A Warm Bottle

His shift being almost over, he walks into the kafić, sits at the counter and orders a beer.

“But not out of the fridge!” he barks at the konobar. “It’s too fucking cold. Like a nun’s cunt. Ha!”

“No, no,” says the konobar, taking a beer out of the fridge. “Look, it’s not too cold. Put your hand on that and tell me it’s a nun’s cunt, hey? It’s only been in the fridge a few minutes.”

The man wraps his fat hand around the bottle. It is cool but not cold and it feels good in his hand. He grunts “okay” and the konobar opens it and puts it in front of him.

The konobar knows what the man does not know, that the fridge is just for show. He cannot afford both heating and refrigeration. As the temperature drops, he uses the fridge less and less, keeping the beer out the back in the cold of the cage. He switched the fridge off weeks ago.

The man picks up the bottle and drinks it in one go, right to the very last drop, and bangs the bottle onto the bar.

“Right,” he says, standing up and wiping his moustache. “Someone’s gotta keep these trains on time.” He pays the konobar and puts his woolly hat back on.

He wanders back to the office in time to clock-off at exactly 4pm. Now in civilian clothes, he drives his rusty Fiat through curse-inducing traffic – towards a home where wait a disappointed wife and 3 delightfully ignorant children.

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Nat Newman - portrait

Nat Newman

Nat Newman is an award-winning writer of short stories, content, podcasts, feature articles, drunk text messages and, soon, a novella.


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