I’ve been tagged.
According to the rules, you’re supposed to do a search in your work in progress for the word “look” and then paste the surrounding paragraph(s) and tag as many people as possible.
Okay, here goes.Sean O’Connell’s life has been great until this year. He has spent his time riding bulls and winning. After the rodeos, the party begins. Life was great until this summer. His winning streak slowed to a crawl. He finds himself without enough money to go to Arizona to the winter rodeos and has to get a real job.
After being on the losing end of a run-in with his brother-in-law, he needs the soothing comfort of a beer and just happens to find the Sugarwater Bar.
“You don’t look so good, partner. Run into a fist?” The old man behind the bar cackled, as he served a beer to the only other patron, a woman who fit the bar stool like a saddle on a duck.
“Just get me a boilermaker and cut the jokes,” Sean said as he dropped onto a stool and leaned his fore arms against the bar. He was in no mood to play games.
The bartender drew a beer and poured the shot. Sean grabbed the whiskey and threw it back. He grimaced then lifted the mug and sucked down the beer.
“Hit me again,” he growled, slamming the mug onto the bar and sliding it toward the bartender.
“Looks like you’ve already been hit.”
The sharp bark of laughter made Sean grind his teeth. His muddled brain had just enough clarity to know if he wanted another drink, he’d have to control his temper. “Boilermaker, please.”
“I’ll have to see some cash first,” the older man said. “You’ve stiffed us before.”
“Not me. I’ve never been here before. Besides, I always pay my way.” Sean concentrated, trying to get a clear picture of the old man before him. He couldn’t quite see the bartender, but he was sure he hadn’t been to this place before.
“Sure you do, sonny, but we run a cash-up-front system.”
God, he hated to beg, but at this point, he’d do about anything for another drink. “I’m flat broke, but I get paid Friday. I’ll bring in the money then if you’ll let me have one more tonight.” He even sounded pitiful to his own ears.
Without taking his eyes off Sean, the bartender called out. “Junior, we have us a moocher here, and it’s time for him to leave.”
“I’ll pay twice what you charge, if you’ll run a tab until Friday,” Sean said. “Come on, help me out.” When had he been reduced to begging? There had been a time when he entered a joint like this as if he owned it.
A young man the size of Bigfoot came into the bar from the back room. “Him, Papa?” he said, as he approached.
The bartender looked at Sean and asked, “You want to leave on your own or have Junior help you?”
Sean would’ve liked to save face and leave under his own power, but he couldn’t seem to get off the stool. With resignation, he laid his head on the bar and waited. At least he was drunk enough that he might not feel the blows until tomorrow.
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