by D.K. Holmberg
Ben sat at the bar, eyes drifting drunkenly across couples sitting at darkened booths. Odds flicked through his head, some more rapidly than others, and numbers practically overlaid the couples he watched. He took another sip of bourbon, hoping to burn them away.
The bartender tipped his head toward him, the question plain. Ben raised a finger and nodded. Another glass of the cheap, honey-colored bourbon appeared, neat. No use watering it down.
The door behind him opened in a gust of cold before slamming shut again. Someone smelling of snow and perfume slipped onto the stool alongside him. Straight, dark hair pulled severely behind her head. Serious eyes fixed directly ahead of her. A laminated badge hung from her neck, hanging over a turtleneck.
No odds appeared. Still single, then.
The bartender eventually made his way over to her. She said something too quietly for Ben to hear and the bartender smiled before sliding off and grabbing a glass from a higher shelf.
The woman wiped a hand across her head. A spray of melted snow struck him and he turned to glare at her.
She shrugged. "Damn snow." She blinked as recognition came to her face.
Ben looked away. The bartender had set his drink down in front of him. It seemed to have less booze than the last one.
"You're him, right?"