The Angels

The Angels

A Story by Sean M. Palfrey

A piece of Flash Fiction.




A startled pigeon fluttered clumsily towards the sky, its wings barely an inch from my face. I staggered back in shock from its proximity to my person and cursed it under my breath. I pulled a downy feather from out of my hair and dropped it into the wind as I began to cross the bridge. I studied the back of the old fisherman who every night in the summer would fish from that same spot in the middle of the bridge. He looked at me and I averted my eyes towards the purple dusk sky. He mumbled a semi-sincere greeting, lost in a thought that plagued his mind. Why else would he fish there every night with nothing to put a potential catch in? He shook the thought from his head as he briefly focused on the remnants of the autumnal sun sinking into the sea, and then resumed staring at where his line finished and the surface of the river began. The sea breeze was icy and I pulled my coat tight around me as I made my way towards the Angel Inn by the pier. It emitted a warm amber glow from it’s windows, and even those smoking in the doorway didn’t seem too affected by the autumnal twilight. I stood briefly considering whether or not to cross the road and succumb to the warmth of whisky and light conversation, or to head on up towards the cliff top where the road finally ended. I opted for the pub and strolled across the road. Inside the warmth of the pub everyone was silent. They drank, played pool and darts, and sat next to each other without saying a word. My drink was on the bar ready for me. I placed a couple of coins down next to it and took a gulp. I scanned the room. I wished I’d headed straight for the cliff top. I walked over to the only free chair, counted to three, and sat down. The barmaid leant on the bar with her elbows, propping her head up in her hands and staring into space. The old shepherd sat nearly opposite her on the bar stool with his head hunched over his pint and his arms folded - his old favourite border collie practically mirrored him at his feet. Everyone wore their resentment for each other to see.
I leant back in the antique chair, took another sip of my drink and closed my eyes. I remembered… I don’t know how many summers ago - I walked into the pub and there she was. Every man between the age of sixteen and sixty stared at her as she leant against the bar. No one had the balls to go over and buy her a drink, and she was visibly disappointed. She desperately needed the attention. I wanted her.
“Last orders!” The barmaid’s shrill voice cut through the silence. The regulars breathed a sigh of relief and filed past the bar and through the door. My glass had been empty for hours. I had been lost in silent contemplation with the rest of them and lost the last few hours of my life. I followed the last of them out of the pub and watched them disperse along the road.

© 2008 Sean M. Palfrey

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short but sweet, i would very much like to read an expanded version of this if and when you get around to it.

Posted 13 Years Ago

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Added on April 14, 2008


Sean M. Palfrey
Sean M. Palfrey

Scunthorpe, United Kingdom

I'm 21, and am a former Creative Writing and English student at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth where I was fortunate enough to be taught by (among others) Jem Poster, Matthew Francis, and Tiffan.. more..