Wee Poems and Flash Fiction
: The Hilltop Bar by Shirley McLain
Flash Fiction Writing Contest contest entry
Archie stood at the screen door, looking into the dark interior. He saw people milling around with drinks in their hands. Some were sitting quietly with their chins to their chests either already so soused they couldn’t lift their head or were doing some serious thinking.|
Archie’s eyes were swollen and red. Anyone who looked at him could see he’d been crying a lot. Now he continued to scan around the joint looking for his father. He found him standing at the end of the bar next to some lady that didn’t look good. His father’s good time was evident by his laughing and talking. His right arm around the woman’s shoulders.
His father was so focused on the woman at his side; he didn’t see Archie open the door and step inside. Archie stepped up to the bar. No one paid attention to Archie, even though he was only thirteen years old. Standing beside his dad, he still hadn’t been seen. He put his hand on his dad’s back and said. “Dad, I need you to come home.” His father turned, backhanded him so hard Archie scooted on his back across the floor.
With an angry, mean look in his eyes, he told Archie, “don’t you ever tell me to leave anywhere. I’ll leave when I get damn good and ready.”
Archie hadn’t heard a word. He came around as some lady gave him a drink of water. What am I going to do? I have to get dad home to help me and then he can drink himself to death, as far as I care.
He went to his father’s closet. In the top of the closet, his father had placed a Billy-club he’d used for his last security job. Tears streamed down Archie’s face as he left his parent’s room. He called a taxi and waited impatiently five minutes before it arrived.
“Take me to the Hilltop, please.” The driver looked at Archie.
“Are you sure? That’s not someplace you need to be," the driver said.
“Yes, Sir, and I need you to wait for me,” Archie said.
Archie got out of the cab with the Billy-club hidden inside his jacket. His dad paid no attention. He was too interested in his booze and the lady.
Archie walked up behind his father and hit him as hard as he could over the head with the club. His father fell to the floor as the people gasped and screamed. The bartender went for his phone to call the police.
Archie yelled, “Don’t call the police. This is my father and, he is going home! I need help to get him in the cab waiting outside. My mother is dead at our home and he is going to be there when the ambulance and police get to the house. Will you help me?”
Two men from the bar picked up the man from the floor and placed him in the cab. “When there’s a will there’s away.”
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