Friday 8 September 2006

Night Flight Mike, Part Fourteen

Night Flight Mike is a novella of twenty short chapters, posted over twenty business days -- by me, your carbon-based host, Cheeseburger Brown. Readers who may be subject to access surveillance or content filtering please be advised that this work of fiction contains profanity and describes adult situations, but is relatively free of political subversion.

This story is delivered in stereo wherever drunks are reading.

And now, today's chapter:


Fifteen minutes of waiting at the downstairs bar cost Father two highballs and a shouted but friendly conversation about which nationality naturally bred the best football players, with Father coming down on the side of Ghana and his new friend voting for Serbia. His new friend was Serbian.

"Do you enjoy dancing?" he asked Father. Their elbows were touching on the bar as they watched the TV screen behind the bartender. The bartender was a skinny Goan in a yellow toque. The Goan hated football. He was purposefully slow to serve anyone who looked like they were interested in the TV. He was watching Father and the Serb out of the corner of his eye.

"I'm waiting for my wife," explained Father.

The Serb cocked his head. "We'll be right over there. She'll see you easy."

"Let's have one more drink," suggested Father.

Suddenly the bartender was no longer looking at them but instead at the space over their heads, and Father had to wave broadly to recapture his attention. He made a sign for "two more" and then turned back to his new friend. The Serb was looking at Father look at him, a little smile playing over his thin lips. "You're in good shape," he said.

"Nah," said Father.

"You were a bodybuilder?"

"I used to wrestle in college."

"Isn't that interesting? I was also wrestling in school."

"Oh yeah?"

"Yes, but not for many years. Ten, fifteen years ago. In Belgrade. Do you still work out?"

"When I can."

"It's important to take care of the body."

"It is," agreed Father earnestly.

The Serb asked the bartender what the hold up was and then the men received their fresh drinks. Then they started talking about wrestling moves, and somewhere in there Father ended up in a headlock. "You're fast!" he panted, his face squished into the Serb's ribs.

"Yes," agreed the Serb, releasing him.

"Another round," called Father, tasting the Serb's sweat on his lips.


Mark said...

So, he's going to get involved in a wrestling match, but gradually. Okay. Let's see what happens.

PlatoHagel said...

Like you humour and writing style.

I added your site to side bar of my blog links, if you don't mind?


Sash said...

I think the Serbian has hidden motives.....or maybe I spend way too much time in the Music Building?

Oh well, guess I'll find out during Monday's oceanography class...

maltese parakeet said...

not the turn i was expecting this to take...i am intrigued. good job ending like this on a friday so we think about it all weekend!

Cheeseburger Brown said...

Dear Mark,

Father's character should be coming together shortly indeed; and I'll add, parenthetically (but without literal parentheses (except these ones)), that we may get even more insight into Father in the weeks to come, as he also appears in the new novella I'm currently working on (which takes place over a decade earlier).

Dear Plato,

I'm honoured to be sidebarred. I'll stick you in mine when I next update my sidebar on the weekend.

Dear Sash,

Frankly I'm baffled by the potentially nefarious connection between Serbs and music, so you'll have to let me know whether the way things play out fit your expectations or not.

Dear Maltese Parakeet,

I call pen se.

Cheeseburger Brown

Anonymous said...

Really? Most people call it suspense :P