Cliff's Edge

The gusting wind threw the heavy tavern door open into the flickering firelight. In the wake of the concussive bang as door met wall the dreary tavern fell silent. My eyes scrolled across the room to the big red chair with a rough tweed patch.

A man with eyes of coal, burned deep into a milky sweating face, spent his nights in that chair. Depending on the day, he wore a pair of yellow rubber boots or a pair of singed slippers, peppered with burns.

Though the chair is vacant for the first time in memory, the tavern hardly noticed. The maid served up the P’s and Q’s while the men played poker, or spun yarns of their adventures at sea.

Late last night the man finally succumbed to his age. Found in his bed, I like to think he died peacefully before he was rolled unceremoniously into the sea. Even though he didn’t talk much I felt that he had quite a story to tell.

And as he turned over the edge of the cliff it seemed his spirit was smiling. If you asked me it looked like he was saying, “I’m going home.”

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