It’s always midnight somewhere.
Here? Not quite. But I don’t have time for details like that.
I missed my mark, and one too many whiskeys have lead me here, watching the sun rise, thinking about the cat I had until he died when I was 19.
I miss him more than old friends and ex-girlfriends.
I reach for a cigarette, forgetting that I had quit, now realizing I have no idea how this is going to work.
Never underestimate preparation.
It’s magic. It’s not a game for kids or people with heart issues. It’s not about changing the world or raising the dead or seeing a long dead cat again.
It’s about changing yourself, when it all comes down to it.
Magic, when you strip it down and grab it by the hairy ballsack is all about making yourself seem to be the person you think you should be.
Right now, I want to be smoking a cigarette and drinking another drink, not rolling magic’s balls in my hand in an attempt at life changing foreplay.
There are spells, incantations and evocations. Ceremony which one is supposed to follow – complete with wands or swords or burning sage if your one of the touchy feely earthly people.
But who has time for that? It’s not midnight here, but it’s always midnight somewhere and that has to be good enough.
Certain things are supposed to be done at a crossroads, but I’ll take the nearest park bench.
I search for the cigarettes again. Why did I give these up?
I sit and I wait. Mumbling under my breath about barons and bones, cemeteries and lewd jokes.
I wait and he finally shows up.
“All drank-ed..er..drunked…it’s gone.”
“Don’t touch the stuff…too Caribbean for my taste. Too close to coconuts.”
He sits next to me, smelling of dust and cookies and smoke.
“Cigar? Cigarette? Anything? No. Of course not. It’s not even midnight.”
“It’s midnight somewhere.”
“What? Ke ke ke. Here, I’ve got some shitty smokes. Want one?”
“Why not? I’ve quit for long enough.”
We sit in the park, smoking, watching mothers protect their children’s eyes from the sight of us. He smokes it, tearing of the filter, smoking until the ash colors his dark skin.
“Fuck. You’re greedy aren’t you?”
“Hey, boy, you called me here. When I show up, I expect somethin’. You know?”
“Yeah, well, I owe you one.”
“Friends should never let friends do magic drunk. Ke ke ke.”
He turns and looks at me, taking off his smokey sunglasses.
“What has you down, son? Why break all the rules and call me? This seems a little more important than some mystical drunk texting.”
“I miss my cat.”
“Oh, you have got to be shitting me! You call me all the way out here, in the middle of the day, because you miss your pussy?”
His laugh scares the lone pigeon.
“I want to forget certain things…”
He pulls a worn flask from inside his coat and hands it over.
“You’re drunk already, but I can tell this is going to be heavy. And when things get heavy, we drink.”
I take a sip, it burns like rum spiced with lava.
“Wipe your tears and tell ol’ me all about it.”
I split open and just let it all out. The tough exterior worn down by his presence and liquor. He laughs at me, shakes his head, pats my knee. It’s paternal, grandfatherly.
At the end he takes a sip, lights up another cigarette and smiles.
“Forgetting is overrated, you know? I can’t forget anything and I get along fine. You’ll be fine.”
He hands me another cigarette. We stare at sunbeams, blowing smoke to the clouds as the world carries on.
“Isn’t it a bit too early to be drunk? Fucking disgusting.” A man in a suit, over priced coffee in hand, judges and spits at us.
“Hey! It’s midnight somewhere! Ke ke ke.”
See here for the rules of this Chuck Wendig flash fiction.