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Two Blind Men and a Fool

by Sherman Smith

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Chapter 41: It Was Grand While It Lasted

Earl listened to the crunch of the peanut shells as Brooks left. They had never sounded louder or more harsh. He knew that the next time he heard the sound, it would be from his own feet as he left this place and everything behind him.

He thought of Gibby and felt resentment. He thought of Henry and almost smiled as he almost heard Henry’s clarinet in his memory.

He thought of Stella and brought his fist down on the piano keys. Twice. The echo from the strings hidden within the old piano resounded like a flock of crows battling it out with drunken seagulls.

He could wait around until some lost relative claimed the bar, but that was unlikely. Or until the creditors came to claim more than they were entitled to. For once, the bastard is right. Hell must be freezing, and the fat lady has stopped singing. Damn that bastard, whoever he is.

He found his way to the cash register and took the remaining cash. What little he had didn't matter. It was just time to go.

He heard the shells crunch beneath his feet as he found the door, paused and remembered the fateful day he had arrived. Time to go, he thought as the door closed behind him. It was grand while it lasted.

He left as naked as they day he had first arrived, only a little richer for the memories. If anyone was listening they might have heard him whistle Stella By Starlight as he walked away, the click of his cane almost in tempo.

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Copyright © 2013 by Sherman Smith

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