Day 63: Temperance

“You need to take it easy with that,” said my gun, there on my office desk.

I knocked back the whiskey. “What do you know?” I said, wiping my rough lips with my wrist. “You’re a goddamned inanimate object.”

“And that doesn’t prove my point?” my gun went on. It had a nasally voice. Probably because it was snub-nosed. “You were a prohi, Johnnie.”

“I’m not anymore,” I said. I poured another couple fingers.

“Because of shit like this.”

“Ness didn’t want me. He needs me, but he doesn’t want me.”

“You can’t be controlled. Not when you’re drinking. How do you think I feel about all the poor bastards you shot? Not just Capone’s guys, but those who get in the way. Remember the woman?”

“Shut the fuck up.”

“Getting fired was justice.”

I swallowed what was in the glass. Fuck it. I didn’t need to impress anybody anymore. I took another swig–this time from the bottle. I tossed the glass against the wall. Shards flashed in the moonlit office like shooting stars.

“Not justice enough,” I said.

“One of the boys will find you like this. You’re not supposed to be here.”

“Let ’em find me.”

The whiskey burned all the way down. It was warm in here.

“You carry me around in sweaty, shaking hands. I can feel when you’re losing it. My nose waving all over the fucking place. It’s a wonder you’re still alive.”

“I’m not gonna miss. Never again.”

“Put the bottle away.”

“Because it’s illegal?”

“Because it’s killing you!”

“No,” I said. I placed the bottle on my old desk. It slipped out of my hand and rolled away. Fuck it. I gripped my revolver. The metal was cool in my sweaty palm. The trigger ice on my fingertip. The barrel cold fire on my temple.

You’re killing me,” I said.

And my gun screamed.



Today’s three prompt categories were, “An inanimate object with feelings,” “Temperance,” and, “Justice.”

I love Prohibition-era stories. I miss Boardwalk Empire.

– H.

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