Tuesday, October 9, 2007

johnny rude (indian summer dream)

it began on the side of a dirt road, late afternoon, leading down into the valley. he was a young girl hanging out with three others, all of them around eighteen. the thin brunette, andrea, peeled off a wad of bills and threw some to each of them. "there's your cut...four-hundred fifty each, y'all have fun."

he pocketed the cash and headed down the road to the little tavern at the foot of the valley. walking inside, the warm, familiar glow of wood paneling and blood orange shag carpet welcomed him.

now a guy, he sauntered over to the side bar and leaned over the cute girl in front of the mini-jukebox. "lemme have a play at that," he whispered as he pushed into her, sliding a quarter into the machine and pressing his selection.

saxophone music rattled out of the blown speakers and followed him across the tiny room to the gambling machine. he pulled a crisp twenty out of the wad, fed it in and the game came to life.

"say, this is kinda like that space shoot 'em up that i used to play," he thought, except the reaction time was really slow. he would press two, three, or four times before a shot would squeeze out at the descending alien ships.

suddenly the lights flickered and someone yelled "closing time!" the game started to shut down and he turned to the door. just then his friend nicki threw a bill at the juke box and yelled to the attendant, "play me that song!", and pushed open the wooden revolving door, stepping to the street outside.

he followed after his friend, walking out into the young night air, neon flickering around him, and started down the street, walking with a fancy cane now. suddenly from behind, the tavern keeper, a middle-aged loser with slicked down hair, ran up and said, "hey you lost your money in the machine!"

"yeah, i left eighteen dollars in there when it shut down."

"well here's your money, johnny rude," said the man throwing a twenty his way. he screwed open the top of his cane, and pulled out a gold ingot from a hidden slot, handing it to the man in a move that surprised himself.

then, reaching down to the ground he picked up the bill, along with the rest of his cash, which had fallen there. shoving the wad into a recognizable stack, he stuffed it back into his pocket. "i'm gonna let my friends play their hands, me i'm buryin' my talents," he thought and commenced to walk away.

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