Fisherman’s Blues

He woke up thirsty. That was often how Roger started his day. It beat the alternative. In his younger years he woke up sick from the sea. You get used to it, he found out. Now the feeling was so far back in his life he’d forgotten what it even felt like, in the same way one feels long after their headaches cease. He woke up before the sun, although his eyes still squinted open. He fumbled for his water bottle to find it empty. He sighed, forcing himself to the upright position, throwing on a tattered shirt and not bothering with bottoms.
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The Rosarita Beach Cafe

“I’m sorry, Jim.”  Annie said, in that monotone ‘I don’t really mean it, but I know I should say it’ kind of way.

“Oh, well thank you.” Jim replied, voice quavering into his cell phone and one hand on the wheel of his semi-truck filled with countless pallets of coolers.  He had been a few days ahead of schedule on his delivery, and thought it would be a good idea to stop in and surprise Annie, seeing as he was cutting through that part of the state anyway.  It turned out to be a big mistake.  “Thank you for having the courtesy to call and let me know how sorry you are, after ignoring me for the past two days!”

“Jim, let’s not-“

“Let’s not what, Annie?” Jim could almost feel Annie’s hand pressed against her forehead, and could swear he heard a faint sigh as she pulled the phone away from her ear, bored already with this conversation and debating whether or not to hang up. Jim decided he had to speak louder. “You’re the one who called me.  Did you really think that I’d be over it by now, or that I’d forgive you so quickly?  That there wouldn’t be any repercussions and you could just say you’re sorry and be done with the whole thing?”

“You know what?” Annie interrupted, “Jim!  I’m not sorry.  No, I’m glad I did it and I’m glad you walked in right at the climax.  To tell you the truth, it made it that much better.  I haven’t been able to replicate such a shaky quake like that since you left, and believe me; I tried.”
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Barren Ground: Part 3, The Highway

If you haven’t read Parts One and Two, then you’re going to be quite lost…on an island…anyway. Here it is.

The driver pulled to the side of the road and rolled down the passenger side window. “You all right?” He asked the rider, who was still smiling as the blood and saliva dripped down his teeth.

“Yeah, haha! Damn Raccoons! Think I could get a ride to the next town over?”

“No problem.” The driver swung open the door and the rider stood for a moment, a little shaken.

“Uh…you mind if I get in the back? My legs are hurtin’ and I’d rather stretch ‘em out.” The driver paused and flashed a glance in the back before sizing up the rider. He was a scrawny looking man, and couldn’t be more than early 20’s. If need be, the driver was sure that he could take control in a scuffle.

“Sure, kid. Climb on back.”
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Barren Ground: Part 2, The Rider

If you haven’t read part 1, then you probably won’t find yourself lost on this one, however it would make a tad more sense. Here’s a primitive link to part 1

“Are you sure?” Katrina asked. The rain had let up by now, but it had left a harsh cold and Katrina held her elbows and fought her teeth’s urge to chatter.

“Yes’m.” The AAA driver said, “All we do is change tires, fill gas and offer a tow.” Katrina leaned against the wet car and stared at her feet, her sigh brought forth a white cloud and the man rolled his eyes. “All right, get in and I’ll take a look.” Katrina smiled and quickly spun around, climbing into the car as the man approached the hood. The car sputtered as the engine tried desperately to turn. When all was quiet again she heard the man’s laughter.

“What?”

“Mind if I sit in there?” He asked, still chuckling. She got out and granted him the driver’s seat. He looked inside and once again broke into laughter.
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Barren Ground: Part 1, The Driver

I’m trying out something new with this story, so if you like it, then yay! If you don’t, however, please bear with the next two parts and I assure you I will be coming back to the posts you all know and love.

A thick, heavy rain began to pour on Billy as he was under the hood of the car. His wife, Katrina, shouted over the drops. “Bill! Just stop fucking with it and get in the car. You’re getting soaked! AAA is on their way and they’ll take a look at it.”

“AAA doesn’t repair, Kat!” Billy replied.

“They do minor stuff.” She said, opening the door and getting inside. Just then, off in the distance, a bright pair of headlights beamed through the rain. The roar of tires rolling across the pavement became louder as the car approached, but descended as the driver slowed and pulled onto the shoulder in front of the couple. Billy’s headlights would have lit the driver well, had they been on. Instead a dark silhouette was all that was seen stepping out of the driver’s seat. The only detail that was visible was that the individual was bald. An umbrella exploded above the dark figure as he walked toward Billy.

“Car trouble?” The driver asked.

“Yeah, I can’t figure out what’s wrong with it.” Billy replied, spitting rainwater into the air.

“How about I take a look?”

“Be my guest.” Billy beckoned to the open engine as the driver handed him his umbrella, bending down into the engine, overlooking every inch. He seemed to be quite absorbed in his own thoughts, because the sound of Katrina’s voice caused him to jump so hard that he smashed his head on the open hood, “Do you want me to try starting it?”

“Jesus!” The driver screamed, rubbing his head and looking at Billy, “I thought it was just you!”
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Wash it Away

“Man, I tell ya; all these people back here have all this money and they go out and try to feed us this crap all the time? I mean, we’re people too, and we gotta eat. I ain’t never asked for nothin’ from nobody, you know? People offer me money or somethin’ like that I turn it down.” I nod. “But these bastards here think they’re something special and they can just treat us like garbage all the time. Well that’s bullshit! I work my ass off to get by, and Goddamn it I get by, you know? Not like these lazy fucks around here.” I scoop a sporkful of white rice, covered in chicken gravy and peas, into my mouth and nod again.

“I got a family, you know? I try to make sure they’re all taken care of and I look out for ‘em. ‘Cause family’s what’s important, you know?” I scoff, and quickly disguise it as a cough so as not to encourage a separate rant. “People these days, man. They just don’t know what they’re doin’, you know?” I nod again, glancing at his plate. He’s scraped it almost empty and is still scooping any last bits of gravy off of it. It’d be easier if you just licked it, I think. He stands.

His hoodie is hardly worth wearing. I’m sure it’s supposed to be black, but dried mud stains almost the entire thing, and there are holes riddled throughout it. His zipper is halfway up on the front left, and the right side is barely hanging onto the cloth. I want to grab it and rip it off, but I remain seated. I think he’s an amateur; new to the game. I’ve learned my lesson a long time ago that even in the worst situations, it was always crucial to look as not homeless as possible.
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