Monday, March 2, 2015


Rick worked the early shift at O'Harley's this morning. It was the morning after his day off, and he woken up a few hours before he had to go into work. He walked down to the street to pick up the paper at the newsstand and went back to his apartment. For once, the weather was really nice. He managed to climb out onto the roof when he got back home to unwind and draw; he only succeeded with one picture. He soon fell asleep and let the warm sun rain down on him. His nap was cut short by a lot of commotion coming from the asylum. It looked like there was someone standing on top of the roof. He jumped. Rick was in shock. The alarm on his phone rang: it was time to get ready for work.

Rick got to the bar and opened up shop. The night crew didn’t clean up from the night before. “Fuck, really, again?” This was not the first time that this has happened. Rick started to clean up the sticky residue from the liquor and beer. After Yesu showed up to open the kitchen, Rick opened the doors to the public. It was a slow day for the most part—only a few people in the first hour. Most of them just ordered food. No big deal for Rick because that was all Yesu’s job.

Around eleven, a homeless man, who smelled like death had taken a dump on a pile of shit, walked into the bar and stumbled over to Rick.  “I want as much whiskey as I can buy with this.” He threw some money down on the bar.

“A bit early for whiskey, isn't it?” Rick said.

He glared at Rick and didn’t say anything further. Rick gave him the shitty stuff; he didn’t like his attitude or his smell. The sooner he got out of the bar, the better. As the man finished his drinks, he stared daggers into Rick and then walked out in a hurry. That wasn’t the strangest thing Rick had ever seen, but definitely weird in his book.

After the homeless man came into the bar, no one really wanted a drink in the town, and the cook bailed out as well. Rick tried to get rid of the lingering smell in the bar by spraying some air freshener. This did little to help the smell for the new people walking in, however with time, the brute of the smell dispersed. A man, slightly different from the rest, his head hanging a little lower than the usuals that walked in. He was murmuring about something or other. It wasn’t too odd. Rick had noticed that many of the people in the town were troubled. Things got weird when the man walked up to Rick and said:

“Forgive me father for I have sinned.”

“This is a bar, sweetheart, not a church,” Rick said.

“What’s really the difference? Both allow people to intoxicate themselves with the idea that they can be forgiven of any transgression without the need of redemption.”

Rick thought to himself, Ok this guy is totally off his rocker.  “I think you’ve had enough,” he said as he slid the clean, empty glass back onto the rack.

“RICK, I SWEAR TO—” The man started to cry in front of Rick. There were so many unanswered questions zooming through Rick’s head. In that moment, he tried to help the guy out.

“Hey, man, okay, calm down. No need to tear up.”

He started to mumble to himself. He got up from the bar stool and slowly wandered out of the bar. While this was going on, the bar started to fill up with an evening rush. As soon as the man left, the crowd started to thicken. More and more people came in as the night droned on. His shift turned into a blur till it was finally closing time. Three in the morning rolled around, and there were still plenty of people in the bar. Rick hated to kick people out, but he needed to get some sleep.

“Come on let’s go. Bar’s closed. Get out of here,” he said shooing the crowd outside the bar. “I don’t care where you go, but you can’t stay here.”

Cleaning up the bar would have to be the morning shift’s job—he couldn’t be bothered with cleaning tonight. This was easily the busiest night he had worked since he started there, even busier than New Year’s Eve. That meant he made to make shit tons tonight. Maybe he would even call one of his friends in Colorado to get a new plant for his recreational purposes. For now he would sleep.

