Untitled Story from Sam’s Place – Chapter IV



Donnie didn’t look up. “Sometimes I got to look after more’n the here and now, that’s all I’m saying.”

“Bull,” said Sam. “You just get scared Hell’s gonna scorch your britches. Then you let them sons of bitches twist you ever which way.” Sam waggled his fingers for Donnie’s beer cup. He refilled it and handed it back. “Myself, I ain’t been much on religion since I come back from the ‘Nam, ‘specially the kind of gospel they spew around here.”

Donnie probed the gap in his lower teeth with his tongue. He frowned. Then he shrugged and sipped his beer.

Sam snorted. “You think you can have it both ways, don’t you? You think you can chase women and gamble, drink and carouse, and then you can run off to church, and you won’t stay up nights worrying ‘bout what’s gonna happen to you when you die. Worse yet, you let that ol’ preacher and his deacons lord it over you – until you get tired of it, that is. Then you thumb your nose at ‘em and waltz on down the road and don’t give a thought to whether they’ll take you back next time you feel the need for a little religion.”

Donnie backed up to his table. Sam was becoming a scold, and Donnie didn’t like it. “It ain’t exactly like that. It ain’t, Sam, and you know it.”

“Okay, let me ask you, then. Just what do you get outta Sunday mornings hollering them hymns and amen-ing ever other thing that comes outta Wesley Wilding’s mouth?”

Donnie threw back his beer, crumpled the plastic cup, and tossed it in the general direction of the trashcan. “I’m going back to shooting pool.”


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