The whiskey stains upon the bar tell scores of many sad tales, of love, loss and tragic lives; and drink to drown out the wails. Another dejected, washed out soul seeks solace within the shot glass, to wash away the mournful memory of another heart-broken pass. Another wheeler-dealer, another gambling god, another weary player bet his life upon the sod. The rings around his swollen eyes mark the toll and the tell-tale signs, the vacant stare; the unshaven chin, you can read between the dark lines. Just one more shot to dull the sting of a life that’s long broken down, another stiff drink to soothe the scars of one more tired washed out frown. He staggers out into harsh lit streets, head gently spinning on unsteady feet. He knows that it's near, he can hear the call, just over the road and down past the mall. Shuffling along with an unsteady gait, cell phone ringing, “Who cares, it can wait”. Eyes now blind behind stinging tears but it's not enough to allay his fears. And there it is in a hazy dream, a small footbridge over a lazy stream. He grips the rails with trembling hands, there’s no point telling her, she won't understand. Then just for a moment he catches a glimpse in the soft flowing waters and it makes him wince. For the wretch that he sees is not the man that he knows; there’s a stranger staring back from the dark water below. With a shuddering sigh and with tears streaming down, he's leaning over; feet leaving the ground. For a moment he's flying, so alive and so free, he’s no longer afraid, just a strange kind of glee. He doesn't feel the welcoming water as it closes up, overhead. He doesn't feel its clutching chill, for his soul has already fled. * Written by Darren Scanlon, 25th November 2013. Revised by Darren Scanlon, 20th September 2016. © 2016 Darren Scanlon. All rights reserved.