Still Looking For That Mug O’Beer
Author’s Note: This illustrated ficlet was part of Imagine That’s WFOL Treasure Hunt activity of 2015. It’s a little furthering of the story Everything Is Waiting For You.
Your Brewmaster’s certificate! Devin, congratulations!
What about it, huh? It IS official, suitable for framing even. I won highest honors with my American Imperial and my English style. Deep Earth Stout and Crystal Cavern Pale Ale, I called them. What will the Old Man say, do you think?
He’ll be proud. And he’ll wish he could taste your winning brews. He’s been … dismayed … by William’s turn from beer and mead to what Father calls hodge-podge wine.
‘Waste not, want not’ isn’t really working. His last batch was made from beet peels and kale stems.
It met with rather … ummm … poor reviews.
So, Devin, what’s next? What will you do with your art, your new skills?
Well, I was worried about stepping on William’s toes, but maybe that won’t be a problem. See, I was thinking … the waters down here are so pure … I want to set up a brewery. I have a name for it already. Three Gouges. Whadd’a ya think?
I think … Ouch.
Hey! That’s my line! Oh, don’t feel bad, Vincent. Remember those very interesting women I mentioned meeting? Trust me, the scars garner some … fond attentions. I’m glad for ’em. The name’s a winner … in more ways than one. I just need to get Father’s okay. You think there’s a place for me?
North of here, beneath the Bronx, below Van Cortlandt Park … are some magnificent chambers. The lands are still wild, the waters rushing. The life there, the community, seems … freer somehow. You’d like it, I think.
The northern tunnels? We went there on the sneak from Father, just kids the last time we … Well, it’s been a while. I’d like to go back, take a look. How about a tour?
A FEW HOURS LATER
Somewhere in the Northern Tunnels
“You’re right, Vincent. It is magnificent. I’ll think about setting up here, moving here. I really will. It was great to see Noah and Stewart again. Liz, too, but she’s still a little scary, don’t you think?”
“Liz is … … …”
“There’s that pause again! What this time?”
“Noah calls her a force of nature.”
“Hmph. I say that when I’m afraid to say ‘scary’. She’s something, though. Always was.”
“The people here, Devin, their … direction. This place … I’m renewed. What kept me away for so long?”
“You know, you really should figure out the answer to that. Would you ever– Vincent, would you consider …?
Would he? We shall see. 🙂
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