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Sullivan's Pub

 
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The Irishman
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Joined: 07 Jul 2015
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2015 10:43 pm    Post subject: Sullivan's Pub Reply with quote

On some dark, winding street in West End was a hole in the wall of a pub called Sullivan’s. It had all the air of a typical Irish pub, loud and rowdy with men shouting bawdy songs and tales and drinking to one another’s fortune when they weren’t on the cusp of breaking each other’s bloody teeth. Indeed, it was too Irish some might say. But it attracted a sizeable crowd and so the proprietor was more than happy to let it go on this way, giving in to stereotypical jabs and quips from his patrons, most of whom were in fact not Irish. By all accounts and appearances it was a lively establishment and little more.

“‘Ey there Mister Foley,” said the old man who worked the bar most nights as a tall pale man stepped up to it. The old man had thin gray hair and watery eyes, the skin hung loose around his neck and his fingers looked like bones colored to resemble flesh. But he had strong arms and broad shoulders and many suspected could still throw a few good punches, should any of his patrons get too rowdy. Not many liked to test him.

“Evenin’ Mister Sullivan,” Patrick Foley seemed a ghost in the dim light. His skin was white and seemed to attract all the light in the room so that it glowed. His eyes were blue the way the cold sky was during winter and even his lips seemed bloodless and cold. He spoke softly but was able to make himself heard. A few blokes to his right scooted aside to make room at the bar as he reached into his coat for a few bills to pass over to Mister Sullivan.

“You really ought to hire some help, Mister Sullivan. One of these days…” he tossed a look over his shoulder at a table surrounded by a group of very drunk and loud men who were shouting insults and laughing at one another, caught between love and hate and leaning ever closer to violence. Most bar fights started like that in Sullivans. In the name of a good joke. “You’re not gettin’ any younger.”

“Och, still got a few years ‘fore I’ll need anyone. Besides, they’re all just greenies who don’ know what a real fight is. Could take the lot of them ‘fore they knew what hit ‘em,” the old man offered a smile that was missing quite a few teeth and took Patrick’s money and turned to fetch him a bottle of his usual and a clean glass.

“I’m sure you could,” Patrick’s smile was thin and listless in return. He took the drink and nodded his thanks.

“All set, Mister Foley,” said Sullivan, his eyes flicking to a door that stood to the left of the bar with a sign that said Employees Only.

“Thank you,” Patrick stepped around the bar and pushed through the door. Behind him he could hear the whispers of men hunched over their whisky by the bar.

“Innit he the one who got shot an’ died?” one drunk asked.

“How could he ‘ave gotten shot an’ dead if he’s walkin’ here?” the other retorted, pulling himself up straight as though he thought himself quite smart.

The door closed behind Patrick before he could hear the rest.

It opened to a short narrow hallway with two other doors. To the right one stood open leading to a small kitchen where the good lady Sullivan often toiled away for their customers. It was too late for her to be working, though, so it stood empty and it’s ovens cooling. Past it at the end of the hall was another door. This one was made of wood but banded with strips of iron and other bits of metal. It had a large handle bolted in and a slot at eye level that was currently shut.

Patrick rasped his thin knuckles harshly against the door. The slot opened.

“Mister Foley,” croaked a dry voice from the other side. Two dark, beady eyes stared out from the slot. “Just one second, sir, I’ll have ye’ in quick,” the slot closed and Patrick heard the sounds of several bolts sliding back before the door swung ajar.

Holding it open was a short and stocky man. He had the swell of an ample gut hanging over his belt and a thick, black and wiry beard that was shot with streaks of gray. His hair was a similar messy mass of salt and pepper and his cheeks ruddy and red from drink. He nodded and bowed his head low to Patrick as the taller man stepped in.

“Evenin’ gents,” Patrick said as he entered the room. It was large and rectangular with a series of differently shaped and sized tables strewn about. Around one small round table sat a group of men playing cards. Others sat at another playing some other game. Heaps of cash stood piled on these tables as they all bet their lives away. At the far end were a line of old booths with cracked leather cushioned seats. Patrick slid into one across from a man with large ears and crooked nose who was smoking a cigarette and drinking vodka from a glass.

