I awoke from my reverie shortly after eleven o'clock. It hadn't really helped that much. If anything I felt even more worn out than when I had gone into the park. My body may have rested but my mind had still been running at full speed. I needed some sustenance quick and decided a nourishing glass of Guinness would do just the trick. The Irish pub would surely be opening soon, so I made my way back to the village square in an attempt to retrace my steps of that morning. I scarcely dared look up at the imposing Town Hall building on the opposite side. Despite the noonday sun, it cast a menacing shadow over my future. Gone was the resolution of the morning. David had become a cowering soldier and Goliath resumed his blasphemous mocking from across the impenetrable divide.

I found the Irish pub somewhat quicker than I'd expected and the long, dark Guinness was beginning to revive me. If I was going to stay here, I'd have to act quickly. Somehow I'd have to find somewhere to stay. And that meant getting a job. But more than anything I needed a friend. I was sure Gérard would be totally oblivious to my presence. His father would see to that. But if I could just let him know, I was here. Maybe a few discreet questions to the pub owner and I could figure out a way.

It was just then a familiar voice rang out from the entrance. "Simon!" My heart skipped a beat. It was Gérard. I was saved.

"Hi! It's great to see you after all this time. Man, you look great. And you can't begin to imagine how good it is to see a friendly face."

Gérard looked down somewhat sheepishly at his shoes. "I thought, I might find you here, when I got Dad's phone call."

"You mean your Dad called to tell you I was here!"

"Not so much to tell me about you, but to scream down upon me all the burning coals of hell. He was absolutely livid. You see, I hadn't told him much about my time in Ireland. And I certainly hadn't mentioned a word about you. He'd never understand. He belongs to the work generation and anything that's not work is of the devil. So, I'm afraid... I'm afraid, you can't stay here."

I looked him in the eyes. The sense of betrayal must have been written all over my face. His eyes averted my gaze. I said nothing. There was nothing to say. Just as the silence began to overwhelm us both, Gérard turned and made straight for the exit. Not a word of greeting, not a word of farewell.

There was only one option open to me. I'd have to return home and face up to my past. The flight was over.

"You Irish then?" The question, asked in English, caught me by surprise.

"I only said the word 'Guinness'. Is my accent that bad? Or is it my perfume?"

"Neh! The whole village is buzzing about the Irish man the Mayor threw down the steps this morning. I figured as that young man who's just left was his son, then it must have been you."

"Threw down the steps!"

"Yes, well the local gossips are a little too eager to embellish their accounts. But we all know what happened. So how come you're here."

"Just trying to begin a new life. Not much going on back home in Ireland. Figured the world might offer a better chance. What about you? How come you're running an Irish pub in the middle of nowhere?"

"Me wife is Irish. But I'm from here. So when Irish pubs started catching on out here, decided to turn the family business into one. Best thing I ever did. It's made me a fair penny, it has. And if you're by any chance looking for a job, then I could sure do with a hand round here in the evenings. Mayor never comes in, so there's nothing to worry about on that front. And you can stay in the room above the cellar, til you find something better."


poor guy! btw: the post caught my interest so well that I had to go back and actually search for the TWW words. :o)

26 September 2007 at 19:44  

Interesting tale and use of the three words. This was my favorite line

David had become a cowering soldier and Goliath resumed his blasphemous mocking from across the impenetrable divide.

26 September 2007 at 20:14  

You're adept at pulling the reader in and holding his interest!

26 September 2007 at 20:53  

Definitely adept at getting the reader interested. Esp. as I had not read the earlier pieces. Very nicely crafted.


26 September 2007 at 21:22  

I await the next episode.

26 September 2007 at 21:28  

I enjoyed reading this very much! It was very intriguing - I want to know what happens next. (And I haven't read the earlier story, so now I need to go back and read that one,too.) Nice work!

26 September 2007 at 22:08  

what an extraordinary turn of events... on both counts... i hope he stays and gives that mayor and his god awful son the once over when he gets rooted!!!!!!

27 September 2007 at 03:15  

With friends like Gerard, who needs enemies?

27 September 2007 at 04:57  

I have been following your blog from long time, but never left any comment. Now I feel, it is rude of me, if i don't do it now. All your posts are very very creative and interesting. Write on.

27 September 2007 at 07:33  

You manage as always to hold our interest. Totally engrossed!

27 September 2007 at 17:47  

Another captivating entry, Paul. These stories seem to go by so quickly.

I did not forsee Gerard turning his back on Simon. Nice twist. And now he has been offered a job, so he can stay, and the story can continue :)

27 September 2007 at 23:05  

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