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Scratch's Place (BMHWC)

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posted on Oct, 11 2012 @ 09:55 PM
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"Scratch's Place" ~So, if you meet me, have some courtesy, have some sympathy, and some taste. Use all your well learned politesse....or I'll lay your soul to waste....~ The Rolling Stones "Man, you play better than anybody I've ever seen. Here, you deserve this," the long haired kid said to Jonathon, handing him a ten and a small thinly rolled joint. "What's this?" John asked. "That's a little bonus," he said, "For letting me play Jonathon Frick...the mighty Marathon Man. He smiled at Jon, "I knew who you were, before we played and I gotta say I don't mind at all losing to the best." The kid grabbed his hand and shook it. "Take it easy with that sh*t. I grew it myself. If you like it and want some more, let me know. I'll be around." He smiled at Jon again, then turned and walked off. Jonathon was about to stop him and give the joint back. It'd been years since he quit smoking pot, but instead he tucked it into his shirt pocket. What the hell, he thought, the kid said he deserved it, and he was about to take a lonely drive out into the country. He put his cue away and waited till Debbie walked past him. "See ya," he said, smiling and trying to be as cool as possible. "Okay Jon," she said, "See ya later." Damn she was sweet, and good-looking as hell. And the best part was, she didn't even know it. In a sea of small fish, she was a keeper. One of these days, he thought, you and me. One of these days... Jon got in his car, and headed out of town. He lit the joint and turned on the radio as he drove down an old strectch of farm road he'd only been on a few times. Whew, this is some good sh*t, he thought after a few tokes. He was busy putting it out in the ashtray when he saw lights up ahead. What the..? I don't remember a pool hall being here. He yanked the car over and stopped. "Scratch's Place, Bar Room and Pool Hall" the neon sign proclaimed into the darkness. He knew there was no pool hall here last time he drove this way, but sure as hell there it stood. A few cars and a couple of Harleys were parked around what looked to be an old transformed gas station. Hmm, must be under new management, he thought smiling. Worth checkin out I guess, see if there's any action for the ole Marathon Man. Jonathon edged his beat up black El Camino into the small lot and parked. He got out and a couple of biker's and their "old ladies" watched him carefully as he picked up his cue and closed the door. Jonathon nodded, walking past them, his boots crunching along on the gravel as they resumed passing their joint. He could hear loud rock and roll music coming through the old screen door and heard the clack of someone breaking a rack of balls. "So far so good," he said, stepping to the door and pulling the handle. "Screeeak," the old hinges complained and a few patrons momentarily glanced up at him. Jonathon squinted into the room. Damn, kinda dark in here, he thought. Four pool tables were all that could fit in the little room. The three on the right were lit and people were playing on them. One table to the left, stood alone and unilluminated. Jonathon plodded in, glancing around. There was the mildew smell of wet carpet, and an old ACDC song was playing on the jukebox. The dozen or so customers, were talking and drinking, and Jon headed for the bar. "Don't put your @SS or your GLASS on the TABLES!!!" shouted a sign directly over the barkeepers head who was leaning on a stool playing air guitar. His eyes were closed and his long black pony-tail swayed as he strummed at the imaginary strings. Jonathon thought he looked out of place-dressed sharply in a black vest and tie, a hint of grey at his temples. He stopped suddenly, and looked up at Jon. His lip curled into a grin, and his black eyes gleamed with recognition. He reached under the bar and turned down the music, still staring...still smiling. It was a knowing smile, and it made Jon feel uncomfortable. "My favorite little band from down under," he said. Jon noticed his slight English accent and nodded in response, "Yea ACDC rocks. First band I ever saw live." The barkeep paused for a moment accessing Jon. "Live?" he said, pondering the thought, then broke from his revery. "Where are my manners? You must be thirsty. Tell me, what is your pleasure." Jon reached for his wallet, "Uhh, gimme something uncola please...tall glass if you don't mind," He said dropping a five on the bar. He watched as a perfectly manicured hand, with gold rings on every finger, pushed it back to him. Jon looked up. "On the house," he said, "Such a distinguished guest finally arrives to grace our little establishment. It's the least we can do considering how long we've been waiting." The smile slowly widened, showing a perfect set of yellow teeth. "What...whadda ya mean, waiting?" Jon said. "Why waiting for your arrival that is. You see the owner desires a game with you." He turned and grabbed a glass from the over-head. Jon released the breath he'd been holding, "Ahhh, okay then." He pulled up a stool, laying his cue on the bar, "So who's the owner?" The barkeep sat a tall coke in front of him and grasped his bolero with both hands, "Why, I am of course," he said beaming. Jon waffled for a response, not wanting to commit to a game yet. "Ohh so you own this whole place huh?" he said, taking a sip. "Yes...you could correctly say that I own this WHOLE place," making a grand sweeping gesture, "And I have been desiring a game with you for a quite some time now." He leaned forward offering his hand. "The name is Scratch." Jon shook it. Damn it was cold...ice cold, and Jon flinched as he took it. "Nice to meet'cha," Jon said, "I'm..." "-The Marathon Man," Scratch interrupted smiling, "He who robs from the robbers, and gives to himself." Jon's uncomfortable feeling returned, "I uhh I..." "You sir, are the finest money player that is alive today," Scratch interrupted again, "And I desire a high stakes game with you...here, tonight." He reached under the bar. Suddenly the lone table was illuminated. "Ahhh behold, the finest pool table, for the finest players, " Scratch said, "Nothing but the best." Jon looked at the table. It was immaculate. Perfect red felt, with golden inlays, and ornately carved legs. It looked old, damned old. Jeezus! Anybody sets their @ss on that table oughta be shot, he thought. Jon turned back to Scratch, "A money game? I umm, didn't bring much money. But I'll play you for what I've got, especially if we can play on THAT table." Jon said. "Oh yes, we will play on that table Jon," he said, "And playing you for ~what you've got~ is exactly what I had in mind. But lets discuss the stakes in a moment. Now is the time for a toast...a toast to the game," he said reaching under the bar. He brought forth an ancient looking bottle. "You will join me I presume," he said sitting two small glasses on the table and pouring a shot of bright red liquid into each. Scratch handed him a glass, "To the game," he said, holding up his glass to clink. Jon didn't know why, but he brought his glass up and touched Scratch's, "To the game," he said. