So many familiar faces. So many oddball, made up names, that Brent had attached to them over time. He squeezed his way to the bar. Franklin, the usual bartender, was occupied at the other end, deep in sports conversation with three men, all donning New York Met caps. Brent's stomach bottomed out at the visual memory.
He stood for a minute, tapping his keys on the bar, while purveying the shelves of bottles before him. He then noticed a sizable jug, sitting immediately before him. He figured it to be a gin, or vodka, perhaps tequila, judging it's clear color. Either way, it looked inviting. He spun it around to find it void of a label. Perhaps homemade?
He tried tapping loudly enough to get Franklin's attention, to no avail. He was drowned out by the constant buzz of conversation and television banter. He was about to try tapping on one of the three glasses surrounding the jug, when the idea of 'self-serve' struck him.
And so that is what Brent did. Filling a glass to the brim, he turned, and gave the place a thorough glance. He tried to pick out the writers on a pilgrimage to the house of Dylan Thomas. So far, four were obvious, by the way they were studying the place.
"Full house tonight, Dylan." Brent audibly noted. "Here's to it." The mystery liquor was tart and tangy. He couldn't place it's origin, but he couldn't deny it's appeal. It went down smoothly, and he found it easy to ingest the entire glass in one mounting.
"Hey Maddy." Brent swung around, letting out an after-drink sigh, to find Franklin in front of him, calling him by his familiar nickname there.
"Dude, you're not drinking this here, are you?" asked Franklin, holding the jug up.
"You snooze, you lose, Buddy." retorted Brent. "What manner of nectar is this?"
"For God's sake, Maddy, this is cleaning solvent."
For a second, Brent wondered how Franklin could make his voice do that. Reverberate and pulsate, and sound like it was rushing away from him at light speed. And that was the very last thing he wondered, as darkness set in rapidly, and the noise faded to silence. The last thing Brent heard, was the crashing of the glass he was holding just seconds before. Then everything just - went away.