Christmas Noir

*insert wailing and gnashing of teeth*
 
A ms in progress has gone missing, my Very Special Christmas story, crossed unnaturally with Detective Noir. Apparently it didn’t make the lifeboat when I changed computers. Well. I know what is to be done about that.

I felt my way to a tiny table in the dive, put my beer and laptop on the table and, once the one had started my motors, started the motor on the other.

The file was missing.
I knew how it had gone down.  Everyone did just what they were supposed to.  The IT rat, the hardware, it all worked just like it was supposed to.  But the file was gone, just the same, because it wasn’t a part of the what was important to the Fat Wallets in the corner offices.  Now there was nothing but me, sitting in the coils of stale cigarette smoke and looking like a sap, and a computer with nothing good to show me.
I knew what that meant, and I knew what to do about it.
I limped back to the bar.  The same slack-jawed tender was there.  It wasn’t his fault, but I had to fight down the urge to feed him his flannel shirt and maybe some teeth as garnish.
“Whiskey.  One shot, neat, water back and keep the sound muted.  Get me?”
“Bad day?”
I gave him a look I usually reserve for street punks and people who talk during trailers at movies.  “That question is part of what needs to be muted.  Get me?”
The look had slipped a couple gears, or maybe the bartender was tougher than he looked.  He stopped talking, though, and poured my shot.  He threw a splash more into the glass.  Maybe the look wasn’t slipping.  I tipped him heavy, to let him know I’d seen the splash.

Time for a blank-page rewrite.

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