Chapter Three

BarCat's place of residence is the Zodiac Bistro. The bar is frequented by witches, and all manner of magical folks. Not all of them are the brightest bulbs in the box.


Barcat's usual perch is on the bar right next to the waitress' pickup area, where he has a good chance of snatching a drink every once in a while when no one is looking. Every evening just before the crowd starts to gather, he takes his place and watches. And listens.


This particular night the man sitting next to him is bitching to the bartender about his wife. Words like bitch, skank, witch and more come pouring out of the man's mouth as he continues to pour more shots and beer into it.


He rambles on about how he wishes he was dead so he didn't have to go home and listen to her shrieking. The TV was on at the bar and they were talking about the large amount of money in the lottery that week. BarCat was thinking it was time to scrounge for tidbits and drinks when the man says, "I wish I won the lottery. I'd show her. Collect the money and run off and leave her high and dry. That bitch deserves nothing."


BarCat looks at the man, and if you didn't know any better, you would think he is smirking. BarCat said nothing and looks the man straight in the eye, and grants his wish. Then he jumps off the counter and proceeds to wander the bar.


The man finishes his drink, checks his wallet for money for another drink, finds it almost empty. It still contains two dollars, enough to buy a lottery ticket. He gets up and staggers out of the bar. On his way home, he buys a lottery ticket.


A week later the same man comes in and sits down at the bar. He orders shots and beer and is blathering on and on about how he had won the lottery. Two hundred and fifty million dollars, he keeps saying. And he keeps drinking. BarCat is in his usual perch, and thinks, gee, for a guy who won so much money, you would think he would at least buy everyone a drink, including me.


After a bit he tells Pete the Bartender that he would come around next week after he collects his winnings from the lottery and tip him, but tonight he ran out of money. And he nearly falls off his stool trying to get up. BarCat looks at the dumbass tripping up the stairs and trying to push the pull door, and if you didn't know any better you would almost think he is smiling.


The man only lives three blocks from the bar and he walks back home that evening, using the parking meters to hold himself up. As he crossed West 16th Street, he never noticed the garbage truck come around the corner from 8th Avenue. Nor did he probably feel it.


Pete is reading the newspaper a couple of days later when he sees the article. He reads it out loud to BarCat because he thinks the cat would be interested.

Seems the asshole who never tipped him had died of injuries from a traffic accident. His wife found a lottery ticket in his wallet and when she looked into it, she found out she was a winner of two hundred and fifty million dollars. The guy wasn't making up a story that night, he had actually won.


The paper gives the place and time of the services and his widow requests in lieu of flowers please make a donation to the local animal shelter. She is also going to make a substantial donation in her husband's memory. Seems she likes cats. Pete scratched BarCat's head, looks around, no one is watching, and gives the cat a shot.


This time BarCat did smile. After all, the man got everything he wished for.



Copyright 2019 Boudica Foster and Tales from the Zodiac Bistro
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