A Drink to Die For
I stashed the bottle under my driver’s seat. Two mints. No, three. Left the garage, walked across the yard to the kitchen door. She was waiting for me. I saw it instantly. In my wife’s hand, her hand with three fingers, she held a receipt. “What the HELL is this?”
One thought bounced in my head: I’m a dead man.
90 days earlier
These were my boss’ exact words: “I can’t tell you to quit drinking, Frain. Probably some law against that. I can tell you we otherwise like your performance. We’ll evaluate you in thirty days.”
84 days ago
Friend Bill told me about Quittin’ Time. A 100% success rate, he said.
Yeah, right. I called references. Each one I got hold of had quit drinking. I signed the contract, swore I’d never touch another drop.
60 days ago
Kept my job. Promotion. Fat bonus.
44 days ago
Stressful day at the office. I slipped. Drove around the block, chugged two shots in my car. After work, my car was gone. Text message read: Another drink and we move to #2. Thought it was a joke.
9 days ago
Another bonus, but my boss is riding me. Hid in the restroom and pulled out my flask. On the way home, my wife called from the ER. Freak accident. She’d lost two fingers. I found them in my office the next day. Wrapped in the contact. “#3 is your last chance.”
Couldn’t take the pressure anymore. I checked the garage. Nobody nearby. Took a pull straight from the bottle. Couple more slugs. Then the mints. I was sweating. Walked in and saw my wife. Somehow she’d found the receipt from Quittin’ Time. Signed contract on the back. If I’m caught a third time, it’s my life. It’s how they guarantee a 100% success rate. All their clients quit drinking, one way or another.
Only question now: Who’s gonna kill me first?
* * *
Okay, astute readers may complain here because I went into the challenge saying I’d write my murder scene using weapons (albeit unconventional) from A to Z. Technically, Quittin’ Time ain’t a weapon. But here’s what happened. I wrote a story where somebody ran over Frain in his Audi Quattro, but that tale died on the side of the road. Tried another where my wife smothers me with a quilt. Then Quittin’ Time came to my mind, so I decided to cheat a little. What are you gonna do, kill me? Take a number.