Bulk of man

By Gabriel Ricard

Once, a couple of years ago, I developed an idea about a guy who prided himself on his legendary tolerance to alcohol in the 25th century. The idea was obviously going to be a science fiction series about said guy, who travels through the universe visiting strange bars and having bizarre adventures from that and his drinking. The idea has not died in my mind just yet, but it served as inspiration to this story. Though it is not really science fiction. At any rate, I won't babble so enjoy the story please.

Shannon Goatee stepped out of his car and into the sort of atmosphere sad love poems were fond of. He had no idea what year his car was, or even what model it was. The car had lost it's original intended color years ago, and with it, anything that may have been written on it. He wasn't especially clear on the current color of the car either.

That wasn't important. What mattered was that he was a very rich man. Richer than he had been yesterday at least. His father was right all along. It was indeed nice to have money you earned. As little money as he had made, he decided, for the third time that night, as he had just emerged from his car, that he would continue temping for giant, vaguely defined corporations.

Now, it was Friday and he could get down to business. He had never been to this bar before. In fact, from the small, though attractively lit marquee that stood above the door and the man who stood outside, patiently awaiting a line to form, that he was at a club rather than a bar. It didn't matter to him. He crushed his cigarette under his black dress shoes. The same shoes he wore to work and in fact, the only pair of shoes he now owned and walked towards the door.

"Slow night?"

The man guarding the door nodded, "Yeah…but this place is new. Any day now…people will be lined up around the block."

"I see, well-"

"Around the fucking block." Interrupting, the guard smiled, then scowled at Shannon.

Shannon nodded, trying to look interested. Anything to get him in sometime tonight, "Fine can I-"

"And don't you fucking doubt it." He shot this in, seemingly determined to make sure Shannon understood him well.

"So can I get in?" Shannon was now trying to not look irritated.

The guard looked at him in surprise, his face softened. "Huh? Yeah sure…" he reached to the door with his thick arm, made to look even more intimidating with a leather jacket. Pushing the door open, he nodded for Shannon to enter. "Have fun."

"Well I'll certainly try," Shannon flashed his smile. It was the only thing anyone ever complimented him on. He remembered an old girlfriend telling him once that if he wasn't bald and slightly overweight, the smile alone could propel him to better success with women in general.

Inside, the bar was far more crowded than it had been outside by at least three people. Including Shannon himself and the bartender and the waitress who sat at one of the tables smoking. The music that he dimly heard while outside only added to the atmosphere. It was now barely audible. This was not the first time he had been in a 'ghost town bar' as he liked to call them, privately. He knew it would better suit his plans, though now he felt foolish for bringing his money. The lone waitress already, based on his glances towards her, did not seem worth the effort of buying a drink for. Especially when she probably got them for free.

He shrugged everything off and sat down at the bar. The bartender extended his hand, which Shannon took, his hand shook as if they were old friends. Shannon had to admit to himself that this approach was rather new.

"Welcome friend, what can I get ya?"

"Anything unique to this establishment?" he felt this was much smoother to say than "Gimmie the strongest thing ya got."

The bartender's face drew serious, "Yeah we got something…but it's not ready yet." He shook his head, almost violently. Shannon heard the waitress giggle.

"Not ready?" Shannon reached for his cigarettes and took them out, but not light one, only placing them on the table next to his arm.

"We ran it by a friend of mine," Shannon noticed the bartender eyeing his cigarettes. He flipped the pack open and offered him on. He took the cigarette and lit it. "And let me tell you it fucked him up bad. He had to go to the hospital and everything."

Shannon nodded, he wondered if the bartender was setting him up. Appealing to his curiosity. He decided to go for it anyway, "Well, I'd like to try it anyway."

The bartender didn't look surprised. Instead he smiled, "I dunno…"

Shannon knew that he had been right. It didn't really matter to him. "Come on, let's have it."

"It's expensive too."

"I've got the money…give me the drink."

The waitress laughed louder than before, Shannon tried not to cast an irritated glance at her. The sound she made while laughing annoyed him more than anything else.

The bartender finally reached under the counter, producing a thick crimson liquid contained in a personal, antiquated looking bottle. He placed a shot glass to its left and stood back, motioned with his hands, presenting the drink in it's apparent due glory. "I still don't think this is a good idea guy."

Shannon frowned. For one thing, he was getting a little tired of the act this bartender was playing. Especially when he had just given him the drink. He also didn't like being called "guy" by anyone. "I'll be the judge of that," he filled the shot glass nearly half and brought the glass to his lips. He knew it would be stupid to down an unknown drink quickly, but did so anyway.

