Stringers scripted in sky blue neon blazed away, indicating the entrance to the popular dive and occasionally Chamber of Commerce. Caspar had noted the establishment en route to the cape and drove the six-mile loop back for a celebratory beer and something to eat before ending the evening at the rugged overlook to spend one last night in Buttercup.
Parking well down the street he began the march to Stringers which hung balanced on a stone and cable bulkhead, the bar itself serving as the gateway to an old and suspect jetty. Defying Mother Nature, the pier rolled and groaned with the pull of the moon and the unrelenting strain and weight of surging seawater. Extending thirty yards out over the water, Caspar could see the ends of cigarettes pulsing and darting in the darkness, a dance expressed by the hands that held them.
Darkness fell in silence this night as the clouds piled up, blocking out the sunset and giving the damp salty air infused with smoldering tobacco and dazzling embers an added sense of the mystic. As Caspar closed the distance on the threshold, the sound of the incoming tide smacking the sea wall and pilings assured him of his decision.
Bumping through classic western style battling doors, he confronted yet more smoke and the smothering din of a bustling weekend crowd disproportionate with locals. Static from the sound system interfered with the driving rhythm of some popular grunge band, words that strained to reach, but not register with Caspar’s ear. And if the channel had not changed on a screen mounted in the corner above a glass case displaying bounced checks, he might also have heard news of a storm brewing in Alaska. A storm that was sending a swell East South East reaching the cape tomorrow afternoon with a promise of waves breaking ten to twelve feet on the face.
to be continued…