10,000 BEERS

Written by Alex Broun


When we reach the hotel I don’t go in. I walk out on to the street and just keep going. Down the road. Away. Something keeps drawing me on, deeper into the night. I’m not sure where I’m going. I walk for a long time. Around dawn I find myself in a park. Near a big pond.

Still, silent. I sit down and stare at the water for ages. So deep, black, quiet. And then as the sun comes up this huge memorial, cut into sandstone, appears in the mist, rising above the water.

It’s a group of soldiers from the World War One. I walk over to it, edging closer. Not making a sound. Almost like I’m going to wake them up. I imagine what happened. All the lives lost. The waste.

In front is the captain, leading his troops into battle. To the right is his second in charge, striding close behind. The leader is looking straight ahead but the other soldier isn’t looking t the front. He’s looking straight at his captain and there’s an expression on his face. An expression of something. Unclear, unsaid. The light is shadowy, and the faces begin to merge. I’m trying to focus on the first man but the features keep changing, they start to blend. One moment it’s Doug, then it’s me, then it’s Col Whelan then it’s… Toby. (BEAT) I look at the soldiers for a long time. Then I walk back to the hotel.