Friday night. Barry sits at the bar of the Bonny Arbroath. He’s working his way steadily through beer after beer, turning from time to time to look at the TV blaring away high in the corner, staring in front of him tapping his glass on the counter, half-listening to the barmaid talking to an elderly man on his left. When the other man gets up to leave, he and the barmaid are alone.
She sighs, runs a tea towel along the bar, perches on a stool where she can see the TV. After a while she says something to him, her eyes still on the TV, and he turns to look at it. Two very fat men with a small car chained around their waists are straining, straining, their faces purple with effort. The car moves infinitesimally. The barmaid laughs and Barry shakes his head. She gets down from the stool and pours him another beer, pours herself a half glass and tops it up with lemonade. She’s a pretty woman in her forties with a high colour in her cheeks, her dark hair pushed back from her forehead with a wide pink band. The low-cut pink top displays a deep cleavage tightly reined in. The little lines that come around her lips as she purses them to drink says she’s a smoker, as does the slight rasp in her voice.
It’s started to rain outside. No one comes batting in through the dark swinging doors that give directly onto the street. Now Barry begins to talk, leaning forward rapping his knuckle on the bar for emphasis, the woman with her head on the side tut-tutting from time to time. She casts an eye towards the door now and then as she listens, but no one comes in. She looks at her watch and pours herself a port, rings open the drawer of the till and begins to count.
The lights of the pub go off and two figures emerge into the damp street, the woman jingling car keys, Barry slightly unsteady on his feet.
Come back next Sunday to continue this gripping tale…..