In Search Of Wild Times by Bradford Middleton

“So Hank what do you reckon to this place?”
“Seems a bit quiet for a Saturday night don’t it Jack, what we doing here?  I want a place with a bit of action, you know, women and cheap beer.  I paid nearly a tenner for this round!”
“You didn’t notice what was at the bar then?”
“What?” Hank replied, “…that old hag sat in the corner, I wouldn’t even go near her with your barge pole mate… I may be desperate but even I have standards mate…”
“No, you idiot, I know just how desperate you are but I knew even that, crikey, you didn’t spot what was plastered all over the bar?”
“Nah, what you going on about?” Hank confirmed, clueless to the plan that was being formulated in Jack’s mind.
“All that foreign money didn’t you see it?”
“No, I was too busy working out how I was going to be paying for this round, I told you it cost almost a tenner, ridiculous!”
“Yeah, yeah, but seriously it’s got to be worth something right?”
“Really?  You really must be one of the dumbest son of a bitches I’ve ever met Jack, don’t you think that someone else has already had that idea but realised it was too much risk for too little gain.”
“Come on, there’s one up there that’s got more zeros on it that I’ve ever seen before, it’s got to be worth something!”
Hank pulled out his phone and worked his way online.
“Go find out what it is and I’ll tell you just how much it’s worth!  Go get a round of shots for us and find out, right?”
“Yeah, OK, I bet…”
“You bet what?  That it’s worth something?  Say more than fifty quid?”
“Yeah OK, it’s a deal; I’ll get you a beer if it ain’t worth that, sound OK?”
“Sure,” Hank replied as he drained a large portion of out his soon to be replenished beer he was sure to be coming soon.

A few minutes later Jack returned with a couple of the smallest looking whiskies Hank had ever seen.  There was a large chunk of ice in each and Jack was smiling as he placed them on the table.
“It’s apparently an Iraqi note worth 100000; here you go I got a photo of it because there is no way I can work out how much that amounts to!”
Hank took the phone from Jack’s hand and examined the photo properly.  He began to scroll through the options for currencies on the phone before finally locating the Dinar and then beginning the arduous task of working out just how much it was worth.  After entering a fair number of zeros he stopped and hit the convert button.  He began to chuckle as the equivalent English amount appeared on his screen before continuing to enter the seemingly endless number of zeros before finally reaching the true English equivalent.
“Ha ha ha,” he began, “you dumb fuck!  You want to know exactly how much that is worth.”
Hank spun his phone round and displayed the screen to Jack who, after registering the shock, stood and walked towards the bar again.  He returned soon after with Hank’s new beer.
“So, what you reckon?”
“I’m wondering how much shit cost back in Iraq back in those days, they must have needed barrel loads of money just to get the daily essentials!”
“Yeah, and the fact that it’s only worth a few quid, ridiculous!  You couldn’t even get a drink in here for that kind of money, madness!”
Hank took his beer and worked it down quickly, soon catching Jack up on his first drink.
“So now I got that crazy idea out of your head is there any chance we can go some place new.  That old girl in the corner is starting to look over here a bit too much for my comfort but besides that I want some action!”
“Yeah OK,” Jack concluded after draining his beer and then chasing it down with the now largely watery whisky before getting to his feet as Hank drained off the remnants of his second pint.

