Short Fiction – The Cherry Beach Express

Shannon walked out of Nuts and Bolts just before last call expecting the air outside to be cool, or at least cooler than the soup of humidity that hung over the dance floor. But the early-August night offered no respite; no breeze with the heady scent of summer blooms, no drop in temperature from the sweltering heat of the daytime. It was hard to breathe, but she shrugged her leather jacket back on, the collection of buttons and badges of her favourite punk and industrial bands carefully arranged on the lapels clinking together as the heavy garment settled on her shoulders.

Her white t-shirt was soaked with sweat, and she hadn’t worn a bra. Usually it didn’t matter but this old shirt with The Smiths on the front had been worn so often it was getting faded and thin and while it hadn’t bothered her in the darkness of the club, on the street she felt self-conscious about the sheerness of the fabric.

Between the exertion of dancing and the temperature inside the club, what little make-up she had bothered to wear had mostly melted off her face, leaving her with only a messy smudge of black eyeliner under each eye.

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Sunday Brunch – The Irish Embassy

irishquicheIrish Embassy Pub & Grill
49 Yonge Street
Brunch for two with all taxes, tip and beer: $56

They call it the breakfast of champions, and there was a point when a glass of stout, such as Guinness, was touted as a healthy start to the day. I don’t know if I could do that every morning, but when settling in for brunch at the Irish Embassy, it seemed wrong not to be sipping a glass of Ireland’s favourite beer.

Normally the domain of Bay Street brokers and executives, on an early Sunday, the sun streams through the high south-facing windows of this former bank and the light bounces off the architectural details of the arched ceiling. Never having been to Ireland, I’m not sure if all the locals there are this impressive, but the Irish Embassy is surely one of the most ethereal places I’ve eaten brunch. That may be because it’s not especially busy. This is an odd state and apparently not the norm, but explains why the sharply-dressed and aproned servers outnumber the customers by about 2-to-1.

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