by Jon Morgan Davies

After Jessie’s father reached first base on a foul tip that failed to meet the catcher’s glove, the man in the stands beside Jessie asked if she wanted a drink. She didn’t know the man’s name. He worked with her dad, was a little older than he, judging by the gray hair, but not by much. Jessie was studying for a biology final. She was in seventh grade now–junior high–twelve years old, an adult in some people’s eyes.
…..“Okay,” she told the man.
…..She didn’t want to be here, but her dad didn’t trust her at home by herself.
…..The man held up the paper bag. “All I have’s back at the car,” he said.
…..There were still three outs left in the inning.
…..Jessie nodded.
…..At the car, a white Corvette, the man pulled a can of beer from the case in the trunk and handed it to her. “Better not walk back with that,” he said. “Drink it here.”
…..He walked to the passenger door and opened it for her. She sat, dropped her notes to her side, rubbed a hand against the leather beneath her. The door closed.
…..Jessie stared at the print on the can–Budweiser–looked up, around. The sun was setting. No one else appeared to be in the parking lot. She popped the top, took a sip.
…..The man got in on the other side. “I have something goes real well with that,” he said. He turned, dug behind his seat, came back with a bottle, small, clear–McCormick’s–vodka.
…..“Here, let me show you how it’s done,” he said. He took the beer from her hand, took a gulp, handed it back to her. He unscrewed the McCormick’s, took a swig, shook his head, coughed, held out his hand for the can. She gave it to him. He drank.
…..“You try now,” he said.
…..She took a gulp of the beer, took the vodka in hand, sipped. It was like medicine. She tried the beer again. Better.
…..“You like?” he asked.
…..She shrugged. She didn’t want to seem inexperienced.
…..He laughed, put a hand on her thigh. “You will,” he said. His hand ran up to her shorts. He reached up, flicked the hair on the left side of her head behind her ear.
…..“Man, you’re gorgeous,” he said.
…..She’d heard it before, but she’d never gotten past that.
…..She bent toward him, waited. The notes crumpled beneath her.

Jon Morgan Davies is a native of California currently residing in Georgia. His work has appeared in such publications as Adirondack Review, Cutbank, Summerset Review, and most recently Corium Magazine. For more on Jon.


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