I had written the following as the preface for my fictional crime novel The Pub on Trinity Street, and then decided to skip a preface and incorporate the material directly into chapter one. However, the former preface seems to be a short story unto itself. Thus we have:
The Thirty-Eight Year Day
January 30th, in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Nine Hundred and Seventy-Two, was a Sunday. The Pub on Trinity Street, in the southern port city of Baltimore, Maryland, was open for business; playing host to the normal Sunday in winter gathering. A few dart players in the back; one or two alcoholics sequestered at the far end of the downstairs bar, addressing the numb from the cold with the numbing of the soul; and five regulars seated at the middle of the downstairs bar, caring less about the drinks, than someone to talk to. The Milwaukee Bucks would top the Baltimore Bullets 116 to 112; which meant the after game crowd would be arguing the outcome at the smaller upstairs bar over pints and the smack-clang of the shuffleboard. Don McLean’s song American Pie was in its third week as Billboard magazine’s Hit 100 Number One. And the Sunday paper said Steve McQueen was dating Ali MacGraw.
At approximately four o’clock Greenwich Mean Time, 3,278.56 miles across the Atlantic from The Pub on Trinity Street, in a place referred to in the press as Londonderry, Northern Ireland, shots were fired, ending the quiet. Within 40 minutes, thirteen humans would be dead and fourteen would be injured; one to die later. The world would wait thirty-two years to hear that none of those killed were armed. However the Lord Widgery inquiry is future tense; as is the apology for the killings made by British Prime Minister David Cameron on June 15, 2010, “What happened should never have happened.”
The news of Bloody Sunday reached The Pub on Trinity Street one hour and fifteen minutes later. The lights would stay on long after Sam yelled ‘last call’; with a handful of patrons now lost in thought, silently contemplating their beers.
Just no one could have known how long before the glow from those lights would go out in the lives of some of the contemplators. Long after The Pub on Trinity Street shuttered its windows for the last time by burning to the ground, and then eventually becoming a mere speck of dust in the memory of those Sunday sports fans who had argued the outcome of the Milwaukee Bucks-Baltimore Bullets game at the upstairs bar on January 30th in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Nine Hundred and Seventy-Two.
The Thirty-Eight Year Day and The Pub on Trinity Street are works of fiction; there was no establishment in Baltimore, Maryland called The Pub on Trinity Street.
The Thirty-Eight Year Day and The Pub on Trinity Street are copyrighted Steven S. Walsky, all rights reserved. Parts of these manuscripts have been adopted from Through a Strangers Eyes, copyright 2005 Steven S. Walsky.