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Ever have date go from bad to worse?
Then you can understand Carl's problem.
However, let's hope your's never turned this bad.
Only one person witnessed the scene. Strangers would have found the antics of the screaming man humorous. The man hopped up and down while his arms waved around wildly around him. Vile obscenities spilled forth from his lips. Lips that now firmed an ugly menacing sneer.
It didn’t matter how Fred danced or how crude he spoke to the automobile, he’d been standing in front of, it refused to start.
Marching back to the driver side Fred jerked opened the door and slid in behind the wheel and gave one last fist slam against the wheel.
Pinched lips now white from the pain the action caused him radiated up his arm.
Fred being in his own mind the ideal macho man remained silent for the sake of his audience.
“Feel better now?” A soft feminine voice asked. The voice belonged to the only person watching the angry display.
A deep groan emitted from him as Fred realized the last person on earth he could want to see him act as he did had done just that.
Hoping to recover from what was turning into the worst date ever. Fred realized trying to salvage this day was a lost cause.
“I don’t usually get so riled…It…It was that I was so disappointed to break down and ruin our time together.” The words rang false even to him
Fred had not bothered to look at Carla when he spoke to her. This gave her the chance to roll her eyes and think. This date was in ruins the minute I broke down and said yes.
Using her sweet voice Carla said, “No problem, things like this happen. Tomorrow we’ll be laughing about it.”
Almost in a totally calm state, Fred retrieved his cell phone from his pocket and searched through his call list for the number of his motor club.
Three @#$!’s later, he called his brother-in-law.
“Ya, I didn’t mail the payment early enough. So, can you at least come get us? I’ll make arrangements for the car tomorrow.” Fred didn’t bother to hide the pleading tone on his voice.
Carla’s eyes began to rolled back into her head again as her lips silently formed her own @#!, when she learned they would have a two hour wait.
With nervous eyes she looked around. They were in the seedy part
of town and the sun was slipping fast behind the mountains in the distant
“Fred, maybe we need to walk up to that sign that’s flashing—food
and eats. It might be safer.”
Safer for you maybe. But what about my car.
When he did speak to Carla he said. “Maybe you have a point and I
am thirsty and could use something to drink.”
At five thirty in the afternoon, Pete’s Bar & Grill was
almost empty. Only one other couple sat inside. They were half hidden as they
sat in the booth in the corner. They had no problem with the location because
that is exactly how the couple wanted it.
The center of the eating area contained four tables each with
four chairs. The room was outlined with six booths. Booths that had seen their
day. It was easy to tell. Gray duck tape covered more of the seats and back
cushions then the original red vinyl.
A dust ridden ceiling fan hung over the four tables and being off
balance it made tic-tic sounds as the blades whirled around. Even with the
ceiling ten foot high, not a few people ducked while taking their seats and a
few less brave souls moved from the tables to a gray and red booths when they
noticed not only the noise but the precariously wobbling unit spinning over
“Sit here and I’ll get us a couple a drinks.” Fred said, leaving
Carla to choose which side of the booth she’d prefer. She slid in on the side
which put her facing the door.
She turned and watched Fred lean against the bar as he talked
with the man standing behind it. Carla realized the place was nothing more of an
old run down local pub. A pub that seen it’s hay-day a long time ago.
“Two colas please, Pete.” Fred ordered acting like he was a
“Name ain’t Pete. Pete was here two owners ago. Lucky Pete sold
out and took off for Florida. Before anyone knew the new interstate would kill
this part of town. Me, they call me Tots”The man behind the bar informed
It was the disgusted sounding tone in the tired man’s voice that
Fred sympathized with.
“On second thought make that one cola and one large beer. What
ever you have on tap.”
Fred’s attention moved to the cockroach that crawled out from
under the bar-mop placed at the end of the bar when he heard the man
“Got no tap. Cans and bottles only.”
The bartender quickly sizing the man in front of him up. Rushed
on to say. “I got a local micro-brew and a man with your tastes should
Tots turned and leaned into the cooler pulling up a long necked
bottle. Popping the cap, he placed it on the counter in front of Fred. Tot’s
smiling and friendly face forgot to tell Fred the beer he was about to drink was
eight-fifty a bottle.
He pulled his wallet out and heard Tots said, “Oh no, you can
just run a tab.”
“Gee thanks, Tots.” Mumbled from under Fred’s breath as he turned
and searched out the booth Carla had chosen.
The people inside the bar heard the noise as the motorcycle
rumble came to a stop outside. The screen door squeaked as it was pulled
“Here’s your cola. And can you believe it this dump carries
micro-brews. I can really get into this.” Standing in such a way Fred blocked
Carla’s view and she couldn’t see who entered.
Once who ever had entered moved to the bar out of her sight. Not
realizing Carla was as thirsty as Fred until the cold sweat covered glass in
front of her called her name and demanded her immediate attention. The new comer
was all but forgotten.
With each swallow of the icy cold drink washing down her throat
different emotions wash through her. The first was disgust. Disgust for her
stupidity for agreeing to this date. Disgust for her own lack of courage in not
saying no after lunch and agreeing to go for a drive to see the new county court
house three counties away.
Next week the town would be packed with tourists, thrill seekers,
and news-people when the trial of the century would be taking place there.
Thanks to a change of venue from a city in the southern part of the state.
Gruesome murder trials drew the crowds from miles around.
“Now, who cares about a stupid court house?” Carla muttered under
her breath. Answering herself. “Not me, anymore.”
“Huh? Oh, nothing, nothing.” She replied not even lifting her
head up to look at him.
All conversation stopped between them two drinks earlier. Now
with him having consumed four beers he just glared at her as if everything was
Carla passed the time by picking at her finger nail polish and
she picked all but one finger free of the ice pink polish off. A worrisome look
crossed her face realizing once the last finger was clean she have nothing to
occupy her attention. Which meant she have to begin to talk to the man across
the table from her.
Movement from the booth with the couple in it caught her eye.
Grabbing her purse and shimming out of the booth seat. The woman
across the room stood and moved to the restroom.
When she returned she gave Carla another thing to do besides
talking to Fred.
“Excuse me. I need to go power my nose.” She laughed thankfully
that she found a reprieve from his person.
Fred laughed because he knew nothing else to do.
That’s when she saw him.
Another Time & Another Place is only .99cents on Smashwords*
Thank you for coming. See you next time.
*Since this is a self-published books warning is it not professionally edited.*