Monday, February 04, 2013

Sasquatch Continued + Bonus Story

*** Continued from yesterday's post

“You’re kidding!” I exclaimed, and started to laugh until I saw how serious he looked.

“We’ve got to hide out, so we fit in wherever we can. You know those linemen in the NFL? You don’t think they grow people that big, do you?”

“Well, football. They are pretty big guys.” I was getting a little worried, so I tried to sound normal, kind of light so he wouldn’t see I was getting a little scared. If this guy thought he was a Sasquatch, then he was crazier then I thought.

He sighed deeply and I could feel his hot breath cross my face.

“Yeah, my cousins both play for the Seahawks. I’ve got an aunt who’s a linebacker for the Chicago Bears.”

I relaxed a bit. Now I knew he was putting me on. Must be boring out here in the woods and the favorite game was to goon the tourist.

“How could a wo...female, uh, Sasquatch play football?” I played along.

“She doesn’t take showers with the team. Hell, they wouldn’t notice anyway.”

I wasn’t sure how to respond. It was bad enough that he was taking this joke so far, but he sure was big...and hairy. I didn’t think I wanted to sit here by myself with a guy who thought he was Bigfoot. Possibly, it was time to move on. I shoved my beer to his side of the bar.

“You all done?” he asked, gesturing at my half full glass.

“Yep. I’m all done.”

He gave me my change and I walked out as fast as I could short of running, got into my car and drove away a little quicker than was good on this road. I decided to head back to the main highway. I think I had found a little more than I wanted off the beaten path.

I wonder to this day whether that big bartender is still up there serving beer to the occasional hunter or hiker and telling his story. I can promise you, I won’t tell.

I got the idea of Big Foot as bartender many years ago. I wrote this flash fiction, which got an Honorable Mention in some contest. It was published in Anotherrealm years later.

Fair’s Fair

I lurched across Pioneer Square, hurt by the turned-away eyes. I wish they’d look at me–go ahead and stare! After the car wreck, the doctors did their best to put me together, but even a pro can’t fix a thing if some of the parts are missing and can’t be replaced.

I dragged my body into a bar and pulled myself up on a bar stool, making sure that the cash register blocked my view of the mirror. As usual, I sat with head bent, hat pulled down over my eyes.

What’ll ya have, buddy?” the bartender’s rough voice rumbled.

I looked up, expecting the usual gasp of surprise or disgust, the eyes shifting left or right. I got neither. The bartender looked straight in my face, continuing to wipe the glass he held.

I was the one who gasped. He was over seven feet tall with one of the ugliest faces I’d ever seen, including my own. He was poorly shaved, the stubble continuing down his neck to disappear under his shirt.

I said, what’ll ya have, buddy?” he repeated.

Uh, scotch,” I whispered. This was not a man, I thought. His nose was a snout; his canines long and pointed; his arms would have hung to his knees. He looked like those pictures, except for the shave and clothes, of course. My own appearance made me bold; people tolerate questions from those they pity.

You look like one of those Bigfoot monsters,” I ventured. His chuckle was a guttural cough.

So?” he said noncommittally.

So, how can you be here? Why haven’t the cops or the zoo come to get you?”

You oughta know the answer to that, buddy,” he grinned.

What do you mean?”

C’mon, you’re almost as ugly as me. It works great. Right, buddy?”

I could see how it worked for him. When you’re as ugly as that, no one looks at you, except maybe a kid. He’d have no problem hiding out in the city.

But, why?” I wanted to know.

We–yes, there’s lots of us–did okay in the woods until all those science guys and hunters started comin’ after us. We want to be left alone, so we went where no one would think to look for us.”

Dollar signs danced before my eyes. “What if I turned you in?”

Now, you wouldn’t do that, buddy.” His confident gaze met mine.

I wondered why he’d believe I wouldn’t make a buck for myself. Then it dawned on me. He and I were the same, brothers so to speak. I answered the only way possible. “Right...fair’s fair.”

Where you can find my collections:

The first, Mixed Bag, is my "freebie" sampler with a dozen short stories. You can get a FREE ebook copy at Smashwords.

I doubled down on Mixed Bag II: Supersized to include a number of stories showing my darker side. Also available in ebook at Smashwords, I priced it at a bargain 99 cents.

Print editions are also available on Amazon.

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