Tuesday, September 13, 2016

One More Cup Of Coffee ... Part 2

One More Cup Of Coffee ... Part 2

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, places, or actual events is purely coincidental.

When I came to, I found myself on a creaky double bed and covered with a starched white sheet. The room smelt of rosewater.

My shoulder was on fire with pain, and I looked down to see that it had been bandaged with gauze wrapped with white tape. I tried to move, tried to sit up, but the effort was futile. Almost out of nowhere, a cold hand pushed my head back into the pillow, and a familiar voice purred into my ear.

"You be too weak to git up, no, no, no ... lost too much blood. So, just lie back and rest."

It was Maggie Fontainebleau, hovering by the bedside, with a wet cloth in her hand. She swabbed my brow.

"Ain't got no hospital hereabouts," she continued, "so I done brought you home to patch you up."

I lay back quietly, but after a moment, I began to ask, "How did I ..."

"Oh, yes, how, and how, and how? So full of questions, are we?" The waitress bustled around the room. She finally stood still at the foot of the bed. "You were shot, by that crazy kid, Billy Bottenfield. He got you right good in the shoulder there, but that old revolver done blew up in his face. Praise Jesus, that's one boy we'll ne'er have to deal with again."

"Is he ...?"

"Oh yes, he's as dead as a roadkill raccoon. Just as well, I reckon, just as well."

"I need to get to Pensacola."

"Not today, mistah, and not likely for a few days and maybe weeks at that. Youse be needing your strength back. So youse here, and here youse a-gonna stay."

I suddenly thought of a Stephen King novel, so I moved my feet under the sheets to see if I had leg irons clamped to them. I didn't. I looked across the room at Maggie Fontainebleau, and I repeated, "I really need to get to Pensacola. My brother's funeral, I have to ... "

"Ne'er you mind yer brudder, Mistah Hoskins. For a time, I was wunderin' if I'd need be buryin' youse in the ground."

My mind was swimming. Then it dawned on me. "How do you know my name?" I asked.

"Oh, was in yer wallet in yer pants. I don't take in no strangers, ya know."

"My pants? My clothes?"

"All being looked after. Sammy's daughter will fix 'em right. Be all sewed up proper and be nice an' fresh for youse in a few days."

"I don't have a few days."

"Now, now, let's youse and me just take this one baby step at a time, what d'ya say, huh?"

With that, Maggie Fontainebleau pulled at the window shades and some flowery curtains to block out the waning sunlight. The room darkened, and whatever strength I had seemed to drain out of me.

"You'll sleep now," the shadow of a woman said. "You'll sleep, and we'll see how youse is in the morning. Goodnight, Mistah Hoskins, sweet dreams."

And with that, the voice disappeared through the doorway. I heard the door shut, but more importantly, I heard the key in the door lock turn. I managed a smile, despite my pain. I knew that, by some twist of fate, I was trapped.

... To be continued ...




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