One Too Many
by Alexis Kypridemos
Detective David "Davie" Croquet parked outside the bar. This night he was working alone, without his partner, Richard "Dick" Tuggs. Croquet walked into the establishment and headed for the bar, where he had arranged a meeting with an informant. He checked the time. He was a few minutes early.
"Where’s the restroom?" Croquet asked the barman.
"Over there," the barman pointed. Croquet walked in the pointed direction and opened the door to the men’s room.
Two men stood just inside the door. One was handing the other something when Crocket popped his head in.
"Do you mind?" one of them snapped at Croquet. "We’re dealing drugs in here."
"Sorry," Croquet said, and retreated.
He returned to the bar and sat on a stool.
"Cider. Neat," he ordered.
"You got it," the barman said. As he poured the drink, Croquet looked around, examining the surroundings. No sign of the informant he was waiting for. He turned around and had a sip of his drink. He spat it out.
"Hey, this had alchohol in it!" he said to the barman. "This must be like five proof!" He flashed his badge. "OK, you’re under arrest." He took out a pair of handcuffs.
"But- but everyone knows cider has alchohol in it," the barman said.
"That’s a lie. Cider isapplejuice."
"No it’s not!" said everyone else in the bar.
Crocket looked at them with disapproval.
"You’re really lucky I’ve only got one pair of handcuffs."
Five hours later, the bar was empty. The barman slept on the counter, his wrist chained to the railing that ran the length of the bar. Croquet sipped his cider. He looked at his watch.
"He’s late," he said, and decided that the informant he was waiting for would not show. He left his glass on the counter and reached for his wallet.
"What do I owe you?" he asked the barman.
Without opening his eyes, the barman waved the matter aside.
Croquet got up.
"Mind locking up on your way out?" the barman said, half asleep.
The barman, his eyes still closed, rummaged around in his hip pocket with his free hand and found the keys to the bar. He gave them to Croquet. Croquet walked to the door, paused to turn the lights off, stepped outside and locked the door.
Author Notes: "One Too Many" is part of "Fiction Fix," a collection of 46 short, funny stories, plus 196 bonus micro fiction budget stories, available at http://www.fiction-fix.com.