This is tale number four. There are going to be fourteen of them in the end. And even then it won’t be the end because there are (always) more songs. I you want the other three then they are here. Know that they are all set way off the beaten track and far away into the dusty future of Marla’s original character (https://marladragon.wordpress.com/2023/02/01/passthebaton-challenge-for-february-2023/) but I reserve the right to construct a robust bridge. Eventually. Unusual word choices ahead, so mind how you go, friend.
Anyway, the noise of drunks yelling in the bar was like stones rumbling in a barrel rolling downhill with me strapped to one end and Stella strapped to the other. None of it was worth listening to so we just spun on down thinking (at least I was) that if we ever hit the bottom then it’s going to be one hell of a crash and one or both of us is going to get hurt, not from the talking because who in the hell ever had their brains put out of joint by words, but by the number of shot glasses we were slamming on the table and then tossing off. Don’t ever let anyone sober tell you bloodstreams ain’t meant to be full of alcohol ’cause they don’t know their beans from their barstools; guaranteed.
I could see the whites around Stella’s eyes. I knew what that meant: she wasn’t going home tonight. Neither was I. Babysitter was going to have to pull an all-nighter. Again. But that weren’t nothing special. She always got paid for the hours so she was Cheshire-cat-sweet.
Then the atmosphere got cut like a knife. The music that I didn’t even know was playing got loud, then louder and then stopped mid-song. People looked around, swivelling their necks like an exorcist’d hit town. Conversations cut off. Slowly, as if mindful of manners, a new noise ground on up. Imagine a truck without wheels being scraped fast along a bumpy back road getting louder and louder until it almost got to ear-covering time. I tell you, the whole room seemed to get sober fast and we all stood up as fast as ants biting.
The front of the bar, the part nearest the car park exploded outwards, which you wouldn’t have thunk was possible because it weren’t as if a bomb went off inside nor nothing. It was like one of those prison movies where someone springs someone outta the joint by pulling the wall down with one of those bee gas hauling trucks and a whole mess of metal cable.
The dust cleared real slow and that gave me and Stella plenty of time to haul ow rasses towards the back door which would have been peachy if the rest of the rubes weren’t doing exactly the same thing at the same time. Heck, even that old guy, the one what lost both his legs in some war or other, woke up. I swear on the last box of frooty loops he somehow vaulted hisself over the bar like some crazy gymnast and leeched onto Big Trey’s back like they was new lovers and got hisself carried off towards the door. Big Trey looked like he’d quit bartending on the spot and, point of fact, didn’t even notice the old guy. He just put his head down a ploughed. But I digress and I shouldn’t have because that’s when the aliens walked in.
They were blue. And I don’t mean that they’d got a case of the black dog and had decided to go on drinking jag to take the edge off. Nope, they were the colour of up when down is hot ground. Stella told me after that she thought they was just folk wearing blue costumes and we had this long conversation about how folk don’t generally have heads the size and shape of teacups and we would have set to fighting about it if I hadn’t have pointed out that shock makes you think all kinds of things and that I’d thunk that they were three dee mirages brought on by drinking way too many shots and then I started laughing like a loon and she did too and then we hugged lots mostly because she is beautiful and by that time she thought I was too.
Anyway, by the time the smoke had properly cleared the blue aliens had made their way all the way to the bar and were reaching over to the bottles at the back with arms that were the length of two broomsticks jointed together and I was just stood there with my mouth open and trying to stop Stella from pulling me out back with the rest of the crowd, which were actually mostly gone by then. I plain didn’t want to go at that point though, because it’s not every day you get to meet aliens.
Stella has this knockout way of persuading, though.
I woke up in the truck on the way back home and Stella said she was sorry and that she’d make it up to me before June turned to July. And she did.
But that’s a whole ‘nother story. Go to sleep now.
6 thoughts on “Here and now, death still behind a wall”
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