Steph tilted his chin towards the ‘road closed signs. “While the crews worked, poor Violet tumbled off her balcony.”
Mike sighed. “Happens every summer. She’s gonna have some awful bruising. I’ve lived here most of my life, she was beautiful — used to call her Aunt Violet — but she has her vices too.” He mimed drinking from a flask.
“She has her reasons. Once, she married a lawyer in a bright yellow wedding dress. One day he left; she’s been stern since.” Steph shook his head. “I remember as a kid, she gave us Hershey kisses.” He stretched his arms. “It’s a sad thing but best get back; my wife has dinner on.”
Mike spoke as he turned from his neighbour. “Violet will be fine. Maybe she’ll stop drinking home brew, discover that she’s got lots of time before her.” Stephen shrugged; the two neighbours walked up the porch stairs to their respective homes.
Kathy walked into TheCorkScrew. During the day it had masqueraded as a cafe with coffee, tea, hot chocolate, soft drinks, and any alcohol you felt like adding. At night the old place truly came alive as the beloved town bar where everyone met to have fun and catch up.
However, the building no longer met fire code regulations. It hadn’t when she started working here as a bartender when she was sixteen, having procured a fake ID. But twenty-five years later the place was so terrible it had to be torn down; even renovations couldn’t save The CorkScrew.
At the front of the bar were bottles from years gone by. For some reason one could still get an ancient bottle of 7Up to mix with lime juice and Vodka. There was original Coca Cola and original Pepsi, whatever you preferred to have with your Rye or Rum.
Kathy along with neighbors, patrons, and friends — some she’d known all her life — had come to the bar one last time to watch as The CorkScrew was boarded-up. Oddly enough, even the rats seemed to be leaving the building, which only made Kathy cry harder.