The evening was beset by a thin fall of fog which was getting thicker by the hour, the orange glow of the street lamps gave the area a surreal almost other-worldly. Old man Pilkington pulled up the collar on his raincoat to keep out the elements. He coughed throatily and a jet of discoloured phlegm cascaded onto the floor with a quite splat. Bad weather always had gone to his chest, bronchitis as an infant had seen to that. He finally found himself at the door of his lodgings and made his way to his room. His landlady was in the kitchen in the process of making what appeared to be Steak and Kidney pie and her husband was sat at the Kitchen table intensely studying the evening news paper. Pilkington made his painful ascent to his room and collapsed on the bad.
The shower across the hall way clanked into action, clearly the new girl was scrubbing up either for a night out or freshening up after a day at work. Pilkington struggled to recall what her job was, she said she had two jobs as the one didn’t have the hours at the moment. He had a distinct feeling she was working or had worked on the perfume counter at the store. It didn’t matter, he closed his weary eyes and listened to his laboured breathing.
He was disturbed by the clanked of the bolts on the bathroom door and the quick pitter-patter of the girl’s feet across the hall. He coughed loudly again and quickly found his handkerchief to cough into. It was another bad one. There was a knock on the door and a moment later the girls head appeared around the door, her hair wrapped in a towel and her body clad in another towel and dressing gown.
“Are you ok mister Pilkington?” She asked with a hint of concern.
“It’s nothing,” he said catching his breath. “The damp sits badly on my chest.”
“Oh dear,” she said. She was aware he was looking, almost studying her.
“Sorry,” he said. “What’s that on your shoulder?”
“Just birthmark,” she said. It was unusual, it looked like three phases of the moon. “I better get dressed. I don’t think the landlady would approve.
Dinner had passed and Pilkington was preparing to brave the night air for a brown ale or two down at the Raccoon. He thanked the Landlady for the meal and made his way out into the bitter night air. He arrived at the pub in good time, Joe was in his usual corner deep in concentration on a game of Solitaire, Billy and Tommy were enjoying a game of darts and the Publican was busy polishing some glasses. Pilkington ordered his beer and sat at his usual table and waited for Mike to arrive and they could play their usual game of dominoes. To Pilkington’s surprise the new girl from his digs had turned up. It was hardly the sort of pub for a young girl to be drinking in and it was too late for her to be starting work. She ordered a grapefruit juice from the bar and made her way to him. She introduced herself as Winifred, Freddie for short and briefly told him about her life in the last few weeks. She then asked him about the chain he wore. It was a simple crescent moon on a basic chain but was clearly very aged.
“It’s just a good luck charm,’ Pilkington said, “my gran gave it to me as a child and I have worn it ever since. It supposedly has a mystical element but I don’t really believe that.”
It was nearly closing time and Pilkington had made his way back to his digs. Freddie had said she was going to the club down the road. As she walked down the street a man in a green suit emerged from an alley and approached her.
“Is it the one?” He asked.
“I don’t know, I need to get a good luck at it.” Freddie said flatly. “It won’t be easy, he keeps it on his person at all times.”
“Well I am sure you can find a way,” the man said. “I take it you do want to be released from your contract.”
Part of the Daily Challenge Three Things Challenge
The words for this post are birthmark, raccoon, charm