddies from the first shift would be at The Dock Side. They always hit the bar Friday after work and if he hurried he could catch them there. One quick drink then home to the wife he told himself as he hit his turn signal and made the left out of the lot.

The drive did not take that long and he was soon pulling into the lot behind the bar. It had been six months since he had been there, but nothing had changed. He came in the backdoor and spotted his friends as he came out of the hallway from the back.

“Tom,” they shouted when they saw him.

“Hey, let me grab a drink.”

“I got you,” Charlie said standing up. “Go ahead and sit your ass down.”

Tom dropped into the empty chair at the table. “I’ll be back in a week you lazy bastards.”

“Good to hear that,” Matt said.

“About fucking time,” Doug said as he slapped Tom on the back.

“Guess you finally got bored goofing off with those second and third shift pukes,” Louis said with a big grin.

Charlie came back sitting a pitcher of beer on the table and handing Tom a glass as a waitress brought a tray filled with shots.

Charlie grabbed one of the shots and raised it up. “To having the gang back together.”

They all took a shot and throw them back. Tom poured himself a beer and sat back. He figured he owed it to his friends to stick around until they had finished the pitcher. As they drank his friends caught him up on what was happening on their shift.

It was several hours later when they decided to leave. As Tom stood up the bar seemed to spin and he had to steady himself on the table.

Doug grabbed his arm. “You ok Tom?”

Shrugging the hand off his arm Tom nodded. “Yeah, I’m fine.”

“How about one of us give you a ride home,” Matt suggested.

Tom pushed past his friends. “I said I was fine.”

His four friends looked at each other as Tom headed for the backdoor. He found that if he took it slowly he did not stumble as badly. He was halfway to his car when his friends came out the backdoor after him.

“Tom come on you don’t look so good,” Matt called after him.

Tom gave them the finger without turning around. He knew he was drunk but he had driven home plenty of times drunk. It took him two tries to get the key into the door.

He just started the engine when Charlie stepped right in front of his car. The others moved towards the driver’s side. He lowered the front windows to get some air.

“Fuck off, I’m fine.”

He quickly shifted the engine into reverse and stepped on the gas. His car shoots backward hopping the curb and smashing through the old wooden fence that separated the lot from the river embankment. The car went airborne off the embankment and splashed down in the river.

The impact stunned Tom for a second and he sat there as the car began to go under. The lights on the dashboard going out woke Tom from his stupor. He reached down and stabbed the release for his seat belt with a finger before trying the door handle. It was only when he yanked on the handle did he remember the doors were locked and with no power could not be opened.

He turned to the window as water began to pour in through it. He grabbed the edges of the window and tried to pull himself through it, but he was caught on something. Hanging halfway out the window he reached back in trying to feel what he was caught on as the car completely submerged.

Holding his breath Tom felt the seat belt caught on his belt buckle. He tried to unhook it with one hand as he used the other to cling to the door. His chest began to hurt as he yanked on the seat belt.

Finally, his body forced him to exhale and his lungs instantly sucked water in. His throat felt like someone was squeezing it shut as his vision dimmed.


Charlie hesitated for a second when Tom’s car busted through the fence and landed in the river. He started running towards the rive pulling his coat off as Tom’s car began to sink. Matt was only a step behind him as he dived into the river.

He reached the spot he saw the car go under and with a quick look at Matt, he dived under the water. Kicking hard to fight the current Charlie reached the trunk of the car and pulled himself along it to where Tom hung half out the window. He grabbed Tom under his arms and braced his feet on the door to pull, but Tom wouldn’t budge. Matt joined him a second later and reached into the car as Charlie held onto Tom.

It only took a second and Matt was grabbing one of Tom’s arms and nodding. The two of them pulled Tom from the car and towing him between them they swam for the surface. As they broke the surface they saw they were being washed down the river by the current and had to swim hard to reach the shore.

As they dragged Tom onto the embankment Doug ran up. “Louis called 911.”

Matt quickly rolled Tom onto his back and checked for a heartbeat. Not finding one he started CPR, but Charlie step back shivering as he shook his head. He did not think his friend was going to make it.


Submitted: September 18, 2021

© Copyright 2023 Alex S. Foley. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:


Danni Lee

Very good story. Great lesson about drinking and driving.

Sun, September 19th, 2021 4:09pm


Thank you Danni.

Sun, September 26th, 2021 7:06am


I think that Charlie gave up too soon on his friend Tom. Maybe that is because he has lost a friend that way before.

I'm going to believe he makes it and learns his lesson, and goes to AA meetings.

Sat, September 25th, 2021 9:05am


Thank you for reading and comment.

Tom didn't make it, but even if he did he wasn't the kind of person to admit he has a problem so he would never end up going to AA.

Sun, September 26th, 2021 7:06am

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