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.”