He had a scar...
He had a scar on his chest, just over his heart; a perfect circle the precise circumference of the mouth of a pint glass from Jessup's. Mostly because the scar did come from a Jessup pint glass. Brody never told anyone about how he'd gotten that scar. It was easy enough to hide, anyway. It was always covered by his shirt in public, and, at this point, was so heal-faded that if anyone saw him bare-chested, that they usually noticed the fact that his left nipple was almost a good inch higher than the right one.
Brody lived over his pubs his entire life. His father, Petey, owned the infamous Reilly O'Reilly's until Brody was eight and Pa went bankrupt. A good Irishman never turns down a good Irish whiskey, but one too many rounds on the house makes for a poor business plan. They moved into his Uncle Seamus' apartment until they got back on their feet, but the call of good Sir Jameson from downstairs was too strong for Brody's Pa. Uncle Seamus just nodded quietly and turned the living room into a more permanent bedroom.
Brody's scar only hurt during a waning crescent moon. It was only a dull ache, but it was still there, itching away under his skin like pointed fingernails on a particularly ticklish patch of skin. Uncle Seamus told him to rub Guinness on it, to appease the old Celtic gods. Despite the fact that Brody scoffed at the idea, it actually worked. The hollow sound his chest made when he rubbed his fingers over the spot was disconcerting, as was the silence in his ribcage.
Pa's drinking always got worse when the money got better. Brody knew his father could be highly motivated, but only if there was a huge obstacle in his path. Deirdre, the woman who owned Jessup's, saw the truth of the matter, too. She was constantly threatening to fire Petey, and that kept him on the straight and narrow long enough for Brody to finish out high school in one place. The graduation party was another story entirely. Petey was passed out under the pool table, Uncle Seamus refused to drive the fifteen minutes (in the rain) to pick his alcohol-sodden brother up off yet another sticky floor, Deirdre was making a face that highlighted just how well she could simultaneously purse her lips and narrow her eyes, and Brody was ushering all of his friends quietly out the door.
"I wish he would stop drinking," he whispered to Dierdre, once the pub was empty. She looked at him for a moment, out of the corner of her eye, before pursing her lips once more for emphasis.
"Come with me."
Brody was confused, but followed her behind the bar. "What're you doing?" he asked as she sliced a lime and rubbed it around the edge of a clean pint glass.
Without speaking, she whirled into Brody's personal space, slamming the rim of the pint glass against his chest, murmuring under her breath in a language he didn't understand.
Before he could finish, there was a terrible, stinging pain all around the edge of the glass, burning into his skin, through his shirt. Brody tried to pull away, startled and in agonizing pain, but his body wouldn't cooperate, and the burning turned into a straining pull against his squirming skin.
Petey never understood what was so appealing about the taste of alcohol. He also didn't understand why he woke up staring at the underside of a pool table.
Before it burned down, Jessup's was famous for the automated life-sized human heart that the owner, Dierdre, kept over the bar, next to a bottle of Bailey's that she claimed was nearly a century old.
nt - 7/02/10
Notes: A little magical realism, perhaps? I don't know, it turned out a little more serious than I ultimately wanted it to be.
*Prompt taken from The Write Brain Workbook: 366 Exercises to Liberate Your Writing by Bonnie Neubauer