Dusty Old Jones

Date: 8/16/2019

By Hashki

It was a dark night, I walked down an old cobbled street straight out of 15th century England. It was late, and there was not another soul in sight. I kept walking these streets in search of any sign of life. Old wooden doors dotted the side of the streets, but each one I knocked on gave no answers. After several tries, I came upon one which opened. Inside therr was a group of pipe smoking men sitting around a table playing a game of poker. They either didn't notice me or didn't care about my presence. Their movement were slow and considered as they played their game. In the back behind the men, was a grey old barkeeper, he gave me a quick glance, then continued wiping the bench. There was a grey old man in the corner who looked near death. I picked a stool at the bar and sat down. The barkeeps eyes darted to mine. "What's yer poison lad?" He smirked at me. I glanced behind him, where a dusty shelf held an assortment of unlabeled bottles. Before I could make an answer he was pouring something in a glass on the bar in front of me. A clear brown liquid filled the glass and he slid it over. "That should do ya lad, careful with it now". I clutched it in my hand and swung round to face the room. The men continued to gamble without a notice of their surroundings. My attention was caught by a shallow gasp over in the corner. The old man. His eyes were gaunt and hollow, his skin pale and sagged. His clothes fashioned from what seemed like old rags, his ribcage trying to burst out of his skin. My body tensed and shivered at the sight of him. "That's old Jones, don't mind him" the barkeeps voice came from behind me. "What's his story?" I asked the old man. "It's a long one. Been here longer than me, an' I been here a while". I let the old mans words ruminate in my head as I studied old Jones. His movements were few and looked pained. He was making soft noises indicating discomfort. His dusty hair long and grey. Suddenly he glanced up from his small corner, his eyes met mine with a sorrowful look. A grim smile stretched across his face, his arm gently patting the space on the bench next to him, indicating for me to come over next to him. I left the old man at his bar and started over towards the deathly looking old man. A gambler averted his gaze from his game to notice my movement towards old Jones, but then quickly went back to his business. I felt cold as I sat next to old Jones. He gazed into my eye with a wistful glance. a sharp movement from his hands surprised me as he clutched tightly on my arm. He began speaking harshly in a raspy tone "we all end up here my son" dust falling from his tongue as he spoke. He let go of my arm as it dropped back onto the bench. "And where is here?" I replied. He smiled and let out a quick soft chuckle. I noticed the room growing darker. The sound of the cards being played from the gamblers hands became louder and more apparent. More dust fell from the old mans tongue as he spoke in cryptic phrases. The dust fell and covered the air in an unpleasant haze. The gamblers began to cough, yet continued to play their hands. Old Jones reached his hand towards them, as if he were longing to be sat at their table, a part of their game. His finger outstretched, began to crumble before my eyes, his dust filling the room. The sounds of the bartender and the gamblers became muffled by the dust. My vision was gone, and all had faded to black.