Show Me Your Badge

by Len

Pinevale

The house was packed at The PineAle Pub, the tavern located in the northeast corner of Pinevale. The waitresses were busy hauling trays full of armadillo stew and scones. The barkeep was running just to keep everyone’s tankards full. One patron in particular kept pounding them back, Montgomery. All through the night the man demanded more and more ale. As the night wore on, The PineAle Pub thinned out; leaving only loyal customers and those who were too sloppy to get themselves out.

“Time to pay up, boy?” the barkeep nudged Montgomery, and the man raised his head from the bar. His forehead had a nice red circle, which looked ridiculous with his bald head. Several of the locals shared a laugh as Montgomery wiped the slobber from his chin.

“Pay what?” the drunken man asked with one eye half closed.

“Pay for all the drinks, ya lousy prick,” the barkeep was tired and ready to go home to his wife. “Ya drank almost a whole cask yerself. I want my money.” Montgomery slid off the bar stool, and had to take several steps to catch his balance. “Don’t even think of trying to run, boy.” The barkeep made a motion to a couple of very large men seated by the door.

Montgomery just stood in the middle of the tavern. He ripped his shirt off, threw it on the floor, then proclaimed, “I ain’t runnin’ and I ain’t payin’!”

The barkeep shook his head. “Yeah I kinda figured.” He instructed the men to escort the man from the pub. “Make him hurt a bit too, boys.”

The two men approached the half-naked drunk; each one grabbing an arm. Montgomery let them lead him out of PineAle Pub. The whole time he just kept looking from one man to the other and repeating, “Show me your badge.” When they had dragged him out, one of the bouncers shoved him.

“We don’t have badges.”

“Yeah, we ain’t law men.”

“We just get to beat on scum like you.”

A smile spread across Montgomery’s face. “I am a pillar of society, you dumb fuck.” He rolled his shoulders a few times, waiting for the punch he knew was coming. Sure enough, one of the men struck. Montgomery rolled with the hit, eliminating any damage. He kept his body loose as he staggered between the two men. Another punch came, which was taken with the same skill. Both men had taken their shots; now it was Montgomery’s turn.

He took two huge steps, almost as if he were falling to the side; then quickly stepped three times and kicked one of the men in the side of his knee. The force of the kick drove the man’s knee to the ground, dislocating his leg. The bouncer howled in pain and fell on his back in the dirt road. The second man was being extremely cautious against the drunk now. Montgomery shrugged his shoulders and delivered a kick to the head of the man on the ground. The man went silent.

After seeing his friend get knocked out, the other bouncer charged Montgomery. The drunken fool did not even try to avoid the hit. The two men went down into the road; rocks slicing into Montgomery’s shirtless back. It hardly mattered; he couldn’t feel it anyway. The alcohol was coursing through his veins, giving him exactly what he needed to win any fight; toughness. Montgomery easily rolled the man over and began to beating him unconscious. Blood poured out of his back and from his knuckles as he shakily stood to his feet.

He stuck his head back into the PineAle Pub and shouted to the barkeep, “Those guys said they would take care of my tab.” Then he gave a salute and walked away. He took about ten steps, violently puked, and then continued on his way.

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