Centre of the Universe

Moon walked into the pub. It looked great. Everything looked polished and new. Even the brass railing surrounding the big hole in the dance floor shone like gold. That thing must have been tricky to clean. The last time she saw it, it had been tarnished and beer stained.

The library was still there, at least the wall was. She wondered if the aisles of books were still behind it. The German girl was behind the bar. Sly must have taken time off with that bad leg of his. She couldn't believe he had gone out into that storm in spite of it.

This place was the centre of her universe for awhile. So many strange and weird things happened here. Obviously her universe was way off centre.  She looked at the chandelier gleaming high above the stairs going down to The Hotel California .

She smiled as she remembered the goal she had scored at Halloween. She had kicked the fake head that rolled in the door. It had bounced off the chandelier and knocked  poor dead Nick's head off. Then it had gone right through the two brass posts at the head of the stairs. The fake head had gone through the ghost of Elvis as it went down the stairs.

It was lonely here, it was once so much fun. Of course a lot of that time she wasn't particularly sober. She thought she was sober at the time, but some of the things she saw, could not have possibly been real.

The library appearing out of nowhere, for one thing. A mist, a fog, a patch of opaque air had been a man, a real human being. Blizzards that came out of nowhere in October. Even in Canada, that was a bit of a stretch.

People who jumped in and out of old books apparently at random. A very lively dead man that went from being a skeleton, to a zombie to a disco star.

She thought about Sly the bartender. Now he was something else altogether! She had heard about people being born with gender confusion, but Sly actually changed genders!  It had nothing to do with expensive, risky operations, either.

One time he'd be a man, and then another time he'd be a woman. Then another time he'd be a man again.  His beard seemed to appear and disappear at will as well.

She thought about Carla and her twin sister Cassandra. There was something really strange about those two. Carla could clap her hands and make a whole library appear. Cassandra seemed to float in and out like a beautiful wraith.

Of course the Mist used to float in and out too, but he had troubles of his own. There was a mist eating monster after him. The group of rescuers including Moonwalker had gotten rid of the monster, but she hadn't  seen  Rich or his alter ego, the Mist since.

Maybe the whole bunch of them had stopped drinking and entered 12 step programs to deal with their addictions. She thought it was unlikely. None of them were particularly heavy drinkers anyway. Maybe they started going to that other bar down the street, The Lazy Sleuth.

Moonwalker got up and went to the bar. She ordered an Irish coffee and asked the barmaid why the Pub was so quiet. "There's been a real wrangle over the ownership of the Pub," The German girl said.

The real owners turned out to be not real. They disappeared into some old book in a blizzard. Everybody thought that Sly owned it, but he only owned a big piece of it. There were so many investors that it turns out that the Pub belongs to everybody."

The barmaid continued to polish glasses while she spoke. "This place was an absolute mess this morning. " I was just going to lock the doors and go home, but the ghost of Johnnie Cash came up the stairs and invited me down to the Hotel for a glass of spirits."

"When I came back up, the Pub seems to have become reborn. I hope we'll get some customers soon."  Moonwalker hoped so too.

The End

187 comments about this story Feed