Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Forbidden Valley - 6

Snippet 6, in which Marley goes to the pub:

Marley had noticed a pub on the next block.  Eager for a break from the stifling atmosphere of the hotel, he decided to walk there for lunch.  The streets outside were teeming as he made his way down the street to the pub.

A man dressed in robes, with a monkey on his shoulder, walked past. A trio of colorfully-attired women passed in the other direction with pots balanced atop their heads.  The smells were strange, and strong. Two men in turbans crossed his path.  A cow made mooing sounds in the street.

Suddenly, Marley felt very lost. Despite being so far from home, and left to his own devices for weeks, he hadn't felt lost until now. He stared about him, the sights, sounds, and smells familar from weeks in India, yet so different from home. "What am I doing here?"  He just stood there, motionless, staring without seeing, the pub forgotten.

And then the bells rang as a nearby clock struck noon, breaking the spell, and Marley pulled himself together, and resumed his interrupted trek. "What I wouldn't give to be back in England, out with Alice or enjoying an evening of cards at the club," he muttered as he reached the pub at last.

When he stepped inside, it was like a refreshing bit of home... aside from the heat.  It wasn't even the type of establishment he often frequented in England, but right that moment it was comforting.

"Ah, lad, welcome," the barkeep said as Marley sat down at the bar.  "What'll it be?"

Marley took a glance at the menu board and ordered a pint and a sandwich.  He glanced around the pub as he waited.  It was the same  mix of brick, dark wood, and brass that he'd have seen back home.  He took a deep breath, closed his eyes for a moment and tried to imagine being back in England.

When he opened his eyese again a few seconds later, the sights through the window of the pub quickly disabused him of that notion. He took a sip from the pint the barkeep had put before him.

"You look troubled," the barkeep said.

"You might say that," Marley agreed.

copyright (c) The Other Sean

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