Tuesday, February 6, 2007


Gary and Fran - Part Duex

A short work of fiction in 4 parts.

Chapter - 1, Pelicans

Chapter - 2, Pirates

Chapter - 3, Sentinals

Chapter - 4, Cubes

It was still oppressively hot. Gary ordered his second Corona and turned to look out at the bay. The sun reflected off the sea and made him squint. The bartender brought the sweating bottle with the lime wedge stuffed into it.

“Cualquier cosa?” the bartender asked.

“No thanks” Gary replied. He shoved the lime into the bottle and took a long draw from the cold beer and wondered why it always tasted so much better down here.

Gary tried to understand how something that seemed so right in the beginning had led him to this place. After returning from the clinic, Fran had been quiet. Last night she hadn't felt like eating and spent much of the previous afternoon standing ankle deep in the surf looking out to sea. There wasn't a lot he could do to comfort her and he sensed that she knew that. That morning Fran left early to drive back across the border. He stayed behind to deal with his own lingering doubts.

He heard a child's laugh and turned to see a young family of four sit down at one of the tables overlooking the bay. They were probably in their early thirties with a two year old daughter and a five year old son.

"That could have been me in another life." he thought, as he watched the lime wedge floating inside the cold cervsa.

He wondered if he could ever go back to the way it was. He doubted it. He realized that it probably wouldn't be good if they did. "Relationships like this burn brightly and then go out just as quickly." he thought to himself. Their jobs, their families, their friends all hung in the balance, yet they were also the cause of the whole affair in the beginning.

As he reached for a chip to scoop up some salsa more patrons entered the little cantina and bellied up to the far end of the bar. They were two young college couples, dressed provocatively and well into their morning drinking binge.

"That was me a couple of years ago." he thought to himself. Gary smiled and mused over all the hard knocks the kids would learn in the next decade.

They ordered Tequila, lime and salt from the bartender.

"The good thing about Mexico is that you don't have to let your troubles bother you down here." he thought. "The worries of the real world seem so far away. Here, it is just cold beer, hot days and seafood."

Gary glanced out at the bay and saw one of the local shrimp boats heading back into port after a long night of trawling.

"Look Daddy!" the little boy screamed. "Pirates!", as he pointed at the boat chugging past the downtown waterfront.

Gary's mind played a subtle tug of war over his relationship with Fran. The better angels of his nature chided him to think of her family and their careers. But his lustful demons only had to conjure the feeling of her warm body and their passionate kisses taken in moments of reckless abandon. Whenever he tired to think of something else, the muses eventually returned and resumed their mental battle.

At the other end of the bar, the couples had started the spring break ritual of the 'body shot'. Firm breasts were pushed together into deep cleavage as eager young men licked lime from one breast and salt from another before pulling the shot glass from between them with their teeth and downing the tequila. Gary recalled that it was illegal to use your hands.

He downed the last of his Corona and pushed several dollars toward the bartender.

“Gracias mucho” was his reply

As Gary left the cantina, another young man dove into a treasure chest to retrieve the amber gold of his dreams.

Gary couldn't avoid his problems forever. He needed to head back, face reality, and retrieve his own lost treasure.

1 comment: