The Cold Inside (a serial novel) Chapter Forty-One part one
The Cold Inside
By AL BRUNO III
Thursday January 26, 1995
And just as quickly as Gawain Wight had come into their lives, he was gone again, blowing them off with a curt phone message for all relevant paperwork to be forwarded to him.
“And I thought this time we were actually going to learn something.” Barbara Myles stared into her beer.
A big plate of chicken wings was in the table between them. Howard spoke with his mouth full, his fingers were discolored with hot sauce “Good riddance I say.”
The bar was busy, the music from the jukebox was too loud; a group of college students were playing pool and harassing their waitress. SMOKEY’S TAVERN was a house that someone had converted into a bar&grill years ago. The food was so-so, the place was too small and the staff was rude as hell. The only reason the business survived was because it was right across the street from the Community College.
“Just once wouldn’t you like to be something more than his errand boy?” Barbara leaned across the table conspiratorially, “To be in on his little secret world?”
“God no.” Howard signaled the waitress to bring him more blue cheese dressing, “There is a cost to getting into that club and I’ve got a wife and dog to worry about.”
Barbara finished her beer and ordered another, “At least we would know what is going on around here.”
“There are no answers.” Howard polished off the last of his wings and then tried to wipe his hands clean on the flimsy napkin, “At least none that are ever satisfying.”
“I would think someone who had just eaten their body weight in hot wings would have a sunnier disposition.”
“Can't you feel it?”
“There is something in the air...”
“Those are the wings talking.”
Howard glared at her, “I'm serious. Can't you feel it? Drawing close around us? Around everything?”
Barbara Myles looked around the bar, “All I see is the same shit different on a night.”
“It's happening, and Gawain's apart of it.” Howard spoke with a kind of grim detachment, “He's welcome to it.”
“It’s started, I think…” Howard began looked over to see that Barbara wasn’t paying attention, she was watching the TV. The football game had been interrupted with news of a massive explosion at the Blue Bell Motel. The entire structure was in flames. “This is it.” Howard realized, “Here we go.”