Feather Roads - Revelry

"Ok mate." I toss the butt of the cigarette in the corner and bend over the table. "Off the bumper, eight ball in the side pocket."

My..donation victim shakes his head. "You make that shot and I'll double up."

I glance at him. "That a fact?" I say slowly.

"Sure." He snickers. "What, ya don't trust me?"

'Not a bloody chance.' I want to say. 'Your dressed like a reject from those the Hell's Angles rejected. No..wait. Like those who the Hell's Angels nearly beat to death, then rejected.'

Course not being able to actually hurt the stupid sod should things get ugly, I don't.

"Course I do." I smile. "We're all so gentlemanly arn't we?"

He mutters a curse. "Take the damn shot."

"Happy too." I reply. Course the ball goes zactly where said it would. You don't play this game as long as I have without learning a few things. S'why I chose this dive, not for the decor or the watered down beer. But it's the only place I've found where there's zero chance the Scoobs will come and also has a perfectly flat table. Yeah, that's right, we're at the same place where we met Red's little pals.

The Eight ball sinks into the pocket with a quiet thunk.

"Right then sport." I stand up and lay my cue on the table. "What with the double up I'm thinking..mm.." Do a little mental arithmatic. "Cool three hundred to go."

"Three hundred huh?" He's glowering at me. Got his teeth clenched, his knuckles have gone white around his own cue stick. Two of his pals walk up behind him and one pats him on the shoulder. I know they're his pals cause they're wearing the same 'colors'.

'Colors.' on white people. What happened to the good ol' days where they had similar tatoos or moterbikes. Tsk, no respect for tradition.

My former opposition relaxes and smiles a slow, lazy smile. "It seems, me and my buds don't have the money to pay you your winnings. Isn't that too bad."

I glance behind where he's standing. There are two other guys sitting at the booth behind them, similary decked out. Total of five. I really hate this soddin' chip.

"Yeah." I say slowly. "That is too bad."

I grab my duster and slip it over my shoulders and just walk away. Course inside I'm screaming, the demon just rattlin' to be let free. I could let it go, but all that would do is get a quick scare, most likely resulting in a quick retreat. I don't want them to run. I want my soddin' money!

I sit by the bar and order a pitcher. The bartender raises his eyebrows but I ignore him. He puts it down, and a glass and I pour myself a cold one. Not really hungry. Bored. Angry and bored. Less than a year ago that would have resulted in good times, now more often than not, it's just me bein' angry and bored.

Some others come step through the door. They look a lot like my former 'buddies'. That is, stupid looking ..only they're wearing a diffrent colored bandanda. Why bandanas? It doesn't make you look macho mate, it makes you look like the Villiage People. Oh great, now I've got that fucking song stuck in my head.

I watch the two groups eye each other carefuly. I know this kind of thing. Pack mentality. 'Cept right now I'm thinkin' we're talking about the potential destructive power of a tank, commanded by the brain power of a labrador retriever. The whole place has gone a little quiet, like some sort of awed respect. Respect..right. I'd expect these guys to make good eatin', not respect them, any o'em.

So. These two examples of steroid abuse are givin' each other the evil eye for about a good two minutes before the 'leader' of the new group turns to the bar. Ah, more 'manly' strutting. Turnin' his back on the enemy, proving how little he cares. Course the whole effect is ruined what with him fondlin' the firearm he's got in his pocket.

And suddenly..I have myself an idea.

It takes a while. I have to nurse the entire pitcher of beer for hours before the time is right. By then it's warm and flat, but..with the lack of quality in it in the first place, I can't really tell the difference.

Eventually however the two groups of 'gentlemen' have fallen prey to drink. They've been getting louder for the past hour and I've been listening to one complain about..something or other for some time. Just how I like em'. Angry and stupid.

Let's see if I can be sneaky.

I set my drink on the bar and slowly work my way over to the table where the fellow who I rightiously trounced at pool is still sitting.
"Scuze me mate." I say interupting him. Him and his friends stare at me blearily. "Managed to aquire the funds to pay me what ya' owe?"

The one I'm speaking too turns to his friends with a laugh. "Hey guys, check out Mr. Aussie here, he want's his money!"

"British." I answer in a clipped voice.

"Oh..I'm so sorry." The oaf laughs. "Corrections boys, he's British. That makes everythin' more difficult."

"So do you got my money?" I ask feinging impatience and lean on the table just barely invading his personal space. Have to walk a careful line. I want to annoy him, not piss im' off.

He stands up and I let him back me away from the table. He's bigger than I am and it takes actual effort to force myself to wilt a bit. I'm not used to playing this role.

