Tom really needed a drink.
Vodka, Scotch, gin, it really didn’t matter, even a beer or a cheap Chablis. He hadn’t had anything to drink for 32 days and he still had 13 to go before the ankle bracelet came off. The device could detect alcohol from the perspiration on his skin.
It’s diabolical, thought Tom. I have all the booze I need right over there in the cabinet, but I can’t touch the stuff. Tom heard a rustling at the open window then a sharp Caw! He looked up to see the crow peering in at him. Goddamn that thing, Tom swore. It never goes away, not for very long anyway. The crow cawed at him again. Tom picked up an empty Coke can and threw it at the window, rattling the screen. The crow just sat there, staring at Tom. It cawed again. Goddamn it, that’s enough, said Tom, his nerves stretched thin by the lack of liquor. He got up from the couch and went outside.
Tom went into his workshop, thinking to grab a two-by-four or something and smack the hell out of the crow. He could smell sawdust and glue in the darkened room. Tom pulled a light cord and the overhead fluorescents flickered to life. Tom saw the crow perched atop Tom’s gleaming silver SkilSaw, the bird staring back at Tom. It cawed once, then flew straight at Tom’s head before veering off out the door. Tom ducked and swore at the bird. His eyes settled on the SkilSaw. He went to the workbench, unplugged the saw and carried it into the house.
Tom sat on the couch and sipped at a large tumbler of Scotch. He had thought about cutting off the bracelet, but he knew they could tell if you tampered with it. But he knew how to fool them. His gaze shifted to the top of his liquor cabinet where his lower right leg, sock-footed with the ankle bracelet intact, stood propped against the wall. Once again Tom heard a rustling at the window. He looked up and there was the crow looking back at Tom. Tom raised his glass to the crow, toasting the bird, and took a big gulp of Scotch.