"Hard Day's Night"
by Anne Erre
Walk in the door, head straight to the bar and pour a stiff drink, maybe even drink the whole day into oblivion — that was the plan.
When he turned on the hallway lights, one of them was flickering. Would the hassle ever stop? Why did he need two lights in the hallway anyway?
The plan held. He would take care of the lamp after the first drink.
He kept the first sip of bourbon on his tongue a while, anticipating the rush of alcohol, looking forward to the light-headedness that would come with the second drink. No food all day would help ensure that.
Second drink down. Nice.
He poured himself a third one and went to have a look at the lamp.
He screwed the bulb tighter and turned the light back on. Still flickering.
For crying out loud.
He set his drink on the table, and under he went, fiddling with the outlet. No good. Maybe a wire was loose in the cord. He couldn’t be bothered with it now though. He felt nice and cozy under the table, like a child’s comfort place. And comfort was exactly what the doctor had ordered just now.
Startled by the phone, he jumped up and knocked himself cold against the sharp angle of the table, spilling his drink in the process. When the dripping bourbon touched the outlet, a spark flared up, and the flickering briefly worsened. The fire was quick to spread.
His last day could have been better.