Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Dark…Humorous…Captivating... Bar Tales - A Bartender's Story #1 by A.J. Anthony

"Congratulations to the author A J Anthony for writing a wonderful Story book which will not only keep you hooked till the last page, but also force you towards deep thinking. The concept of the book is interesting, engaging and unique." Book Worm, Goodreads


Published: October 3rd, 2022

24 years ago, Beau Garrett brawled with and then abandoned his best friend to die a needless death. A deceitful coverup that still haunts him to this day. Unbeknownst to the unscrupulous nightclub owner, the dead man's son, Sean Collins, is his cabaret's best bartender, hellbent on revenge. Can Sean uncover the truth and bring down Beau before his own demise? Strap in for a fun and wild ride.

Dark…Humorous…Captivating. Magic Mike meets Breaking Bad.

Bar Tales, A Bartender's Story Vol.1, is a fast-paced, erotic dramedy featuring Sean Collins, accountant turned bartender. Experience the decadence through the eyes of a former industry insider, without the guilt, hangovers, and peril. Reader indiscretion is advised.


Prologue-Tequila Sunset 

April 21, 1976 

It was an exceptional day to get married or to die. Some would muse, what’s the  difference? It’s just another perfect day  in paradise; commonplace for Land’s End, Cabo  San Lucas, Mexico.  

Maria Alvarez is an alluring Spanish beauty,  with long locks of auburn hair. She struggles  in the sultry spring afternoon, preparing video  equipment for a glorious event. The repeated  flipping of her curly mop wrenched her neck, as  it continued to curtain her vision.  

“Err, I cannot work with this Barbie hairdo!” Maria exclaimed. 

Maria grabbed a black magic marker from  her bag and wrote, Steven’s Wedding 21/04/73– Cam 2, on the spine of a VHS cartridge, then  inserted it into a video recorder. 

 A floral entwined alter is perched on a  pristine white sand beach, against the glassy,  aquamarine sea. The combination is the perfect  “money shot” ambiance for the ceremonial  footage. Maria mounted the recorder on a tripod  and rotated the arm. She focused on the giant  stone Arco, Lover’s Rock, and Divorce Beach.  The three landmarks encompassed an anchored  vessel.  

“Ah, la ironía,” she smiled.  

Pachelbel’s Canon started and stopped  in the background as the DJ ran soundchecks.  Maria took a deep breath. The sweet scent of  honeysuckle permeated the area. The ceremony  is scheduled to begin in a little more than an  hour, right around sunset. Maria surveyed the  grounds and smiled. This is what they pay  through the nose for. She reflected. 

In the distance, a 33’ yacht named In the  Chips, buoys in the translucent shimmery waters  of the Sea of Cortez. On the upper deck is  Johnny Fabicinni. His stunning face displayed a  devilish grin as he rose his lanky arm with a glass  of champagne, saluting Beau Garrett and Stacy  Menteri.  

“Por los pinche turistas!”  

Stacy got a befuddled look. “Huh?” 

“Here’s to the fucking tourists!” Said Johnny. 

Beau gave Stacy a droll look. “When in Mexico...” 

They toasted and took huge gulps. Beau  got a wide-eyed look just before letting out an  inhuman belch. Stacy choked on her laughter and  sprayed Veuve Clicquot on Johnny and Beau.  They laugh hysterically.  

Beau wiped the splatter off his chiseled  face and took another drink.  

“So, what are we going to do with all of  this loot?”  

 Johnny stared off into space for a few  seconds before returning to the planet.  “I’ve got some ideas. A casita in Barcelona,  a Dino Ferrari, sitting around in my underwear  all day. You know, regular rich guy stuff.”  Beau smirks. “You’re going to give up  going commando now? What a sacrifice. I mean  seriously.”  

Johnny focused for a moment. “Oh, I don’t  know, it hasn’t sunken in yet. My priority, of  course, is pops.”  

 “It’s at that stage?” A slightly somber Beau  replied. 

“Yeah, I found a facility for him, and I’ll  move him there as soon as we get back.”  “I’m so sorry Johnny. You know how fond  I am of your father.”  

“Yeah Beau, I know. By the way, he wanted  me to thank you for the weekly cigar packages.” “No problem, it’s my pleasure.” 

 “Promise, if anything ever happens to me,  you’ll keep an eye on him. Everything is set up  through the lawyers.”  

“Of course, I will. But come on, what  could happen?”  

Stacy interjects, “Enough with the serious  stuff guys! I can’t believe we did it. Hold on, I  have presents for us!” 

Stacy opened a black silk sack and removed  three matching brown rope necklaces. Each one  had a golden spiral charm with a computer chip  pressed into it and the Fabicinni company logo  incorporated into the design.  

