The bar’s corrugated iron walls were ox blood red, the roof patched with the hood of an old army truck and an oil drum beaten flat. It smelt of the Mekong – weed and runoff from the sugar factory a mile upstream.
Sunny nodded. “I’ll take it.”
The For Sale sign came down, tables and chairs brought in. Some nights a local band would play on the river bank – the bar was too small, too weak to hold them – the reedy voice of the khene reaching across the water to Thailand.
He imagined the music – the thread of his longing carried on the wind – drifting over her as she lay in bed, curled and dozing. Would she smile as she slept? Dream of her old love?
The bar would empty, the band clear a table to play cards. Sunny would sit alone on the river bank, his thoughts following the music and the wind.
Written for What Pegman Saw, the prompt that uses Google Street View. This week we visit Laos.
The Mekong River acts as a natural border between Laos and Thailand.
A stretch of the Mekong River was turned black earlier this year by the runoff from a sugar factory.
The Khene is a wind instrument local to Laos and Cambodia made from bamboo and used in traditional – often bawdy or satirical – folk music.