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Jon wasn't lying about bringing much money. He liked to drive out into the country on weeknights and find a small quiet pool hall. A place where nobody knew him. Then he'd get into a game with a few guys that liked to gamble and fair and square he'd beat them out of enough money to get a good buzz going and pay for his gas and cigarettes. Jonathon wasn't a hustler, in fact, he despised them. Jon didn't happen to run into them very often, but when he did, they were his favorite target. He immensely enjoyed using their tactics against them, smacking the balls around ineptly, biding his time in amusement while the hustler figured out some plausible way to let him win. Eventually after a few games the vain twit would go into his rehearsed "double or nothing" routine and The Ole Marathon Man would have to take him down. Teach him a little lesson in manners, and bolster his own measly pay check at the same time. Jon didn't like these guys, or the way they played, and the beer he bought with their money tasted especially good. But hustling hustlers is risky business, especially if you don't know anyone in the town. So, as a precaution, Jon didn't carry much cash, he didn't need too. Jon happened to be the best money pool player in the Minneapolis, St. Paul area. He had earned the nickname "Marathon Man" for his penchant for playing long matches into the night, and had won more than his share of little tournaments. But Jon's problem was the big tourney games, the really big ones, the ones where he could've gone pro and made a real name for himself. In the final matches of those games, with all eyes watching him, the room would begin to close in, and the table would seem to stretch out to infinity. Jonathon was also known less flatteringly in big tournemant circles as "a choker." So he gave up on the big tourneys. He didn't need to be a pro, didn't need that kind of hassle. Hey, you gotta go with what you're good at, and at money pool, he was the best. Everyone that knew him, knew that, and wouldn't touch him. That's why he liked to drive out into the country where no-one knew him and find a small local place and play a few games for beer or shots. Jonathon was an honest, friendly guy, and it showed on his face. Usually he'd make friends and earn the respect of the people he played, even as he beat them out of their beer money. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Jonathon took a sip, "Damn, this is good!" It was slightly sweet, aromatic, and oh so strong. "What is that stuff?" Jon asked, "I'm gonna have to get a bottle of this sometime." Scratch sat his glass down with a sympathetic frown. "I'm sorry Jon, but this is very old and rare. I'm afraid it isn't available anymore," he said, "But your welcome to as much as you'd like tonight." "Thank you...appreciate it" Jon said nodding. He downed the rest and set the glass on the bar. Scratch poured, "I'd go easy if I were you. This is very strong. I wouldn't want it to effect your play," he said. "S'ok, a little buzz never kept me from playing a good game," Jon said smiling. He tossed back the shot, feeling the alchohol beginning to warm up his insides. This stuff was definitely strong, but so smooth you could hardly tell. "So what are these stakes you were talking about?" Scratch eyed him closely, "You might find them a bit unconventional," he said, "You see Jonathon, I am willing to offer you any material thing you desire if you win..." "Anything I desire?" Jon interrupted, raising his eyebrows. The way he'd said it so sincerely made Jon smile. He rubbed his chin thoughtfully, "And what do I have to put up in return?" Scratch beamed, "Ahh, now we get to it," he reached under the bar and brought forth a small piece of paper, "All I require from you Jonathon is your signature. Simply sign this document that says if you lose, your soul belongs to me." Jon was about to laugh but the look on Scratch's face kept him from it. He felt a tingle on the back of his scalp, a little warning from somewhere telling him to back off, but his conscious mind took over. "Hey, if this old biker took too much acid when he was younger, it ain't my fault," he thought, "Play a few games on THAT nice table and drink a few shots of this stuff for free?...I've spent worse nights." Jonathon smiled, stifling the urge to chuckle, "So what you're telling me is, you're the devil, and you want to play me for my soul, against anything I want, is that right?" Scratch tipped the bottle into Jonathon's glass again, "Yes, that is exactly right Jon. So, do we have a bet?" he said. Jonathon downed the shot and set the glass back on the table, eyeing Scratch seriously. "Well, I'll tell you what. I'll play you for fifty bucks, a pack of smokes, and all that liquor I can drink," Jon said motioning to his empty glass. "Well Jonathon, that seems an awfully trifiling pittance to wager against your soul, don't you think? Isn't there anything else you would desire?" Okay, Jon thought, even if this guy was a crazy biker, it ~could~ make for an interesting evening, and think of the mileage he could get out of the story with Debbie. "Let me see," he said, looking off and appearing thoughtful. "Okay, there's this little park out by the lake. It sits on a cliff over-looking the water." Scratch nodded, "I know the place," he said. Jon had to smile again, "Allright," he said, "Put me a house on it...a BIG house, with a pool and a boat dock...and a boat, a really nice one. And ummm, put a Harley in the garage, a sportster, make it black, lots of chrome, but tastefully done you know, not too gaudy. And let's see...a pickup, dark blue, running boards, lotsa horsepower." He paused again, "And a Corvette, bright yellow, with the big engine in it. How does that sound so far?" he asked. "Considering your wager, I'd say your getting closer. Would that be all you desire then?" Jonathon thought for a moment, "Nope, I'll tell you what I really desire. There's this girl Debbie who works down at O'Grady's. What you do is, you dress her up in lingerie and have her waiting for me on the bed when I get home." When he said this, he couldn't help himself and started laughing. "I'm happy you're amused Jonanthon," Scratch said, "But I'm afraid that Debbie cannot be part of the wager. You will have to tend to that matter for yourself, but I do know of her, and I believe the scenario you describe is not outside the realm of possibility. So is that all then?" Jonathon thought, "Well, I'll tell you what. If I can't have her, then fill up one of the mattresses with twenty dollars bills...no wait, make it hundreds, and while your at it, make it TWO mattresses...Oh, and make sure you don't forget about the pack of smokes and the fifty bucks, and you've got yourself a bet." Jonathan downed his glass and pushed it towards Scratch again. "So how does that sound then?" Jon asked. Scratch was smiling, "I believe we have ourselves a bet," he filled Jon's glass. "Shall we shake on it, to seal the deal?" Jonathon offered his hand remembering the cold from before. Scratch grasped it and Jon felt a prick on his palm. "Oww," he jerked his hand back, a small drop of blood appeared on his hand. "Excellent," Scratch said picking up the paper, "Don't forget your signature," he said as he walked from behind the bar. "You cut me or something on one of your rings. Look at this," he said showing Scratch the blood. "Ahh yes, the matter of the document," he said. He held it out in his palm, "Simply place your hand on top of mine, your blood will serve as your signature." Jon saw strange unreadable