Tuesday, January 17, 2012


((excerpt from my fiction novel about the after life))

 Tom reached out his hand to push the large wooden door, the light increased followed by a flood of the most lovely warmth.  “It’s rather busy tonight? Isn’t it?” Eira remarked.  “There must have been a match” Tom said gesturing to a group of men in a combination of dark and light blue.  Eira smiled “of course”.  The pub opened up before them; a mixture or warm dim light and dark earthy wood.  The bras of the chair legs reflected on their faces and gave the stacked pint glasses and eerie shine from behind the bar.  The plank wood floor creaked quietly as they walked.  He offered her his arm as they mounted the stair case and climbed to the second floor.  As Eira reached the top of the first staircase she glanced in the grand mirror.  It had been ages since she had been in this place, but the mirror still looked as it had always been, it’s intricately patterned frame sweeping gracefully round; a pool of images swimming in a brass box.  She stood admiring the mirror when in the reflection she thought she saw...but she couldn’t have.  How tired she was and how her eyes plaid tricks.  She furrowed her brow.  “Are you alright, dear?” Tom pried “are you?” she laughed.  The circumstances were odd “just get me that drink” she continued.  They came to the second floor and walked to first room.  “Our normal table seems to be occupied” Eira said with the raise of her eye brows at the group of rather rowdy men, celebrating soberlessly.  Eira sat down at a table across from their usual and flattened her skirt against her knees. ‘Pint?’ Tom asked ‘yes that’s fine’ she smiled and Tom kissed her on the cheek before heading to the bar.  Away from Eira he allowed his anxiety prevail.  He couldn’t begin to fathom what had happened, how he got here or why.  He closed his eyes tightly trying to remember something, anything of how he ended up in this place, but it was all blank, all dark, with no reasonable explanation. “You alright there?” Tom opened his eyes to find himself face to face with the stout and greying bar man.  Tom dropped his mouth a bit, the man looked very familiar “yes, I’m fine” he finally blurted though his brain still churned wildly. “Can I get you anything?” the bar man continued, he too was confused, not by Toms look but rather his behaviour.  “Lager and a cider” he sputtered examining the bar mans kind blue eyes, his wispy comb-over and his deep wrinkles, “pint or bottle?” “pint” Tom replied thoughtfully “are you sure you haven’t had enough there?” The barman smiled at him “Not a one” said Tom now with a breathless smile.  He felt his heart pound like 16-year-old trying to buy cigarettes and yet still, this interaction was all so very mundane.  The barman raised his eyebrows and walked away to get Tom’s drinks.  Tom leaned with his back to the bar.  Pursing his lips he surveyed the room, it was all familiar but a strange feeling persisted inside his frame, it was all simply...off. “Good man” came the voice behind him, he turned back to the bar to take his drinks from the man “keep the change” he muttered as he handed over the a tenner “but it’s only 6 euros 50?” said the barman “how?” said Tom, the bar man tilted his head at the question then got him his change. Tom wondered hastedely back to Eira.  He placed the drinks on the table and sat down.  “You alright, love?  You look like you’ve just seen a ghost.” “sure, I am now” He paused and rested his elbows on the table in front of him “it’s simply” he paused again, searching for the words to express his confusion and apprehension “simply what?” Eira pried “you know these drinks were only 6.50?” he blurted out.  Eira thought confused, attempting to read his face “yes, and?” she said “it’s very cheap don’t you think?” she looked at him for a moment, then a thought jumped into her head “well sure it’s Wednesday, they do a promotion on Wednesday; 3.25 a drink or something.  Don’t you remember that, sure has it been that long since we’ve had a night out” she smiled at Tom “poor man” she said “we’re workin’ ya...” “sure I remember the promotion” he interrupted “and sure I remember they haven’t had that promotion in nearly 10 years” his eyes were pressed and his face serious.  Eira sighed with a calm smile “well, they must have...reinstated it” Tom leaned back in his chair and took a long pull at his drink.  His eyes wondered out the window steeped in gold holiday lights, it was cold and raining like mad. “But doesn’t this feel weird to you?” he returned his serious demeanour back to her “strange, out of place...like de ja vou” “...we’ve been here a million time befo...” “not like this, this feels wrong, do you even remember how we got here, because I don’t!” Eira looked away too roll her eyes “ok, Tom would you stop it, you’re starting to...”out of the corner of her eye she saw it again, so this time she looked harder.  In the mirror in front of her was the image of a young woman, with dark hair and a large smile, she sat cross legged at the table on the opposite side of the bar “...upset...” she continued distractedly, and as she said the word the woman tucked her hair behind her ear revealing her face in focus “...me...” Eira said breathlessly, every hair on her neck was on end and a chill crawled up her spine, clinging around her neck “oh, my god” she said “it...it can’t be.” She moved her saturated blue eyes to meet Toms “what? What is it?” Tom’s heart leapt with worry “Tell me I’m dreaming” she whispered “or is that the girl you fell in love with 15 years ago?” She moved her eyes back to the girls slender frame and glowing face, Tom’s eyes followed hers “...tis” he replied, “I think it is”

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