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Lost Forever

The white oak flooring showed the scars of time. Each marking holds a story of those who created them; the chairs, rubber heals, and plastic pumps of curious people who have stumbled in.
The walls are a blood red with the teardrops of age. Stains from fights, laughter, and cold cut into the glossy texture. Each wall whispers to anyone who will listen about their own story. It’s unknown if the tales are true.
Beady eyes surrounded by a round, pink face resembling that of a pig stare at the skid marks on the bar. He wonders how many glasses have slid across it waiting to be stopped by the eager hands of thirsty travelers.
A boy not a day older than 18 questions about the pig man’s choice of drink. He has always been disgusted by the people who walked into his father’s bar.
The sound of cracking wood bounced off of the walls as a stool broke under the weight of its occupant. Following the crack were angry groans from the occupant and the man at a table behind him who now carried the burden of weight.
There was the pop of a jaw as the first punch was thrown. Soon the whole bar was one big fighting ring. Above the ruckus a voice cried out, “Tony!” the boy sprinted into action. He ducked just in time for a chair to fly over his head. Quickly he grabbed the two men’s drinks intending to throw the contents at them. Water was too expensive and scare to us as was the alcohol behind the bar, therefore throwing the drinks the men bought themselves was the policy.
The men blinked at the boy startled for a second then lunged at him. He yelped in pain as his head clipped a table on the way down. Then everything went still. Footsteps echoed causing people to shudder at each thud. Door hinges screeched at being forced open.
Tony clamped his eyes shut as his heart pounded in his ears. The footsteps got louder and then stopped. Opening one eye he saw the rough leather boots he knew so well. Aged, calloused hands grabbed his shoulders pulling him up. His eyes met the brim of a wide cowboy hat until ice cold blue eyes were boring holes into his own. “Who started this, boy?” The man’s voice boomed out causing Tony to flinch. “Those two, sir” he said nodding in the general direction. The man looked at the two and said in a tone dripping with acid “I’ll see you two outside in a minute.”
As the men scurried out the door Tony began picking the place back up. Others joined in muttering apologies as they passed him. He tried to block out all of the sounds mechanically moving around the room. The footsteps were back followed by the screechoing door hinges. The door didn’t slam shut, however, giving him the cue.
With his chin held high he ignored the pitying looks around him. He walked through the door letting it slam shut behind him. The whole time he was thinking about the way things used to be; the way things were before they took his mother…





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