The result of a writing exercise from a course I took recently – given the first sentence, extrapolate a page of fiction writing.
He lifted his head from his drinking, as cattle do, and looked at me vaguely. His large, dark, empty eyes reinforced the bovine similitude. He didn’t need to ask me for his next order. He’d been here every night this week and always stuck to the same routine. Now that the beer glass was empty, I reached for the whisky tumbler and served him a double, neat. I put the lowball in front of him and he nodded, raised the glass and slugged the golden liquid back.
I’d only heard his voice when he ordered his drinks on the previous nights, before we’d established our non-verbal understanding. He spoke with a weary, tired drawl. I’d had time to speculate who he was and why he was hanging around a dive like this on weekday evenings. A worn down office worker looking for any excuse not to head home to a nagging wife. A cop beaten down by years of dealing with lowlifes. A rancher desolated by the modern world and the loss of his natural place within it. When you’re keeping bar in a dive like this weeknights you have time to speculate. In all probability he was just a guy like me with nothing better to do but hang around a joint like this and keep a low profile. The difference was I was getting paid a little to waste my life away here.
Last orders came and went without anyone paying much attention to it. It was that sort of place. On the other evenings he had been in he had slowly slumped himself off the barstool at closing time and made his way to the door. This night he just sat there. Cas waved as she headed out to start her night’s work, Sly was out the back taking stock for the next day. It was just him and me in the bar. His large eyes suddenly came into focus on me, he opened his mouth and said…