What Pegman Saw : What me and Tolly heard at the top of the stairs

Nights, me and Tolly would creep out of bed to sit on the top step. Toes curled against the chill, we’d listen to the grown-ups sing songs from the old country.

Sometimes they’d start with a jig, a tune slapped out on the catcall piano, pedals squeaking, drowning out hammered strings. Some nights, the mood was heavy, the air thick with tobacco and gin. Those nights were for sad songs of missed, misty mountains, lost love and lost virtue. After the doors were bolted, the singing would zigzag to silence along the street below.

One night Tolly was dozing, head knocking my shoulder, when the voices turned sour as the air. The piano lid crashed shut. A scuff of boots. A sound like a sack of flour dropped to the floor.

The next night there was one less voice at the piano.


Written for What Pegman Saw, the prompt that uses Google Streetview as its kick off point. This week we are at the Billinidgel Hotel in New South Wales, Australia. See here to join in, share and read others.