Hello everyone! As part of Short Story Saturday, I have posted another short story, this one entitled Why You Never Celebrate in a Weird Bar. Please enjoy.
Waking up after a bender is never a fun thing but you can get used to anything if it’s done long enough. After a while, dealing with dry mouth and nausea became as part of the morning routine as wiping the crud out of your eyes. At least, that’s my excuse as to why I never bothered giving up staying up late drinking at random dive bars, but my latest experience and this sudden pain in my chest is beginning to change my mind. To think, it all happened this morning. Allow me to explain.
Like every morning, I awoke to the wails of my alarm clock. The noise felt like little hammers pounding directly into my brain. I did want any rational person would do in that situation and smashed it. Now wide awake and unable to sleep, I decided to get out of bed and take a shower, so I waddled to the bathroom, half-asleep, grumbling to myself as I scratched myself in odd places.
Looking at my reflection in the bathroom mirror I noticed that I was still wearing my gray and red Boston Red Sox t-shirt. This sprung me wide-awake and my cantankerous disposition shifted to joy. I suddenly remembered the catalyst for the previous night’s session of heavy drinking (not that I ever really needed an excuse.)
The Sox had just beaten the Yankees to win the American League Championship after having been down three games to none. It was the greatest comeback in baseball history.
To celebrate, my friends and I decided to celebrate by getting inebriated. The problem was finding a place that would serve us. Naturally, plenty of bars were open but they were all filled to maximum capacity. Getting a drink from those places was nearly impossible.
I’ve often said that hanging out with fellow Red Sox fans in of itself can be intoxicating. However, crowds aren’t as intoxicating as beer. That is why we decided to head out of the big city to anywhere that wasn’t downtown Boston
We decided to go to the bus station and hop on the first bus that arrived. The destination didn’t matter as long as it was out of town, away from the massive crowd. Unfortunately, it seemed like we weren’t the only ones with that idea and the four of us had to compete for space at the station.
A few buses came and went and were filled to capacity before we could enter. The entire affair seemed to be a complete waste of time. We were about to call the whole evening a bust when we heard a cacophony of rattling noises that preceded a decrepit old, smoking dirty grey bus.
It was something out of a bygone era. A wooden frame, steel wheels, headlights that looked like flashlights, and thick glass windows, it looked more akin to a horse-drawn carriage than it did a modern vehicle. It was especially small, too, it could probably hold no more than sixteen passengers.
Initially, other than the initial spectacle of seeing such an antiquated bus, which attracted the attention of everyone waiting at the station, the four of us were going to ignore it until we realized that nobody else was boarding. After confirming with the driver that the vehicle was in service and that it wasn’t merely part of an antique car show like we initially assumed, with a shrug, each of us decided to enter the bus.
The strange driver with a flat nose and bulgy starry eyes looked at us askance as we passed him by. While remaining in the driver’s seat, he turned around and asked whether we were sure we wanted to go where he was headed. We replied by asking whether they had bars where he was going. After a long pause, he admitted that there was one but it didn’t get that many customers. Excitedly, we begged the driver to step on it.
After a slow trip, one where on more than one occasion each of us thought that it may have been faster to walk, we arrived at an old town that didn’t have much for amenities. In fact, it didn’t have much for buildings either. The homes look like old decaying shanties. Even when they were initially built they probably only barely passed as homes and time had certainly not been kind.
The townsfolk were a bit stranger than the ones in Boston too, and dare I say, a fair bit uglier too. As we followed the driver through mostly empty streets, I couldn’t help by notice the prying eyes of the residents looking at us from their homes through their blinds.
We eventually arrived at the bar. It was kind of dive though at this point that was unsurprising considering the locale. However, after talking to the bartender, we were overjoyed to find it supplied plenty of booze. It looked like the night was a success after all, so I spent the rest of it drinking it away.
A large smile encroached my lips upon remembering all of this. I ripped off my clothes and entered the shower. This feeling of mirth was overwhelming. I was humming a Dropkick Murphy’s song as I got the soap and began lathering.
I was about to rinse myself off when I noticed something on my chest. It was something that was never there previously, a tattoo of a strange, black and white octopus-like thing surrounded by a star surrounded by a circle.
Further memories began to formulate in my mind. I suddenly recalled the events of the previous night in much greater detail. At the bar, I met this gal who had quite literally a fishy smell and odd unblinking eyes. She was hardly a looker but the seven or eight drinks I had combined with my overall good mood meant I wasn’t going to be picky. I chatted her up the entire night.
Our talk turned from the Red Sox to a religious order or something and the benefits of joining. I think I made a snide remark about if it guarantees the Red Sox would win the World Series I would join in a heartbeat. She assured me that the order would fulfill my deepest desires. Still quite sloshed, I took this as confirmation and agreed that joining was a good idea. Before blacking out, I remember the unblinking eyes of a man holding a needle to my chest saying this is to ensure you are truly devoted.
“Ugh,” I said to myself, “That’s the last time I go drinking at Innsmouth.”
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