The Puggleton Inn is where I like to drink the most. There is a man in there who sometimes wets himself all over the chair he is sitting in. I love to watch the staff have to clean the wee from the seat. I love it because I know that the wee stinks and smells like nothing else you have ever smelled. He must have some kind of condition.
Mrs. Crew went to the Puggleton Inn too. That was where I first saw her. She was a tiny woman, but she had quite the belly. A big, sagging thing, that if she bent over, it might, it might just have reached her toes, and it was full of alcohol, as in, between her stomach, and her skin, there was a package of sorts, a bubble of sorts, of alcohol. She drank very strong cider. Sometimes she was drunk. She knew how much to drink to get drunk.
Sometimes she would look at me, sitting in the corner, with my glass of water, and she’d look at me like she knew I was going to kill her. She looked at me like she wanted me to kill her.
Then again, everyone in the Puggleton Inn looks at me like they want me to kill them.
There had been something special, something fantastic, about little old Mrs. Crew.
I get to the pub early and it is already heaving.There is a specific kind of alcoholic that frequent this slummer. The kind of old men who have fat ankles because they’ve run out of room on their stomach. If half of these cretin knew I was a police officer I’d be getting more surreptitious stares than I already am. I pull my hat a little lower down on my face.
In the corner there is a man sipping at a glass of water, and I wonder if that’s my informant, so I begin to stare at him, and he stares back, he looks familiar, like I’ve seen his face before, and as just I begin to stand, a hand falls on my shoulder, a deep voice says, “Don’t.”
The hand pushes me back into my chair.
“Don’t turn around,” the voice says, and my heart feels funny, and my stomach grumbles, and my legs begin to twitch. “Come with me,” and the presence is gone from behind me, the hand is gone from my shoulder, and as I turn all I can catch is a black-coated man disappearing between the flitting shapes of drunken bodies.