Joseph P Garland (@JPGarlandAuthor) flew the highest this week and takes his seventh win!
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The Unfamiliar Man in the Unfamiliar Tavern
Even after her eyes became used to the dark and her nose to the dank air, Clara remained disoriented in the unfamiliar tavern. The man she was to meet would have a bowler hat on the table in a corner. She discovered him. His eyes picked her out, and he used the back of his hand to clean some foam from his mustache before nodding. As she neared, he stood, gentleman-like.
“I cannot say why I am here,” she told him. A waitress was beside her as she sat. “A German ale.” With the waitress gone, he said, “Can’t you?”
An acquaintance said he could offer an anodyne for the pain that lingered from the attack. It had the bonus, he said, of enhancing the senses. Bursts of creativity were not uncommon, though he did not put it quite so elegantly.
The German ale was beside her before she again spoke.
“I am told it will not harm me.”
“You’ve been told right.”
She nodded, faintly but he saw it. She reached into the bag on her lap and removed a purse. She opened it and looked across the table.
“Ten dollars,” he said. He lifted his stein but put it down, seeing he was with a lady.
She took out the bill and slipped it to him. When it was in his left hand, his right was beneath the table, and she took the green bottle, revolted by his touch. She dropped it into her purse which quickly was in the bag.
She was up.
“You know where I am,” he said, reaching for the handle of his stein, seeing as the lady was leaving.
She nodded and turned, and with her eyes accustomed to the room she fled efficiently. Her German ale sat untouched.