Joal

Suddenly there was silence… The jukebox was broken again. All 15 patrons of the run down sports bar stopped what they were doing and looked up. One of the poker players in the back made a joke and his companions all burst into drunken laughter. Joal had decided almost immediately that it was time to go. The silence bothered him. He was suddenly very self aware. He made his way to the bar to close his tab. As he walked a shorter man in black blazer bumped into him.
“Excuse me” he said without even really looking. The bar was extremely narrow so such occurrences where common and generally excepted. Joal didn’t think twice about it. He stood at the bar now, debating whether to get another drink or close his tab. The silence was deafening to him. He decided to buy another drink. Yvette, the bartender was presently examining the jukebox.

“I don’t remember how we fixed it last time” she said.

“I think someone just hit it a bunch” Joal couldn’t remember either.He had gotten particularly drunk the last time this had happened. He gave it a hard tap on the side. Nothing.

“Dammit, I just put all my songs in” Yvette cursed. She walked away in a huff. There were thirsty patrons standing at the bar now. Joal examined the jukebox. Trying to figure out where it was plugged in.He found the plug and yanked it out. He stood up and for no particular reason glanced to the front of the bar. The man in the blazer was sitting next to two girls who were clearly trying to ignore him. Joal smirked. The rejected human male, he thought to himself, often found in badly lit bars these humans tend to consume large amounts of liquor in order to gain confidence in approaching a female. Joal watched a minute to see if the guy would make a move.He saw the man’s arm reach up. Something was wrong. This guy wasn’t going for the girls he had coiled his arm around one of their purses. The girls were too preoccupied with trying to avoid eye contact with him to notice. The thief smoothly folded the pocket book into his jacket and stood up in one motion. He walked out the door. Joal hesitated. He had decided. He dashed out the door without a word. The thief immediately realized he was being chased.He cut into an alley and was out of sight. Joal kept running. His blood pumping. This was the most exciting thing that had happened to him in months. He had already begun to think of his victorious return. He would waltz back into the bar purse in hand and proudly hand it back to the girls. He would be modest. Accept no reward, simply revel in the praise he so rightly deserved.

There was a sharp pain in his leg. He was falling now. No, more like flying. The night sky swirled around him. He had been hit by something. Something moving very fast. He was sure at least one of his legs was broken. He landed hard on the pavement. He was aware now that he was in the middle of a major street. But it was much too late.

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