A long long time ago, when the Grey Man still ruled the land and the People’s Princess was simply Diana, in a far away land, there was a girl. She was poor and had no job. She had finished studying and had her whole future ahead of her. But for now she just needed to earn some money and get a job, any job. As luck would have it she lived with a kind friend who worked at a local hostelry and she introduced her to the man in charge.
So, the young girl went to this drinking hole and found it to be a large building converted from an old Methodist chapel. The roof was high and the building was round. It contained two bars, a large one downstairs with a small stage above it and a smaller bar upstairs. Upstairs had a balcony all around it for the revellers to be able to look down upon the throng of people. The stage would often have an entertainer playing and singing for the crowd and the people that worked there would have to shout to hear each other.
“You can’t work here” the Manager joked “You’re too small to reach the glasses and you can’t carry big boxes full of bottled beer and cider”
The young girl was brave and stubborn and immediately showed the Manager that she could reach and that she was strong enough to carry boxes and glasses and anything else she needed to.
And so she was welcomed into this family. The work was hard, as the inn was a busy place in this land by the sea. She mopped and carried and poured and cleared and tidied and cleaned and washed. Her muscles ached and her clothes smelled of cigarette smoke and spilt beer, but she was happy.
She was happy because, when all the people went home this old church took on a new secret, magical life. It contained all the food and drink you could want, a juke box that played all the songs you chose, friends to laugh and talk with and nights that seemed to last forever or at least into the early hours of the morning. They spent many nights drinking and revelling, they spent Christmas and New Year together like some strange but happy family. They enjoyed each other before, during and after the work was done.
There was also a boy.
She didn’t notice him at first and he didn’t seem to notice her but one night shortly after she entered this magical world they started talking and they talked and talked and didn’t run out of things to say all night. He was cool and good looking. He was funny and sweet. He knew how to cook and was strong enough to ride his bike up the hill while she held on tightly behind him. They shared a love of books and music and Gin & Tonic.
Eventually the young girl knew she had to leave this fun and friendly place. She found a grown up job with grown up hours and pay. Gradually the place and the people faded into the background but she would never forget them. This was more than just a job, it wasn’t work, even though the work was tough, it was play, it was fun but it was a moment in time, a temporary alignment of circumstances. It wasn’t something to build a future on.
However, she did keep hold of one thing from this place. The boy. She kept hold of him tightly and did not let him go and they lived happily ever after.
This post is inspired by prompt #2, Tell me about a place you used to work at Sleep is for the Weak’s Writing Workshop.