by Leandra J. Piper
The stranger smiled, but thinly, so his lips stayed close together. "Oh, I never drink," he said in a voice like old gravel, then like an afterthought clarified, "...whiskey."
It's a dark night in a lonely mining town then the stranger rides in, looking for a place to stay. There's no room anywhere else, so the barman lets the stranger hole up with him for a few days, not ever really knowing why.