The boys nodded with approval and bent  over slightly while Stacy placed each one around  their necks, and then one on herself. They  clanked glasses as they toasted.  

“You do like them.” She beamed a toothy  smile. 

Beau’s smile turned inquisitive, “Thanks  beautiful, they’re fabulous, but hold on, what do  you mean we? I put this deal together.” 

Stacy turns to Beau, “Yes, but Johnny  created the chip architecture, and his dad  bankrolled the whole thing.”  

“And it wouldn’t have gone anywhere if I  hadn’t brokered the deal with Technologic, but  back to my point, what are we going to do with  all this stinking dough? I’m thinking, nightclub.” Stacy perked up, “I don’t like it. I love it!  

We can call it, BJ’s.” 

“That sounds like a whorehouse,” Johnny  proclaims sarcastically. 

“No silly, for Beau and Johnny’s!” 

“I know, I know, but it should be, JB’s then.  It has promise. I like music, drinking and ...” Beau interjects. “Corruptible women!”  “Oh, come on, me?” 

“Yes, you John Juan!” 

Stacy’s cheeriness turned to a frown,  

“Really Johnny?”  

Johnny shifted his head sideways like a  dumbfounded dog and formed a pouty face. 

The blood orange sun is setting into the  horizon. Johnny, Beau, and Stacy are all in a  relaxed state, rooted in deck chairs around a  mahogany table, taking in the briny air and the  smell of success. Beau lit up a Cuban, took a  big draw, and blew a smoke plume in Johnny’s  direction. He stared at Johnny with a mix of  fondness but mostly disdain. Johnny is oblivious,  as his steel-blue eyes are mesmerized by the early  evening starry sky. 

Stacy perked up as she heard the familiar  sound of wedding music with a Mexican flair.  She bolted to the rail and looked off the port,  toward the colorful lights dancing on the beach.  “Ah how romantic, they’re getting hitched. What  do you think Johnny?” 

 “Suckers.” Johnny mumbled in his normal  disinterested tone.  

Stacy rolled her eyes and grabbed her  stomach and trembled. “Ew, I don’t feel so good.  I’m a little nauseous and freezing.” She folded  her arms covering her perky breasts. 

Johnny stared at her shivering, athletic body.  “Yeah, we can see that.” 

Beau sprung up, grabbed his tattered MIT  sweater, and wrapped it around her. “Here you  go darlin’.” 

Stacy winked at Beau, “Thanks hun, at  least someone here is a gentleman. You know  what guys, I’m going to hit it. Too much sun and  liquid fun. Enjoy yourselves, you deserve it.” 

Johnny smiled. “Okay, babe. sweet dreams,  of me.”  

Stacy shook her head and turned away  from Johnny. She grabbed Beau’s face and gave  him a big kiss.  

“Night Beau.” She turned to Johnny.  

“Night, jerk.”  

Johnny snickered and eyeballed Stacy as  she walked below deck.  

The boys are showing increasing signs  of inebriation. As the last swig of a bottle of  Cuervo ran down Johnny’s throat, he yelled man  overboard as he chucked the empty tequila bottle  in the water.  

Johnny refused to call it quits. He opened a storage locker and grabbed another bottle of  Mexican fire water. Beau is overly annoyed and  can’t hold it in anymore. He confronts Johnny.  “She hasn’t told you, has she?”  

Beau stuck out his shot glass and extended  it toward Johnny. A shot was poured, however,  more spilled on the deck than went into the glass.  “Tell me what?” 

“She’s, late.”  

“Who, what the...?”  

“Stacy, for her period you dick! You better do the right thing, this time. I’m tired of  watching you churn these girls inside out!”  Johnny threw back his shot and slammed  the glass down on the deck, shattering it. “Oh  really? That’s news to me, and that is a problem,  for her.”

Beau scampered to within inches of 
Johnny, his face flush and puffy. “She didn’t  want to spoil the trip (cough, cough) for you.  And what is so surprising? Take some fricking  responsibility for once!” 

Johnny leaned into Beau’s impassioned  face.  

“That’s not possible. I can’t have kids. Stacy  doesn’t know.” 

“That’s Bullshit!” Beau rants.  

“So, it can’t be mine. Maybe I should be  the one asking questions.” Said Johnny. “I don’t believe you.” Scoffed Beau. 

Johnny poked his finger repeatedly in  Beau’s chest and stated. “It’s-not-really-any-of your-business!” 

“I know you’re still hung up on her, but you blew  your chance. You don’t have the right equipment  pencil dick, so back off!” 

Beau swatted Johnny’s hand away and  gritted his teeth and backed up a step.  “As a matter of fact, I do care about her,  you dirtbag. Somebody needs to be looking out  for her!” 

