Terry Dunhill-A Choose Your Own Adventure Story Part 2
Terry stood in the middle of the road.
There was nothing left to do. Just my luck, he thought, the day I live is the day I die. He made eyes with the driver and gave him a smile. The man in the car looked back at him bewildered. Terry opened his arms and closed his eyes. The driver pulled a hard left just in time. Terry could hear the cars back wheels snake across the road as the driver tried desperately to regain control. The Ford came to a halt under the streetlight next to the dumpster.
For a moment all that could be heard was the ticking of the hot engine. The driver got out of his car, he was breathing heavily and Terry could see his breath rise and disappear into the night. The man bent over and dry retched. After a few failed attempts of throwing up, he wiped his mouth, straightened himself and turned his attention to Terry.
The driver threw his arms up and cursed at him, but Terry just stood there silent. This annoyed the driver, so he ran up to him and swore right to his face. Terry let the man finish before sitting down on the curb. He reached into his bag and said “ I’m going to have beer now, would you like one?”
“Are you out of your mind?!” the driver said.
Terry replied arbitrarily; “You know, I used to go to this place called Charltons. It’s a karaoke joint in the city, I wonder if it’s still there?”
“You almost killed us both! Do you understand that?” The Driver said trying to get through to Terry.
“ It was cool, in that run down shitty kind of way.”
“Can you even hear me?” the driver asked.
“We should go to Chinatown and see if it’s still around,” Terry said smiling again.
The driver picked Terry up by his collar and threw him to the ground.
“Say sorry… you hear me?!”
“Do you think they’ll still be open?”
“I said say sorry!!” the driver said as he slapped Terry on the face.
“Come on, I’ll bet we can make it if we hurry.” This infuriated the driver, he started hitting Terry over and over again until he ran out of breath.
Terry sat in the passenger seat gazing out the window. He hadn’t been to the city in so long and Chinatown was lit up like a firecracker. There was red, yellow and orange everywhere.
“I’m sorry”, the driver said, “are you sure you’re ok?”
“Yes, turn left here and let me out please.”
“Maybe I should take you to a hospital, you don’t look too good.”
“No I’m fine, besides they’ll want to know who did this and why.” The driver pulled over.
Terry walked down a small dirty alleyway. Bins lined the brick wall and scaffolding covered parts of a neon peep sign. At the very end was Charltons. He stood there for a while. He could feel himself as a twenty year old staring at that sign and he could feel himself now; both times felt as if they were happening at once. He walked up the stairs. Everything felt vivid; the halogen lighting, the smell of sour urine, even the artless graffiti enchanted him.
He walked in, there was no one around but everything was on. It was like some lucid dream begging to be explored. Terry sat at one of the high bars and flipped through the songbook. A gigantic man from the back walked up to Terry with a pool cue in his hand.
“Sorry man, I hope you haven’t been waiting too long?”
“No, not too long.” Terry replied.
“What do you wanna drink?” The man asked.
Terry handed him two fifty-dollar bills from his payday envelope. The man came back over with and a glass and a half empty bottle of Johnny Red.
“Here, pour as many as you like, I’ve got a cash game going out the back”, the man said walking away.
“But I want to sing a song”, Terry said.
The man handed him a remote from his back pocket, “Go for your life, just type in the letters and numbers and press enter. Oh and yell out if anyone else comes.”
Terry poured himself a drink and lit a cigarette. There where many love songs he liked, but he knew when he saw PQ-352 that he had found his song.
By Darius Mendoza