Burnt Bridges

Warning:  This story contains harsh and vulgar language, disturbing descriptions, and adult situations.  This story is not for children and they should not be allowed to read it.   Consider it rated “R”.

The incessant buzzing of the alarm clock tore Frank away from the welcomed numbness of sleep.

“Shit.”  He mumbled, slapping the meat of his hand onto the snooze button.

Small spasms in his legs ripped the last vestiges of sleep from his consciousness, causing his bloodshot eyes to open widely.

“Fuck!”  He protested wildly as he doubled over to rub the contractions away.

As he vigorously rubbed the spasms from his legs, the alarm blared jarringly again.

“Shut the fuck up!”  Frank yelled as he ripped the cord from the wall.

“Fuckin’ thing.” He grumbled as his legs swung over the edge of the bed to sit up.

Jamming the heels of his palms into his eyes, Frank rubs harshly before automatically pulling the drawer of the nightstand open.  Without a fumble he pulls out a bottle of Kessler’s whiskey.  Uncapping the two thirds empty bottle, he takes a long pull.

Swishing it between his teeth before swallowing, he says to himself, “Ah.  Now it’s a good morning.”

Grabbing a half empty pack of cigarettes, he stumbles his way into the bathroom.   The sound of the flush echoes off the walls as Frank stumbles is way out towards the kitchen.  Turning on the hot tap, he grabs a dingy cup near the sink and gives it a quick rinse before wiping it with an equally dingy rag of a towel.  Frank reaches for the upper cabinet door but is stopped by the flashing red light on the recording device.  He gives it a stare for a moment then mashes his thumb on the “play” button.

“Frank!”  A voice crackles over the worn and dusty speaker, “You cheap bastard.  When are you going to join the twenty-first century and get a god dammed cell phone?”

Frank smirked as he reached into the cabinet.  He recognized the voice on the line.  It was Joe, his old buddy from the force.  It had been a while, but not much had changed.

“I got a job for you.”  The recording continued, “The manager over at the apartments on Pine Street needs to talk to you.  Seems there was a fire there and he wants you to figure out who torched the place.  He’s willing to pay, so if I was you I’d get my ass over there.  Before noon.”

Frank smirked again as he sifted some instant coffee grounds into the cup.

“Don’t ever say I didn’t do nothin’ for you.”  The message continued before finishing with a dull ringtone and a click.

Frank held the cup under the running water as he said aloud, “Well.  Looks like I got a job.”

He took a deep swig of the unmixed brew as he scanned for his pants.

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