178-The Liquor Store

The Liquor Store is nothing special, beyond that the owner is one of us. His stock, consequently, tends towards the sort of drink the awakened favour: strong and cheap. If you wish to learn more of the secret history, buy a bottle of Wiser’s Very Old and ask the owner to share it after the store closes. Though he was initiated in the days before days and knows more secrets than God, he’ll tell you nothing you couldn’t figure out on your own. What he will do is nudge. Imply. Insinuate. Help you think aloud.

The old man who owns the liquor store is fond of cleverness, and if you surprise him with your acumen, he may smooth the city’s rough edges for you. If you, like most, aren’t clever then you will have to ply him with his passion: liquor. Like most of the dead, he’s constrained by rules and by customs. He cannot drink unless it is purchased for him, and he cannot forget unless he drinks. If you help him, he will owe you a favour. Forgiveness of a trespass against another practitioner such as those described elsewhere in my notes, or perhaps something more mundane.

However, if he realises what you are trying to do, you won’t make it out the door. Cleverness and whisky are no match for a Smith & Wesson with more than a century of practice behind it.

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