Vindicate

Fortune hunched over the typewriter, cracking the knuckles first on one hand, then the other. His finger nails had grown longer than he usually liked, but he hadn’t had time to pay any attention. As it was he was behind on the article for next issue, his eyes already hurt from the strain of working late into the night for the last few weeks, and he was having trouble ignoring the bottle of gin at the back of the kitchen cupboard. And it didn’t help that Washington’s right-hand man had called the night before and dragged him out to Jessup’s, plied him full of whisky and laid out the plan to support Roosevelt for election. This morning his body ached down to his finger nails and the editorial was far from written–especially now that it was clear Washington would not support any deviance from the editorial policy he, Washington, decreed.

Fortune relented, went over to the corner of the small apartment one might call the kitchen, which held a cupboard, a small cooking area, and the sink, and retrieved the bottle from the behind the loaf of bread. That nag appeased, he settled back at the typewriter, nursing the whole bottle, swishing the ideas around in his head as the gin sloshed against the inside of his cheeks and cascaded down his throat.

“Maligned,” he thought, drumming the fingers on the hand not occupied with the gin bottle, against the tabletop. “I am always maligned. Maligned and anathematized.”

Determined to vindicate himself, Fortune set the bottle down next to the typewriter and set to work revising the editorial, furiously slamming away at the keys, late into the evening.

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