Snippet Sunday – Hard-Boiled/Noir WIP – August 14, 2016
Snippet Sunday is a group for writers I’ve been hanging out with.
From the group guidelines; “Welcome to Snippet Sunday, where writers come together to share a few sentences of their current project–whether it’s a recently released novel, a WIP (work in progress), or an older manuscript that’s being revived. Intended to hook readers, gather feedback and build an author’s fan base, Snippet Sunday is the FB group that does all three.”
I’ve been re-working an earlier scene. Let’s go back… Jake has just walked into Beau’s Bar & Grill and has been talking with some guys at the bar.
The barman drew a pint from the tap.
“I spent some time up in Manhattan,” he said, placing the beer in front of me. “It was after I got out of the army. Used to catch the jazz shows at the Village Gate. Everybody played there.”
I raised my glass and waved it in his general direction.
“Vietnam?” I asked him.
“That’s nice of you to say, son,” he replied, chortling. “Korea. I got to spend my formative years hanging around the 38th Parallel, waiting for things to go bad the way the old timers loved to say they would.”
“How ‘bout you?” asked the reedy guy with the glass eye.
I caught a whiff of sour tobacco on his breath, which was saying something in a bar as smoke-encrusted as Beau’s Bar & Grill. He must also have been an aggressive shaver, judging by the network of nicks and scrapes in various stages of healing.
“Me?” I said. “You’re more likely to find me at CBGB’s on a Saturday night.”
The barman chortled again.
“I’ve heard stories about that place,” he said.
“They’re all true.” I knocked back half of my beer.
The reedy guy tapped me on the shoulder.
“You know what I mean,” he said.
“Yessir, I do,” I replied. “And the answer is I went when they drafted me.”
“Went where?” asked the round guy.
“Overseas. They shipped my ass overseas.” I emptied my glass. “All the way from Manhattan to Staten Island.”
The reedy guy grimaced and shook his head a little. His rotund pal gave me a funny look for a second, then laughed from way down in the gut. The barman smiled and replaced my empty glass with a full one.
“That’s a pretty good gag, mister,” said the round man.
“The name’s Jake,” I replied, “and it’s no gag. I spent my whole hitch guarding a warehouse on Staten Island. Never did find out who my guardian angel had to blow to get me that post.”
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