Thursday, August 28, 2014

It Pays to Listen

“Don’t skip out now, ya hear?” Bertha, the sole waitress at the small diner, said as she handed a man who was passing through his check. “Hank is in an ugly mood.”
            Two cowboys who were regulars at the diner laughed. “When is he not ugly?” the taller one asked then they laughed some more.
            “You boys behave or I’ll have Hank teach you a lesson,” Bertha replied then headed into the kitchen to make a batch of iced tea. A few minutes later she heard a scuffle in the dining area and stormed back out. “What’s going on here?”
            “This here stranger thought he wouldn’t pay,” said the taller cowboy who was holding the man against the wall. “Ain’t that right Jim?”
            “That’s right.”
            “Let me go! I left the money on the table!” the stranger said as he struggled to get away.
            “I don’t see no money,” Jim replied.
            “You took it!”
            “Now see, we don’t like it when people make accusations like that around these parts,” Jim said.
            “Ben, you better bring him out back to Hank.”
            “Wait … what? I just want to pay my bill and leave.”
            “You should’ve had thought of that before,” Ben replied then started to drag the man out of the diner with Jim and Bertha following close behind.
They stopped next to a large animal pen. “You can’t do this to me! I have rights!”
            “Boy, you’re in Texas. We have our own rules,” Jim said. “Hank! Come here boy,” Jim called out. A small grey creature ran out of the dog house, headed straight for the stranger and tried to bite him through the fencing.
            “What is that … that thing?” the stranger asked, horrified.
            “That’s my pet Chupacabra,” Bertha answered.
            Bertha carefully unlocked the entrance and Ben shoved the man inside. Hank pounced on him and quickly started tearing the man apart, his screams piercing the mid-afternoon quiet.
            As they made their way inside, Bertha said, “People jus’ don’t listen.”
            When they got back inside, she got the cowboys slices of pie. “Thanks for your help boys.”
            “Anytime, Bertha,” they replied and ate down their pie.
            Outside there was an eerie silence. Bertha looked out the window in the kitchen. Hank was taking a nap, curled up next to a pile of bones and a half eaten carcass. She went back to making lemonade, happy knowing her pet would be well fed until the next stranger passed through.

Prompt: Texas, skip, ugly

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