Last Chance Saloon – Trifecta Week 90

Below is my offering for Trifecta’s week 90 challenge word, which is ‘grasp’. As you will see from the Trifecta blog post, the challenge is to write between 33 and 333 words of fiction, non-fiction, poetry or prose, based on the 3rd definition from the Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary. This week the 3rd definition of ‘grasp’ is:

– to lay hold of with the mind : COMPREHEND

Here’s my offering below – I hope you like it! Please check here for the other entries!

*****

– Last Chance Saloon –

Once in a while you see your life for what it really is. Mine’s crappy – that’s me bein’ polite. I could use worse, but them kids are always listenin’.

Tallulah brought me to my senses. I wanted to marry her, back when we were kids. But she kept on sayin’ “You’re such a good friend, Billy” and I would die inside. You don’t marry your friend.

So, I kept shtum, too sappy to open my mouth. It got so that just seein’ her drove me damn near crazy. So, I moved away. Got a job in the mines, made a new life for myself, kinda.

I got paid plenty for the danger and all. Didn’t really care what happened to me, to tell the truth. I was careless, had an accident, got my pal Sammy killed too. I carried that burden around, along with my bad leg. They gave me a job in the manager’s office, I married Sammy’s widow Cally, even took on the kids. Then she died last year havin’ my kid, the mine closed and here we are, just them and me. No money, no future. I just couldn’t grasp the state we were in, how we’d got there. So I did nothin’. Like always.

Then Tallulah appears, like she blew in on the wind. She looks me up and down as I’m huddled over my Scotch, takes two steps and smacks me in the cheek. It damn well hurt – she was a lady, but not lily-livered.

“Billy, I could kill you, but you’ve near enough killed yourself already. Why in hell have you let things get this bad?”

I looked at her, all fine and fragrant and healthy looking, like I used to be. Then I looked at myself in the mirror slung up behind the bar. I looked crappy, like I had nothing to lose. Which I didn’t.

“Will you marry me, Tallulah?”

“What took you so long, Billy?”

I’m guessin’ that’s a yes.

Copyright - Freya

Copyright – Freya

 

38 thoughts on “Last Chance Saloon – Trifecta Week 90

  1. It sounds like a story you’d hear in a pub! I enjoyed the feeling of authenticity punctuated by the right amount of self-pity on Billy’s part. Very cleverly done!
    Nice photo too!

  2. I liked this story Freya. For some people suffering is the path to rebirth and in this case I suspect Tallulah has had her share of suffering as well even if she does appear so much better off than Billy. She has obviously kept a light burning for him all those years they had apart.

  3. I really enjoyed this! You made the character very real. His language, his thoughts, his way of speaking. I could almost hear him. It feels like I’ve eavesdropped on a conversation in a saloon or something. So very well done! My only criticism is that it ended too soon. 😉
    -Alicia Audrey

    1. Thank you, I’m glad his voice worked for you! I had in mind an American guy, maybe in the years before the Great Depression. Since I’m British and female, I was interested to see if I could be consistent in his language and character. As for the brevity… 😉

  4. This one made me smile. Sometimes it takes a smack in the face from a friend-that-you-want-to-be-more-than-a-friend 🙂 It does make me a little sad that if he would’ve just spoken up in the beginning, his life may have turned out much differently.

    1. Yes – I don’t usually advocate such physicality, but he really did lead her a merry dance, and assumed all the wrong things. I can’t believe his growing up life gave him good examples of speaking out, otherwise he would have said something to her before, don’t you think?

  5. I just wanted to shake him to wake him up. I’ve known sad sacks like him who won’t even try to improve their lot in life. You portrayed the character vividly and realistically. I’m so glad Tallulah finally smacked him back into the living!

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