writing on it and thought, "This guy is bonkers!" But he was already feeling a little tipsy and layed his hand on the paper. A spot of red appeared as he pulled his hand away. "We have a bet," Scratch said grandly waving his arm. All the patrons stood simultaneously and walked over taking seats around the old pool table. "What the hell?" Jonathon said and thought at the same time. "You mean everybody in here knew we were going to play?" Scratch nodded, "Well they didn't know whether you would take the bet or not, but like I said, we've all been waiting for you quite some time now. Waiting for you to come down the right road, at the right time." Just then, as if on cue, the door creaked open, and the biker's from outside rushed in. They nervously hurried into the bar looking at Scratch, and before the door could close another man stepped through. He was tall, wearing a long black leather coat and boots. His eyes were a sparkling radiant blue. His hair was long, and the color of sunshine. He might have been the best looking man Jonathan had ever seen. He took a seat along the far wall and crossed his arms. "Ahhh, Micheal!" Scratch exalted, "What an eminent emmisary in such a trifling matter." He clapped Jonathon on the shoulder, "You must really be held in high regard to draw such an important referee." Jonathon cringed under his cold touch. "Referee?" Jon said. "Oh yes. Micheal is here to make sure I don't cheat. Though I haven't ever cheated in any game I've ever played against anyone. Still, it's nice to have my old friend here with me. It's been a long long time hasn't it Micheal." The man just stared at him, expressionless. Scratch laughed, squeezing Jonathon's shoulder and leaning towards him in confidence. "Mikey doesn't talk much. Not a lot of fun at parties I'm afraid," he laughed, "But we have a game to play eh?" Jonathan felt a pressure at his temples. This couldn't actually be real he thought. "Wait a minute. This isn't real is it? I mean, that's not the arch-angel Micheal, and your not really the devil are you," he said. "Oh yes, I assure you it's real enough Jon. Did you think it wasn't? I'm so so sorry. But we do have a bet don't we?" Jonathon stood, pushing his hand away, "Hey, no way pal..this is getting a little too weird for me, Thx for the booze, but I'm outta here. He headed for the door. "Oh I'd hate to see you go now Jonathon. It would be a terrible way to lose by forfeit, that which is so precious." Jonathon turned, "You don't get it. You tricked me. NO BET, it's over, I'm outta here." he said. "You are mistaken Jonathon. We do have a bet, and I did not trick you. I told you exactly what the wager would be and we shook in agreement, I even have your signature. To leave now would be to forfeit, would it not Micheal?" Jon turned to the man, his face was absolutely expressionlees, but there was compassion in his eyes. His nod was so slight it was almost imperceptable. This can't be happening Jon thought. Scratch motioned and someone began to rack the balls. "What game and rules do you prefer Jon," he said, "You may choose." The whole scene seemed unreal. Jonathon was trying to tell himself that it just couldn't be. "I uhh, I like nine ball. Uhh, tournament rules, best of seven." he said. "Nine ball it is then, but it will only be ONE game. If you would prefer, you may break. If you don't miss Jonathon...if you don't ~choke~ that is, then I won't even get a shot, and you will win. But in case you didn't know, I'm very good, and missing would be a terrible thing to do." His smile was malicious, and Jonathon turned to the bar, "I need a drink," he said. He slapped the bar, "Gimme a f***ing drink!" A biker appeared behind the bar. "That stuff right there," Jonathon said, pointing to the old bottle, "Fill it up." He poured the glass full, and Jonathon grabbed it, gulping it down and wiping his mouth. Okay fine, he thought, you want a game?...you want a game with the Marathon Man-you cheap cheating hustler. I'm about to kick your @ss. He grabbed his cue, screwing the halves together, and picked up his chalk. "You hustled the wrong guy," he said. He walked to the table, chalking his cue. "That's what you are," he thought, "A cheap f***in hustler, that's all, and I'm about to take you down!" He placed the cue ball and lined up the rack with his stick. He jammed the stick forward, breaking the balls with such force that even Scratch flinched. The balls careened around the table. The four ball dropped and then the six. Jonathon had left the cue ball, perfectly in the center of the table, ready for his next shot. He easily sank the one, then the two. His position on the three ball was not so good. He had to lean across the table on one leg to shoot, and he realized his balance was unsteady. That strong red liquor was taking effect incredibly fast and Jonathon realized he was getting drunk. He felt a light tingling begin in his scalp. He stroked the shot, hitting it perfect. It fell in the corner, and he had left himself well for the shot on the five. Four balls to go, he thought...four more balls. He eyed Scratch, "So if you really are the devil and that really is Micheal, then that means that there really is a god and a heaven and a hell, like it says in the bible, right?" Scratched laughed, "Jonathon really, you should concentrate on the game at hand, don't you think?" He chalked his cue carefully, "No, I THINK I wan't you to tell me." he said. "Well if you really want to know then. Your ~bible~ quite nearly speaks the truth, especially in the older chapters, when men were more in tune with their dreams," He rose and approached Jonathon, "But your god?" he said, raising his voice, "Your god that called ME vain, your god that called ME proud, your god that cast ME out for being more beautiful than he, your god that left me here amid these stars and galaxies for eternity...HE!" Scratch slapped the table, pointing skyward Is the false one! HE is the proud and vain one who needs to be worshipped. HE is the forgiving one who holds his anger and vengeance for all eternity. HE is the one who created you and sent you here to suffer and want and feel pain!" Scratch leaned even closer and Jonathon could feel his breath, "My dear Jonathon, you did not arrive here by your own choosing. No no no, far from it. You were sent here kicking and screaming, stripped of all but that which is your essence, and you were left here to stand before the judgment of HE who says DO NOT JUDGE!" He slapped the table again, breathing heavily. Then his tone and manner lightened as he continued, "Now you know the real story Jon. Hell is not fire and brimstone. It is here with me, among the stars. It is a cold, vile, lonely place. For most, there is no recognition of others, there is no happiness, there is no comfort...there is no end. And so I amuse myself with games. Here *I* rule. I provide the distractions for those deemed unworthy of love by their own creator. *I* provide companionship to those who follow me. *I* provide hope for those who aid me, and one day *I* will amass a legion against the creator. Then the final battle will be fought, and *I* will punish him for his sins. But for now Jonathon...for you, this is the moment of truth. You have wagered your soul against what would surely have been a return to paradise for a few worldy spoils. Now your fate will be decided by me, not him! So play the game Jon, play the game for your life." he