Hey, writer-type folks. Every Friday we do a fun free write. Basically, you can write whatever you want in the comments section. You have 5 minutes. Have fun. The more people who play, the more fun it is. So tell a friend. If you have one. If not, tell your enemies.
His fingers bent in odd directions, splayed on the felt that was, at one time, green. Now it was a patchwork quilt. There were cigarette burns and livid splotches of angry brown. There were sticky spots where the eight ball sometimes just stopped. And it pissed us all off, it pissed him off most of all.
He never said anything. He'd just put his quarter on the table. He was a rich dude, see? It wasn't a rich dude bar. It was a bar for tweakers and drunks and all the riff-raff that washed down from the nice, wood-stained bars up the street.
I only played him once. Or I should say, he only played me once. The game was over so fast I barely blinked. I ground my butt on the floor and went and got him his drink. He drank wine and the bartenders were always pissed. But he paid six bucks for his glass of Gallo and we paid a buck twenty five for pints of piss. It worked.
The day the bar burned down, no one really gave a shit. There were other bars. Plenty of other bars. No one was hurt. It didn't matter. No one was invested.
And then one day, the bar was rebuilt. No one knew how. Not until we went inside and saw the brand new, splotched and burned pool tables. Not until we saw the cigarette butts on the floor. We wondered for a while. How much money had it taken? How long to collect the butts. How artistic the pool table spills?
He never talked about it. He hit that cue ball and drank his wine and never mentioned the fire. Not once.