Soulless by Matthew Looney

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Sam Bennett entered the only bar on Third Street and the wintry wind blew in behind him with a flurry of snow. He tried to close the door quickly but the wind was blasting against it. He pushed harder on the door where it clearly displayed ‘Spike's Place', and below that- ‘Home of our Famous Onion Blossom', and it finally gave in closing out the harsh cold and preserving the warmth of the bar inside. There was one of those old brass bells that clanked against the door at the top of the doorway and it rang loudly as he entered. He quickly brushed the snow that had accumulated on the shoulders of his long black wool coat and ran a hand through his hair to do the same.
Turning to the main sitting area of the bar, it looked very ordinary. It was about a quarter full and most of the patrons were watching an NBA game playing simultaneously on three televisions hanging in the corners. No one had noticed him enter.
On his left was the bar. It ran all the way to the back wall and it was welcoming to the touch. The worn wood was smooth and rough at the same time. Sam took a seat on one of the bar's cracked leather stools and let his tired feet rest on the brass bar that ran along it near the floor. The bartender did not immediately come over to him as he was attending to two twenty-something college girls that were flirting with him several stools down.
Those watching the game erupted in a cheer that startled Sam; he turned instinctively to see what had happened. There were pats on the back, and shouts of ‘another round' called out to the waitress that was part doing her job and part watching the game. She laughed and started back to the bar where Sam sat watching. She gave Sam an odd look seeing how startled he was. "You ok?"
Sam snapped out of his scare. "What?"
The waitress continued towards the front door and then around to the back side of the bar. "I just asked if you were ok." She laughed a little more. "These guys can get kinda rowdy in here sometimes when the game is on."
Sam felt silly now. "Oh. No, I'm fine. Just had a long day is all."
"I understand that." She said, placing and empty pitcher under the tap and pulling the lever. "Can I get you something?" She nodded over towards the bartender still talking and laughing with the two girls. "I think he's gonna be tied up for a while."
"Actually I'm not thirsty. You could however..." He gave a wave of his hand. "Nevermind."
"What?" She asked, setting the full pitcher down and getting another empty one. "We've got snacks too. I can whip up a mean order of cheese sticks for you. Or maybe one of our Famous Onion Blossoms?" She smiled at him again. He could tell she liked her job; that she liked interacting with people.
Sam laughed. "No. It's nothing like that. It's just that I'm... looking for someone."
"Oh, ok. You meeting someone?"
"Well, he doesn't exactly know that I'm coming, but I was told that he frequents this place."
"Maybe I can help. What's his name?"
Sam frowned. "I don't know exactly."
She pushed the lever forward again stopping the flow of beer just before the pitcher would overflow.

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