sneered. Jonathon reeled from the implications. He knew it was true, he felt it. He had allowed his vanity to steer him into a game for his very soul, and there was no backing out. He could almost feel the alchohol coursing through his bloodstream. The smell of Scratch's rank breath lingered in his nostrils as he turned away. He felt sick. The drunkeness overtaking him faster than he believed was possible. He layed his hand on the table to steady himself, I've got to get it together, he thought, I've gotta win this game. Scratch sat back down, "Feeling okay Jonathon?" he asked, "Don't forget, you said you would be able to play. That you knew what you were doing." He laughed and Jon drew a deep breath leaning over the table. He lined up the five ball. It came into focus and he stroked the shot, sinking it in the corner. The cue ball touched two rails and sat perfectly behind the seven. Three more, Jon thought...three more. He reached for the chalk, but his hand knocked it to the floor. Scratch laughed again, "Your not getting drunk are you Jonathon?" he scoffed. Jon picked up the chalk, his head felt full and vertigo rushed over him. He leaned on his cue. Using it like a cane to hold himself up. He had the strong urge to sit on the floor, but knew he had to finish the game quickly, before he became too drunk to stand. To drunk to even see the balls on the table. He pushed himself up, the seven lay in front of the side pocket, dead in...a duck. He lined it up, squinting, trying to get his eyes to focus. He stroked the cue, hitting the shot without actually seeing it. The seven fell and the cue ball bounced off the rail, resting at the far end of the table. He hadn't put enough english on the ball to leave himself an easy shot for the eight. He stumbled around the table, he could hear Scratch snickering. F***ing hustler, he thought, he knew I'd get drunk. It's okay, he told himself, I can still shoot, but his legs betrayed him, wobbling while he lined up the eight ball into the corner. C'mon eyes, FOCUS he said to himself, just two more balls. He realized that even if he made this shot, there was no way to leave an easy shot on the nine. He was going to have a full table shot from the far end. To hit this shot any harder would be to risk scratching. He stroked the cue, and squinted his eyes but the ball wouldn't come into focus. He felt the urge to vomit coming over him, and held onto the table. "Please god," he thought closing his eyes, "I know I may not have been a perfect person, but I've tried. I know you know I've tried. If there is anything you can do to help me, please. I don't want you to cheat, I just need to see the balls." He took a deep breath and instantly felt better. The urge to vomit was gone and his legs felt steady. He opened his eyes and his vision was clear. "Oh thank you god, you won't be sorry...you'll see," he thought. He leaned over the table and lined up the eight ball. It'd have to be a touch shot, or he could scratch. He carefully stroked through the cue thru his fingers and hit the shot softly. The cue ball rolled across the table and contacted the eight, sending it to the corner pocket. It hooked the edged and bounced once...twice...then fell in. Jonathon gasped, "Whew," he breathed. He chalked his stick one last time, and walked around the table eyeing the nine ball. The cue ball was on the far rail, lying against the bumper, the nine was in the middle of the opposite end of the table. Without the ability to put english on the cue ball, it didn't matter what pocket he tried for-it was a scratch shot. Jonathon could feel his drunkeness somewhere behind his eyes, it was there waiting to return, being held back by his prayers for now. He got behind the cue ball, and lined up the shot. As he looked at it, the table seemed to stretch out, getting longer. Scratch laughed malevolently and Micheal stood. "Ohh please, it was just a little fun," Scratch said, motioning him to sit. "Go on Jonathon, take your shot...just don't," he coughed, "Choke." F*** you, you cheatin hustler, Jon thought as he leaned down over the ball again. The table had returned to normal size and Jon stroked the cue through his fingers. "Your Fricked!" he thought as the tip contacted the cue ball gently. Suddenly his vision gave way, and his drunkeness came back full-force. His knees buckled under him, and he fell to the floor, dropping his stick. He heard the cue ball strick the nine as his head hit the floor. One of them sank into the pocket, as he passed out. Which one Jonathon thought, which... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Jonathon awoke. It was stifling hot, and he was sweating profusely. He could sense the light behind his eyelids and covered his eyes with his hands. His head ached, his body ached and his teeth felt like they had grown hair. "Ohh gawd," he said, as the memory of last night flooded back. Was it a dream? He sat up. He was afraid to open his eyes. There was no sound, except for his breathing. I got too high, he thought. That's it, I smoked that joint and I got too high. He peeked out from between his fingers. The late morning sun was beating down and he could see a field just beyond, and a small expanse of black top. The highway, he thought, I got too damned stoned and pulled over to sleep and dreamed the whole damn thing. He openedhis eyes. He was sitting in a field, his car was parked beside him with the door open. Damn, what an idiot, he thought. That punk laced that joint with something...I could be dead right now! He pulled himself up by the door handle and got to his knees. He realized he was still drunk as he looked around. No pool hall, no gravel, no motorcycles...just a field, and not a soul in sight. He unzipped his pants and relieved himself. Then he took his smokes from his pocket and lit one, pulling up to his feet. He took a drag and saw something bright in the corner of his vision. He had an impression of what it was and it made him tremble. He closed his eyes and turned his head. He opened them slowly, and there on the other side of his old El Camino sat a brand new bright yellow Corvette. "No f***in way!" he said, rushing around his car. He ran his hands along the curvy hood and peeked inside. There on the seat lay a pack of smokes, a fifty dollar bill, and a set of keys atop a title that had his name on it. Jonathon looked at his old beat up El Camino as he opened the door on the Corvette. He pushed the stuff out of the seat, grabbing the keys. He sat in the car and started it. "Whrooom," the engine growled as he stepped on the gas revving it up. "I don't believe it," Jonathon said, cupping his hands and looking up. "Thank you God...thank you. No more red liquor for me, I promise!" He put the car in drive and gassed on it, cutting a half doughnut around his old El Camino. He stopped before pulling onto the road. "Hmm, guess I oughta go check on the lake house and get cleaned up a little." He smiled. "Maybe head over to O'Grady's later. See if Debbie wants to go for a ride with the ole... "Marathon Man." The End"Scratch's Place"

~So, if you meet me, have some courtesy, have some
sympathy, and some taste. Use all your well learned
politesse....or I'll lay your soul to waste....~
The Rolling Stones


"Man, you play better than anybody I've ever seen. Here, you
deserve this," the long haired kid said to Jonathon, handing him
a ten and a small thinly rolled joint. "What's this?" John asked.
