Clingerman’s short stories often rely on a shift in perception. So if I tell you what the story’s about, I will ruin it. “Stair Trick” centers on Dick the bartender who would entertain his customers by pretending to go down some imaginary stairs behind the bar to get a bottle of special liquid. The story moves from there. Short, incisive, witty, and well done.
From A Cupful of Space, Mildred Clingerman, Ballantine Books, 1961.