[This story was written for Monday Mixer, a weekly Flash Fiction contest.]
Let’s play Spot My Murderer.
Anyone in this taproom could have a knife in their garter or a gun on their hip. A sea of black fedoras and slick hair welcomes me. Some here know my business. Too many.
I sit with my back to the wall.
The bartender cocks a derisive eyebrow. I order a Scotch on the rocks; I’ve been watching the bottle. If the bartender poisoned me, he poisoned at least three other hard-knocks.
A microphone leans against the wall. It looks like a cosh. A bass case lies on the floor— a coffin. My hand shakes. I swig the scotch. My mouth burns but the liquor calms my nerves.
Or… it should.
The burning spreads throughout my whole body, the shakes give way to convulsions. From the floor, I see the face of victory.
It was him after all. His weapon: a stash of tainted ice.