by John Andreula
“Miss, would you mind turning off that TV?” Glitch pointed to the television above the bar. “I have a splitting headache.”
“I’m not sure those are going to help it much,” the thirty-something bartender snarkily replied while pointing at the second triple she had poured him on the black bar-top in front of Glitch. It wasn’t an unreasonable request. Only she and the sweaty aging man were in the bar this early on a weekday and only soccer was on.
The bartender shot a platonic smile his way and reached for the remote below the bar. Her tight fitting blue jeans and plain black tank top gave off that I don’t care about how I look, but I look great doing it sort-of vibe. She was hot for a someone tending a dive bar in the middle of the day.
The wavy haired brunette pointed the remote at the screen. The TV flashed white light at the center before going dark. Glitch couldn’t help but wonder if the Controller could still be watching him even with the monitor was turned off. He shook the troubling thought from his mind. The woman replaced the clicker and went back to drying wet pint glasses with her white bar towel.
Ty and Glitch had hitched to Silverthorne. They were close enough to Refuge, yet Glitch insisted they make another stop for drinks before they rendezvoused with the others.
Ty didn’t refuse. He didn’t feel like drinking. Instead he decided to remain at the park nearby. The grass and trees felt much more comfortable than the dingy interior of some bar.
Glitch knew the young man was excited and impatient to meet Gigi and the rest of the Tribe, but Ty also needed time to himself after the long car rides. The young traveler had been forced to engage and listen to the strange Canadian and northern US road folk. It was more interpersonal interactions than he had had in who knows how long.
He could use a bit of time to himself as well, before heading to meet up with the Tribe. Glitch figured it would be time to get moving again soon. He reached for the smooth lowball glass in order to down the second half of his drink.
Just as his fingertips were about to come into contact with the cool glass it slid effortlessly down the bar. It came to a rest in front of the empty seat to his left. The lanky man’s aged lips twisted into a subtle smirk.
Then the glass floated up into the air. It tipped backwards, emptying its contents into the air. The liquid didn’t spill onto the stool or the floor below, as physics would have commanded, instead it disappeared into the void.
“Hello, Blanks,” Glitch spoke into the air while continuing to stare ahead. The bottles were so neatly arranged along the wall directly in front of him.
“Joe.” A voice responded as if from nowhere. Glitch’s smirk disappeared as his face returned to its disengaged, disinterested norm.
The glass floated back down and flipped itself over. It landed on the bar with a slam. “How long have you been on us, girl?”
Glitch felt a hand slide onto his opposite shoulder. The woman’s voice whispered into his ear, “Long enough…as always. So, what do we think of him?”
The inquiry matched the one Glitch had been bouncing around in his own mind. He spun on the bar stool to face the woman who was not there. She waited for Glitch to answer.
“What do you want me to tell you?” the disheveled man kept his voice low so as to keep the bartender from hearing him. “I want to tell you that Gigi is wrong…that he’s no one’s savior…but Gigi rarely gets it wrong…” Glitch trailed off. His eyes drifted onto the bottles. He lost himself in inner reflection.
Blanks paused, pondering Glitch’s words. She let the silence hang for another moment. “The Writer doesn’t exactly have a perfect record,” she added.
This brought Glitch back from wherever he had gone in his mind. The bartender dropped a pen and bent over to pick it up. His eyes settled on the well-defined buttocks within her tight jeans. He finally murmured back, “No. No she doesn’t.”
“I guess you’ll be escorting him the rest of the way?” Glitched asked rhetorically. He nodded his head at the upturned glass on the bar, “By the way, you owe me a drink.”
The glass lazily flipped itself upright. It slid back in front of Glitch on its own. Blanks retorted, “I think you can handle yourself just fine.”
Glitch narrowed his eyes into a squint and glared at where his invisible fellow Tribe member should have been. He could tell that Blanks had already left him. He knew that he was the only one sitting at the bar.
The heavy door opened and closed over in the corner behind him. There was no sense looking. He wouldn’t see her leaving anyway.
The older man used his palms to smooth out the front of his dirty khakis. He unbuttoned the top button of his damp white shirt. It’s better that she’s handling the boy now, he thought to himself.
Glitch checked to see if the distracted bartender was looking in his direction. She wasn’t. He clenched his eyes shut as tightly as he could.
He reopened his eyes and looked down at his glass. “Barkeep, there’s a fly in my drink. Can I get another?”
The woman threw the towel over her shoulder and paced back over. She looked down into the three-quarters full glass to see the fly swimming in the drink, drowning. “Yeah. That’s definitely gross.”
She dumped the contents into the sink below and placed the glass in the bottom of the metal basin. She grabbed another lowball from under the counter. Then, as she pulled the tequila bottle off the shelf behind her, Glitch snuck another glance at her rear.
The lovely bartender turned to Glitch and poured him another triple. “That one’s on me.”
Glitch raised his glass to the women and proceeded to take a pull.
The Dreamer is an ongoing fiction epic about some very special people.
If you haven’t read the rest check it out here.
John Andreula is an epic fiction writer and a dreamer residing in the foothills of Colorado.
Reach him for commission work or media requests at: