|The Great War
Author: BlackxValveteen PM
Domenic's wrapped he's not going to war. He's finally got his life on track; a great girl, a great future. When that damn letter comes, war might make Domenic more than a man, a monster. But love takes him on a different journey which changes history!Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Adventure - Chapters: 3 - Words: 3,276 - Published: 01-10-11 - id: 2881120
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
At the end of a crooked ally way, where the sun's rays never finds its way into the cracks of the blue pebble stone walls, where not even weeds are capable of growing, there sits a mouldy shack called "Murphy's Pub." The outside appearance gives an impression that the pub is not maintained half as well as it should be and that perhaps the inside is left un-renovated and therefore not worthy enough to enjoy a meal. First impressions are usually wrong; as is this case. As you enter, the warmth from the crackling fire fills you with an immediate comfortable feeling. A considerable amount of chairs along with few tables are jammed against walls, leaving hardly any room for the single waitress to weave around diners and party goers. The only positive point: everyone's body heat gets trapped within the pub, not making the air humid and hard to breathe rather radiating a cosy environment. The mid December chilly air rushes through the only open window.
There is usually a quiet environment, with mainly the older generation enjoying meals but this occasion is quite the diverse.
"Cheers Domenic!" Yells Daniel; he is drunk. His mates catch him when he falls backwards, pouring beer all over his shirt. Domenic squeezes past people with a sober expression on his face. He tries to sustain the same sobriety look but loses all sense and logic. He takes a sloppy mouthful of beer, as if it is his last and throws the rest of the contents into the air. The line of beer seems to move in slow motion as it tours the length of the room, flows 4 metres across the pub and splatters not only on Daniel but the pub floor. Domenic is horrified, sense floods through him but he can't think of a rational reason why he'd thrown it. He thought his mates would give him a fistful for jeopardising their privilege to stay inside the pub and the owner would crucify him, probably kick him out for destructing his place. Domenic doesn't know the owner is out, ironically, purchasing Cascade for the other, unfortunate dinners that are missing out on drinks because the rowdy boys are too egocentric to give a damn about how much beer they are consuming. To Domenic's surprise, everyone around him ––not including the furious old men and various couples, which leaves just his mates— laugh and they throw their arms around each other, forming a circle. Around the perimeter of the pub, the men attempt to walk in a circle but some stumble, others don't realise and keep attempting to walk, dragging the stumbling with them.
"O! Say can you see by the dawn's early light...;" The American National Anthem. They have to dodge a group of poker lovers, who had been meeting at this pub for over 20 years to play poker and who feel their territory has been invaded by these stooges and, instinctively, are getting aggressive. The boys broke the circle, as the Anthem dies. The photo frames are left crooked and Daniel is left half unconscious in a corner. Domenic's brain is slowly turning into mesh; he cannot feel a sense of self. He is losing consciousness. He won't pass out but he's losing control of his actions. He forgets that the owner could possibly be out the back, holding an axe, crazed with infuriation and ready to kill all the boys. He grabs a bottle of champagne and jumps onto a table. Magically, the boys shut up and Domenic is glad he still had the power to influence his friends. They all looked up at him with curious, psychedelic eyes.
"To all my boys, who will fight for this country from the goodness of their hearts…" but he is unable to finish as his last words are caught in his throat. Everyone is too occupied to notice Domenic shaking the Champaign behind his back. Tears had swelled in his eyes but they are just a cover up to make the boys believe he is sincere. He continues:
"Please come back, we all need you." Everyone erupts in clapping. The boys scrambled to stand on the table.
"Enjoy this, my boys!" He yells over the deafening noise of clapping and cheering and popped off the cork. The content spills out at a very fast rate, like an erupting volcano. This gives the boys ammunition to go reckless which is made worse in their drunken state. The bottle is passed around, everyone takes a mouthful but half of it had splattered on the ceiling. When the bottle reaches Freddy's hands, he holds it up, the content pouring onto his head, he screams:
"This should be a night to remember! This is our last night we'll ever get the chance to get pissed!" The boys laughed, not being exposed to much explicit language in their boring, everyday lives and it brings them back to their teen years. They felt excluded from the others who constantly criticised them; they felt wrapped up in their generation that was exceptionally different from all others. Freddy and Domenic get claps on their heads as they descend the table.
Pete walks over to Domenic and offers him a drink. He accepts with relief.
"I'm sorry for you," Pete says, taking a puff of his cigar. Domenic laughs and shakes his head.
"I never wanted to go. Why men strive for something so dangerous, I will never understand." A surprised look crosses Pete's face.
"I guess it's the victorious feeling. And to prove you can injure a task so intense." He replies. Domenic looks thoughtfully around at his laughing friends, relieved he isn't in their position.
"It's more than just a task," Domenic says, lighting his own cigar, "It becomes your life. And you have to deal with the emotional pressure as well." He shakes his head sadly. "It's trauma."
"Have you ever been to war?" Pete asks.
"No. But I know a lot about it."
"Like what in particular?" Pete says.
"It tears families apart. Ruins everybody's life. You wouldn't understand." Domenic becomes reminiscent.
"Yeah? Well, that's war life for you," says Pete bleakly.
Wanting to end the depressing conversation, Domenic offers Pete a drink but he refuses bitterly.
"No thank you. I do not participate in such reckless activities such as getting drunk senseless." And he pushes his way through the crowds, outside, into fresh air. Although Domenic thinks Pete is crazy for not wanting to party like crazy, he too wouldn't mind following him outside just to feel the icy air of relief.
He remembers Freddy's words: "...it'll be the last night we'll ever get pissed..." and he feels so elated to be part of generation that is so happy-go-lucky, so carefree. He doesn't realise that people get older, so would he and his mates and immaturity runs out eventually.
He takes another beer and joins his screeching mates. They are now talking sex and girls despite the ruthless glares from other diners. But the boys were too self-absorbed to notice anyone other than themselves.