Shaoxing

(with apologies to Philip K. Dick)

“Want another?”

Orville rubbed his eyes, exhaled, studied his reflection in the dirty mirror behind the rows of bottles. Not too destroyed, not yet. “Sure. Whiskey.”

“No whiskey. Only rice wine. I tell you already!”

“Fine. Rice wine.” He could see a couple single-malt bottles from where he was sitting, but maybe they were just for show: window-dressing to give customers the false impression that they had options. “Do you remember when I started coming in here? How long ago?”

“Long time. Regular customer!” The old man laughed, nodded. He set a clean glass down and filled it with two fingers of rice wine.

Can’t have been all that long. “You don’t remember exactly?”

“No, no. Why you no remember?” The old man didn’t wait for an answer, but continued down the bar, helping other customers.

Orville could remember, but they weren’t his memories. How long did he have left?

8 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Maybe if there'd been a slo-motion unicorn insert it would have been clearer. ;-)

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  2. Makes me want to know more of the story, the before AND the after!

    D.B. McNicol
    Romance & Mystery...writing my life

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  3. You're portrayal of the characters through dialogue was brilliant, especially the bartender. i now want to read some Philip K Dick :) I'm just getting to grips with Isaac Asimov!

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    1. Thank you very much :-) PKD is essential, and there's a lot of it. :-) "The Man In The High Castle" as well as the Valis trilogy are good flag-wavers.

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