Nothing: An Interlude

The news coverage of the terrorist attacks on a hospital in downtown Fort Orange died out after a few months. No suspects were arrested, no groups came forward to claim the attack as their own. Interest eventually moved on to the latest Republican attack on the overly leftist President, a nipple slip at the Oscars by an inebriated septuagenarian, and a school shooting in rural Iowa.

Ulrich Caranado did not forget. He thought about it day and night; it kept him from sleep. In his mind’s eye he could see the hospital collapse, he didn’t need the dozens of Youtube videos to relive the horror. What he needed, in his humble opinion, was a drink.

The Crow’s Nest, luckily for Caranado, opened at 8 am every day. Today, he was going to start off light.

“Kelly,” he called to the bartender, “Beer. Domestic.”

Kelly, a shorter man with long dark hair, and a days growth of beard, placed a stein of amber beer in front of the grizzled, hunched, man at the bar. It was emptied in one gulp, foam sticking to his mustache and beard. He drank like the ancient Norse, and ate like the Romans of old.

At lunch, with two pitchers of beer in his stomach, he enjoyed a hearty meatball sub, an order of mozzarella sticks, and a cup of questionable clam chowder. He cleaned his plate, scraped the bowl, and licked his chops.

When Kelly came back with a new beer, Caranado muttered under his breath. It sounded to Kelly like “I know who blew up the hospital,” and he stopped in his tracks.

“You say something, Caranado?”

He gulped his beer in two swallows. “Nothing. Another beer.”

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