Saturday night and the local bar, the popular one, was jumping. Looking through the large pane windows you could see that it could accommodate dozens. The lights were low in the peach and blue room but the energy was high as waitresses flew. There were people laughing and drinking at the tables in front of the windows, glasses and appetizers vying for space. The bar itself had more people with every seat taken while some stood. Towards the back, just past the small dance floor, were the pool tables, all of them occupied with players and those awaiting their turns.
The energy was indeed high when the man burst through the door, gun in hand. He quickly slammed it closed then ducked behind it. The front exploded in screams as the ones deeper in craned their necks to see what was happening. The ones in the game room barely noticed. More screams erupted, some from the man, some from the crowd. The man chose to express his dominance with a gesture and a panic stricken face. It got a lot quieter as the ones closest to the man tried to squirm away while those behind them pushed forward to see.
Sirens were getting nearer, making the man more agitated. Someone floated “hostages?” and the shrieking began again. The man screamed louder, causing more people to take him seriously. He tried to think, but it was plain that thinking wasn’t his thing, not now, while the sweat oozed. “Back door” was floated and his meerkat nose tuned to it. The bar maid gestured quickly. The man hesitated, thought about it, ‘it was just one squad car’, then made a run for it. Those in his way got out of it, either stepping back or by stumbling or by being knocked down.
One of the dishwashers was quick to lock the door behind him. He stepped back but still heard voices come out of nowhere, more shouting, gun shots, screams from the patrons, confusion, tears, fear. Cops ran in, searching. Another cop called to them, directed them to the alley. More sirens, more tears from men and women, different energy. Some women smacked their dates for their cowardice. Others didn’t appreciate the spilled drinks on their outfits. One woman peed herself. The men had the look of wonder on their faces, some even laughed. The pool players went back to their game.
The patrons are questioned but they don’t know anything. Some leave including a few women who leave their dates in the puddles around their feet. Others try to re-liven the party while the waitresses try to restore calm. The alley is now off limits, leaving the kitchen staff with nowhere to smoke. The bartender helps herself to a drink. The street fills with on-lookers from the bar eager for eye candy. The evening continues, a bit muted and a little sadder. The energy is gone. It left out the back door and found its fate waiting for it.