Buoyed by recent decisions taken, Sean bounced around his pub with a feather duster in hand. Spiders accustomed to being lords over their manor, scuttled and wove their way to safety as their webs fell. Wearing a pink apron and waving his wand, he paused when the front door swung open, and Father Brennan strode in.
‘Hail, my godly priest. Hath thou a thirst, that quenched within my hostelry shall be? Thou art late this morn and perhaps thy temperance leaves thee forlorn?’
Without pausing, Father Brennan walked towards the back bar and shouted, ‘Good morning Mrs,’ as he rounded the corner.
Sean, with agility borne on a near twenty hours rush of adrenalin and optimism, raced through the gap and stood as Brennan arrived. ‘Thy stool, this very morn, dirt and grime dispatched. Sit, Sir, ale and whiskey I shall pour.’
‘Thank you, Sean, and may I borrow your pen?’
Sean took a pen from behind the till and held it up just out of Father Brennan’s reach. ‘Never a borrower or lender be. Yet fair fellow, your custom means much to me. Take offered pen and when thy writing spent, return, or to hell be sent.’
Father Brennan grabbed the pen and began scribbling on a beer mat. Sean, his cheesy grin unnoticed, began to fill a pint. ‘Sir, why my beer mat doth thou with given quill attack, and render fit for no purpose other than my bin?’
‘Shut thy gob, Sean. Before I came in here, I passed by Mick Casey’s son’s car. Old Mick, perched on the passenger seat, shouted after me, ‘HIJKLMNO, 5 letters.’ His howling laughter followed me all the way in the door. He challenges me with a clue to a crossword and judging by his gaiety, he does not expect me to solve it. Now leave me in peace.’
Still no comment regarding his new found poetic turn of phrase, Sean, undeterred, topped up the pint and skilfully etched a signature on the head. He placed it on the counter, filled a whiskey and set it alongside the Guinness. ‘Pray tell, hath thy, thy daily decision made? In yonder glass shall I water pour, for the quickened spirits diluted be easier to endure.’
Yelping like a rabid dog, Father Brennan, hopped up from the stool. He leaned over the counter, grabbed Sean, and planted a kiss on his head, ‘Thick maybe, and yet thy genius at unexpected times bursts forth, back anon. Water, H2O!’ He raced outside, almost knocking over a painter carrying a ladder, and shouted, ‘Mick, without it our trout could not swim.’ He returned to his seat of power, lifted his pint and stared at the head.
‘Sean, I pose a few questions. Why is a pentagram chiselled onto the head of my pint? Why is there a painter outside? Why are you talking as if you had swallowed Hamlet? And finally, why are you so bloody happy?’
‘My pub. Our new logo is on your pint. The painter is about to change the signage out front from Lavelle’s to The Devil’s Door. That’s why I am so cheerful. A new beginning! Well, what do you think?’
Father Brennan stifled a grin, took a creamy mouthful and licked his lips, ‘Grand, as long as my pint tastes the same. And Hamlet?’
On a roll, Sean replied, ‘It’s to go with the name. It will add to the intrigue. Busloads of feckin tourists will come in the front door. By the time they leave, my till will be tired from ringing. I took to reading after we started our quest to get published, and Hamlet was the only book in the house. Was I lucky or what?’