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Solemnly Swear
An action-packed suspense thriller that explores the fragile balance between justice and self-preservation.
Behind the Bar-Room Wall

Behind the Bar-Room Wall

A Story by PWyates

Hoping to forget his mounting troubles, and obligations. A recently released ex-con looks for comfort at the bottom of a bottle, finding the polar opposite.


The night in question was about six months ago, little under a year after I got released from the State Pen.  I’d been striking out hard as far as employment was concerned along with just about every other aspect of reentering society.  No one wanted anything to do with the guy that just spent three years in the can; no matter what it was for.  So like a lot of unemployed individuals my plans for the night consisted of walking to the V.F.W. and tossing back some dollar drafts after the appointment with my parole officer.  First though, I’d head down the block to the unemployment office to collect my pathetically low check of course.

Nonetheless it went a long way towards getting me tanked, I cashed the check at a nearby liquor store; picking up a couple of nips to prepare for the meeting with my parole officer.  After walking for about five minutes the three tiny, empty bottles of Wild Turkey laid discarded on the trail to my P.O.’s office.  The meeting went about as well as I could have expected it to, we talked in circles for about thirty minutes or so then parted ways. 

Now I was finally free to go down to the bar, and get properly fucked up as my good old Pop used to say. 

I walked up to the weathered door already half-way in the bag; always an indicator to an excellent night.  Looking around I was happy to see that the place was practically deserted, the exact reason I love using Veteran Centers as watering holes.  The bartender came my way hindered by a serious limp, and I told him I’d take the cheapest thing on tap that wasn’t water.  He quickly served up a malted mug of frosty beer.  I repeated this routine about five or six times, can’t fully remember since things obviously got fuzzy once the sun went down.

The next thing I remembered was when the trouble walked in, about six feet tall pretty average looking guy, took a seat two stools away and like me began to drink alone.  Other than a few sideways glances there was nothing that I can remember happening between us until the incident.  I must have been on my tenth or so beer, and had lost a great deal of control over my motor skills.  Standing up heading to the John I stumbled on the bottom of my stool, my beer slipped and exploded on the floor next to the stranger. 

Whether the man knew it was an accident, or not seemed to matter little as he flung himself over and tackled me onto the floor.  Before I knew what was happening the man began going to work on my face, and the patrons rushed over to break the two of us up.  Distantly I heard them screaming about f*****g civilians, and what they did to people who start fights.   Through a haze of pain, and confusion I realized to my horror that they were talking about me.

Me, what had I done?  Well, other than break a cheap glass and take a beating that would probably require medical attention I couldn’t afford.  They lifted me up, and began to carry me.  It wasn’t until I looked up that I noticed they were carrying me toward the pool table not to be bum rushed out of the front door.  One of them pulled out a dusty pool cue from the rack, which slipped open a large refrigerator sized crack on the back wall.

The bartender kicked the opening; I realized that it was a makeshift door that led into an old and stained padded room.  Just before I was thrown in I saw that the walls were caked in brown dried blood and several other miscellaneous residue.  Landing on my knees and looking up realizing that I was not alone.  There was an enormous shirtless man in a black mask lounging lazily against the far cushioned wall.  Just before they slammed the door behind me I heard the unmistakable laughter of the bar patrons.

Rising up to my feet I stared at the masked face.  The man had also stood up straight now, and was pacing around a table in the middle of the room.  My stomach dropped when I saw that it held countless uncleaned implements of torture, and murder.  As he slowly picked up the most intimidating knife, he menacingly looked down at it for about fifteen seconds.  I realized that he was playing for some terror.  I had two choices; the first was to piss my pants and die.  Instinctively choosing the second, I sprinted over to the table and kicked it into my mysterious would-be killer. 

Landing on top of the man, pinning the table to his large frame I took the offensive.  Grabbing the closest weapon and driving it into his eye.  I stood up and charged toward the padded wall and crashed through the opening leaving it ajar behind me, quickly making my way toward the front door, eyes locked on the gritty floor.  Until I looked back one final time from the doorway, seeing all astonished eyes were on me and that it was a corkscrew I had plunged into the man’s skull.   

© 2017 PWyates

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Really engrossing story I have to say. WOW - what a wickedly cool ending. Loved the padded room wall bit - totally unexpected.

Great short story. Paragraphs were short and just right - a pleasure to read.


Posted 1 Year Ago

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1 Review
Added on September 21, 2016
Last Updated on May 10, 2017
Tags: Horror, Thriller



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