Stale Cigarettes

A tale of two thieves

The mirror behind him, spotted and hazy, held the room of half empty tables, a few regulars, and deep shadows. Smoke danced through the dimly lit room. The bartender wiped down the bar, covered in nicks and dips. He poured drinks as he moved up the bar. An old Wurlitzer 1700 jukebox, blue and red shone like a prize at the center of the room. The record player swirled, picking up the next record. Paula Abdul shared her woes of an encounter with a cold-hearted snake. A small TV hung in the corner, spelling out the news.

A man with a crooked nose hunched over his glass at the end of the bar. He nodded every few seconds and then snorted. He lifted a glass. Ice clinked the sides as he clumsily shook his hand. The bartender grabbed the lower shelf whiskey and poured. The man nodded and sipped.

Photo by Dmitri Nesteruk on Unsplash. Altered by Jennifer Brewer via Photoshop

Originally published in the Cabinet of Heed Literary Journal here.


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Lena Stanton is on the run. She doesn’t know who they are or what they want, but she is about to find out.

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