Tiger Times

Story #7 (At a small bar, somewhere in France, 1940)

Jack Reynolds, Staff Writer

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This man is frozen in time. His brown eyes stare down with aged amusement at what lies below. An address written on a napkin, scotch in his right hand. Just two stools away, a woman, the same woman who provided the man with the address, sits with her head cast partially down in feigned shyness, a fur coat wrapped about her, alluring blue eyes fixed upon the bartender’s. The bartender is mid speech, mouth jovially turned up, a glint in his eye. His shoulders are slightly raised as he presses his palms down on the bar before him, elbows locked, a gray dish towel tossed over his left shoulder. A group of four sit at a crescent booth with red upholstery in the back right corner of the narrow, dim, wooden room. Three of them are caught in immense fits of laughter as the fourth keels over, stomach acid frothing from his mouth. One of the three has his right hand, calloused, raised to his mouth in an attempt to contain his laughter. Another leans forward dramatically, mouth agape, tears streaming from the wrinkled corners of his eyes. A bellow undoubtedly is in the process of escaping his tremendous lungs. The third has lost hold of a cigarette, muscles loosened by the quaking in his chest. The cigarette, end still alight, is frozen in free-fall towards the man’s full glass. Two other men sit at stools by a window, looking out at nothing in particular. They are older, and lost in somber thought. Just outside the front door of the bar, where the men’s aimless gazes rest, a young woman stands in the night, with a worried furrow on her brow. Before her is the carcass of a domestic cat, the woman’s car just five feet away. And unbeknownst to those below: in the startling, -7 degrees Celsius and the absolute darkness of the sky, a four-thousand pound blockbuster bomb has been dropped from a German Stuka.

 

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Story #7 (At a small bar, somewhere in France, 1940)