Saturday, October 08, 2005




The door swung open and in walked the gingerbreadman.

The bar was smoky, not at all the place you would expect to see a gingerbreadman. As if on cue from an unseen conductor, the music shifted downward. The clientele became noticably uneasy. But these were not who he was looking for, these here were the usual lot; the everyday thugs, the crooks, the lawless. Most were drunk into oblivion. His business was not with them.

A man at a table in the back regarded the newcomer with untrusting eyes and pulled down the brim of his wide hat. He smacked his dry mouth and looked down the way you do when there is trouble .

The gingerbreadman strode over to the bar. *His face was a grim biscuit of ash.

The bartender was a nervous man struggling to keep poise. He was generally calm but his nerves were tense these days. He had seen things.

“It’s been quite some time since you crossed this threshold, Clarence. The usual?”

“No, Charlie.” The gingerbreadman said.

This deviation from the expected threw the bartender a curve.

He casually mopped his brow.

“Well, what can I get for you? I’ve got a nice import from Mexico, it’s new.” said the bartender as he reached for the big bottle behind him.

“I haven’t come for a drink, Charlie,” said the gingerbreadman. “What I am looking for cannot be found in a bottle.”

The bartender turned around slowly. Sweat slinking down his forehead.

“Get out.” The bartender whispered.

The gingerbreadman looked out of the corner of his eye at the man. He was shaking and his face was changing colors. The gingerbreadman’s eyes traveled to the bartenders neck. There was a very small dart below his right ear. The bartender collapsed onto the bar sending the glasses crashing to the floor.

“Go, Claren--.” He chocked. With his last breath he swung his arm underneath the bar and hit the a button marked “DISTURBANCE: CHAIR.”

From the ceiling a chair fell from an opening and crashed onto the table below.

“Hey!” A drunken cowboy bellowed as he lurched to his feet. He looked around with glassy eyes and then settled on the the fellow sitting next to him.

“You... throwin’.... chairs at... at... ME?”

He staggered and threw back another drink.

Another cowboy from the other side of the bar kicked over the table where he was sitting. The bar had gone quiet and the music stopped. The stool clattered to the floor. He stood swaying and slugged down another shot of whiskey.

“Maybe I is, maybe I isn’t!” the one from across the room spat. The first one looked around, grabbed a stool and heaved it across the room. In an instant, a violent fight broke out inside the bar and the gingerbreadman slipped out through the back into the night.

apologies to H.B. Kammer for this sentence.

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