Stepping down from the cart onto the dusty street, Mary didn’t seem to notice as the horse reacted to the commotion coming from behind the closed doors in front of her. Looking up at the sign above the door, Irwin Arms, she pictured her husband’s face.
Not a place that carried good memories, but as she wiped the tears from her eyes, she noticed the red dust had made a wet pattern on her scarf. Looking at the outline, she wondered if she could stand here all night and not go in. Still, she pushed on toward the door. Opening it, she was hit by the familiar smell of stale beer, that had so many times accompanied her husband home on his late nights.
Suddenly, she was startled, as her eyes focused on a beer glass sitting atop the stool that normally carried the outline of the drunken soul, she had so many times travelled to collect.
Before she could settle herself, a familiar harsh voice cried out.
“Quiet boys, Mrs Brady’s ere!”
She watched as one man grabbed for the glass, lifted it and wiped the seat. Then, hand outstretched he offered the beer, and gestured her towards the stool. At the same time, another male figure appeared beside her and without warning, took her hand, as if to assist her over.
All at once, the day had caught up with her, the dim lit bar started to fade to black, and she felt her legs give way beneath her. As she collapsed on the floor, she heard another voice say,
“Fred would have liked his funeral!”
Looking at the fact that Frederick Brady was known to have been a heavy drinker, I would assume that the pub may not be a place his wife would have liked. That said, they lived in a small outback town and the only pub may have also stood in for the location of the wake. Not sure if I have been descriptive enough to get the feel of an outback pub. I think this reflects the relationship between Mary and Frederick in a positive way but in the overall story shows that Fred was not always the best of men.
I enjoyed reading your piece. You have painted a vivid scene. I can imagine a similar scenario in my family history although the man in question was the publican who died. I hadn’t thought about the smell of the beer that was a good inclusion. Your family history sounds similar to mine convicts, adoption and secrets what a complicated lot we are. My only comment is the number of times you used the word “she.” I look forward to reading more about your family history.
Thanks for reading it L.,
Also, thanks I think I trimmed a few out already after reading this week’s feedback. Will have another look at how it should be done.