DWC — Doctor Strange

97631CE7-797B-45EE-976E-40B52EFF7B6AI’d been to see my regular doctor. He recommended a dermatologist who, in turn, recommended a neurologist. But none of them was able to identify the rash on my shoulders that was incessantly itching. It was driving me crazy.

As fate would have it, I was in a bar one night, telling the bartender about my mystery rash. The bartender leaned in close and said to me, “I know this doctor. He’s amazing and I love him.” He then wrote the guy’s name and number on a napkin. “This is my gift to you, pal,” he said.

The next day I called the number and the doctor said he could see me, but not until midnight. I thought that was kind of odd, but I was desperate. I took down his address and arrranged to be there at the stroke of witching hour.

The address he gave me turned out to be an old, Victorian home at the edge of town. I walked up the steps and stood on the porch of the spooky looking house, but decided I had little to lose. So I rang the bell.

A tall, strange looking man with wild hair and a somewhat sardonic grin greeted me and invited me in. I followed him into a parlor and he instructed me to remove my shirt, which I did. “Hmm,” he said when he saw my rash. He poked at my skin.

“Ooh,” I said. He pinched my skin. “Eee,” I said. Then he took a sharp instrument and pricked me with it a few times. “Ooh, ah, ah,” I screamed.

“Walla walla, bing bang!” he shouted. “I know just what to do!”

He left the room for a minute and came back with a salve that he rubbed on my shoulders. The itching instantly stopped. My rash immediately disappeared. “This is a miracle,” I said. “What kind of doctor are you, anyway?” I asked.

He grinned. “You really don’t want to know.

Written for Teresa’s Daily Writing Challenge, where the challenge is to “take a trip to the Witch Doctor — or be inspired by the following three words: love, gift, fate.

The Astonishment

239B582E-01FC-4F9D-A78F-FB626B195F1BVictoria sat alone at the bar nursing her appletini. She was looking so forlorn that the bartender came over to her and asked her if she was all right.

“No, I’m not at all all right,” she said, as her eyes started to well up. “My goddam, feckless husband is cheating on me with one of his students.”

“That sucks,” the bartender said, sympathetically.

“Yeah, sucking him off is what my husband says that red-headed, green-eyed freckled-face bitch does really well,” Victoria said. “He’s making me go berserk.”

“She has green eyes, red hair, and freckles?” the bartender asked. “What’s her name?”

“Patty, and she’s a little tramp,” Victoria said.

“Where does your husband teach?” the bartender asked.

“He teaches creative writing at the community college,” Victoria said. “Why do you asked?”

“Is your last name Fowler?” the bartender asked. “Is your husband Professor Fowler?”

“Yes,” Victoria said. “How did you know?”

“Son of a bitch,” the bartender said. He threw down his bar rag, removed his apron, and ran out of the tavern.

Written for Teresa’s Three Things Challenge. Today’s three things are berserk, husband, and freckles.


Sunday Photo Fiction — Margaritaville

img_1651Jimmy sat alone at the small table at the dive bar in Key West. He was facing the entrance to the bar, nursing a margarita for the past half hour. He looked at his watch and wondered if his ex-wife, Jane, was going to stand him up again.

The bartender came over to Jimmy’s table and asked him if he wanted another drink, but Jimmy waved him off. The last thing he wanted was for Jane to see him drunk. Assuming, of course, that Jane even showed up.

Jimmy looked at his watch again. “Fuck it,” he said to himself, and signaled the bartender to fix him another margarita. When the bartender brought the drink over, he set it down in front of Jimmy and said, “I hope she’s worth it.”

“She talked about giving it another go,” Jimmy said. “Maybe actually getting back again.” He sighed and took a large sip of his margarita. “But it appears that she’s a no show.”

The bartender looked toward the bar’s entrance when he saw movement through the corner of his eye. “That her?” he asked Jimmy.

Jimmy looked up. “Yeah, that’s her.”

“She’s definitely worth it, mate,” the bartender whispered.

(199 words)

Written for today’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt from Susan. Photo credit: Susan Spaulding.

No Froth On My Beer, Please

Mike Baker was the best bartender ever.

He worked at a joint called Fricky’s in Washington, DC. When I was going to graduate school at night while working full-time during the day, I’d head over to Fricky’s for a cold one after my last class of the night.

Mike worked nights and he was always behind the bar when I got there. As soon as he saw me walk into the place, he’d head to the tap and expertly draw me a draught beer. But what made Mike special was the way he’d hold the mug under the tap at just the right angle to minimize the froth that typically bubbled up to the top of the liquid gold.

The very first time I went to Fricky’s and asked for a draught beer, the bartender served me up one that had three inches of froth on top. I told the bartender that I didn’t like froth on my beer. I had a mustache at the time and hated when it got coated by beer froth.

The bartender looked at me like I was crazy, and just when I was ready to lay into him, Mike, the other bartender, saved the day. He came over, removed the froth-covered beer that the other bartender had placed in front of me, and set down a frothless beer in its place.

Then this rotund bartender with the extravagant handlebar mustache smiled and winked at me and I knew that I had found my new home away from home.

Written for today’s one-word prompt, “froth.”

SoCS — Hot and Cold

B26ED8A1-1213-4E3D-B840-6629DAC1EB10Marty refilled Mick’s beer mug and placed it in front of Mick, who had been uncharacteristically quiet since walking into the pub. “What’s up, Mick? You seem a little down tonight.”

Mick picked up the mug and chugged half of its contents before answering the bartender’s question. “It’s my girl,” Mick said. “I tell you, Marty, I never know anymore when I get home from work if I’ll be greeted by Jekyll or Hyde.”

Marty clicked his tongue. “Some dames run hot and cold, ya know what I mean,” he said sympathetically. “Sometimes they’re all lovey-dovey one day and the next day they just wanna be left alone.”

“But until recently Carol was never like that,” Mick said. “You know Carol, Marty. She’s hot and we have never had an issue in, you know, that department.”

“Yeah, Carol is pretty hot, all right,” Marty agreed.

Mick chugged down the rest of his beer. “But for the past few weeks she’s been cold as ice toward me,” Mick lamented. “She doesn’t seem to want me to touch her. When I asked her to have sex last night she said no, and when I told her I really needed it, she told me to go jerk off. Can you believe she’d say that to me?”

“No shit,” Marty said. “That stinks. Can I get you another refill? On the house.”

“Nah, but thanks man,” Mick said, “I’m gonna head back. Carol’s having a girls’ night out with her sister and a few friends and I want to be home when she gets there so we can talk this whole hot and cold crap out.”

Marty reached out and shook Mick’s hand. “Okay, buddy, I hope you and Carol can work it all out.”

Right after Mick walked out of the tavern’s front door, a beauty of a woman walked through the door from the pub’s back room, came behind the bar, and wrapped her arms around the bartender’s waist. “Jeez,” Carol whispered into Marty’s ear. “I thought he’d never leave.”

Written for this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt from Linda G. Hill. The prompt is to use the words “hot” and/or “cold.”