Going Nowhere

Lloyd from The Shining

Screenshot of Lloyd from The Shining

The following piece is something I wrote using a writing prompt from a magazine I subscribe to called Writer’s Digest. 

The prompt was, “A man walks into a bar. But it isn’t a bar.” 

It’s called, “Going Nowhere.


A man walks into a bar. But it isn’t a bar. In fact, the room isn’t part of a building, and it isn’t in our world, and it isn’t in any world. The bartender isn’t a real bartender, either, and he has a joke he likes to tell to explain it all.

“A guy and a girl and another guy walk into a bar that’s not really a bar, and the first guy says, “there’s no beer here,” and the girl says, “I know,” and the third guy says, “I want to live here forever,” and then he kills the other 2 so that no one can ever find him.”

It’s not a very funny joke.

But he tells it to all the newcomers that he meets. He usually tells it to them while offering a beer he doesn’t have.

“Where am I?” asks the newcomer.

“You’re in the bar between worlds,” the not-bartender lies.

“How do I get home?” asks the newcomer.

“You don’t,” replies the not-bartender, just before shooting him.

The not-bartender takes the body and dumps it through the door that leads to some place that’s not really an alley; He whistles as he works.

He used to wonder what happens to the bodies that he throws out the door – once he saw something impossibly long moving through the shadows; he shut the door quickly as beads of sweat fell into his eyes.

He’s decided that it’s not the kind of thing he should worry about.

Back inside, he wipes his hands, and stretches.


It’s the doorbell to his place that’s no place at all.

Another customer. 

Published in: on May 11, 2008 at 7:06 am  Leave a Comment  
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