Chapter 11

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Will pulled his truck up to the Stone Tavern and parked in the space at the end of the snowmobile pack.  He stepped out and looked across the road to see if the liquor store was still open.  The fluorescent light that hung low in the store was on however that did not necessarily mean anything since they left the lights on all night over there.  The watch Will kept on the dashboard of his truck had not worked in five years or been worn in fifteen, even then only on occasion.  Walking across the road, he leaned his neck forward to see any signs of movement a bit sooner.  The face of the wall clock read ten minutes to the hour.  Will took this as a good sign.  When Will opened the door a little bell signaled the counter that someone had just arrived in case they were stocking shelves, in the back, or with a customer.

The Willow Lake liquor store was just that and nothing else.  This was the only place to buy liquor for twenty miles.  The store interior did not need to be upscale or wood trimmed.  The wine section did not need the ends of giant casks on the wall.  The advertisements were even at a minimum because they were not really needed.  The liquor store had been set up by the liquor control commission and was as basic as a store could get.

Inside of the liquor store aisle after aisle of alcohol, the vodka, the whiskey, the brandy, and gin were lined up on the shelves with full cases behind them, in more of a storage facility fashion than a display.  Along the side and back walls, from floor to ceiling, were all of the varietals of wines, the Cabernets, the Chardonnays, the Pinots, and the Chablis from wineries from around the world.  The variety of wine labels to choose from represented a vast collection of wineries, corporate and boutique, with catchy names like ‘Red Juice’, ‘Farmers Dream’, and ‘Devil Dog’.

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