By Troy Aaron Ratliff
Copyright 2011 Troy Aaron Ratliff
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Jacob stood before the brass panel of buttons on the ninth-floor hallway. The little round light illuminated his finger before he quickly pulled it back to balance the bottles in his arms, almost losing one to the floor. The bottle would have been cushioned against the carpet and probably wouldn’t have shattered, but he wasn’t up for taking that chance. With the deep sounds of clinking glass echoing down the corridor, mimicking the distant creaking of the elevator as it rose to his floor, he had to acknowledge he didn’t care for wine. I’ve never liked it, in fact.
He looked around, hoping nobody saw him do the mock balancing act. The nine wine bottles—five pinots and four merlots—clinked again, and he thought about how stupid this was; he should have been smart about it and gotten a box or a bag or something to carry these things in.