Chapter 2:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 120

 

Jake stepped past the concierge with an air of confidence that had not yet seemed to have left him, and gave him a typical grunt of acknowledgement, not that he had noticed, absorbed in some cheap magazine with his feet up on the desk. Anybody could have committed some kind of wrong in the building’s foyer and the dozy old man would have never noticed. Stepping out into the cold night, Jake could only wonder what series of events would follow as he strode with a certain conviction in the direction of Snake Bar, where he had decided to go for his unprecedented and supposedly original kind of night out. It felt strange, he thought, to be heading out in the pursuit of intoxication solo. Although, that was the idea of this night. It had to be unpredictable and therefore enjoyable. It wasn’t long before Jake realised walking with his leather jacket swung over his shoulder, hooked by index finger, was a stylish look but also an impractical one. He swung it back on as it was indeed quite cold out. Stepping past all the conventional bars of what was the street of intoxication for many, he sneered as it was also these buildings that summoned stubborn memories he didn’t want in his head. Although at this stage almost anything would summon memories of times with his Tara from the past eleven years.

He drew nearer to the ominous bar that everyone had warned him about and there was a definite clearing of people on the street, giving its entrance a wide birth, wanting nothing to do with its clientele who occasionally poured out in groups to smoke cigarettes.

Jake paused for a moment and lit up a cigarette for himself, standing on the opposite side of the street and analysing the entrance of the bar. Above its front door was a great neon snake curled around a beer bottle, its jaws open, menacing. Only half its lights worked and flickered erratically as if to say the frequenters of this bar cared little for aesthetics. Funny, Jake thought that this supposed rabble didn’t care for the condition of their bar but bothered to follow the law on smoking. A large hairy man with a bandana and branch-like arms stepped out and seemed to be having an argument with his girlfriend, a petit young thing in a rather tight and revealing miniskirt. She was the kind of girl who Jake had never associated with but she was also the kind that aroused him no end. Tonight, more than any other night of his life, Jake would stare unknown in her eye and try his best to get to know her. The altercation seemed to be getting more intense. Even the other smokers from the Snake Bar backed away as the hairy man struck the girl and bellowed at her to get in his car. It was an altogether unpleasant scene and Jake could smell the alcohol on the man from where he was standing. He forced himself to watch the scene to its conclusion, insisting in his mind that his eyes could see far worse and he, as a man he should be able to handle it. It had nothing to do with him though and so he stood by and did nothing. Almost in a daydream over the scene, Jakes cigarette had burned almost all the way down and as the man drove past him he screamed, ‘What the fuck are you looking at pretty boy!?’, and flicked his lit cigarette at Jakes face. Flinching as the two continued to drive off towards undoubtedly worse things to come for the girl, Jake stared at the rusty mustang as it shrunk into the distance, headlights highlighting its way. Lifting his cigarette up to his mouth, he flinched again as he burned his lips with an already expired cigarette. He couldn’t let this one brief moment with a Snake Bar goer put him off. Although, little to Jake’s knowledge, he was already being watched from inside the bar and many of his watchers felt the same way about him as the angry mustang driver.

Jake took a deep breath and one great step over the curb, crossing the road towards his revelatory evening. The demeanour of confidence in him was shrinking and his hands were starting to shake as he approached the bouncer. A supposedly un-threatening man who was short and Japanese, wearing a tight gym top with bare arms, displaying the many dragons down them. He was deep in conversation with one of the smokers and Jake stood idly next to the two waiting to be admitted inside. It was an awkward moment as the two men talking about drugs and what weights should be worth what depending on what country they came from, knew full well that Jake was waiting there. Finally the short Japanese individual turned and paused for a moment looking at Jake who was fully aware he stuck out like a sore thumb. His shirt had been ironed.