“Johnny,” Patrick said, uncorking his bottle of rum and pouring himself a drink. “What’s the news.”

“Mister Foley,” Johnny replied, before diving into a series of reports about earnings, losses, shipments and local police activity.

“Those guns we got from Lestrade,” Patrick interrupted. “They moved yet?”

“Got an offer from Jinyaing, be meetin’ him t’morra evenin’ t’make a deal. Outta our hair by the end’ve the week.”

“Good, good.”

“Look, Mister Foley, an issue came up an’ I don’ quite know how t’handle it.”
Patrick took a swallow of rum and stared calmly at the man, who had begun to fidget.

“Look...Gleeson, you know him right?”

“Yeah, sheepish lad. Quiet. Built like an oxe, right?”

“That’s the one, Mister Foley,” Johnny drained his vodka, took a drag of his cigarette and cleared his throat. “Well, he got pinched.”

“And? What does he know? Anything that could hurt us? The boy isn’t initiated.”

“Well, Mister Foley, that ain’t the problem. He got pinched. But they was takin’ him in, two of the Watch. An’ before they got to the station that thick headed mule Garrett went an’ tired t’spring him. Stupid. He was arrested for public intoxication, woulda been out by mornin’.”

Patrick sat a little straighter, though his expression remained as calm and unchanging as before. “What happened?”

“Garrett clobbered one upside the head an’ then the other pulled a gun on him. Boy shot him with his pistol though an’ then him and Gleeson split. An’ Garrett is initiated. He’ll likely ask for protection, Mister Foley sir,” sighing, Johnny took another drag.

“We can’t help him,” Patrick said, pursing his lips thoughtfully. “The boy’s as good as dead. Send one of the lads to deal with him. Gleeson, too. Garrett’s weak willed, if the Watch gets him he’ll eventually say somethin’ we don’t want him to.”

“Right, Mister Foley. I was thinkin’ the same thing, but I needed t’run it by you first.”

Johnny turned and shouted into the room. “Oi! Murphy! Get over here!”

A young man with short blonde hair and blue eyes came rushing to the booth when summoned. He was of average height and build.

“Yes sir, Mister Johnny?”

Patrick spoke before Johnny. “How long have you been runnin’ packages for us, Kevin?”

“Eight months now, Mister Foley.”

“You like it?”

The young man seemed unsure of what was expected of him then, and hesitated to answer.

“It’s alright, Kevin,” Patrick said. “No one likes running packages. No money, no excitement.”

The young man smiled a little uneasily and nodded. “Yeah. I mean, I’m glad for the work, Mister Foley, and I’ll do what I can ‘til you think I’m ready t’be initiated. But no, I don’t like it much at all.”

“Today’s your lucky day, son,” Patrick said. He reached into his coat and pulled out a small snub nosed revolver and set it on the table. “You know Marty Gleeson and Garrett Childress?”

“Yes, Mister Foley. Known ‘em both since I was a kid,” Kevin said, though he could not take his eyes from the gun that now sat before him.

“They’ve messed up, Kevin. They’ll bring a lot of trouble on us if we don’t clean up after them. That’s what I want you to do, Kevin. Clean up,” Patrick slid the gun closer with the tip of a long, white finger. “Think you can do that, Mister Murphy?”

Kevin picked up the gun and held it away from his body as though he were afraid of it, but when Patrick addressed him that way he steeled his gaze and nodded. He flicked the cylinder out to check that it was loaded, pushed it back into place and tucked the piece into the waistband of his trousers before pulling his shirt over it to hide the profile. “If it’s what needs to be done, Mister Foley, I’ll do it.”

“There’s a good lad,” Patrick said with a thin smile. “Off to it, then, Mister Murphy. We need this done quick.”

Kevin nodded and turned to walk away, pausing when Patrick spoke again.

“Oh, and Kevin,” Patrick began. “Bring me their ears. One each.”

The young man did not look back, but nodded somewhat hesitantly and continued on his way.
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