Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Powder Burn Flash #5 - J. H. Bogran

The Shootout
By J. H. Bográn

The first bullet whistled past his left ear.

It all started some twenty minutes before when Frank arrived at the bar. His eyes took a little time to adjust to the dim light; the room had a heavy feeling due to the smoke and loud music. He walked past the booths and the pool tables to sit at a stool next to his life-long friend John.

After the first exchange of pleasantries, John pointed towards a girl sitting across the bar. “She has been checking me out all night, pal,” assured John nodding vehemently.

Frank knew this could be true. John was a good looking guy in his early thirties, single, and always hitting on girls.

On the other hand, Frank was about to reach his eighth wedding anniversary. These Thursdays get-away were his only link to his former life as a single.

“Go for it, then. Hope this one is not married.” This was not an uncommon exchange; John had gotten into trouble before.

“You know, I think I will.” John got up, gathered his strength from the last gulp of his beer, and walked over to the girl.

She sure looked pretty with her long straight blond hair, blue eyes and killer legs. On her right hand she held an exotic cocktail glass, topped with a multicolored umbrella and pineapple slice.

Frank watched with amusement the bird of prey at work, she seemed not to take her eyes off his friend, and Frank knew this would inflame John and launch himself into more daring questions. Frank kept digging on the stale peanuts and was about to order the second beer when he saw the lady got up and walked away and out of the bar. John returned to his stool with Frank at his right.

“How did it go?” he inquired.

“Very good, I’d say. Her name is Heather, single, lives with a friend and works in a computer software company.”

“Man, you’re fast!” said Frank truly impressed.

The bartender brought Frank his beer and slipped a paper to John.

“What’s this?” John asked while scanning the piece of paper. His frowning almost forced his eyebrows to meet in the middle.

“Her tab,” said the bartender, pointing with his thumb roughly at the direction Heather had left, “She said you would pay for it.”

Frank chuckled and took a glimpse at the bill.

“Wow! Five hundred dollars!” Frank whistled in surprise.

“I am not paying this!” said John with a stern look.

“Yes, you will.” The bartender countered, he was over six feet tall, broad-shouldered and a menacing look on his face that only the fool would take lightly.

John started to mumble something out of his rising anger but was cut short by the bartender who added with a smirk, “I am sick and tired of con-artists like you to who shit on my bar! I know your little game, she comes, order drinks, then you come, pretend to hit on her and then I’m stuck with the bill.”

Frank began to say something to calm things down but he was short stopped with a killing stare from the bartender.

John got up and turned to leave. A clicking sound stopped him death on his tracks. Frank eyed the silver long-barreled revolver.

“I said you will pay, or else…” there was determination on his voice. Frank did not doubt the bartender’s resolve.

Frank concluded this was not the first time the place got conned. But it sure looked like the bartender had figured out how to make it the last time.

“Look, even if I wanted to pay, I don’t have five hundred bucks on me!" John pleaded with the guy. Sweat broke on his forehead, Frank knew it was the first time he was meeting the business end of a gun.

“We take credit cards,” the bartender rebuked coldly, then stole a glance at Frank.

John saw it and tried to make the best out of it by breaking into a dash. The loud music seemed to fade away as the barman opened fire; the first bullet hissed by Frank’s left ear and broke a lamp somewhere. Frank turned to see his friend had already reached the door and was opening it.

Five more shots followed, the man behind the bar was breathing heavily now. He kept pulling the trigger, the hammer kept on hitting empty shells every time…

Born and raised in Honduras , J. H. Bográn has always been interested in writing. Son of a journalist, he ironically prefers to write fiction rather than fact. In his professional life he has worked in the garment industry for the past 15 years, in the areas of Quality and Merchandising. In true Honduran tradition, where college classes start after 5 p.m. so students can hold down day jobs, he went to work fresh out of high school, and took night classes to finish college.

He currently resides in his hometown, happily married, and looking after his three sons.
His debut novel
Treasure Hunt was recently released through Chippewa Publishing LLC, the first chapter is a free read HERE! You can find out more about J. H. Bográn by visiting his Website, Blog or My Space!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the posting!