Bar None

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
Bar None takes the reader into South London and its dark characters.

Submitted: April 27, 2012

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Submitted: April 27, 2012

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Bar None

 

 

I thought I would share these fragments of my life with you, us having just met, so to speak. Rumours can be nasty and hurtful so take them with a pinch of salt. I like nurses, never had one before. You'll like me and mine. Welcome.

I go to the Peckham Grove Tavern every evening and I have my own stool at the bar. Ginger, the landlady, accorded me the accolade nearly six years ago after I'd responded to her request for help to remove a couple of persistent trouble makers from the public bar. A quiet word in the collective ears seemed to work. Always Mr Reasonable, me.

I was born in the Grove and the Tavern is like a second home. I have business interests in imports and exports and I go to the gym five days a week. I give to charity and never refuse any reasonable request for help. A real pillar, a mate called me, whatever that means.

Recently, a ruck happened. Two 'suits' had strayed on to my manor from the East End. The clothes and the accents were a dead give away. Always affable, I welcome visitors from the foreign parts of London, but this was a serious intrusion.

I'm walking into the saloon bar one evening when, lo and behold, the suits are at the bar.

Pint of Guinness and a pint of Carlsberg. No sin in their choice of drinks but Guinness, with the blond hair, is perched on my stool. My personal bar stool.

As I stepped forward to allow the door to close behind me, Ginger was frantically waving to me from the corner of the bar where the nuts and crisps are stacked. The suits had their backs to me and were laughing. I leaned over the bar and Ginger had eyes like wet marbles,

'I'm so sorry Ray, I told them two that the stool was reserved but the blond man told me to shut up and pour the drinks. I tried to reason with him but he told me to eff off and pour the drinks or he'd teach me a lesson. Called me an ugly bitch. I didn't know what to do so I tried your mobile but it went straight to voice mail.'

I took checked my mobile and, sure enough, a missed call from Ginger. I put my hand on her shoulder and told her everything would be aright. She asked if she should call the old bill. I told her not to be so silly and we both laughed.

I turned and walked over to the two men. Guinness, sat on my stool, was now facing me. Carlsberg was also facing me. I seem to recollect that the conversation went along the lines of,

'Gentlemen, it would appear there's been a misunderstanding and you've been extremely rude to my friend, the landlady.'

'Who the .?' Guinness grunted.

'My name's Ray and please don't interrupt until I've finished.' I flashed them a smile.

Guinness was grinding his teeth and Carlsberg seemed to give a slight nod.

'Now, this is a nice quiet boozer and that's how we like it. Peckham is a solid manor where everyone knows their place in the scheme of things. Did you lose your way at the Blackwall Tunnel?'

'Who the hell do you think you are, Vinnie Jones?', Guinness said as he started to rise from the stool but sat down as his mate whispered something in his ear.

I moved closer until I was about a yard away from Carlsberg. 'I'm trying to be reasonable with you two and it's obviously not working so get off my stool and out of my pub.' Silence.

They looked at each other and, with synchronised movements which would have done 'Simply' proud, they put their right hands in the breast pockets of their jackets and withdrew wallets.

I waited as they held their warrant cards for me to read.

'Ok, Mr Mouth, I'm Detective Inspector Shane Evanyk and this is Detective Constable John Costigan. We're from Mile End CID and we're here because we want to be, which is none of your damn business. Now, be a good boy and go play in the traffic.'

I took the final two steps forward and chopped Carlsberg across the throat. Good shot, I'm good at that. As Guinness was rising from my stool I pushed him backwards. The stool tipped and he hit the back of his head on the bar divide. Carlsberg was in trouble, clutching at his neck.

As Guinness was trying to get up, I chopped him across the throat and followed up with a superb straight left to his face. He went down. I side stepped and focussed my attention on Carlsberg. He was starting to recover so I rabbit punched him to slow him down. To show him that I really meant business, I smashed his pint glass on the edge of the bar and rammed it into the side of his neck. The claret sprayed everywhere. He went down. Guinness was on his back so I punched and stomped his head until he was still.

I gave it a minute to get my breath back. Hard, but not sweaty work. I checked both of them. They were gone, brown bread. Good riddance.

I looked up and Ginger was handing me a bar towel and a plastic bag. I wiped my hands, placed the towel in the bag and handed it back to her. I nodded to Ginger, who smiled. I left.

I'm telling you this in confidence, of course, because they've never found out who topped the two coppers in the saloon bar of the Peckham Grove Tavern.

You wouldn't grass me up, would you?

 

 

The End


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