Second-Hand Goods~ chapter 14

     Liam was one of those rare souls blessed with the ability to do nothing. Where others might have struggled with the question of what to do with their time but Liam was not that guy. Liam knew exactly how to occupy himself. The first two days Liam had off, he never left his bed except to collect booze and food from a corner store nearby. On the third day, he started to feel a little antsy so he decided it was time to visit the neighborhood bar. His restlessness led him out, and being stuck in his apartment for two days solid had him hallucinating from the smell.

     On his way to the door, Liam briefly considered eating before realizing that anything he ate would adorn the floor at The Red Lagher. The Red Lagher had been a local establishment long before Liam had arrived in the neighborhood. It opened back in the sixties, when this particular neighborhood had been a drug addled mess. The surrounding area had classed itself up, but the Red Lagher remained thoroughly trashy, much like Liam himself. When he had first moved into the area, he had found himself drawn to the garish neon sign in the front, like a drunken moth to a whiskey fueled flame. The cheap rate of his apartment and the Red Lagher were the two reasons he stayed.

     On the way down to his storage apartment, Liam’s path was blocked by the enormous caretaker of the apartment building. He was a burly man, whose black shoulder hair bristled around his thin wife-beater like an army of wilting spears. When he was younger, he could have passed for a strong man, but most of that muscle had gone to fat. Even today, he was burly and thick and likely spent his free time lifting old timey round dumbbells and doing squats while holding several large dogs. He had a round face with a thick black moustache that refused to point downwards, preferring to stick slightly out to the front. This rebellious attitude must have spread to what hair remained on his head, which appeared to be desperate to escape the gravity of Earth via any means necessary, sticking out at various random angles.

    Waving his hand at Liam, the mam shrugged apologetically, “The ol’ lady says I have to move your stuff, Liam. Someone asked for that apartment.”

     Liam bristled, “Where am I getting moved to?”

     A shrill voice from behind a door downstairs yelled up at him, “Up two flights of stairs, you leech!”

    “She does know my apartment is infested with Dirt Gremins, right?”

    The attendant shrugged again, “I’m sorry, Liam. We all have to listen to the boss.”

     Liam blinked a few times, “But I thought you were the…nevermind. Will you help me take my things up to the new place?”

     The attendant grabbed at various places on his body as he spoke, “I’m sorry, Liam. I got a thing. A bum…something.”

    Liam brushed past him towards the ground floor, “A bum something is right.” He groused all the way past their apartment and into the street. He groused all the way down the street and into the bar. This day could not get any worse. Pushing into the bar, Liam found himself confronted with a rare sight at the Red Lagher, a woman.

     The Red Lagher would only qualify as a hole in the wall if the wall was made from asbestos. It had a grand total of ten naked bulbs swinging from the ceiling, one of which was still out. It’s pool table was missing several balls and someone had long ago stripped the green felt off the table for a makeshift putting corner, which had also been abandoned after that one health inspection. The actual bar ran across the length of the room and had no entrance from the public side to get into where the bartender stood. They only served one type of beer, colored with red food coloring, which the bartender refused to identify. Liam assumed this was because it would break some sort of honor code amongst bartenders, or that the people who made the beer were being prosecuted for war crimes. They certainly should have been, given the quality of their swill. A woman in this heap was, therefore, an extreme rarity.

     She wore leather boots and tight jeans that showed off her curvy figure. Completing the look was a leather biker jacket, “Hello legs, ass and…” Liam trailed off at the sight of her long sandy blonde hair and the words, “Veraciter Vivimus” across the back of the jacket, “DOOR! I suddenly remembered a place I needed to be!”

    He only managed to get his hand on the doorknob before she called out his name, “Liam Boggan, I thought I smelled you! You still come around here?” She turned around and Liam realized all over again that he couldn’t decide whether she was a vision or a nightmare. Maybe a little of both. She was stunning, with the refined features and sky blue eyes that marked her family. Out of the remaining two siblings, she was definitely the wild child. Her younger brother had retired from the hunting business and started some cleaning company.

    “Sam! I thought you were never going to come back after the last time you were here.”

   “What? Where else could I find my little ferret faced friend? And what exactly were you doing headed for the door without saying hello to your old flame?”

    Liam grimaced. Once upon a time, a younger and dumber Liam had put the moves on Samantha Goodbody and somehow, against all odds, he had succeeded. He often felt that when they had been together, she had been slumming it. Eventually, she got restless and stopped coming around. He still wasn’t sure what to call their time together, but she seemed fond enough of him. Samantha Goodbody was like a bad cat. She showed up without warning, bringing her luck with her and then she left with just as little notice.

    “Why…I wouldn’t dream of doing such a thing!.” Liam kept moving towards the door. He had never really stopped moving towards the door. Sticking around with Sam could only lead to bad things.

    “Then why are you still inching towards the door, Liam?”

    Caught. Sam was a whirlpool. Once you got caught in her current, it was really pointless to struggle. She would pull you under, no matter what you did. Liam never could catch a break. This was supposed to be his vacation. It was supposed to be restful. A vacation with Samantha Goodbody would be anything but restful.


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