Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Sunday Threesome!

Of the 25 given words at The Sunday Whirl, Sunday Scribblings 2 and Sunday's Whirligig I have used these 22:-
tawny, lucid, chill, mist, creep, vine, trap, plaster, crack, mad gloss, buzz, hug, pies, pact (packed) push, price, hard, care, broken and despair.




I’ll never forget that day. Handing over the keys to my pub was a mistake. I hadn’t realised what an important part of my life The Vine Inn had become; important as life itself. But the price was good and I foolishly accepted it. Right then, I didn’t care. I packed my bag and moved away, far away.

Yesterday I returned. I wanted to see it, hear that buzz, feel it, breathe it in. I wanted to meet that mad crowd again! Share a pint or two of Tawny Ale, scoff a pie why not. Laugh, chat, hug. Cry even.

What I found chilled me to the bone. A feeling of utter despair crept over me. Cracked  windows; rotten beams where tiles once hung. Overgrowth, garbage, and peeling paint where gloss had been. The grand old door hung crookedly from one rusty hinge. I pushed it, hard. It shifted. I fell inside. There I lay surrounded by fallen plaster, broken chairs, and upturned tables. A shaft of sunlight ventured through a gaping hole in the ceiling. Swirling specks of dust created an eerie mist. I cannot bring myself to tell you more. 

Was it my imagination? Over there? Was it what I thought, or was my normally lucid mind playing cruel tricks on me? No. Trapped beneath a fallen shelf I saw a lifeless body. I crawled, shards of glass gashing my hands and knees.

I can’t describe how it felt to see my ole’ mate John the Joker laying there, a pint glass still gripped in his hand. Empty of course; he was never one to leave a drop. ‘Did you hear the one about...?’ his voice seemed to say. Only it wasn’t his voice.

Why he was there I can but surmise. Perhaps he wanted one last look before The Vine was reduced to a pile of worthless rubble. I heard myself call 'Time gentlemen please'; I heard my bell. I fled. I’ll never go back. Not ever.


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15 comments:

  1. A bit of a horror story there, eh? not quite gory, but still a scary idea to think of going back to something you love and seeing it destoryed.

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  2. Many years ago I worked for the Watney-Mann-Tamplin group designing new and upgrading old pubs in Surrey, Hampshire and Sussex in the 1960's. It is indeed sad to go back and see them all disappearing. Times change but I still remember the good old times. There are a lot of lifeless pubs now aren't there?

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    1. As you know Old Egg, I am an ex landlord. I went back to my old pub recently to find it partly burnt out, and completely boarded up. There are around 30 independent pubs now closing each week. When did I last have a pint of Watney's Red Barrel? Has to be 40 years.

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  3. Hi Keith - absolutely a real setting .. or a film set with more story to follow on or a detective working out why John had died ... but so real. Brilliant use of all those words ... glad it's coffee time and not time to go to the pub! Cheers Hilary

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    1. Hi Hilary - this piece was inspired by a visit I made to my old pub. Fortunately I didn't find any bodies there though!

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  4. Sometimes going back to a place we love can be haunting - as is 'time gentlemen please'...every pub has it's day..sadly :(

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  5. Very eerie and devastating, Keith - a dream shattered. I like this.

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  6. Sorry to hear this is based, even loosely, on your own experience. Yet it makes for some good writing and a lead in to quite a story,

    Elizabeth

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    1. That's life. Anyway, glad you liked it.

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  7. A gripping tale using the words, and easily passing the test of not one of them seeming out of place or a diversion from the story.

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  8. Sad, haunting and intriguing - cleverly done, Keith.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

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  9. I agree one hundred percent with Susan! :)

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