Friday, 23 November 2012

The Railway Bet

“So… you’re saying if I can run across the railway track as the Chicago freight, the 12:15 and the Ol’ Blue cross paths, I get my father back?” Johnny stuttered. He was sweating profusely.
“Well if you really are as fast as you say… I can’t see your problem!” Smith replied heatedly. I could see that Smith was leaving a long gap to try and leave what he was saying to ferment.
“But, if you are… ever so sadly, not fast enough, you and your father will be killed, one by a train, the other by karma, justice and, well, these hands.” Smith laid his hands on the bar, in the view of Johnny; a cold grin accompanied the words he spewed.

Johnny stroked his thick sea of dark hair. He took a rolled cigarette from behind his ear and placed it in between his full pale lips. He took a chrome zippo engraved with a four leaf clover from his pocket, and lit the cigarette. He took a long, deep drag.

“You must be joking! I’ve never heard of a more stupid bet in my life… You’re virtually asking me to die, so my father can die too! Hell, how would I know if you had my father anyway…”

Johnny was almost thinking aloud. In all my years of owning this bar, I had heard some strange conversations, but this, this topped them all. I had known Mac (the father) and when he went missing, I was one of the few seeking justice - he never hurt a fly. I fail to see how he could’ve ever gotten caught up in murderous conflicts with out-of-towners. It’s times like these I wish I could speak up.

“You’re fast enough. Or, you say you are anyway. When I came in here, I was met by your boasting, about how fast you are, but it seems it was all lies. Lies! Liars and chickens, you and your father. You won’t even try and save him. Pah!” Smith spat.

“No one speaks about my family in such a manner! I do not lie and I am not a coward, the same goes for my father! I am the fastest in this town. I’ll be there. But if my father isn’t, then I will walk.” Johnny was quivering with supressed rage; in any other situation, he would’ve punched him out – no one ever did speak about Johnny’s family like that.

There was a sickening smirk on Smith’s slimy face. Its seemed his plan had worked, he had his problems dealt with. There was no way Johnny would survive...

By Theo Cross