Tuesday Discussion – Anything is Possible

I get a little lonely on Tuesday. This and Sunday are the two days of the week I have nothing planned to post. Since I’m a slave to writing this leaves a small pent-up place that needs relief. I think a good thing to do is to discuss anything that is relevant to the time. It just may be there is nothing going on and so no need to post (yeah right). Today I would like to post the opening of my WIP. I posted this on A Word with Traci last week in celebration of her It’s Reining Men Tour. It is a lot to ask busy people to click on links to read something. So now that you are here this is it.

a bar

Last Night by John W. Howell © 2015

Chapter One

So with nothing better to do, I figured I’d stop at Jerry’s place and grab a couple a drinks and a burger. Usually, I don’t go there on Saturday night since there’s a crap load of amateurs taking up what would be considered prime space. I figure since this is a weekday it will be okay. It is the kind of place where everyone minds their own business. Today’s events will probably not register with the people in the bar. They are there for a good time and will in all likelihood not notice me. Even so, I go through the door, stop and have a look around trying not to make eye contact. I’m hoping the ball cap, and large coat will keep me from being noticed.  There’s the usual weekday crowd alright, hanging on each other like they never had a date before. I tighten my eyelids against the smoke and can make out four guys near the pool table and what looks like a couple a girls fetching drinks. I search for a seat beyond the table in the back, but  they are all taken.

Straight ahead is the bar, and there is a place right in the middle. Getting my feet to move in the direction of the empty place I look over the other side. Happy drunks jam the tables. There’re buckets of empties and the barmaid’s trying to sell more. She’s not having much luck since most of these people just spent their last five bucks on this outing. Making it to the stool, I hoist myself up and lean on the bar.

“Hey Sammy,” Jerry says. “Whadda you have?”

“Evening Jerry. I’ll have a gin on the rocks with water back.”

“Coming up.”

I like Jerry’s no-nonsense way he handles things. He doesn’t like small talk and gets right to business.  Feeling  my eyes start to smart from the smoke I wonder how Jerry gets away with letting people kill themselves when it’s apparently not allowed in this kind of establishment.

“Here you go Sammy. Want me to run a tab?”

“Yeah, Jerry I would appreciate that. I intend to have another drink and then a burger.”

“No problem. Gimme the high sign when you’re ready for another.”

“Will do Jerry. Thanks.”

“For you buddy anything.”

I should mention Jerry, and I go back a ways. When I fell on hard times, he was the only one that seemed to give a shit.  I take a sip of my drink and wait for the hot assed burn in my throat which signals the good stuff. There it is. I take a swig of the water and almost believe life is good. I think I’ll wait for the gin to get to the brain before making any judgment.

While I’m waiting for the warmth of the gin to go from my stomach to my head, I check out the folk sitting on either side of me. Not too friendly as they both have their backs turned to me and engrossed in some discussion with their neighbor. I figure it’s just as well since I don’t want to go through that old “what do you do” and “don’t I know you?” bullshit. I also don’t figure on staying the night, so no use in getting into any long discussions about life.

I look down at my drink and start to wonder what’s going to happen tomorrow. It’s gonna be Saturday, and my daughter Constance wants to come and visit. She lives in New York, and we don’t see each other often. It’s only an hour’s flight by the shuttle or three by train, but it seems like a world away. Her husband is a nice enough guy, yet I always wonder if he has someplace important to go when I visit. He never sits still and is on the phone or at the computer. He makes a good living, but it seems a person could take an hour to sit and talk. I was looking forward to some relationship when he and daughter got married. It’s never going to happen with him.

Taking another pull at my drink I notice the burn lessons. It happens every time. First sip initiation I call it. It’s like the first puff of a cigarette, hits ya hard then after nothing. I decide to let daughter pretty much have the agenda tomorrow. She and I have not had a chance to talk for a while. I think she blamed me when her mother ran off with that guy with the house on the Hudson. He has a title, and the old gal couldn’t resist, but I think the daughter always felt I should have done something. Her mother’s sleeping with another guy and what the hell can I do about that? I’ll just go with the flow. If she wants to go out, we will. If she intends to stay in we can do that too. I better think about getting some food in the house. Of course, we can always order takeout. I need to move on to my drink and let this go. Tomorrow will be what it is. I hope we can somehow get to the root of whatever is wrong. She sounded strange on the phone this morning.

For some reason, I feel pretty tired and think I will go ahead and finish my drink.  Maybe I’ll just go home and forget the burger.  First though I think I’ll just shut my eyes for a minute. My hands feel comfortable as I put my head down.

“Hey, Sammy,” Jerry says. I barely hear him. “What’s the matter you taking a nap? Sammy?” I can feel him shake me, but I have no interest in waking up. His voice gets further away, and I think he says, “oh my god Sophie call 911 quick.” Now the room goes silent.


  1. Excellent first chapter. Get a good feel for the character and learn about him. The ending makes me want to know what happened and what the rest of the story is. One question: What does the water do after you take a sip of gin? I think I only had it once and it was rough, but nobody told me about water.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Normally water is taken with whisky and smooths the burn. Sammy likes his gin but uses the water for the same purpose. He can regulate the burn with the water.


      1. Did not know that. Need to remember when I have whiskey. Thanks.


  2. I wondered about the water as well. Great first chapter. You’ve got us h.o.o.k.e.d. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You are welcome, John.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Cool- your writing is always so accessible, entertaining and compelling! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw. Thank you Helen.


  4. Ready for more, John!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the unique voice you have given him. As Charles said above, you provide the readers with a good feel for the character. I think there may be some readers who say this drags a little for a first chapter, but I really enjoyed it. I think it suits the character’s mindset well, demonstrates where his focus is and what his goals are.
    Great writing. Definitely hooked.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I’ll give some thought to the drag comment. Character development tends to drag so maybe there is a way to hype it a little. Thanks

      Liked by 1 person

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