Friday, March 11, 2011

The Visitor

Fiction Friday prompt: Set your story in the 1880s, in a mid west, tumbleweed town. The doors of the bar open, the piano stops playing and all eyes are drawn to the figure in the doorway…… Now keep going..!

Lefty looked around the ole Bar-J. Just a regular night with all the regular guys. Line along the bar. Piano pounded by Saul, something loud and unknown. Most of the tables empty. A few gals wandering among the empty chairs, stoppin’ to talk to the few boys playing cards.

Lefty pushed between a coupla guys and shouted down to Keep: “Whiskey.” Keep nodded, tossed the liquid into a glass, and dropped it in front of Lefty.

Lefty tilted back his head and poured the drink into mouth. A silence engulfed the saloon. Lefty opened an eye and slowly dropped his head. Ever’one was looking back at the door. He turned to see what had pulled all the eyes that way.

He felt his eyebrows touch his hatband. The person standin’ in the doorway was dressed in a frilly pink…thing. Well, not ‘xactly frilly. Straps over the shoulder, smooth to the waist, puffy ‘round the middle, skin tight down the legs. And them boots. Well, they wadn’t boots but some slipper-like shoes with ribbons round the legs.

Lefty looked back at the boys along the bar. No one moved nor even blinked. The boys playing cards and the girls among the tables also weren’t moving. Even Saul seemed froze at his piano.

Lefty swallowed hard and moseyed toward the visitor. “Howdy,” he said to be polite. “May I hep you?”

“I was looking for the barre,” a quiet voice replied. Lefty looked closely. It was a female. Her hair was all tight agin her head, like an uptight schoolmarm. Her face was all powdery and white. “Is the barre in here?”

Lefty threw a thumb over his shoulder. “Bar’s over there, miss.”

The pink gal looked over Lefty’s shoulder, a tight smile fixed on her white face. Then the corners move upward and the smile grew a might warmer. She pushed past Lefty, walking in a strange prancey way. Lefty had seen a horse move that way once, a horse no longer amongst those in town.

The gal walked up to the bar. Guys parted like she was Moses hisself. She rubbed the brass rail that ran along the bar at about waist height. “Yes,” she whispered.

She throwed her foot up on the rail and made some up and down bounces on her other foot. She looked over towards Saul. “Sir, if you please,” she said.

And danged if Saul turned to his piano and began playin’ some frilly music. Music ain’t usually frilly but that’s what this music was. The gal bounced some more, lifting her arms out and up and back down. She switched legs and did the bounce and arm things agin.

Lefty looked out the door but nothin’ was on the street but horses and a couple of storekeepers sweeping. He turned back to the inside. Cowboys was crowdin’ toward the corners. The card players and other gals had moved back toward the stairs. Ever’one was staring at the gal and at Saul. Saul just kept playing. Keep polished the bar, at the far corner from the gal and acting like she wadn’t there.

Lefty walked over to the gal. “Excuse me, miss,” he said as he tipped his hat. “I believe you done wandered into the wrong story.”


  1. That was fantastic, really, loved Lefty's drawl, and the descriptions of what is going on are so vivid, and I loved the horse comparison and the "frilly" music. Well done.

  2. I love this! I loved the misunderstanding around the word "barre/bar". Very good.

  3. Don't you hate it when you type a comment then lose your internet connection, so lose the comment!!

    This gave me a great laugh when I read it yesterday, great ending!