Monday, February 9, 2015


It was a dark, clear, and still night. A lonely grave digger—or maybe he was just a graveyard attendant; Rick couldn't decide at the time—was sitting on a rusty chair. "No, no, no it’s all wrong," Rick said to himself. He scratched out the last line he was writing. He folded up his notebook and pushed his chair back from his desk. In his apartment, he had two chairs—a used sofa from his Aunt Sue and a worn out mattress on a box spring that was at least fifteen years old—among other worn furniture that he made years ago. Rick looked around his apartment and found no inspiration for his new passion of writing. When the weather permitted, Rick would climb out the window on the back side of the church to sit on the roof and look around. Nights like tonight were a perfect opportunity. He climbed out his window and perched himself on the roof of the old church. He saw a small fire out near the field over the railroad tracks. Rick climbed back into his apartment, grabbed a coat, and headed out the door.

Rick wanted to find out what the fire was and who in their right mind would make a fire at this hour. If anything, it would make for a good story for him to write about. As Rick was crossing the tracks to the fire just beyond some trees, someone walked up next to him.

"Hey, you going to the bonfire?” She asked, adding on, “By the way, I'm Carmen."

"I'm Rick. I didn't actually know there was a bonfire going on."

"It was in this morning paper. Third page. It's an annual event. At least that's what I read." Rick and Carmen kept on their way to the bonfire and made small talk about their past and how they both ended up in town. They finally arrived at the bonfire, and about twenty folks were standing around, young and old, dancing and roasting marshmallows to make s'mores with.

Rick and Carmen drifted apart once they got to the bonfire, mingling with other folks, but, when the fire started to die down, people started drifting away, and Rick found himself sitting near the edges of the fire’s warmth. Rick looked around for Carmen because quite frankly she was hot, and he wanted to get her number. He got up and walked over to where she was sitting by the fire. "I'm just going to be upfront about this. I think you’re pretty, and you’re fun to talk to.  Do you think I could get your number?" Rick asked. He could tell that she was a bit taken aback by his forwardness, but she gave it to him anyway.

"Sure," she replied, checking her bag for something to write on.

"Here, just put it in my phone."  She entered her number into his phone, and they chatted about all the interesting people they’ve met and about their jobs. The conversation lulled, and they stared at the fire. Rick spoke up, "Have you ever noticed that there are so many new people in this small town? I swear, half the people I meet here are all new and all came here for some weird, half-baked idea."

"You know, I never thought of that."

“Look, I got to go. It’s getting pretty late. I enjoyed talking to you. See you again some time?”

“I’d like that. See you soon!”

The fire died out, and Rick wandered back home happy with getting Carmen's number. By the time Rick got home, it was one in the morning, and he was completely worn out. He stretched out in his bed and checked his phone. Nothing new there. He thought about texting Carmen, but he decided to wait to text her. For now, he needed sleep.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Three - Above the church of faith

Rick came from the Washington, and he liked to go out when he could to draw the rose gardens. His drawings weren't breathtaking, but every now and then his friends would admire the work. On the rare occasion, he was able to sell his drawings in a coffee shop. He would host 10 minute drawings for a couple hours whenever he could to get a bit of extra cash.

Today was Rick’s day off, which wasn't something that happened too often. He decided to take full advantage of this and take a walk in the park to see if there was anything worth drawing today. He grabbed his coat, keys, wallet, pencil and paper and walked out his door. On his way down the steps to the ground floor of the church, he fixed the collar of his coat. He pulled open the church door, and, to his surprise, snow piled in. He had been asleep for the past eight hours and hadn't seen the snowfall that morning.

He tried in vain to scoop the snow back outside but eventually gave up, closed the door, and carried on his way to the park. The streets were mostly clear now that the plows had come through sometime in the morning. Like always on his day off, he walked down main street and snagged a copy of that day’s newspaper from the news vendor outside of Dreamwood Terrace apartment building. He sniffed, and he smelled something familiar floating out of the recently opened doors of Dreamwood Terrace. He ignored it figuring it was a figment of his imagination. He flipped through the paper as he walked and found nothing that sparked his interest. He put it under his arm and continued his way to the park.

Rick eventually found his way to a bench in the park opposite a fountain that had iced over in the night. He reached inside his coat pocket and withdrew his worn notebook and pencil. He started to draw the fountain. However, Rick paused when he saw a bit of color on the white snow near the base of the fountain. It was a card with a picture of a court jester on it. Below the picture, simple typeface displayed that it was the Fool.

Rick heard some muttering and looked over his shoulder to see a knobbly old woman wandering around the park, seemingly floating over the snow and looking for something. As she got closer to him, Rick smelled a strong odor of sage mixed with the smell of weed. He wondered what a woman of her age was doing getting stoned.

She stopped in front of Rick and asked, "Have you seen one of my tarot cards? It is the Fool."

Rick pointed towards the fountain base. "Yeah, right over there. Shame, though, I quite liked the look of it with the fountain," he said. The old woman reached down, picked up the card, and drifted off without a word.

Sunday, January 11, 2015


     When the Michael's truck made its rounds of Dreamwood it dumped large amounts of glitter on the streets. The glitter was dragged by the wind, winding its way into every nook and cranny of this small town. When Rick woke up he found the glitter had managed to seep through the thin walls of his apartment and cover everything. Rick looked around and saw the thin film of glitter glowing in the evening light. He swung his legs over the bed, walked across the room, and had dug through his dresser to find his work clothes, only to find that the glitter had oozed into all of his clothing. He tried in vain to remove the glitter from his clothing. He was going to grab his jacket for the walk to work, but he found that even with the thin walls in his apartment it was almost warm. Instead he ended up walking out of the house with his clothes drenched with glitter leaving behind small wisps of glitter on his way to work.

     It was a slow Wednesday night a O'Harley's and it allowed Rick to dwell on the night of the wedding reception. He had finally found out the girl in his apartment was named Laura. She had a reputation around the town for "borrowing" others valuables after sleeping with them. Rick had found out about her reputation first hand when he got back from work; she had stolen his potted plant that he used for recreational purposes. Damn Rick thought to him self. He would have to buy a new plant and they aren't common in the small town either. Meaning Rick would need to take a road trip. Rick shook his head to clear his thoughts. To distract himself from this annoyance he looked around the bar. There were three people. This was a slow night even by Wednesday night's standards. It was probably because everyone was home sick this week. Some sort of flu swept through this small town seeming to get everyone sick. The door of the bar opened at 8:26 and some old guy with a weathered face and cane to match walked in. The old man walked up to the bar, sat down on one of the stools near Rick. He looked worn out from a long days work.
"What can I get you?" Rick said. He had seen his kind before. Just getting a drink to take the edge off.
"One shot of whiskey." the old man said while puling out his wallet. He laid down a five on the counter.  Rick reached behind him to grab a glass and a bottle of whiskey off the wall, turned back around, poured the old man a little more than one shot in a glass, it was the cheaper bottle anyway. No big loss. The old man looked at the glass for a minute and took a sip. Rick went back to cleaning the glasses at the bar, which no matter how many times he washed there always seemed to have more glitter in them. The old man didn't say anything for a long while. This was no oddity sometimes people didn't want to talk and drink. A few minutes pass and Rick, out of boredom, finally broke the silence "So what's your story old man?"
The old man looked up from his drink and said "Well son I am Ángel, I have been here a long time. I work at New Hope."
"Well Ángel what are you doing out late aren't old folks usually sleeping about now?"
"It was a long day and I figured I could use a drink to relax," said Ángel. "but you are right, I am very tired. It was nice to talk, but I have got to be going," he grumbled.
"Alright Ángel careful out there." Ángel got up with the help from his cane and walk out of the bar. Well there goes my entertainment for tonight, Rick thought. He thought it would be amusing to see the old man drunk. He was sure there was at least one good story in him. One of the perks for Rick working at the bar was that he was able to hear what everyone's story was. Everyone liked talking when drunk. Rick in his somewhat short life had realized that stories were far more useful than money. Occasionally if the story was good enough he would give that person a free drink.