"That's a little bonus," he said, "For letting me play Jonathon
Frick...the mighty Marathon Man. He smiled at Jon, "I knew who
you were, before we played and I gotta say I don't mind at all
losing to the best." The kid grabbed his hand and shook it. "Take
it easy with that sh*t. I grew it myself. If you like it and want
some more, let me know. I'll be around." He smiled at
Jon again, then turned and walked off. Jonathon was about to
stop him and give the joint back. It'd been years since he quit
smoking pot, but instead he tucked it into his shirt pocket. What
the hell, he thought, the kid said he deserved it, and he was
about to take a lonely drive out into the country. He put his cue
away and waited till Debbie walked past him. "See ya," he
said, smiling and trying to be as cool as possible. "Okay Jon,"
she said, "See ya later." Damn she was sweet, and
good-looking as hell. And the best part was, she didn't even
know it. In a sea of small fish, she was a keeper. One of these
days, he thought, you and me. One of these days...

Jon got in his car, and headed out of town. He lit
the joint and turned on the radio as he drove down an old
strectch of farm road he'd only been on a few times. Whew, this
is some good sh*t, he thought after a few tokes. He was busy
putting it out in the ashtray when he saw lights up ahead. What
the..? I don't remember a pool hall being here. He yanked the
car over and stopped. "Scratch's Place, Bar Room and Pool Hall"
the neon sign proclaimed into the darkness. He knew there was
no pool hall here last time he drove this way, but sure as hell there it
stood. A few cars and a couple of Harleys were parked around
what looked to be an old transformed gas station. Hmm, must be
under new management, he thought smiling. Worth checkin out I
guess, see if there's any action for the ole Marathon Man.

Jonathon edged his beat up black El Camino into the small lot
and parked. He got out and a couple of biker's and their "old
ladies" watched him carefully as he picked up his cue and
closed the door. Jonathon nodded, walking past them, his
boots crunching along on the gravel as they resumed passing
their joint. He could hear loud rock and roll music coming
through the old screen door and heard the clack of someone
breaking a rack of balls. "So far so good," he said, stepping to
the door and pulling the handle. "Screeeak," the old hinges
complained and a few patrons momentarily glanced up at him.
Jonathon squinted into the room. Damn, kinda dark in here,
he thought. Four pool tables were all that could fit in the little room.
The three on the right were lit and people were playing on them.
One table to the left, stood alone and unilluminated. Jonathon
plodded in, glancing around. There was the mildew smell of wet
carpet, and an old ACDC song was playing on the jukebox. The
dozen or so customers, were talking and drinking, and Jon headed
for the bar. "Don't put your @SS or your GLASS on the TABLES!!!"
shouted a sign directly over the barkeepers head who was leaning
on a stool playing air guitar. His eyes were closed and his long
black pony-tail swayed as he strummed at the imaginary strings.
Jonathon thought he looked out of place-dressed sharply in a
black vest and tie, a hint of grey at his temples. He stopped
suddenly, and looked up at Jon. His lip curled into a grin, and
his black eyes gleamed with recognition. He reached under the
bar and turned down the music, still staring...still smiling. It was
a knowing smile, and it made Jon feel uncomfortable. "My
favorite little band from down under," he said. Jon noticed his
slight English accent and nodded in response, "Yea ACDC
rocks. First band I ever saw live." The barkeep paused for a
moment accessing Jon. "Live?" he said, pondering the thought,
then broke from his revery. "Where are my manners? You must
be thirsty. Tell me, what is your pleasure." Jon reached for his
wallet, "Uhh, gimme something uncola please...tall glass if you
don't mind," He said dropping a five on the bar. He watched as a
perfectly manicured hand, with gold rings on every finger,
pushed it back to him. Jon looked up. "On the house," he said,
"Such a distinguished guest finally arrives to grace our little
establishment. It's the least we can do considering how long
we've been waiting." The smile slowly widened, showing a
perfect set of yellow teeth. "What...whadda ya mean, waiting?"
Jon said. "Why waiting for your arrival that is. You see the
owner desires a game with you." He turned and grabbed a glass
from the over-head. Jon released the breath he'd been holding,
"Ahhh, okay then." He pulled up a stool, laying his cue on the
bar, "So who's the owner?" The barkeep sat a tall coke in front of
him and grasped his bolero with both hands, "Why, I am of
course," he said beaming. Jon waffled for a response, not
wanting to commit to a game yet. "Ohh so you own this whole
place huh?" he said, taking a sip. "Yes...you could correctly
say that I own this WHOLE place," making a grand
sweeping gesture, "And I have been desiring a game with you
for a quite some time now." He leaned forward offering his hand.
"The name is Scratch." Jon shook it. Damn it was cold...ice
cold, and Jon flinched as he took it. "Nice to meet'cha," Jon
said, "I'm..." "-The Marathon Man," Scratch
interrupted smiling, "He who robs from the robbers, and gives to
himself." Jon's uncomfortable feeling returned, "I uhh I..." "You
sir, are the finest money player that is alive today," Scratch
interrupted again, "And I desire a high stakes game with
you...here, tonight." He reached under the bar. Suddenly the
lone table was illuminated. "Ahhh behold, the finest pool table,
for the finest players, " Scratch said, "Nothing but the best." Jon
looked at the table. It was immaculate. Perfect red felt, with
golden inlays, and ornately carved legs. It looked old, damned
old. Jeezus! Anybody sets their @ss on that table oughta be shot,
he thought. Jon turned back to Scratch, "A money game? I umm,
didn't bring much money. But I'll play you for what I've got,
especially if we can play on THAT table." Jon said. "Oh yes, we
will play on that table Jon," he said, "And playing you for ~what
you've got~ is exactly what I had in mind. But lets discuss the
stakes in a moment. Now is the time for a toast...a toast to the
game," he said reaching under the bar. He brought forth an
ancient looking bottle. "You will join me I presume," he said
sitting two small glasses on the table and pouring a shot of
bright red liquid into each. Scratch handed him a glass, "To the
game," he said, holding up his glass to clink. Jon didn't know
why, but he brought his glass up and touched Scratch's, "To the
game," he said.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jon wasn't lying about bringing much money. He liked to drive
out into the country on weeknights and find a small quiet pool
hall. A place where nobody knew him. Then he'd get into a game
with a few guys that liked to gamble and fair and square he'd
beat them out of enough money to get a good buzz going and
pay for his gas and cigarettes. Jonathon wasn't a hustler, in fact,
he despised them. Jon didn't happen to run into them very often,
but when he did, they were his favorite target. He immensely
enjoyed using their tactics against them, smacking the balls
around ineptly, biding his time in amusement while the hustler
figured out some plausible way to let him win. Eventually
after a few games the vain twit would go into his rehearsed
"double or nothing" routine and The Ole Marathon Man would
have to take him down. Teach him a little lesson in manners,
and bolster his own measly pay check at the same time. Jon
didn't like these guys, or the way they played, and the beer he
bought with their money tasted especially good. But hustling
hustlers is risky business, especially if you don't know anyone
in the town. So, as a precaution, Jon didn't carry much cash, he
didn't need too.

