Chapter 13 - Expurgation

Posted in By Aiden Cobb 0 comments

Lenny's. A dive bar sitting dead-center of a nondescript strip mall its windows blacked-out and the neon beer brand signs barely visible in the daytime. Then again most people in the daytime opt for the Baskin Robbins at the end.
            Aiden pulls the door's metal bar and enters like he's straight out of a Sergio Leone movie. The light slices through the dim interior. One gray-haired guy sits at the end of the bar wearing a blue jean jacket and a pair of jeans; his head is bent forward, buried in a plate of nachos.
            In the corner of the room sits a jukebox, one of those that plays CDs instead of 45s. Blindly Aiden reaches into his pocket, pulls out some change, puts it in and punches in the code for a song. Walking up to the bar he takes a spot two stools down from “nacho guy.”
            The jukebox ends the song it's on; something by Journey. The wail of a sax soon follows; Bob Seger would be singing next.
            Nacho guy grows restless and talks to the ground but speaking to Aiden. “Have you come to confess?”
            “As much as a non-Catholic can.”
            “Order up.”
            Waving his fingers the guy tending bar appears. He makes the special concoction and pours it into the shot glass sitting in front of Aiden. Touching its sides, thoughts are waiting to flood over him.
            The key. That object of the conversation. A stupid, lost, forgotten key. It's what no one else knows about except Aiden. A world of troubles rests on a thin piece of metal.
            Gulp. “Aagh!” He slams the shot glass on the counter and sniffs. His fingers motion the bartender for another. The bartender immediately pours another and Aiden quickly raises it to his lips.
            Thad. The center of this twisted universe. A million dollar contract on Aiden. A million dollars for anyone who retrieves the movie. All of this tied into what he wants. Fuck him.
            Aiden throws back the shot. Winces. Slams the glass on the bar for another.
            Killing Steven. It was a mistake; an honest-to-God accident. He blacked out, that is to say that between Steven going crazy over what to do with the movie and his brain matter oozing down the face of the TV,  Aiden remembers nothing. Blame it on “gut reaction.” A bad one.
            Down the waterhole. Feel the feelings go numb. It doesn't taste like shit so much anymore.
            Women. Bridgette used him for sex; not like it wasn't like-wise. But trying to steal from him? Veronica wants sex but he knows a signed deal with the Devil comes with that. Then again, he may be  going to Hell anyway. Who knows? Maybe she could help negotiate better terms.
            And again. The outside world becoming tranquil.
            The movie. Is it just a disc or an actual movie? What the hell does Thad want with it? Some things are never meant to be understood. It never stops the want for the truth, though.
            He feels good. Justified. Time to kick ass. He sets the glass back on the counter and waves off any more.
            “How are you feeling, my son?” Nacho guy sounds a little like the Master from “Kung Fu.”
            Aiden steps away from the bar, straightening his suit. It's business time. He inhales deeply.
            “Vaya con el diablo,” Nacho guy mutters.
            “If he's not there first.”
            Aiden turns and goes for the door. The light blasts in while Aiden navigates into the  darkness.