Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: COFFEE BREAK / TEA BREAK (03/01/18)
- TITLE: Judgement Day At Dot's Cafe'
By Phillip Cimei
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Dot’s was a hole in the wall café in Red Dog, Wyoming. The tilted sign in the door’s window said, “Open.” Pointless. Everyone knew when Dot’s was open. Bill caught Dot’s eye.
“Hey Bill,” she said, after spitting out a stream of tobacco juice toward the rusted lard can. She missed.
Bill gave a turkey-neck look over the greasy counter. A silly smirk followed. “Eye sight get’n bad, Dot?”
“Nah, just giv’n my old man someth’n to do after hours.” Their jesting was done in fun.
“Where are the boy’s?” Bill asked. “Someone finally hang ’em?”
Just then, the tin bell above the door signaled their arrival.
“Hey Bill,” shouted Goat Ray, “get a haircut?” He was referring to the few hairs left on Bill’s head. Goat Ray elbowed One-thumb, one of his cohorts, then chuckled. Bugger Bob, the last, just rubbed Bill’s head on the way to the counter.
Goat Ray got his name because of his white stubbly beard and long goatee. It was hard to tell him from his goats. One-thumb lost his thumb in a calf roping tournament—healers need to learn not to get the thumb between the rope and the saddle horn. It popped off like a bloated tick on a hound’s ear. And Bugger Bob? The crusty white mustache told it all. They got their kicks by teasing others. Most people called it judg’n.
“Getcha a seat, boys,” said Dot. “And try to keep it civil. I’m in an ornery mood today.”
Bill was enjoying his coffee-time when it all hit the fan. They targeted Bill. Again.
“I noticed yer old junker-clunker out there Bill,” said Bugger Bob. “Ya know there ain’t gonna be no Gremlins in heaven.”
“Oh, yeah. And why’s that?”
Bugger Bob turned to Dot, huffed out a chuckle, winked at her, and said, “Well, I sees it like this. If’n you were to drive that eye-sore through them pearly gates, all ‘a heaven would laugh so dang hard tears would form in their eyes. And ya know there ain’t no tears in heaven.”
One-thumb laughed so hard he fell off the stool.
Dot was fuming. She spit out another wad of tobacco—missed the can again. She pointed her finger at all three, like a mother scolding her children, and said, “Ya’ll leave him alone. It ain’t like you cactus flowers have any taste.”
All three sat up straight, raised their eyebrows, saluted Dot, and in unison said, “Yes,m”. No true repentance there. Goat Ray honed in on Dot.
He let out a snicker and said, “Well Dot, I hate to say this, but ya know their ain’t gonna be no tobacco spitt’n in heaven, neither.”
“Oh, really. Please enlighten us all on yer inspirational judg’n,” said Dot.
“Old Saint Peter’s gonna check ya in at the gate. Then, give ya a rule book. Page 1001 states No spitt’n on the street ‘a gold.”
Dot had enough, “Okay, you win.” She grabbed three bowls of her chili and said, “Eat up boys. You win the booby prize. My new chili recipe.”
“Ya didn’t spit in it, did ya?”
“Nah, just added a new spice to it.”
“Pass me the hot sauce, Dot,” said Bugger Bob. “Not complain’n, but ya just don’t norm’ly get it spicy enough for my like’n.”
Dot glanced over at Bill. His raised eyebrows sensed trouble. He looked away, snickering.
Bugger Bob immediately hit the floor floundering like a trout on a river bank. One-thumb cussed the day he was born, then Dot, as he bolted out the door. And Goat Ray just sat there and bawled. He sounded like one of his baby goats. Baaa!
“Bible says, judge not least ye be judged, boys. I guess ya done been judged and sentenced to get a taste of my hell.” The hot sauce was Carolina Reaper pepper juice, even hotter than Ghost peppers.
Bill sipped his coffee. He lifted his cup, winked at Dot, and said, “Coffee’s flavored just right.” He high-fived her on the way out.
“See ya tomorrow?” she asked.
“Coffee-time only. No chile.”
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