Jon happened to be the best money pool player in the
Minneapolis, St. Paul area. He had earned the nickname
"Marathon Man" for his penchant for playing long matches into
the night, and had won more than his share of little tournaments.
But Jon's problem was the big tourney games, the really big
ones, the ones where he could've gone pro and made a real
name for himself. In the final matches of those games, with all
eyes watching him, the room would begin to close in, and the
table would seem to stretch out to infinity. Jonathon was also
known less flatteringly in big tournemant circles as "a choker."

So he gave up on the big tourneys. He didn't need to be a pro,
didn't need that kind of hassle. Hey, you gotta go with what
you're good at, and at money pool, he was the best. Everyone
that knew him, knew that, and wouldn't touch him. That's why he
liked to drive out into the country where no-one knew him and
find a small local place and play a few games for beer or shots.
Jonathon was an honest, friendly guy, and it showed on his
face. Usually he'd make friends and earn the respect of the
people he played, even as he beat them out of their beer money.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jonathon took a sip, "Damn, this is good!" It was slightly
sweet, aromatic, and oh so strong. "What is that stuff?" Jon
asked, "I'm gonna have to get a bottle of this sometime."
Scratch sat his glass down with a sympathetic frown. "I'm sorry
Jon, but this is very old and rare. I'm afraid it isn't available
anymore," he said, "But your welcome to as much as you'd like
tonight." "Thank you...appreciate it" Jon said nodding. He
downed the rest and set the glass on the bar. Scratch poured,
"I'd go easy if I were you. This is very strong. I wouldn't want it
to effect your play," he said. "S'ok, a little buzz never kept me
from playing a good game," Jon said smiling. He tossed back
the shot, feeling the alchohol beginning to warm up his insides.
This stuff was definitely strong, but so smooth you could hardly
tell. "So what are these stakes you were talking about?" Scratch
eyed him closely, "You might find them a bit unconventional,"
he said, "You see Jonathon, I am willing to offer you any
material thing you desire if you win..." "Anything I desire?" Jon
interrupted, raising his eyebrows. The way he'd
said it so sincerely made Jon smile. He rubbed his chin
thoughtfully, "And what do I have to put up in return?" Scratch
beamed, "Ahh, now we get to it," he reached under the bar and
brought forth a small piece of paper, "All I require from you
Jonathon is your signature. Simply sign this document that says
if you lose, your soul belongs to me." Jon was about to laugh
but the look on Scratch's face kept him from it. He felt a
tingle on the back of his scalp, a little warning from somewhere
telling him to back off, but his conscious mind took over. "Hey, if
this old biker took too much acid when he was younger, it ain't
my fault," he thought, "Play a few games on THAT nice table and
drink a few shots of this stuff for free?...I've spent worse nights."
Jonathon smiled, stifling the urge to chuckle, "So what you're
telling me is, you're the devil, and you want to play me for my
soul, against anything I want, is that right?" Scratch tipped the
bottle into Jonathon's glass again, "Yes, that is exactly right
Jon. So, do we have a bet?" he said. Jonathon downed the shot
and set the glass back on the table, eyeing Scratch seriously.
"Well, I'll tell you what. I'll play you for fifty bucks, a pack of
smokes, and all that liquor I can drink," Jon said motioning to
his empty glass. "Well Jonathon, that seems an awfully trifiling
pittance to wager against your soul, don't you think? Isn't there
anything else you would desire?" Okay, Jon thought, even if this
guy was a crazy biker, it ~could~ make for an interesting
evening, and think of the mileage he could get out of the story
with Debbie. "Let me see," he said, looking off and appearing
thoughtful. "Okay, there's this little park out by the lake. It sits
on a cliff over-looking the water." Scratch nodded, "I know the
place," he said. Jon had to smile again, "Allright," he said, "Put
me a house on it...a BIG house, with a pool and a boat dock...and
a boat, a really nice one. And ummm, put a Harley in the garage, a
sportster, make it black, lots of chrome, but tastefully done you
know, not too gaudy. And let's see...a pickup, dark blue, running
boards, lotsa horsepower." He paused again, "And a Corvette,
bright yellow, with the big engine in it. How does that sound so
far?" he asked. "Considering your wager, I'd say your getting
closer. Would that be all you desire then?" Jonathon thought for
a moment, "Nope, I'll tell you what I really desire. There's this
girl Debbie who works down at O'Grady's. What you do is, you
dress her up in lingerie and have her waiting for me on the bed
when I get home." When he said this, he couldn't help himself
and started laughing. "I'm happy you're amused Jonanthon,"
Scratch said, "But I'm afraid that Debbie cannot be part of the
wager. You will have to tend to that matter for yourself, but I do
know of her, and I believe the scenario you describe is not
outside the realm of possibility. So is that all then?" Jonathon
thought, "Well, I'll tell you what. If I can't have her, then fill up
one of the mattresses with twenty dollars bills...no wait, make it
hundreds, and while your at it, make it TWO mattresses...Oh, and
make sure you don't forget about the pack of smokes and the
fifty bucks, and you've got yourself a bet." Jonathan downed
his glass and pushed it towards Scratch again. "So how does
that sound then?" Jon asked. Scratch was smiling, "I believe we
have ourselves a bet," he filled Jon's glass. "Shall we shake on
it, to seal the deal?" Jonathon offered his hand remembering the
cold from before. Scratch grasped it and Jon felt a prick on his
palm. "Oww," he jerked his hand back, a small drop of blood
appeared on his hand. "Excellent," Scratch said picking up the
paper, "Don't forget your signature," he said as he walked from
behind the bar. "You cut me or something on one of your rings.
Look at this," he said showing Scratch the blood. "Ahh yes, the
matter of the document," he said. He held it out in his palm,
"Simply place your hand on top of mine, your blood will serve
as your signature." Jon saw strange unreadable writing on it and
thought, "This guy is bonkers!" But he was already feeling a little
tipsy and layed his hand on the paper. A spot of red appeared
as he pulled his hand away.

