Tales of the Lost 4

blue harp decor on brown wooden table
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Absolute chaos erupted from the bar patrons. Jeremiah stood and backed towards the wall, his mouth having open. The four girls were shrieking and crying, arms wrapped around each other. Judith kept pointing at the doctor’s head. 

But Sandy was calm. And the big man kept on drinking his beer. The bartender set another glass in front of Sandy and stepped back to lean against his shelf of spirits. 

“I think that’s all we’re expecting tonight,” he said. 

Sandy nodded and lit another cigarette. “I believe you’re right.”

“What the hell is going on here?” Jeremiah exclaimed. The doctor hadn’t moved since he’d made his confession. He was the only one that didn’t seem concerned with their situation. 

“Hell. Hmm, what an interesting choice of words,” Sandy purred. 

Jeremiah spun to face the big man. “You said you were the tow truck driver. I figured I was waiting for your to sober up. What is this place?” 

The big man grinned. “I don’t know what to tell you, boy. I’m just the driver.” 

The girls continued to sob. They’d crumpled to a heap of glitter and tanned arms on the ground. 

Sandy stood and sashayed into the center of the room. “We’ll make this quick. You’re all dead.”

The lights, if possible, dimmed further. A haze of smoke floated through the air, way too much to be from Sandy’s cigarette alone. A green glow lit the wall behind the bartender and the grins on their faces turned Jeremiah’s insides to ice. 

“And now you’re here with us. You lost your way in life and you’re now lost in death.” Sandy paced the room. “Turn around and accept your fates.” 

Each patron slowly turned to face the bar again. The bartender had disappeared and in his place stood a cloaked figure. On the bar in front of each of them sat an open bottle that matched what they’d chosen for their drink. The allure of Sandy’s voice trapped them in their actions and pushed them towards the glasses. 

“Drink.” The word echoed inside their skulls and around the room, deeper than her voice had been until then. 

One by one, they picked up their bottles and pressed them to their lips. And one by one, they vanished. The bottles clattered back to the bar, their lids popping shut. The doctor was last to vanish, and then the room stilled. 

The light came back up and Sandy clapped her hands before taking her seat again. The bartender was back, and he returned to wiping glasses. The jukebox clicked another record into place and a jazzy tune filled the air. 

“Good night’s work.” The big man tossed back the rest of his beer with a laugh. 

*

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