Search, Not Look

By: Lydia Crow


“For fuck sake.”

Paul continued to polish the glass he was holding and didn’t reply. He was used to this. His customer was hunched over an empty pint glass, his whole right hand curling round it, cradling it protectively as a new parent would their child.

“I mean, seriously. What kind of jacked up bollocks of a phrase is that?”

Paul made a non-committal grunt. He placed the glass, sparkling, on the shelf and picked up another from the dishwasher.

“It sounds like something she got from Buddy. Buddha. Whatever. Fat prick.”

Paul could sense that something more was expected of him. Sure enough, a moment later:-

“I mean, what do you think? What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

The man raised his head and glared accusatively at him. Paul took in his face, screwed up with bitterness, eyes red and small with alcohol. His patron continued.

“Stupid bitch. You know what? She can just fuck off and search all she likes. I’ll cut her off. I’ll fight her for the kids too. Never wanted the buggers anyway, but it would kill her not to have them.”

The man sneered, cruel and vicious. He climbed off the bar stool, struggling to stand unaided.

Paul watched him. He was his last customer, here out in the middle of nowhere. There would be no-one else on the road for miles.

Paul picked up the man’s car keys and tossed them to him.

“Time to go, mate. Safe drive home.”

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