"We have a bet," Scratch said grandly waving his arm. All the
patrons stood simultaneously and walked over taking seats
around the old pool table. "What the hell?" Jonathon said and
thought at the same time. "You mean everybody in here knew
we were going to play?" Scratch nodded, "Well they didn't know
whether you would take the bet or not, but like I said, we've all
been waiting for you quite some time now. Waiting for you to
come down the right road, at the right time." Just then, as if on
cue, the door creaked open, and the biker's from outside rushed
in. They nervously hurried into the bar looking at Scratch, and
before the door could close another man stepped through. He
was tall, wearing a long black leather coat and boots. His eyes
were a sparkling radiant blue. His hair was long, and the color of
sunshine. He might have been the best looking man Jonathan
had ever seen. He took a seat along the far wall and crossed his
arms. "Ahhh, Micheal!" Scratch exalted, "What an
eminent emmisary in such a trifling matter." He clapped
Jonathon on the shoulder, "You must really be held in high
regard to draw such an important referee." Jonathon cringed
under his cold touch. "Referee?" Jon said. "Oh yes. Micheal is
here to make sure I don't cheat. Though I haven't ever cheated
in any game I've ever played against anyone. Still, it's nice to
have my old friend here with me. It's been a long long time
hasn't it Micheal." The man just stared at him, expressionless.
Scratch laughed, squeezing Jonathon's shoulder and leaning
towards him in confidence. "Mikey doesn't talk much. Not a lot of
fun at parties I'm afraid," he laughed, "But we have a game to
play eh?" Jonathan felt a pressure at his temples. This couldn't
actually be real he thought. "Wait a minute. This isn't real is it? I
mean, that's not the arch-angel Micheal, and your not really the
devil are you," he said. "Oh yes, I assure you it's real enough
Jon. Did you think it wasn't? I'm so so sorry. But we do have a
bet don't we?" Jonathon stood, pushing his hand away, "Hey, no
way pal..this is getting a little too weird for me, Thx for the
booze, but I'm outta here. He headed for the door. "Oh I'd hate
to see you go now Jonathon. It would be a terrible way to lose
by forfeit, that which is so precious." Jonathon turned, "You
don't get it. You tricked me. NO BET, it's over, I'm outta here."
he said. "You are mistaken Jonathon. We do have a bet, and I
did not trick you. I told you exactly what the wager would be and
we shook in agreement, I even have your signature. To leave
now would be to forfeit, would it not Micheal?" Jon turned to the
man, his face was absolutely expressionlees, but there was
compassion in his eyes. His nod was so slight it was almost
imperceptable. This can't be happening Jon thought. Scratch
motioned and someone began to rack the balls. "What game
and rules do you prefer Jon," he said, "You may choose." The
whole scene seemed unreal. Jonathon was trying to tell himself
that it just couldn't be. "I uhh, I like nine ball. Uhh, tournament
rules, best of seven." he said. "Nine ball it is then, but it will
only be ONE game. If you would prefer, you may break. If you don't
miss Jonathon...if you don't ~choke~ that is, then I won't even get
a shot, and you will win. But in case you didn't know, I'm very
good, and missing would be a terrible thing to do." His smile was
malicious, and Jonathon turned to the bar, "I need a drink," he
said. He slapped the bar, "Gimme a f***ing drink!" A biker
appeared behind the bar. "That stuff right there," Jonathon said,
pointing to the old bottle, "Fill it up." He poured the glass full,
and Jonathon grabbed it, gulping it down and wiping his mouth.
Okay fine, he thought, you want a game?...you want a game with
the Marathon Man-you cheap cheating hustler. I'm about to
kick your @ss. He grabbed his cue, screwing the halves together,
and picked up his chalk. "You hustled the wrong guy," he said.
He walked to the table, chalking his cue. "That's what you are," he
thought, "A cheap f***in hustler, that's all, and I'm about to take
you down!" He placed the cue ball and lined up the rack with his
stick. He jammed the stick forward, breaking the balls with such
force that even Scratch flinched. The balls careened around the
table. The four ball dropped and then the six. Jonathon had left
the cue ball, perfectly in the center of the table, ready for his
next shot. He easily sank the one, then the two. His position on
the three ball was not so good. He had to lean across the table
on one leg to shoot, and he realized his balance was unsteady.
That strong red liquor was taking effect incredibly fast and
Jonathon realized he was getting drunk. He felt a light tingling
begin in his scalp. He stroked the shot, hitting it perfect. It fell in the
corner, and he had left himself well for the shot on the five. Four
balls to go, he thought...four more balls. He eyed Scratch, "So if
you really are the devil and that really is Micheal, then that
means that there really is a god and a heaven and a hell, like it
says in the bible, right?" Scratched laughed, "Jonathon really,
you should concentrate on the game at hand, don't you think?"
He chalked his cue carefully, "No, I THINK I wan't you to tell me."
he said. "Well if you really want to know then. Your ~bible~ quite
nearly speaks the truth, especially in the older chapters, when men
were more in tune with their dreams," He rose and approached
Jonathon, "But your god?" he said, raising his voice, "Your god
that called ME vain, your god that called ME proud, your god
that cast ME out for being more beautiful than he, your god that
left me here amid these stars and galaxies for eternity...HE!"
Scratch slapped the table, pointing skyward Is the false one!
HE is the proud and vain one who needs to be worshipped. HE
is the forgiving one who holds his anger and vengeance for all
eternity. HE is the one who created you and sent you here to
suffer and want and feel pain!" Scratch leaned even closer and
Jonathon could feel his breath, "My dear Jonathon, you did not
arrive here by your own choosing. No no no, far from it. You were
sent here kicking and screaming, stripped of all but that which is
your essence, and you were left here to stand before the
judgment of HE who says DO NOT JUDGE!" He slapped the
table again, breathing heavily. Then his tone and manner lightened
as he continued, "Now you know the real story Jon. Hell is not fire
and brimstone. It is here with me, among the stars. It is a cold, vile,
lonely place. For most, there is no recognition of others, there is no
happiness, there is no comfort...there is no end. And so I amuse
myself with games. Here *I* rule. I provide the distractions for
those deemed unworthy of love by their own creator. *I* provide
companionship to those who follow me. *I* provide hope for
those who aid me, and one day *I* will amass a legion against
the creator. Then the final battle will be fought, and *I* will punish
him for his sins. But for now Jonathon...for you, this is the
moment of truth. You have wagered your soul against what
would surely have been a return to paradise for a few worldy
spoils. Now your fate will be decided by me, not him! So play
the game Jon, play the game for your life." he sneered.
