A companion piece to: Lady Ostentatious
“Scotch, and make it scorching”
The bartender peered across the haze of smoky heat waves and sweating accountants to recognize that whatever sat before him was most definitely not a man.
“Lady, as the only sober man in this room, I would suggest something a little lighter for your more, uh, sensitive tastes.”
Lady Ostentatious had just made it to New York. Less than 36 hours ago, she had shot a man dead. She felt fine.
“I’ll take the scotch. Add a little cayenne to that too would you dear.”
The bartender just twitched his mustache and pulled out a tap to sink up the glass.
“So what do you do?”
The bartender scoffed, “Why lady, I’m a bartender.”
“No, no,” Lady Ostentatious waved her cigarette around and tapped her elbows onto the counter peering at him through the cloud of smoke she made, “What do you really do?”
“I’m a PI.”
“Oh, now that’s something special. PI by day. Bartender by night.”
The bartender shrugs, “Pays the bills. There’s too much crime in New York, but there’s even more suckers willing to run after them.”
“I have a question. For Mr. daytime.”
Lady Ostentatious’s eyebrow quirked up at that word.
“How do you get away with murder?”
“Well, honey,” The bartender says, twisting back on the lid of the pepper shaker. He leaned over conspiratorially, signaling her to bend her ear towards him. “You don’t commit it in the first place.”
Lady leans back with a laugh “You’re not a very a good detective are you?”
“Beats me why I’m still working as a bartender.”
He hands her the glass of scotch. It swirls red and transparent, like fire in a crystal cup.
“You sure you’re going to be able to handle that.”
Lady O. brought the cup to her lips. It might have been her painted lips, or it might have been the reflections of the drink, but at that moment, the bartender thought that she looked like very much like the devil.
“I’m a woman. Swallowing fire is what we’ve been taught to do.”