As they stepped out into the night air Hank turned left and Jack turned right before each turning back to face the other.
“Where to then?” Jack asked.
“Let’s go down this way, I fancy that rum bar down the street…”
“Oh no, can’t go there, remember what happened the last time you went in there, there was that mental woman, you remember?”
“Sure I do and why else do you think I want to go there for!”
Hank turned left again and began walking off with Jack slowly following.  It was only about twenty metres to the next bar and no words were uttered until they got in and Hank pushed Jack towards the bar.
“I think it’s your round, I’ll have one of those Havana 7, not so much ice this time though, I don’t want it drowning!”
They pulled up a couple of stools at the long bar and Hank got himself a beer to chase down the rum with and began scanning the bar whilst drinking at his beer.  This place too seemed slightly less wild than he had remembered it and besides the loud music, of the sixties garage psychedelic type, the people seemed dull in comparison to his last visit.
Hank downed his rum and began again at his beer and his thoughts turned to Wanda, the woman he’d met on the previous night in this bar.  She was a screaming beauty of a woman and she had taken him back to her flat and they had barely left the bedroom apart from to shit, eat or drink for three whole days.  She had done things to him that no woman had ever done before and, in private at least, he hadn’t been able to get her out of his mind.
He again looked around and deduced that maybe they should have turned right and maybe Jack had a better idea of where they could go next.  He drank his beer down before suggesting his plan.
“Well I was thinking the whisky bar at the bottom of town, sound good to you?”
“The Eastern, good idea!”
So the pair headed out in a northerly direction for The Eastern and the promise of lots of whisky, lovely intoxicating whisky.  As they walked up through town it seemed like a quiet night was being enjoyed by the town’s populace.  Despite it being a Saturday night the pair barely saw any activity on the street or in the other bars and pubs they passed.  It was as if town had been stripped of all its wildness during the time Hank had hibernated, desperately trying to forget all about Wanda in a blur of weed smoke and lovely intoxicating drink.
Entering The Eastern the pair again pulled up a couple of stools at the long bar.  Hank scanned the shelves for some good whisky whilst Jack checked out some of the women who were sitting around.  The bar was quite busy but the atmosphere seemed slightly muted and Hank decided the best way to inject some life in to this night was through the huge consumption of Wild Turkey whiskey, lots and lots of it.
“A pint of Kozel and make it a double Wild Turkey with a lump of ice” he instructed the barman once he’d finally got his attention.  He took a large gulp from his beer and relaxed into his stool before turning to Jack.  Jack’s eyes were fixed somewhere else and it was clear he was gazing over Hank’s shoulder from the moment Hank turned.  This immediately caused Hank to turn and see if he could work out what was keeping his friends’ attention away from the bar.
“Fuck man, who is that woman?” Jack finally muttered as his own hand slapped against his face in consternation, in recollection of what he could have done to a woman like that in his prime.  Now though, many years later, all men like him could do was dream; dream of that radiantly beautiful face, the gloriously flowing red locks, and the body that just looked good enough to lick from head to toe.
“The only thing we can do now, my friend, is drink.  Drink to forget all the women we now know we can’t have” Hank concluded as he lifted the glass of Wild Turkey and let it go down his throat in one easy movement.
He turned to the barman and ordered another double, no ice he instructed this time.  When he sat back at his stool he turned to his friend only to discover he was sat alone.  He looked out at the bar and saw Jack standing next to the ravishing beauty, engaging her in chat it appeared.
Hank downed his next Wild Turkey and turned to concentrate on his beer when suddenly he heard voices next to him, Jack’s voice to be precise.
“So Zoe this is my good friend Hank, Hank I’d like you to meet Zoe.”
“Nice to meet you,” Hank stated matter-of-factly before drinking some more of his beer.  He hadn’t had a woman since Wanda and, well, after that he was pretty set on spending the rest of his life drunk and alone.  At least that way he would never realise just how lonely he really was.
“So what do you do Hank?” Zoe asked him as Jack walked off to the toilet.
“Hmm, oh, well, as little as possible really… I got a little job but it’s only part-time…”
“Jack seems like a nice guy,” she replied.  Hank ignored that and tucked in to his beer again before signalling to the barman to get him another large Wild Turkey.  As soon as the barman bought it over Hank took it from his hand and downed it in one generous gulp.  He then placed the empty glass on the bar and handed the barman the money.
“You have an impressive thirst Hank,”
“It’s what I do,” was all he could summon in response.
The minutes slowly turned into an hour and the drinks were going down easily as Jack and Zoe sat chatting whilst Hank worked his way through the bottle of Wild Turkey as well as a few more beers.
“I think I’ve had enough,” Hank finally said as the barman drained the last bit of Wild Turkey into his glass before handing it straight to him.  He downed his drink in one and stood, somewhat staggering, before announcing that he was going to be leaving.
“Oh Hank do please stay,” Zoe said rather surprisingly.
“I can’t, I want a joint, I want to get out of here!”
“Well how about we move back to mine via the off-licence?  I live locally, just round on Robert Street.”
“Hell, I’m up for that, how about you Hank?”
“Hmm, OK… but we leave now, alright?”
The two old friends moved towards the door whilst their third leg, Zoe, moved behind them, following.  Hank still had no idea why this situation was developing and couldn’t fathom what a woman like Zoe would want with a couple of old drunks like Jack and him.  After a few minutes they arrived at a front door to what looked like a normal house.
“So this is mine,” she announced as she unlocked the front door and entered the entrance hall.
“All of it?” Hank asked.
“Yeah, I own this place.  I’ve lived here for a few years after I sold up and got out of London.  Do you like it?”
Hank couldn’t believe what he was hearing.  This beautiful young woman owned a home that must be worth at least half a million whilst he couldn’t afford to turn his heating on in a room that he couldn’t even afford to rent without help.
“Hank I’m sure you’d like this,” she announced before opening an impressive liquor cabinet in the corner of what he assumed was a living room.  The furniture was new and expensive and the whisky she offered was rare and expensive.
“This is the one for you I reckon,” she said, handing him a bottle.
“Oh my god!” was all he could say as he read the label before turning excitedly to his friend, “Jack take a look at this!”
“Oh, it’s named after you Hank!”
“Really, your surname is…”
“Yeah,” Hank exclaimed before she managed to get the word out.
“Wow, I had no idea obviously!”
Hank got three glasses and set out three large measures before he sniffed at it before finally letting his taste-buds savour the malty goodness of a great whisky.  Inevitably Hank found a second wind with such a great drink to devour and a pattern soon developed until all three were completely drunk.  Jack had passed out on the couch whilst Hank clung grimly on, determined to enjoy every last drop.
“I knew you’d out-drink him, my hero!” she said to Hank as the night reached its darkest point.  She grabbed his hand and told him to follow her and before Hank knew what was going on he was lying on her bed as she stripped for him.
The next thing Hank was aware of was the horrible pounding of his head and the immediate realisation that he was going to be sick.  It was then his eyes opened and what he saw he couldn’t quite believe.  Next to him was Zoe naked but what came as a real shock was the other woman who was fucking her hard with a massive strap-on dildo.  He could immediately feel a wave of nausea come over him and the sick flowed covering the two naked women in all of its liquid nastiness.  They didn’t seem to either notice or care what had just happened and finally Hank could feel his cock harden.  It was then Zoe turned to him.
“Too little too late mister, now get the fuck out!”
Hank made it as far as her toilet before he was sick again and eventually he made it to the front door.
“Another crazy one, why are they all fucking crazy?” he wondered as he finally walked back through town to his room.

Bradford Middleton

Bradford Middleton was born in south-east London in 1971 and spent the next thirty years trying to escape. He now lives in Brighton and has been trying to escape here since about 2008. He’s recently completed a novel, DIVE, and can be followed on Twitter @beatnikbraduk.

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