He was a big man. Very big. He’d just set the empty shot glass down on the bar when the bottle struck him from behind, breaking into a million pieces atop his head. He started to go down, but caught himself with his forearms on the bartop. Only a big man could have done so, only a strong man. He blinked several times to clear his head of both the stars and the shock. Wet ran down his back. He had no idea if the wet was whiskey or blood.
The room was silent. Even the juke box had ceased its prattle. Not a breath stirred the smoke filled air. Whomever had swung the bottle was behind him yet, awaiting a response. ”First things first,“ he thought to himself. He caught the bartender’s eye and gestured toward the empty shot glass. The frightened woman filled the glass with Johnny Walker’s. When he went to reach for it he saw three glasses lying there. He chose the middle one and lifted it to eye level so that he could examine its amber glow in the dim light. “When I set this glass down, I’m going to kill you.” His voice was calm, matter of fact.
There was no answer, the only sound behind him came from the shuffling of chairs as bystanders backed away from the trouble that was coming.
He threw his whiskey back and set the glass on the bar with a bang. The liquor coursed down his throat and sat hot on his stomach, fueling his anger like the ethanol that it was. Curious, he turned to see who it was that he was about to kill. His surprise upon doing so was such that he might as well have been hit by another bottle.
It was her.