Author: skinninator2

David stared at the closed doors of The Midnight Bowl, it’s insides were dimly lit but the peeling font of the hours indicated that the bowling alley closed at 1 AM. Double checking his phone showed the time was 1:32 AM.

‘You know this place closes at 1 right?’ he texted Franco,

‘Yeah, dont worry about it. Im omw’ Franco texted back. Confused and a little annoyed at Franco’s vagueness he leaned by the door to wait. A moment later, the sound of a motorcycle whined closer and closer until it rounded the corner, Franco giving it a small squeal of tires as he drifted slightly. The silver Yamaha YZF-R6 glowing under the streetlights. Franco slid off and walked over to David, a small swagger in his step, and the two shared a quick embrace.

“Check it out my man,” Franco said, giving a small spin showing off a brand new tailored suit. A dark maroon color with light pinstripes, complete with dark matching buttons and freshly shined Oxfords, Franco looked like he stepped off the set of a Giorgio Armani photoshoot.

“How the hell did you afford something like that?” David asked. He and Franco had a conversation about their upcoming bills only a week ago.

“My new friends.” His dark eyebrows danced with a mind of their own as he flashed a cheeky grin. “Come on, let’s go in.” And he pulled on the door.

“Don’t bother, it’s loc-” But before David could finish, the door swung open. “How the fu-” Franco merely winked at him as the pair stepped inside. David followed his well dressed friend towards the bar, their footsteps echoing in the deserted bowling alley. At the bar, Franco hopped nimbly over the counter and reached underneath, fumbling for a moment before a click was heard and a hidden door swung gently open. A warm orange glow and a somber saxophone number drifted out of the room. “Franco, what the hell is all this?” David said but Franco merely waved his hand, gesturing to the newly created doorway while saying,

“Just go in man, we need to celebrate your commissions you got.” Hesitant, David walked around the counter and peered into the doorway. A polished wooden set of stairs lead down to a basement type room. The walls were covered in soft velvet and a miasma of scents reached his nose, a mixture of alcohol, tobacco and marijuana. Carefully, he stepped down the stairs and found himself in a cozy wood paneled room. One side featured a bar with several patrons being tended to by a mustached bartender. The other featured a small stage where a large man blew into his saxophone, his eyes closed as he swayed to his music. In the center of the room was a number of tables, most occupied with very well dressed individuals, women in tasteful cocktail dresses and men in various dinner jackets. David felt particularly underdressed in his flannel and paint splattered jeans. David noticed most of the tables featured lines of white powder, others had several bongs and hookahs. Towards the back he could see a number of people injecting themselves.

“Welcome to the Night’s Den,” Franco said, “Tonight, we celebrate with class.”

David stumbled on the stairs as he struggled to stay on his feet. He squinted at his phone, the time read 4:33 AM. Behind him, he heard Franco chuckle giddily to himself as je too struggled up the stairs. While David had stuck to booze and the occasional bong hit, Franco had gone to town, sampling all sorts of drugs like it was a buffet. David had been extremely worried after watching him snort several lines of coke and chasing it with a handfuls of pills, but Franco seemed unusually coherent through all of it. In fact, no one in the lounge seemed to be overdosing despite doing exorbitant amounts of drugs. Even David noticed he downed about three times as many shots as he could normally handle. But he had eventually gotten drunk and could no longer ponder on where his new found tolerance had come from. As the two staggered outside, they both took deep breaths of the city air, the smell of garbage and urine mingling with the scents of car exhaust.

“That was gr-great” Franco hiccuped, “we need to do that shit more often.” David only nodded in agreement, now that he was no longer in the den, the alcohol seemed to be more potent and it took all his willpower not to vomit on his friend. Franco stumbled forward, reaching his hands towards his motorcycle. David wanted to say something to stop him, but merely thinking about speaking made him nauseous and he closed his eyes, opting instead to try and grab Franco to pull him away from his bike. Suddenly a siren whooped nearby, startling them and making David fall backwards, eyes still closed. Car doors slammed and a pair of footsteps walked over, flashlights clicking on.

“Evening fellas,” A voice said, “What do you think Chang? Couple of guys out on the town had a little too much?”

“Looks like it,” A second, older voice said. “Son, you weren’t planning on driving this bike now were you?”

“Nosiirr,” Franco said, “I wasn’t driving nothin”

“And what about you?” The younger voice said, the light shining through David’s closed eyelids. He slowly forced them open to try and look up and instantly vomited, splashing the street and Franco, who lay in front of him. A pair of legs leapt back and the police officer made a noise of disgust.

“Alright fellas,” The other officer said “Let’s get you back to the station to sleep this off” Strong hands gently lifted David up and guided him over to the police cruiser where he instantly passed out.

David woke on a bench of a cell, Franco was already up and sitting next to him, eyes closed and drinking from a plastic cup of water. Vaguely remembering throwing up on his friend David sat up and was about to apologize when he noticed Franco’s suit was as clean and as flawless as it was when they first met.

“Sorry about your suit, I think?” David said, tongue feeling extremely dry. Franco handed him the cup, and gave him a smirk.

“Nah, not a mark on it, see?” He stood up, giving another turn to show it off.

“You never told me where you got the suit.” David said, the water soothing his aching throat. Franco looked out the bars to make sure no one was within earshot before saying,

“Like I said, my new friends got it for me. If you want one, go to Little Jimmie’s with a suit of your own, tell them I sent you.”

“The plumbing place? You’re joking.” David said, but Franco, now looking serious, shook his head,

“Nah, trust me. That’s where I got it but,” He paused, as if he wasn’t sure if he should say more, “Don’t go for just a suit, only go if you got nothing else to lose.” and with that he refused to say another word.