ROBERT OVERBEY


BULLSEYE

            Everyone saw Sawyer as a tough guy. His head was shaved bald and he put his lit cigarette behind his ear when he threw darts. He spent a lot of time at the bar for someone who didn’t drink. Maybe he'd quit booze some time ago. Maybe he just loved darts—he was the best in our league. Rumors said that he'd once set fire to the 9th Precinct and that he'd once killed a neighbor's dog. Another one was that a kid tried to mug him, but with his keys sticking out between his fingers Sawyer punched the kid's eye out. The story went that as the kid was holding his face, bleeding on the sidewalk, Sawyer said, "When you grow up people will ask what happened to your eye. You can tell them that when you were younger you were a real piece of shit." These rumors didn't seem to fit the soft-spoken Sawyer but maybe that’s what made them kind of believable.
            Sawyer's wife spent a lot of time at the bar. There weren’t many rumors about her because her life was pretty much right there for everyone to see. Analee drank too much.  Every night that she and Sawyer were out together she’d get drunk and take her top off or rub people’s crotches under the bar or try and get an argument going with somebody. It wasn't uncommon for her to come over during a darts tournament and yell something at Sawyer like, "There's a guy here that wants to screw me! What're you gonna do about it!" Sawyer would just put his burning cigarette behind his ear and throw a perfect round. By night’s end he’d scoop up Analee and carry her home. No one knew how long they had been married. They both looked to be in their mid-forties. They both had many tattoos and many were the same. They didn't have any kids but they had a fat tabby cat that spent so much time on their front stoop they finally named it Furburger.
            We won the Division C championships that year I was on the team. Furburger is surely dead now. Who knows about Sawyer and Analee. I may have been the worst darts player but I still have the trophy with all our names on it. And I've quit smoking since then.

 

 

 

 

Robert Overbey is a writer of mostly short fiction. He was a shortlist finalist for the Faulkner Society's Pirate's Alley writing competition, and a shortlist finalist for the 2015 Paris Lit Up short story prize. His work appears in Sakura Review Volume 6, and he is a regular contributor to Alexandria Quarterly. He received a BFA in creative writing from Goddard College in 2011. He lives in New York City.