Whispers to the Heart (1)
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The room is filled with the acrid smell of bourbon and stale cigarettes. Ashtrays litter the bar, and spindly tables filled with ashes and butts were long since abandoned.  The bartender looks up from a brunette in a red dress, who was draped over his end of the bar and inclines his head to me, and I raise my glass a few inches.  I’ve reached my limit, but tonight I needed another one.  

I bring the cool glass to my lips and sip, the tonic sliding to my belly and settling there with a weight I’d deal with tomorrow.  Behind the bar is a large glass mirror, spotted and chipping with age.  I can see a couple in its reflection; they’ve claimed one of the cracked leather booths in the back and have their heads together swapping whispers.  The man is dressed in...

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