It was a hot, summer day in Savannah.
The man stopped for the third time in ten minutes. He looked to the sky and cursed the sun. Today of all f*cking days.
Wiping his forehead with his sleeve, he cursed to himself again, realizing that the entire black fabric was drenched in perspiration. He adjusted his tie, scanned his surroundings, and kept going.
The day had been ordinary. Everything was carried out as planned. He should’ve been content with this fact, yet the heat of the day was slowly starting to drive him mad.
Occasionally he saw a taxi drive by, but he really didn’t want to partake in any human interaction. Especially with these people.
Something about this place was so…peculiar. He’d been to his fair share of weird cities, but this topped the list, even though he’d only been here for three hours.
He kept walking down the road, hoping to God he’d find a bar nearby.
About a half hour passed when he started to hallucinate; sunspots clouded his vision. Right as he was about to cave in and hail a taxi, he saw pentagonal, wooden sign for “Snake-Eyes Saloon.” This’ll do.
He entered with his eyes glued to the floor; he couldn’t see anything yet anyway.
Finding his way to a barstool, he sat down, put his bag between his feet beneath him, and slapped a Benjamin Franklin on the soggy countertop.
“And what can I get for you Sir?”
Without looking up, “Double shot of your best whiskey, on the rocks.”
“You got it!”
Why in hell is everyone so damn chipper around here.
He heard some blues playing in the background. Finally, his vision adjusted to the dim tavern lights.
It was at this time that he noticed he was surrounded; by men of all ages. I guess it’s 5 o’ clock in Savannah.
To his left was a frail man; late twenties, balding, drinking a cheap draft. To his far right was an older man; full beard, moustache, drinking brandy. Eyeballing his glass, he noticed the older man had on a huge, amethyst ring. F*cking fairy.
He then retracted after pretending to crack his back and scanning the rest of the room. It was he who stood out like a sore thumb. Everyone else was dressed in jeans and white tees or leather boots an a collared shirt, while he was dressed in a black suit and tie. Surprisingly though, no one seemed to care.
Just as he slammed his glass down and asked for another, the man to his left began speaking.
“So where ya from?”
“Uh, not from around here.”
“Oh…” “Well hey! I’m Gary.” The man outstretched his hand.
The man wanted to punch Gary instantly. He shook his hand instead.
“You got a tight grip there. So what brings a man like you down to these parts?”
“A man like me? What the f*ck does that mean?” He noticed his voice sounded more like a growl.
“Well, you just seem like you rather be somewhere else,” Gary said nonchalantly. “Are you staying here long? Cause ya know, there’s a lot more to do in this town than people give it credit for.”
The man was surprised at Gary’s persistence.
“I could even-“
“I’m leaving in a few hours. Just killing time before my flight.” He slammed down his glass again, harder.
“Well, just let me know if you end up stickin’ around. I’d be happy to show you the hotspots.”
“Thanks.” “Another one?”
The bartender filled him up again. This time it was a woman. He didn’t know what happened to the former man behind the counter. But he was happy with the change. Too much testosterone.
She seemed to be in conversation with the older man, but he couldn’t hear it over the music. She had a nice rack, an ass to boot. Her eyes sparkled as she slid his glass to him from the corner of the bar.
“Here ya go, killer”
He’s eyes affixed on hers. In doing so, his hand slipped an almost missed the glass completely. She went on talking to the older man. He quickly inhaled the brown liquid and slammed it down again, lighter this time.
Now he was craving a cigarette.
He glanced to his left and saw Gary pull out a Marlboro Red from his pocket.
Sheepishly, the man initiated conversation.
“You can smoke in this bar?”
“Yep, pretty much any bar around these parts.” Without looking at the man, Gary fingered a cigarette from his jacket pocket and lit it with the existing cigarette drooping from his lips.
“Here ya go, brother.”
The man was taken back by Gary’s generosity. People don’t act like this up north, or anywhere else for that matter.
“Thanks. I appreciate it.”
The man immediately felt like he owed Gary a favor in return. Why do I even f*cking care? I deserve a cigarette after today…I’m never gonna see these people again. It’s just a goddamn cigarette. Still, he felt the urge to return this Southern hospitality.
He slammed his glass down. The bartender was nowhere in sight.
“Can I buy you a-“
He turned to his left; Gary wasn’t there.
All of a sudden, “Bad Company” came on the jukebox. He looked to his right, and saw the older man reach down his right side, his eyes fixed on something, or someone behind the man in the black suit.
The man in the suit knew this gaze. Instinctively, he reached into his bag.