Jake was scanned with something that was probably stolen from an airport and he hoped that this bouncer had been doing his job correctly. Nervously, Jake piped up ‘You get alot of people with weapons in here?’. Again the Japanese man took his time answering as he finished scanning and turned around to the ticket vendor inside of the entrance letting him know that Jake was clean. He finally replied ‘I wasn’t scanning for weapons. We don’t need anyone else’s drugs being sold in this bar. If we find you selling, you’ll wish you were never born, pretty boy’. Why does everyone keep calling me that, Jake thought as he carefully stepped around the man who wouldn’t stop staring him in the eye. The next undesirable was a long haired individual in a leather jacket with its arms cut off and he had all kinds of tattoos as well. Long straggly hair that looked like it got washed only for Christmas and different varieties of metal in his face. Jake passed him the fare to get in and was given a look that may as well have said ‘you should not be here’, and stepped into what felt like some kind of gothic vampire club. This must have been a converted chapel...or something. Avoiding contact with the many people slamming their desks obnoxiously in laughter and spilling their beers on the floor, Jake tried to keep a low profile and sat down at the bar, ordering a simple gin and tonic. It was at this moment that a tall buxom blonde came and sat down next to him. It was that type of girl again and Jake couldn’t help his heart rate going up. ‘Make that two’ blurted forth from his mouth. She hadn’t said anything yet and smiled at him in a coy manner. ‘I hope you like gin and tonic, darling’. He had to shout as the music was almost vibrating the very bench on which he sat. ‘No I hate it. Not nearly fruity enough’. Jake didn’t expect such a casual yet forward response and it knocked him off balance, now lost for words. ‘You don’t belong in here. Everyone here, no matter how drunk they are have noticed you walking in with that expensive watch, leather jacket and probably fitted shirt. You’re either looking for trouble or your very stupid.’ Jake had already thought of something to say and while it was not half as witty as he would have liked, he was just happy to have said anything at all ‘Perhaps its a bit of both’. The barman handed Jake two gin and tonics and the girl with fiery red lips and the palest blue eyes, snatched the glass he had chosen and downed it. ‘I...thought you didn’t like G and T’. She shook her head quickly with her eyes screwed shut and chirped ‘No, I’m just trying to impress the rich boy’. Jake couldn’t believe it. This was flirting. All he did was sit down at the bar. Although, Jake seemed to be so enamoured with this odd female he had little room for thought to realise this was indeed too good to be true. She got up from her stool and sidled around the bar towards the barman calmly thanking Jake for the horrible gin and tonic, winking at him. He pointed to his glass for another and while the barman poured, the girl kissed him on the cheek, whispering something into his ear. Jake knew he wouldn’t get her out of his head for a very long time but he didn’t like not knowing what she told him, especially as the two looked him in the eye as she did so.

Now a little drunk, Jake decided to send a torrent of abuse to Jeremy and reached for his phone, slapping his leg. No rectangular shape came up to meet his palm, however, and he panicked, slapping his other thigh for his wallet. His expensive zippo had also gone missing and his gold watch had left his wrist pale and bare.

A wave of troublesome adrenaline began to course under Jake’s skin as he had realised what happened. He took his time finishing his drink and mustered up the confidence to speak to the barman who was, supposedly, the girl’s boyfriend. He had no tattoos and was Caucasian but still insisted on wearing very long dreadlocks. This barman seemed to stand out from the rest as he didn’t wear the flamboyant wolf skin jackets or metal studded wristbands as seemed to be the choice of many others present. He simply wore baggy jeans and a knitted hoodie that looked like his grandma made it. Jake gestured to the man and summoned up the confidence to blurt forth the lines he had only practiced twice in his mind. With a casual yet uncaring face the man leaned in to Jake, turning his ear to his mouth so as to hear him over the heavy metal and rambunctious jeering of the clientele. ‘Look, I know you have my things under the bar’ Jake trembled and perhaps that was his failing ‘I want them back...now’. The dreadlocks lifted off the bar like a heavy coat as the man leaned back and looked the trembling Jake in the eye for a moment, a coy smile across his face much like that of his girlfriend’s. He raised his palms up smiling and pronounced ‘Okay, slick. You got me’. He reached under the bar laughing under his breath and Jake drummed his fingers, watching.

In an instant, faster than Jake could blink, he found himself looking down the barrel of a 12guage pump action shotgun. It had already sounded the pumping sound effect everyone knew from the movies. This was no movie and Jake froze seeing his life flash in cold tunnel of the barrel. Frozen, looking down the barrel surrounded by no sounds of the customers, only the loud music that remained ominously loud, everyone looked on with bated breath. The girl who took his things simply stood by smiling as if to show she had already seen a man’s head severed from his shoulders by the impact of buckshot. It gave him no comfort as her company had earlier. ‘Go on, do it, Drew’, she said, excitement in her throat. ‘Get out of my bar right now you piece of shit’, Jake, as much as he wanted to survive the night, was still frozen in fear and could not move. It took a second more threatening demand from Drew to bring him back to reality. At which point he backed off slowly, escorted by the tip of hollow death in his face. Passing the ticket man, who this time gave a look as if to say ‘I told you so’, the Japanese man out the front simply had the same cold stare in his eyes. Stepping backwards into his club, Drew gestured to the short man who displayed a skill in martial arts as he swung his body weight around, landing the heel of his boot into Jake’s stomach. He said nothing more. He only needed to tighten his fists whilst looking at Jake for him to finally back off.

What typically took Jake thirty minutes to walk home, this night, took a full hour. He was dejected, felt worthless and realised that, divorce or no, he had been a complete fool. ‘What have I done?


Submitted: August 11, 2012

© Copyright 2021 Nick Banks. All rights reserved.

Chapters

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:


Facebook Comments

More Literary Fiction Books

Other Content by Nick Banks

Article / Religion and Spirituality

Article / Editorial and Opinion