The drink had no immediate effect and Shannon had half guessed it wouldn't and being right disappointed him. Which was quickly offset by the taste of it. It almost overwhelmed him. The closest comparison Shannon could immediately draw on was that it resembled a fruit drink with lots of sugar in it. He finally looked up at the bartender. "This is the best drink I've ever had."

The bartender nodded, his pleasure was blatant. "And you feel all right do you?"

"Yeah, I'm fine. Can I have another?"

"Drink as much as you like if you got the cash."

Shannon only smiled and poured another. He may have enough to drink to his content and he may not. he wasn't planning to remain conscious long enough for the bill. He drank down the second shot and for a moment, was unable to feel anything else but the drink falling into his stomach. He readied himself for a third. He never advanced to a third one this fast, and usually, when he did arrive to it, he would have a smoke. At the moment, he had forgotten about everything else. He didn't even register the laughter he heard from the waitress who had moved several tables closer to the bar. Instead, he enjoyed a fourth and fifth helping. He decided it was time to put his plan into action. The only problem he could see was that he could no longer remember what that plan was. He thought about it for several moments, before giggling and reaching for his glass to get a sixth. He knocked the glass over, which rolled off the bar and crashed to the ground with a loud shatter of glass to a hard surface. The waitress stood up, but not to clean the glass up. Instead, she sat down a stool away from Shannon who didn't notice her.

"Hey Jerry?" Shannon's head tipped back slightly, then resumed it's original place.

"Yeah?"

"Just what in the holy name of Hannah do you call this?"

"Bulk of man."

"I like it," Shannon smiled. "I like it, I like it, I-" Shannon's eyes fell. This time, his entire body tipped back and fell to the ground.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Shannon's eyes strained to open fully. Thinking he was in his bed, he tried to roll over. It was then he realized that he was sitting up. It occurred to him a second after that his arms were constrained as were his legs. Surprise and terror had not set in yet, so Shannon was quite pleased that he didn't have the slightest headache. He was able to get his eyes open properly at last. He hadn't been able to remember anything from last night, but upon seeing the bartender and waitress, was suddenly greeted with several small pieces of his evening. The most important to him being the drink he had consumed.

"Thought you were going to skip out and not even bother paying?"

"No," Shannon lied, not thinking.

"Well I should have asked for cash up front," he walked towards Shannon.

Fear settled in and Shannon tried to move violently.

The bartender ignored him. "In fact, I had planned to. Then I realized I was a low on the main part of Bulk of man and you know we're going to have those crowds in there any day now."

"Main part?" Shannon briefly put an end to his struggling.

He folded his arms behind his back, the waitress stood in the doorway. Unmoving, no longer laughing either. "Well pretty much, Bulk of man isn't really all that special. I throw in a few kinds of liquor, whatever I feel like. I add in some apple juice and even a little cough syrup. But what really brings it home is human blood."

Shannon tried to nod his head, it was then he realized that his head was fastened to the chair. He screamed, without thinking about doing, "Human blood?"

"Fucking awesome isn't it? Who would have thought? I certainly didn't."

Shannon began to panic with full intensity, he resumed his attempts at breaking free and screamed in between. He stopped screaming, "Look, I'll pay, I'll pay. That's no problem. I can pay, really I can. How much?"

"Seven hundred dollars," replied the bartender.

Shannon halted, his face became cold, "Okay you can kill me."

"Oh I plan to, but I also plan to get a little more."

"You can't possibly want my blood." Shannon was still scared, though his tone had returned to calm, the same calm he had used when he found out his mother died last year.

"Fraid so, now. You probably can't feel them but there are tubes attached to your arms. They're under the metal straps that are holding you down." He walked a couple steps away from Shannon to a large metal box with a hose descending into a wide, rusted metal tub. "Now, I'm going to pull this switch, and the tubes will push down into your arms and start to drain your blood. Eventually you'll pass out and soon after most likely die. If you don't I promise to put you out of your misery. I hate to see people suffer."

"He really does," Shannon saw the waitress nod, her expression still serious.

"So sit back," he paused to laugh. "And relax. I'm probably doing you a favor."

Shannon didn't bother to beg anymore, he did start to cry. But not with any resounding noise. That changed with the tubes pushing their way in. Shannon could feel the small needle like points pushing through his skin, direct and to the point.

End.

Another silly ending I suppose…ah well, I do happen to like this idea somewhat. Thanks for reading and keep your eyes open for more writing fun.