Open Early

"Open Early"

That's what the sign said. I wondered what "early" meant. It was already after six and the place was still dark.

"Sam's Watering Hole" was one of those places that someone had built in the middle of the desert because they had passed through there and at about that point in their trip some one or all of the family had to take a leak or was thirsty.

"Sam this would be a great place to open that cafe we've always wanted," Sam's wife said.

 So "Sam's Watering Hole" had been conceived, gestated and delivered.

I had been following the signs for the last fifty miles.

Stop at Sam's...Open early...Gas...Food...Drinks...Clean Rest Rooms...Water $1.00

That's what I needed...not for me but for the old clunker I was driving. I had used my last 2 gallons of water about 10 miles out and my radiator was hissing like a pissed off snake.

I peered though the dirty window but no one seemed to be around. I walked back out to the water tap by the gas pump and tried it...nothing...They probably guarded that closer than they did the gas. The signs never did say how much water you would get for $1.00 but my assumption was a gallon.

I said out loud, "Robbing thieving bastards have no right to charge for water. Water is from God and it is free everywhere else."

I walked behind the cafe and there was nothing back there except an old broken down wooden shed.
I walked over to the shed and rather than put my hand on it and take a chance on being bitten by something I kicked the door open with my foot.

There was just enough light to see the outline of a body hanging by a rope.

"Son-of-a-bitch", I uttered

Before I could say another word a voice from behind me said, "That's old Charlie. He ain't real. I just put him out front to get people to stop.  Works good too."

He gave me a kindly slap on the shoulder as he walked by to round up "Old Charlie".

"I'll be there in a minute. The door's open and the coffees ready...help yourself.

I see your engines steaming a little. I'll see if I can fix that for you. You goin far?"

All I could say was, "Vegas".

"Well I will do my best to get you there. But, you better watch out. Those robbin-theivin bastards will steal you blind.


                                                                                 written for "Two Shoes Tuesday" by gs batty







19 comments:

  1. Oh this was fun. And those robbing thieving bastards will steal you blind.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. Thanks Sandee...I have driven past and stopped at many of those desert cafes...They are becoming a thing of the past as they are rapidly disappearing due to freeways.

      They were a great part of our American history...I just had a little fun with this story. It was fun to see all the different ideas people used to get tourists to stop...snake farms, Indian tepees...dinosaur villages..alligator pits..
      But, in truth I never did see a dummy hanging from a tree...probably would have brought in a lot of customers.

      Maybe I should open a cafe in the desert...

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  2. I loved this story GS! You set the scene so vividly that I could easily recall road trips down lonely highways past spots very similar to this. It is a part of our world that is disappearing, along with roadside motels, wonderful neon signs, and such, and really, it's sad. I paused for a minute when that body was found hanging from a rope, thinking this tale was about to turn very dark indeed... great word play! You write so very well, it is always a pleasure to read here! Thanks for sharing your stories with us at TST!

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    1. Thanks Josie I was really glad when you decided to bring "Two Shoes Tuesday" back. I enjoy writing to your prompts.

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  3. Hi this is my first time at the prompt. Thanks for visiting my site. I find myself laughing at the end of this...Like Josie I thought for sure things were gonna get dark there. I love the twist (and not at the end of the rope). I also love the "pissed off snake' line.

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    1. thanks Zoe appreciate your visit and the comment

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  4. Hey that was really cool! And the end made me smile

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    1. Thanks Jess...It was fun to write...

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  5. Sir Old Grizz always leaves me wanting to read more . . . . .

    and I like it! ;o)

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    1. wow..thanks for the sir...made my head swell just a wee bit but my wife popped the bubble when she informed me the trash was full...I don't think any "knight" ever had to take out the trash

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  6. Like the way the story seemed it was going to be one thing and turned out to be another. Love surprise endings.

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    1. thanks.the other way would have taken a lot of effort, time and words...I was to lazy for all if that but It may be a story I will pursue one day.
      let's see..an old miner...some hidden gold...a beautiful girl... a greedy cafe owner...an innocent traveler...a crotchety sheriff...the plot has been conceived...now I'll let it gestate for about 9 months and delivery a bouncing baby story...hope I will be able to support it.

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    2. It will either be a UPS or Fed Ex delivery

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  7. haha very charming! Loved it =)

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    1. thanks...you are always to complimentary...I like that...if I were a blow up doll I would be floating among the stars...

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  8. Cool, story! Do cars still have radiator problems? I know they used to check your radiator in the 60's and 70's. I remember seeing the gas attendant check the guys car radiators in the Movie "Duel" It was a good movie. Great story, I really liked it! : )

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    1. Thanks for the visit Joseph. I appreciate your comment.
      Unfortunately cars still have radiator problems. In fact I had to have a radiator replaced last year.
      However in the world of today there are no service stations that will be able to help you in an emergency. (at least in the LA area)
      You need to take care of your cars much better today than we did in those years.

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  9. This is great! You are a wonderful storyteller! Thank you for sharing.

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    1. thank you...I really appreciate the compliment and the visit..

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