That sick smell

Photo by Marcelo Leal on Unsplash

Chuck was late, which was okay. I was bracing myself as it was. I found a seat at the bar. Covid had eased, things were opening up. I was shoulder to shoulder with someone on my right. A young bearded bartender with a belly approached. I ordered a mezcal cocktail.

Chuck came in the door. He looked worse than ever. I shuddered inside. He made his way toward me. When he took his seat on the barstool beside me, I smelled the hospital on…

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