By Torn MacAlester

Photo by Life Of Pix from Pexels

“Deputy Miller, a serious situation has risen.” Alex said, cleaning a lunar beer mug as he spoke.

“Like what?” Miller answered, clearly disinterested in the Conrad Station barkeep’s current crisis.  She checked her watch. Miller knew Nils Carmike’s schedule like the back of her hand. He would soon dock.

“We need more people in the bar or else I will have to raise the price of drinks.”

“What do you want me to do about it?” She asked, not really caring what he would ask.

“If you can get some more people to take the time to come here, I’m sure we’ll get this place back on its feet.”

“It’s not my job to keep you in business.”

“Keep me in business?  Hey, this ain’t no dive.  You’re the one causing us to gain that reputation.”

“What’s really going on?”

“Okay Deputy, you really want to know?”

“I asked,” she seethed.

“You hang around too much.”


“You’re driving my customers away,” he said.  “Ever since you and Nils had your fling a couple weeks ago, you’re here giving him grief at your every opportunity.  It was cute at first, but you are driving away my paying customers.”

“What?” she said again, shocked that he knew about her conflict with Nils.

‘Who else knows?’ she thought.

“I need Nils to tell his stories here. Since there are not any bar fights, I don’t need you, Deputy.”