"You're an idiot" He pokes me in the chest, pushing me back, I willingly take a step. "You come round here, bother me," Pokes again. "Me and my friends will pay you back..outside. Catch my drift?"

I look down at my feet. Demon is rattlin' it's cage. Gotta play this close though.

"Yeah..yeah I getcha" I shuffle away and that comes back to me all to easily. Even after a century I still remember what it was like. Being weak, having to back down... I don't like it. In this case it's for a good purpose though. Fun.

I meander back to the bar and make eye contact with one of the 'other' gang sitting thereabouts. He sneers at me disdainfully and mutters a few curse words. I catch '...fuckin' pussy..'

I smile meekly and take my seat not looking away from the guy still laughing at me.

"What?" I say quietly. "They're bigger than I am."

He just shakes his head. "Yer..yer..not a man chum."

No. No I'm not and if I ever have a good day I'll prove it to you.

I look at my feet.

"Could be worse." I mumble.

"Wha' say?" The guy sitting next to me slurs.

"It could've been worse." I repeat a little more loudly.

"Yeah...right." He replies and turns back to his drink.

"No..really." I press the point home. "I could have been like...like you."

That gets his attention. He stands up and is in my face, I get a lungful of beer breath. Charmed!

"Wha...wha.." He blinks a few times and starts over. "What's thas sssupposed to mean?"

I think he's trying to look me in the eyes but he's so drunk it more appears as if he's studying my left ear. Which is just how I want him to be, drunk and stupid enough to believe me.

"It means," And I smile. "It means that I coulda been like you squire. I at least don't have any younger sisters for the fellow over there to boast he 'carried home like a six pack' as he's doin' about your own."

Maybe that sentence was a bit too long for the bloke. I watch him blink a few times to process it. Ah, there he goes...he's got it. You can tell, the cloudy film over his eyes just got torched by the ignition of internal rage. Okay it sputtered a few times but I think he's getting rightiously pissed!

"Where...Where?" He roars stumbling about. I grab him and spin him around, shoving him in the right direction. "Over there mate. Have fun."

He charges across the room screaming "Get Em' Guys!!!"

His friends turn around confused but amble after him anyway only a few steps behind before he crashes into my playmates table knocking their drinks hither an' yon. I think his elbow catches my opponent in the face.

I whisper to the air beside me. "Into the jaws of death rode the six hundred. Danger to the left of them, danger to the right of them. The charge of the Light..read idiotic..Brigade."

The bartender is standing there with his mouth open. I try and wave him over but he seems to be in shock. I hear the sound of someone crashing into the ground but ignore it.

"Scuse me." I rap the bar top with my knuckle. "Hey, over here. A little service please?


His eyes snap to mine. "You..you..." He sputters. "You did this!"

"Yeah!" I smile cheekily. "Great ain't it? Can I get another beer? Cold this time if it pleases you."

"Wha..wha.." He gapes.

"Might want to go to a speech doctor to have that checked out." I say helpfully. "Nasty stutter you got there."

He ducks beneath the counter and comes back with a baseball bat. I shift and giving him my best teeth laden grin. "Don't." I command.

"It'd ruin my fun, you don't want that." I lean over the counter so we're just inches apart. "Do you?"

His eyes roll up in his head and I snatch the bat out of his hand before he collapses. Never had anyone actually faint on me before. Gives me a buzz, that or it's the beer...no. Definetly not this piss-water.

I swing the bat a few times experimently. Really wish I could use it. Can admister some serious pain with a bat if you know how to use it. For now though it'll have to serve as just a prop so no one tries anything funny. I set is aside on the counter top and reach over to help myself to a bottle. Hmm...Johnny Walker. This'll do the trick.

I swivel on my stool and watch as two fellows repeatedly slam another poor suckers head into the wall. I guess they're too drunk to realise they're pounding on their own friend. Ah well. It's chuckleworthy.

"Cheers" I mumble saluting the room o'combat with the bottle pulling the top off with my teeth. I know you don't have too but...makes me feel macho.

It doesn't take too much longer before everyone is down. One guy is still standing, barely.

Everyone else is...not. I walk up to him. He's neither one o' my playmates but that's okay.

"Congrats mate." I say. "Yer the winner."

He wobbles a few times. "YEAH!" He shouts. "I win! I WIIINN!!"

I give him a light tap of his forhead. He stumbles back, falls over one of his party pals, falls, stays down. Smart boy.

"Yeah." I say wishing I could kick him a few times. "Yay you."

Five minutes later I've helped myself to all the wallets and the money from the register. The grand total is a little over fourteen hundred.

"Double or nothing." I growl pocketing the cash. "Double or nothing."

Now, what does a gentleman like myself have to do to get something to eat around here?

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