Change Of Venue

This is the photo prompt for this week’s Flash Frenzy challenge…

The empty glasses

Joe’s Speakeasy was packed, as it always was.

The men had loud voices and louder tie-pins. The woman had cigarettes in long holders and dresses that shimmered, like a waterfall on a windy day, when they walked.

Then Brad Spencer had arrived, given the Doorman the password (“I’ve got money to spend”) and been admitted.

“It’s over!” he shouted.

“What is?” asked Sherwood Stewart, sitting at the bar.

“Prohibition,” said Brad. “They’ve just repealed it.” He turned back to the door.

“Where are you going?” asked Joe.

“O’Malley’s,” said Brad, “the Irish Bar on the corner.”

“How can there be a bar on the corner already?” asked Sherwood.

Brad shrugged. “You can throw up an Irish Bar in a couple of hours,” he said. “You buy a couple of cardboard shamrocks, give your bar-staff T-shirts saying ‘Kiss Me, I’m Irish’ and pay a guy a few bucks to sit in the corner and sing ‘Danny Boy’ with one hand over his ear.”

“Sounds good to me,” said Sherwood.

“You can’t seriously be thinking of going,” said Joe desperately. “You’ve all been drinking here for years. It’s where everybody knows your name.”

“That’s not always a good thing,” said Algernona Black, whose parents had wanted a boy.

“Look,” said Brad, “O’Malley will sell whiskey that isn’t made of turpentine and tabasco (Joe had the grace to blush) and gin that doesn’t give you hallucinations. Plus he’ll sell Guinness.”

“What’s Guinness?” asked a man in a fedora (just because everybody knows your name, it doesn’t mean they can always remember it).

“It’s a black drink with a white head,” said Sherwood. “It’s practically Irishness in liquid form. It looks like a nun in a glass, and drinking it can make you fart the tune to ‘Toora-Loora-Loora’, though not always intentionally.”

“I’ll get some in,” said Joe, already planning a recipe that involved sump-oil and wedding-cake icing. “Look, you don’t really want to go to an Irish Bar. There’ll be brawls and bare-knuckle boxing.”

“Whereas here,” said Algernona, “we have police raids and drive-by machine-gunnings.”

And with that they were gone. Algernona hadn’t even finished her drink.



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