Jonathon reeled from the implications. He knew it was true, he
felt it. He had allowed his vanity to steer him into a game for his
very soul, and there was no backing out. He could almost feel the
alchohol coursing through his bloodstream. The smell of Scratch's
rank breath lingered in his nostrils as he turned away. He felt
sick. The drunkeness overtaking him faster than he believed
was possible. He layed his hand on the table to steady himself,
I've got to get it together, he thought, I've gotta win this game.
Scratch sat back down, "Feeling okay Jonathon?" he asked,
"Don't forget, you said you would be able to play. That you knew
what you were doing." He laughed and Jon drew a deep breath
leaning over the table. He lined up the five ball. It came
into focus and he stroked the shot, sinking it in the corner. The
cue ball touched two rails and sat perfectly behind the seven.
Three more, Jon thought...three more. He reached for the chalk,
but his hand knocked it to the floor. Scratch laughed again,
"Your not getting drunk are you Jonathon?" he scoffed. Jon picked
up the chalk, his head felt full and vertigo rushed over him.
He leaned on his cue. Using it like a cane to hold himself
up. He had the strong urge to sit on the floor, but knew he had to
finish the game quickly, before he became too drunk to stand. To
drunk to even see the balls on the table. He pushed himself up,
the seven lay in front of the side pocket, dead in...a duck. He
lined it up, squinting, trying to get his eyes to focus. He stroked
the cue, hitting the shot without actually seeing it. The seven fell
and the cue ball bounced off the rail, resting at the far end of the
table. He hadn't put enough english on the ball to leave himself
an easy shot for the eight. He stumbled around the table, he
could hear Scratch snickering. F***ing hustler, he thought, he
knew I'd get drunk. It's okay, he told himself, I can still shoot, but
his legs betrayed him, wobbling while he lined up the eight ball
into the corner. C'mon eyes, FOCUS he said to himself, just two
more balls. He realized that even if he made this shot, there was no
way to leave an easy shot on the nine. He was going to have a
full table shot from the far end. To hit this shot any harder would
be to risk scratching. He stroked the cue, and squinted his eyes
but the ball wouldn't come into focus. He felt the urge to vomit
coming over him, and held onto the table. "Please god," he
thought closing his eyes, "I know I may not have been a perfect
person, but I've tried. I know you know I've tried. If there is
anything you can do to help me, please. I don't want you to cheat,
I just need to see the balls." He took a deep breath and instantly
felt better. The urge to vomit was gone and his legs felt steady.
He opened his eyes and his vision was clear. "Oh thank you god,
you won't be sorry...you'll see," he thought. He leaned over the
table and lined up the eight ball. It'd have to be a touch shot,
or he could scratch. He carefully stroked through the cue thru
his fingers and hit the shot softly. The cue ball rolled across
the table and contacted the eight, sending it to the corner
pocket. It hooked the edged and bounced once...twice...then
fell in. Jonathon gasped, "Whew," he breathed. He chalked
his stick one last time, and walked around the table eyeing
the nine ball. The cue ball was on the far rail, lying
against the bumper, the nine was in the middle of the opposite
end of the table. Without the ability to put english on the cue
ball, it didn't matter what pocket he tried for-it was a scratch shot.
Jonathon could feel his drunkeness somewhere behind his
eyes, it was there waiting to return, being held back by his
prayers for now. He got behind the cue ball, and lined up the
shot. As he looked at it, the table seemed to stretch out, getting
longer. Scratch laughed malevolently and Micheal stood. "Ohh
please, it was just a little fun," Scratch said, motioning him to
sit. "Go on Jonathon, take your shot...just don't," he coughed,
"Choke." F*** you, you cheatin hustler, Jon thought as he
leaned down over the ball again. The table had returned to
normal size and Jon stroked the cue through his fingers. "Your
Fricked!" he thought as the tip contacted the cue ball gently.
Suddenly his vision gave way, and his drunkeness came back
full-force. His knees buckled under him, and he fell to the
floor, dropping his stick. He heard the cue ball strick the nine as
his head hit the floor. One of them sank into the pocket, as he
passed out. Which one Jonathon thought, which...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jonathon awoke. It was stifling hot, and he was sweating
profusely. He could sense the light behind his eyelids and
covered his eyes with his hands. His head ached, his body
ached and his teeth felt like they had grown hair. "Ohh
gawd," he said, as the memory of last night flooded back. Was it
a dream? He sat up. He was afraid to open his eyes. There was
no sound, except for his breathing. I got too high, he thought.
That's it, I smoked that joint and I got too high. He peeked out
from between his fingers. The late morning sun was beating
down and he could see a field just beyond, and a small expanse
of black top. The highway, he thought, I got too damned stoned
and pulled over to sleep and dreamed the whole damn thing. He
openedhis eyes. He was sitting in a field, his car was parked
beside him with the door open. Damn, what an idiot, he thought.
That punk laced that joint with something...I could be dead right
now! He pulled himself up by the door handle and got to his knees.
He realized he was still drunk as he looked around. No pool
hall, no gravel, no motorcycles...just a field, and not a soul in
sight. He unzipped his pants and relieved himself. Then he
took his smokes from his pocket and lit one, pulling up to his
feet. He took a drag and saw something bright in the corner of
his vision. He had an impression of what it was and it made him
tremble. He closed his eyes and turned his head. He opened
them slowly, and there on the other side of his old El Camino sat
a brand new bright yellow Corvette. "No f***in way!" he said,
rushing around his car. He ran his hands along the curvy hood
and peeked inside. There on the seat lay a pack of
smokes, a fifty dollar bill, and a set of keys atop a title that had
his name on it. Jonathon looked at his old beat up El Camino as
he opened the door on the Corvette. He pushed the stuff out of
the seat, grabbing the keys. He sat in the car and started it.
"Whrooom," the engine growled as he stepped on the gas
revving it up. "I don't believe it," Jonathon said, cupping his
hands and looking up. "Thank you God...thank you. No more
red liquor for me, I promise!" He put the car in drive and gassed
on it, cutting a half doughnut around his old El Camino. He stopped
before pulling onto the road. "Hmm, guess I oughta go check on the
lake house and get cleaned up a little." He smiled. "Maybe head
over to O'Grady's later. See if Debbie wants to go for a ride with the
ole... "Marathon Man."


The End
edit on 11-10-2012 by rival because: (no reason given)
edit on 11-10-2012 by rival because: (no reason given)
edit on 11-10-2012 by rival because: (no reason given)
edit on 11-10-2012 by rival because: (no reason given)






 
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