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'Buy me a drink?'A woman slid on to the bar stool next to him. She had azure eyes and hair like a chocolate fountain. Her lavender dress clung to her perfect body and her arms jangled with bracelets. A butterfly on a dung heap.

In the cracked mirror behind the bar he saw a red-faced, middle-aged man, his shirt buttons at straining point. He'd hoped for a tan but his Scottish skin lacked the necessary pigments.

A frosted glass appeared in front of her, a whisky for him. He caught the barman's eye and smiled conspiratorially but the man's face was expressionless. He put his wallet away and turned to woo her with words. His accent amused her and she laughed at his stories, her hand on his knee.

She slipped from the bar stool murmuring in his ear that she'd be right back. He ordered more drinks, reaching for his back pocket. His empty pocket. 'Do you know who that woman is?' he shouted. 'What woman, sir?' the barman asked blandly.

Story by:

Kate Blackadder

28 June 2018