“It doesn’t matter what you want, she’s  with me now and I’ll make sure her ‘problem’ is  handled before it wrecks that tight little body.” 

“God damn it Johnny, you frickin’ asswipe! “And I can wipe your ass out any day,  Beau-re-gard!”  

“Is that right?”  

The boat is rocking back and forth from  the shifting tide casing both Beau and Johnny to  seesaw.  

Beau inhaled deeply on his stogie. I’ve had  enough. Beau violently flicked the cherry tipped  projectile at Johnny, causing him to flinch. Beau  lunged his stocky body forward and flung an  uppercut. Johnny ducked, vaulted forward, and  wrapped his long, wiry arms around Beau. They  tussled for a few seconds.  

Beau escaped Johnny’s grasp. The vessel  shifted forcefully upward, causing Johnny to lose his balance, hurling him backward. Beau  stabilized. He lurched forward and landed a  left hook to Johnny’s jaw. A stunned Johnny stumbled back. He landed squarely on the glass  shards created from his earlier tantrum, causing  his feet to skate uncontrollably on the debris.  He fell back, glanced his head on a deck cleat,  making an audible thud. A wide gash opened on  his forehead, down through his eye to his cheek,  creating a quickly growing pool of blood beneath  him. Johnny was out cold, laying on his side  with his back on the edge of the deck facing the  interior of the ship.  

Beau charged to the immobile Johnny.  He drop-kicked him in the stomach, causing  Johnny to recoil and roll off the deck. As he  fell, his rope necklace wrapped around the same cleat that had impaled him, hanging Johnny for  two tantalizing seconds until the clasp snapped,  sending the necklace flying. Johnny plunged into  the water, face up and lifeless. Beau looked down  at the powerless, floating Johnny.  

Beau’s expression suddenly turned from  rage to panic. A rush of fear swallowed him  as he realized Stacy might have awoken during  the commotion and bore witness. He rushed to  examine the cabin doors. His anxiety subsided  after verifying the coast was clear. The access  doors below were still shut.  

When he returned to the port rail, Johnny’s body was barely above the water. With one last  gasp, Johnny’s eyes opened wide, and his hand  lifted slightly from the water as mumbled. “Help  me, Beau.” 

Beau looked directly into Johnny’s almost  spiritless, sorrowful eyes and did nothing but  stared. 

Johnny’s expression turned blank. His  mouth filled with water as he immersed into the  Aegean abyss of the sea. Beau gazed at Johnny’s  final bubbles of life rise to the surface of the  water.  

A few minutes passed. Beau snapped to  attention and composed a plan; the first step was  to wash the blood off the deck. Then he doused  Johnny’s sweatshirt with tequila and threw it in  the lifeboat, along with the empty bottle and  Johnny’s broken necklace.  

He unhooked the motorized dinghy, started  it, then launched it away from the yacht toward  the ocean.  

Beau pulled up In The Chips anchor and  set sail west, away from Johnny’s deep-six liquid  grave and the uninhabited lifeboat. 

As he pulled away, the faint sound of a  Mariachi’s rendition of You’re My Best Friend  played in the distance. Beau recognized the song,  and he felt a pit in his stomach; the realization  and the potential consequences slammed him  hard, but he brushed it off. He took one last glance into the waters behind him.  

“Adios, pinche turista.” He smirked.  

About the author:
A J Anthony is a San Francisco Bay Area native, where he bartended for over 15 years in a variety of pubs, restaurants and night clubs. In Bar Tales - A Bartender's Story Vol. 1, he integrates and weaves his years of "interesting", real-world experiences into this work.

In addition to this genre, he also has sci-fi and flash-fiction projects in the works. A J is also a graphic designer and audio book narrator. In addition to writing, he enjoys art, tennis and auto-crossing car racing.

He currently lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife and three cats.

"I hope you will listen to and/or read my novel entitled Bar Tales - A Bartender's Story Vol. 1. I filled it with many of my actual experiences I've accumulated over the years in the trenches, woven into a compelling story with rich characters. I call it my auto-barography. I've also created a companion book loaded with lots of fun and interesting extras."

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Author's Giveaway
(1) Kindle Paperwhite – Waterproof (ARV $110)
(2) $25 Amazon Gift Card (2 Winners, ARV 2x$25)
(1) Bar Tales NHBC T-shirt from Fab Media (https://fabmedia.myspreadshop.com/) (ARV $27.95)
(1) Bar Tales Autographed Hardcover Book (ARV $24.95)
(1) Bar Tales Audiobook (ARV $19.95)
Ends January 2, 2023, midnight EST.

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