Thursday, 9 February 2012

Present Tense: Why the hell not?

A late entry - due to Tet and no internet at home. Chuck Wendig's soon to be released book Blackbirds is all about death, and written in the present tense. So he asked us to write in the present tense too. 

Why the hell not?

"Same again," I mumble to the barman, my gaze skittering away before I can catch the knowing sneer in his eyes... the same drink, and the same shitty luck trying to pull a bird. I probably should head home instead of having this roadie, as there's not likely to be anything apart from swamp donkeys still out at 2 AM - especially in this joint - but hope has gotta spring eternal. A swig or two, and I decide its time to have a slash. I've learnt my lesson from previous evenings here, and take my beer with me. The dunny is none too clean, but that's better than some dickwit making off with my drink.

As usual, the pisser is covered in chunder. More than one person's spew, by the amount. I go into the cubicle, but of course the door doesn't lock. The usual cigarette butts are accompanied by a huge turd bobbing in the bowl like a baby hippo on a mudflap. Its moments like these I'm glad I'm a bloke. I light a smoke and glance around at all the graffiti. There's something new from last week, its not just the same old I FUCKED YER MUM bullshit. Down low, scrawled in bright red lipstick is For a good time call... a number, and then Why the hell not? Why the hell not? I think to myself. It'll probably just be a random number, some geezer with his teeth in a glass on the bedside table, but should still be good for a laugh.

I fish my phone out of my pocket, and use the motion to give my todger a shake dry. I punch in the number, cackling to myself. "Why hello, there," a voice purrs in my ear, all throaty and suggestive. My jaw literally drops, and the durrie falls unmourned into the toilet. My. Fucking. God. I pull myself together, it's probably just a bloody phone-sex chat line, and I'm racking up a bill of five bucks a minute or something. I look at my phone, and the number, but no, it's legit. I stutter and stumble through a conversation that’s almost incoherent due to her sultry tones. As luck would have it, she’s out tonight too, just a few blocks down from here, so I’m off like a bullet, hand’s shoved into my pants to conceal my boner as I walk out the door, smirking at the bloke behind the bar.

The sea breeze helps to sober me up somewhat as I trot along the foreshore, but I needn’t have worried as the bouncers here don’t do much unless your shirt is caked with chunks. A casual nod as I walk in then I’m scanning the bar for someone fitting her description, black hair, red outfit. There by the bar is a vision in fuck-me-boots, a short skirt and a top laced up the back like a corset. I’ve just the right amount of dutch courage in me, so I saunter up all casual like and say “Hi. I’m Steve, we talked on the phone...” hoping against hope it’s her. She smiles and leans in so she can be heard above the music, pressing her boobs against me “Hello there, I’m Nikki!”

We shout a bit back and forth for a while but while it seems she’s digging my company it’s hard to carry out a conversation like this. “Do you want a drink?” I yell, thinking maybe we can move to a table away from the music and yarn. She nods and smiles then shouts something to the barman. When her order arrives, she lifts her skirt scandalously high - but I’m not complaining - and pulls a twenty from a flame-red garter belt, waving away the change. She passes me a shot glass, and a feel a twinge in my guts... tequila and I haven’t been on speaking terms since my graduation party. But watching her jam the slice of lemon between her tits I’m raring to go. I come up smiling (of course), loving the jealous looks from all the other guys around. She puts another slice in my mouth, and throws back her shot, kissing me hard on the lips. “Lets get out of here, go somewhere a bit more quiet, yeah?” I nod hell yes, draping my arm around her waist and chance my luck giving her arse a squeeze.

We go down the steps and start heading towards the obvious destination - the beach. I’m trying to think of angles I can use to try and get her home. But even though she seems keen I’m worried she’s a hooker, because I’ve drunk most of this week’s pay already. Luck like this isn’t normal for me, so it feels strange. We walk over the dunes, towards the lighthouse and I say the first stupid thing that pops into my head “It’s a shame we don’t have lighthouses that warn us from bad decisions isn’t it?” Nikki laughs quietly and I rush on, trying to cover up, “Sorry... I was just trying to be romantic.” With a shrug she pulls me into a kiss and we tumble down onto the dunes. That tequila must have hit me harder than I think, as I follow up with this clanger “Sorry Nikki, but I’ve gotta ask, what’s your job? You’re not a prostitute are you? I’m broke.” I grin sheepishly, going red with embarrassment. Another small laugh escapes her lips, and I look up, hopefully. “No,” she answers “I’m a succubus!” Her eyes glow red and a mouthful of fangs are the last thing I see.
The start for me was a doddle to write, as I know the inside of all sorts of bars, some quite well. An easy part of write what you know. Picking someone up in a bar? Not such an expert. I know what my face looks like, so I rarely bothered in the past, pretty certain I'd get shot down. And its not like I want to practice it now, seeing as how I'm happily married and all. So the end of my story feels a lot weaker to me. And while I speak with a fairly foul mouth, I don't often write fiction with it (I do in emails and instant messages and such), so that was a change too.

1 comment:

  1. This one is a bit gritty for me (I feel the same way about Chuck Palahniuk). Nice twist at the end.