Here’s a great site for writers, and the author of this blog is hilarious. Here’s the link to his blog. “Chuck, you are one funny fellow. Keep up the good work!”
Anyway, here’s my flash fiction content, about The Secret Door. I wrote this in about 40 minutes. 1,000 words, with minor editing. Let me know what you think.
“Hey, I’ll be right back,” Denny said. “I just gotta take a leak.”
He left the table and staggered a little down the bar, past the photos on the wall and past the garish painting of a blue nude woman in another bar. The bathroom reeked of disinfectant and the pungent aroma of stale piss. Someone had failed to flush the urinal. A stub of a Dunhill floated in the antifreeze-colored water. Great. Some goddamn slob.
Denny stood there, weaving slightly, a few too many drafts and too many shots of whiskey. His head ached. He just wanted to finish his pint at the bar, say good bye to his work mates, and not be late picking up Mandy. She’d be royally pissed.
‘Damn it!’ A little urine had splashed onto his khakis. ‘Why the fuck do they make urinals so shallow? And why the hell did I wear kakis in the first place?’
He zipped up, dribbled cold water on his hands, and left the fetid john. He opened the door. He didn’t hear a sound. No laughter, no one yelling at the TV, no…nothing.
He turned the corner, and the bar was empty. Only a penguin in a top hat acknowledged his presence. His half-finished pint was still on the bar, awaiting his return. Not a goddamn person in the joint.
“What the…?” he said, and trailed off. The TVs were still on, but not one person was inside Delilah’s. There was that mannequin in the corner, pretending to be texting, but that was just to fool the newcomers. It was always a hoot watching their expressions when they finally realized it was just a dummy.
Denny shuffled to the bar, bewildered by the scene. He gave a quick glance outside and shook his head. He thought he saw a ghost of a car whizzing by. ‘Get yourself together, asshole,’ he muttered to himself.
What the hell was going on? He sat down and polished off his Arcadia. He looked up at the gleaming bottles stacked in the bar. ‘Christ, look at those whiskeys.’ He allowed his eyes to roam the well-stocked bar, gazing at all the single malts. He wished he could afford even one of them. His co-workers had bought every round, but now they were nowhere to be seen.
Where the hell was everyone? Jesus Christ. What the fuck happened here? The TVs were on, but there was no sound. And the stereo kept playing a strange set of notes, like wind chimes and a doorbell, with a few off-key notes from a piano that resonated, over and over again. It was driving him nuts.
“Hello!” he called out. Nothing. Not even the mannequin looked up.
‘Hmm,’ Denny thought. “If no one is here, then maybe I can just help myself to the bar.’
He got up off his tattered bar stool and weaved to the end of the bar. He marveled at the tin ceiling, at the myriad of fleur-de-lis motifs. He was struck by the magnificence of a photo of an eagle. The entire bar was filled with photos. He squeezed by a fridge loaded with beers from around the world.
“Well, what’ll it be, matey?” he asked himself. “ Well, barkeep, I reckon I’ll settle for a bottle of your MaCallan 1926, if you don’t mind.”
Denny reached up to the top shelf and pulled down the expensive whiskey. Hell, why not pour a full tumbler instead of a damn shot?
He ambled out from behind the bar and saw the sign on the women’s bathroom door. He thought he’d have to come back on Mondays; Delilah’s served dollar beer then, even though he hated punk. But a buck a pint? Somehow, he’d have to remember that. How can anyone pass that up?
He sat back down on his torn Jim Beam stool and waited for his friends to reappear. It was probably some elaborate joke they had pulled, something for his 40th birthday. He took a long swallow as his eyes returned to the rows of glistening whiskeys, all lined up, just waiting to become a phalanx of dead soldiers. Despite his throbbing head, he still had a mighty thirst. And Delilah’s did not disappoint.
Denny tried to focus on his watch, wondering if he had enough time to down a few more before meeting Mandy. She said she had a grand surprise for him, something he’d never forget.
That damn music was driving him batty. He walked around the bar again and turned it off. But it kept playing. The same damn three notes, over and over again. What the hell was going on?
Denny walked around the bar and made his way to the open front door. Two more ghost cars whizzed by him. He could see right through them. He turned, and shuffled back to his perch. He looked to his left and noticed the mannequin had disappeared. Or was it there to begin with?
Jesus, maybe one of his pals slipped him something. There was something very strange going on. A bar packed with people, laughing and talking and listening to the nonsense on TV and now, nothing. Except that goddamn three note crap coming from the speakers. How was that possible? He had turned the damn thing off.
Settling on his stool, he refreshed his drink. “Hey, barkeep! How ‘bout another pint? I need a chaser with my whiskey!” Denny thought that enormously funny, and stumbled off his stool to pour himself an IPA.
He kept looking around, expecting everyone to pile out of the back door, with a cake and forty candles on it. Yeah, that’s probably what will happen. After all, he did have good friends.
He sat down heavily and took a swig. ‘I bet Mandy had something to do with this,’ he thought. ‘And any minute she’ll come through the door.’
Denny sat there, tired, and closed his eyes. The chimes played over and over as he drifted off to sleep.
Copyright, Paul Grignon, 2013, All Rights Reserved.