(This is an excerpt from a story I’ve been working on. It’s not much. It needs work. But it exists, dammit. Enjoy.)
Colin Gear sat at the bar, glaring at the television in the upper-right corner of the liquor shelf, which was broadcasting CNN. The time read 9:30 AM.
Colin barely noticed the bartender, who was shifting around bottles in preparation for the upcoming breakfast rush.
“What’ll it be?” The bartender asked.
Colin took a second to think.
“Bloody mary.” said Colin. “Actually, make that two.”
The bartender picked up a plastic jug, full of tomato juice.
“How much spice do you want in ’em?” The bartender asked.
“Go crazy.” Colin replied.
The bartender shrugged and began to make the drinks.
Colin got up from his chair and faced the large glass window to his right. The sunlight poured into the bar area, illuminating the room without the use of the flourescent lighting that hung above the bar.
“What’s checkout time here, anyway?” Colin asked.
“Noon.” The bartender replied.
“Good. Gives me time to recuperate.” Colin looked at his right arm. His watch was scratched and loose on his wrist.
“Rough night?” The bartender asked.
“More than usual.” Colin said.
“That’s too bad.” the bartender said, as he set two pint glasses of bloody mary on to the bartop in front of Colin. “Maybe this will make it a bit better.”
“Here’s hoping.” Colin said.
As Colin sat at the bar, he nursed his bloody mary and occasionally checked the time on the television. The bartender came over to take the empty glass after Colin started on the second glass.
“Another?” the bartender asked.
“No.” Colin said. “What do I owe?”
“Hm. One moment.”
Colin reached into his wallet and took out a $20 bill. He gave it to the bartender and returned to his drink.
A few minutes later, a hotel employee came into the bar and approached Colin.
“Excuse me, sir. Are you Colin Gear?”
Colin turned to the employee.
“Can I help you?” Colin asked.
“I was told that you’d be here this morning. And I was asked to give you this.”
The employee handed Colin a small white envelope.
“Who’s it from?” Colin asked.
“She didn’t give me her name.” said the employee.
The employee left as Colin opened the envelope. Inside was a small 3×5 notecard.
Colin sat the card down on the bartop. The bartender came over to look at it.
“Someone you know?” the bartender asked.
Colin took the card from the bartop and put it in his pocket.
“No. Someone I knew.”