“It is a silent, shady place, with a paved courtyard so full of echos, that sometimes I am tempted to believe that faint responses to the noises of old times linger there yet, and that these ghosts of sound haunt my footsteps as I pace it up and down.”
- Charles Dickens
Two years ago, he had given Tale a heart box of mint chocolates for Valentine’s Day in Story Bar. Tale’s eyes looked into his as he raised his eyes from the box. Those eyes flickered with confusion, wonder, shock, and then joy as he began to laugh at the joke. Fable had joined him. Afterwards, they had ordered Scotch that after each swallow burned Fable’s throat.
These images disappeared as Fable found himself on the sidewalk. He appeared to have fallen asleep and collapsed face first into the hard concrete. Fable got to his feet and raced towards Story Bar so as not to fall asleep on his feet again.
The Story Bar came into his view next to a concrete courtyard; outside the door were garbage bags that looked like body bags. Posters of a missing child, nailed to the walls and fences, were illuminated by a flickering light bulb inside the bar.
Outside, the bar looked like it might be a child’s fun house because of a goofy looking dragon hanging over the door. But, the dragon was biting on the tail of a mermaid who was provoking men to enter. In the dim light, Fable thought the mermaid was being eaten alive. He wondered if the mermaid, having realized she was dying, decided she would not like to die alone, so she beckoned for others to join her.
Fable opened the unlocked door and walked into the empty bar. The wooden smell of decay and methanol greeted him from behind the counter. Glasses hung from the ceiling, and booths were torn and stained. Fable walked over to the place at the counter where he and Tale used had once sat, but no one was there.
Relief and sadness fought inside Fable. It was all in his head. Wishful thinking and lack of sleep was all this was, Fable thought. He sat down at the counter and took a deep breath. At least he did not have to face Tale, but he was still alone. He walked back to the open door.
Disclaimer: This is an original story that is not based on any real people or events. It is a work of fiction that is purely for your entertainment.