The bartender and owner, Wilton Krappa, was a retired 25-year career Marine who had bought the place from old Ambrose Zorch, now deceased. After seven-years, he knew all the regulars and what they drank–including Doreen Pousant. He saw her come in and immediately drew her draft beer with a shot of stock whiskey on the side.
“I’m not going to ask Doreen, the look on your face tells all.” Krappa set out a tab for her. “Another bad night.”
“Yeah, I caught the freaking liquor store holdup on the North side. You’ll see it on the news or read about it tomorrow.” Pousant sucked down the shot of whiskey and stared at the foaming beer.
“Go ahead and drink it. I know what your limit is.”
“Yeah, Krappa, it's always been freaking amazing to me. How do you know when I've had too much?”
“It's easy Doreen. The way you talk changes. When you substitute the word ‘freaking’ with ‘fucking’, then you’re done.”
She smiled and brought the glass of beer to her mouth. Pousant looked at the clock on the wall behind Krappa and wondered where the liquor store shooter disappeared to right after he shot and killed the holdup man. She looked around the dimly lit lounge area to see if more people from the job were here. Actually, she was looking for one particular non-drinking buddy cop.
“Looking for Digby?” Krappa asked.
“Yeah.” She looked at the wall clock again. “Has he been here?”
“Not yet. You know his routine. He tries to get to bed around 10:30, gives up and shows up here at 11–for a decaf coffee.”
“Yeah, a man after my own heart. Give me another please.” Pousant watched the wall clock. It seemed that the sweep second hand was taking hours to complete a single cycle. She let her thoughts drift back to the ATM holdup man. She wrote the word “common” on the small square napkin she was supposed to be using as a coaster for her shot glass. The only thing she wrote down underneath the heading was “ATM”. There had to be something more than just the ATM machine. Of course, the same perpetrator was described after holding-up convenience stores, a computer game store and a liquor store. She added these sites to the list. After her third drink she motioned for Krappa to come over.
Krappa looked at the clock. “Almost midnight. Don’t you have to get up early tomorrow? And it looks like Digby’s a no-show tonight.”
Pousant widened her glassy eyes. “Just give me another fucking round of drinks.”
“Sorry Doreen. You said the magic word and the bar just closed for you.”
Pousant slammed down some money on her tab slip. “Fuck you.” She slid off the barstool, buttoned up her coat and walked slowly to the exit.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish