THE COLLAPSE: Swantown Road

THE COLLAPSE: Swantown Road by Frank Kaminski Read Free Book Online

Book: THE COLLAPSE: Swantown Road by Frank Kaminski Read Free Book Online
Authors: Frank Kaminski
the small table, he could still smell her.  He inhaled deeply through his nose and immersed himself in whatever delightful perfume she was wearing.  What in God’s name is wrong with me?   He thought.  This poor little gorgeous girl never gets out of the house, and the one opportunity she actually does land to go out and party, she is all excited about it and dolls herself up, but ends up hanging out with her old, boring, loser boss that watches the damn news all night.  For the love of god, quit being an asshole and fix it, douchebag. 
    And that is exactly what he did.
    “Hey pretty lady, are you ready for some shots?”  He asked her with a devilish grin, and flipped off the TV with the remote.  “Do you like Fireball?”
    “Hell yeah!  Who doesn’t?”  She responded quickly, and perked up with elation.  She assumed that since he turned the TV off, that he was going to give her some attention instead, and she welcomed it.
    Her enthusiasm warmed Fish’s heart as he proudly strutted toward the bar to retrieve the drinks.  Before he attempted to battle a path, with elbow-and-shoulder, through the regulars to get the bartender’s attention, he pulled his phone out of his pocket and texted Stephen.
    ‘Where the fuck you at, yo?’
     
    *****
     
    Stephen had just finished inhaling his curry when his phone vibrated on the table with a text notification.  He knew it was Fish, so he didn’t even pick up his phone to look at what he might have said.  Ever so polite, Stephen was not the eat-and-run type, especially since Tarra had made him such a special dinner.  But she was already one step ahead of him and aware of the situation.
    “Get out of here, babe.”  She said, winking at Stephen and pointing at the phone.  “I know that’s Fish.”
    “Yeah, but I just finished, and I want to spend some time with you and the kids first,
    and –“
    “Quit being a little bitch and go!”  She playfully scolded, as she leapt from her chair and thrust her forearms under his armpits.  Before he could continue to argue, she used her powerful thighs to hoist him up from the table.  The Kays squealed in delight with The Sameness at the awkward display as Stephen lost his balance over his chair for a second and almost took a spill.
    “Alright, alright, I’m going!”  Stephen said as he recovered, pretending as if he was being ‘forced’ to go party with his best friend at the bar.  He checked the text from Fish to see what he had said, and then tapped his contacts list for a taxi.  He never drank and drove.  There really was no excuse for it, in his opinion, since a cab was never more than five or ten minutes away on Whidbey Island.
    On his way out the door, Tarra instructed, “Make sure you give Fish a big hug from me when you get there.”  She chuckled as she said it, and Stephen wondered what the hell the hug was for.  Maybe it was because she was thankful for the opportunity to babysit this weekend?  Nah, that was silly.  He wasn’t sure.  Once in the back seat of the cab, he texted Fish back.
    ‘Enroute .’
    Fish and Connie had already plowed down two sets of Fireballs before Stephen finally waltzed into the bar.  As he greeted them, he immediately gave Fish a brotherly hug, as instructed.  “That’s from Tarra.”  He said as he pulled back.
    Baffled, Fish exclaimed, “What the fuck was that for?”  He sniffed the air above Stephen’s shoulders and made a face.  “And why, in the name of all that’s holy, do you smell like an Indian restaurant?  Onions and spices and shit.  Cripes, is that curry?”
    Connie, who glad to see him, also added, “Hello Petty Officer Alexander, and yes, you do smell a lot like food.”
    “You can call me Stephen.”  He informed her.  She was being militarily courteous, which wasn’t necessary since he was retired from active duty. 
    After Stephen pondered their reaction to his entrance for a moment, the realization hit him like a sock full

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