(It's Fiction Friday! Previous installments can be found here.)
Peter was hungover.
Truth be told, he’d been waking up hungover quite often recently-—and not only since an ill-timed bar bet had landed him sleeping in a trailer with this crew of derelicts and misfits.
Nice boys do not run off and join the circus. Peter used to think he was a nice boy.
Lately, he was not so certain.
He pressed the heels of his hands into his eyes, watching the fireworks that exploded there, and wondered how much it would take to bribe Harry into cleaning up the grounds this morning so the he could catch an extra hour of sleep.
Judging from the snores echoing above him, more than he could afford.
He looked at his watch. 6:30. Don would be banging down the door any minute now, best to beat the other guys out of this dump and avoid the verbal lashing that always came with oversleeping.
“Ouch! Shit!” He stumbled over an empty bottle of Jack Daniels as he climbed out of his bunk.
“Well, that explains the headache…”
He stumbled out into the blazing daylight and wondered for what felt like the millionth time just how exactly he had landed himself in this mess. His reverie was interrupted by Don’s deep baritone voice echoing over the lot.
“What is it boss? I’m awake, aren’t I?”
“Walker it’s your lucky day.”
Peter groaned again. He had learned very quickly that Don’s idea of “luck” differed quite greatly from that of normal human beings. Visions of the underside of the tilt-o-whirl caused his already-unsettled stomach to churn as Don approached.
“Okay Don, what is it this time?”
“Big Man just bought a coupl’a animals off an outfit that went under ‘cross the valley. Need you to take the trailer and pick ‘em up.”
Peter waited. That didn’t sound so bad at all.
“Okay… that it?”
“When do I go?”
“Jakes is still out in the truck, checking fliers. Go grab some breakfast, you leave as soon as he gets back.”
“Right. Sure. Okay.”
Don shuffled off with his usual air of indifference and menace, banging on trailer doors and cursing under his breath. Peter breathed a sigh of relief.
Pick up animals? How hard could that be?
Looked like today might not be so bad after all.
[to be continued]