A piece that I wrote for my imaginative writing class. A man down on his luck gets an unexpected wake up call.
There are a few men scattered around a basement. The basement has had attempts on it to be made into a lounge; there are chairs sitting out, a few billiard tables and equipment lying about. One man is sleeping, his head down on a table. Another man, up playing pool at one of the tables by himself, has been staring at the sleeping man for quite some time. He suddenly puts his cue down. Reaching in his pocket for a sheet of paper, once he finds it, he balls it up in his hand and throws it at the man who is sleeping.
TRAVIS: (waking with a start) Whazzat?
FRANK: Get up, cur. (At his words, the other occupants of the lounge vacate, almost as though they knew that this moment was coming)
TRAVIS: (eyes FRANK and is obviously drunk) Whaddya want wi’me?
FRANK: (approaches TRAVIS) You know what I want wi’ya. You owe me for last week’s tab. You waltz in here like you’re someone important, drinkin’ your problems away and you know you owe me. First thing you shudda did was pay me back. Where’s my money?
TRAVIS: (shaking a bit) I don’t have it…
FRANK: You were drinking here t’night. With what money? Where you get it from? Get up, I say. If you won’t give me my money I’ll beat it out of you. I work hard for my money. I have a girl and kids. Now get up.
TRAVIS: (hesitantly stands, swaying and wobbling) Look see, I dun want no trouble…
FRANK: What’s happened to you, man? I used to look up to you. You used to come here to unwind. You used to treat the gang, give ‘em all somethin’ to live for. What the fuck happened to you? You’re beggin’ for money. What the fuck happened?
TRAVIS: (moaning almost like he’s in physical pain) ...my wife, she…
FRANK: (punches TRAVIS in the mouth) You think I dunno that? You’ve been moping around here for almost a half year. When you gonna get yer life together? When you gonna start carin’ for yourself. When in the fuck am I going to get my money?
TRAVIS: (recoils, almost falling out of his chair, his voice beginning to sound angry, his lip bleeding) I don’t. Have it.
FRANK: (moves to hit TRAVIS again, this time on the shoulder, roughly) Fuck.
TRAVIS: (stands and tries to block the blow) Please. Just a little more time. I…I just can’t…help myself. I can’t help it.
FRANK: If I don’t see my money next week I’m gonna kill yer ass. We’re not even talking about what I lent you for the divorce. If I buy you a fuckin’ drink ‘least you could do is pay me back ten fucking dollars. I’ve been there for you. I fuckin’ know you. I know you. Get yerself together. Now.
TRAVIS: (looking depressed) Yeah. Yeah.
FRANK: (moving to leave) Now, Trav. Now. If I don’t have my money next week, I’m gonna break this cue over your fuckin’ head. (throws it on the ground and exits)
TRAVIS: (wipes his bloody lips. FRANK’s exit has triggered for others to flood back down, and a hum of activity resumes) I want to be better. But I have nothing to build on.