Karl Miner, Hero for Hire

The Sink Hole was quiet and the hot air outside had long since defeated the two slow spinning ceiling fans.

Karl Miner nursed his second beer, not because he enjoyed the taste, but because the first had disappeared so quickly. He was here for a prospective job, not to get drunk.

Three young toughs exploded in through the front door, whooping and hollering. They had the enthusiastic belief in their own invincibility that Karl had lost during the Great War, not that he had fought in it. Not for very long anyway.

The closest kid wore slicked back hair, an undershirt that outlined small hard muscles and a need to prove himself. When he saw Karl’s face, he stopped.

“That’s the ugliest mug Ah ever seen. You a product of miscegenation?”

Karl slowly pushed himself to his feet, loosing the bulk he had squashed into a corner table. The punk stared in amazement as Karl stood up to his full height.

“I’ve been on the wrong side of the law. More than once.” Karl paused, waiting for that to sink in. “You should go.”

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