“That fella ought to know the law. He is the Sheriff, after all,” Jamie said. They’d been given carte blanche to drive to the next bar, even though the authority figure in question knew how much they’d had to drink. They’d even confessed to it. The hour was late, and they’d gotten plenty liquored-up already, but the Sheriff himself had just practically given Odell and Jamie an engraved invitation to keep the party going.
Everyone knew Jamie as The Iceman, a nickname he’d earned with his occupation, and nobody in town called him anything but The Iceman. Only a few people paid much attention to the poor Schmo — particularly those who ran low on stock at their convenience store, restaurant or bar. He was, in fact, quite popular at the bar. Plenty of room temperature Jack-n-Coke if it weren’t for Jamie.
The Iceman became Odell’s hero. He told anyone who’d listen what a great guy he found his buddy Jamie to be. The night Odell came to idolize Jamie, he’d watched Odell and a young woman play one another in pool for over an hour.
Odell noticed her when she ran the table earlier in the evening. Her name was Cami, but Jamie didn’t know if that was a moniker for the skimpy tank top she wore or her actual name. Jamie had a daughter about her age who tended bar down at the Salty Dog, or Jamie would never have recognized the word as a piece of clothing.
Cami was a good pool player and beat all her friends, but they grew aggravated with her increasingly obnoxious behavior the drunker the woman became and proportionately annoyed with Odell’s ogling their bodies as each one reached over the billiard table to take aim at the cue ball. In her inebriation, Odell’s final partner didn’t seem to mind and almost seemed to welcome his attention.
“Nice bank shot, honey,” he told her. Wearing sunglasses inside the dark bar obscured Odell’s glance up and down her young torso and limbs, lingering long on her breasts and much longer on her ass when she stretched across the felt to aim at a particularly difficult long shot. She offered him an old-fashioned curtsy and a tip of her straw cowgirl hat, one spaghetti strap dipping down over her shoulder as she did. Odell about shot his wad right then and there.
Jamie watched the pair from the opposite side of the Budweiser Clydesdales on an oblong tableau lamp dimly lighting the smoky room, in disbelief someone like her hadn’t yet slapped Odell, and hoped the man wouldn’t make a fool of himself. He overhead Odell extend an invitation to take Cami down to the Salty Dog where a band played and they could dance some more.
Long story short, the woman’s friends broke the girlfriend code of “leave no woman behind” and left her at bar. All the cajoling in the world couldn’t get her to go with all the ill-fated attention she was getting at eight ball. Odell offered her a ride home, which she obliviously accepted after only having casually been acquainted with the man a couple hours.
Light spilled in a circle under the street light of the town’s lone intersection with Odell’s old Chevy Luv pickup rattling at idle in its illumination. Cami, long gone, must’ve set off for on foot when she couldn’t get Odell to come to at the wheel. He sat slumped in the driver’s seat when Jamie drove up and found him. He’d have lain there for posterity, sunglasses askew, if The Iceman hadn’t happened along the road. Even though the Sheriff claimed the night was a free-for-all after the street dance let out, he’d have surely hauled Odell down to County if he’d spied the truck instead of Jamie.
“You sure are the best,” Odell told him after Jamie parked his vehicle and drove Odell on home. “I love you, man,” he said emphatically, his voice slurring and head bobbing before it careened to rest on the roll bar of The Iceman’s little side-by-side. He’d driven all the ice to the dance at the beginning of the evening but never imagined he’d deliver a person to his door later on that night.
Jamie shook his head hoping that girl Cami made it back to her friends. Odell’s antics never ceased to surprise him. At least this time Odell never made it down to the Salty Dog, a relief to Jamie. His daughter was safe from Odell’s lecherous looks and the Sheriff’s wife wouldn’t have to watch out for him when she got done playing her set. She wouldn’t have to call her husband on Odell this time and have him sleep it off overnight in jail … again.
Studio 30+ writing prompt – nickname (photo courtesy: Mary Dobbs)