Share a pint.
The neon sign flickered red as it hung from the side of the building barely managing to stay attached to the bricks that it so desperately tugged on. The sky was dark and cloudy, but not gloomy, like it was shy of the world it hung so delicately over. The building had no roads leading to or from its entrance, instead it was surrounded by a field of midnight grass, a great void that swayed under a neutral wind, neither cold nor warm. A small splodge in the sky broke its way through the clouds, a warped reflection of a moon that could produce no light.
Of course the door to the building was wide open, as it always was and always will be, it allowed a little light to spill out into the world outside, besides the sign that read ‘Valhalla’.
The seventeen-year-old kid who had spent the last five minutes staring at this weirdly comforting desolate world decided to move his feet, and took the steps down into the main room of Valhalla. A great cheer rang out as the patrons all turned to face him with a shared smile, a knowing smile. Beer laced their lips, and a haze danced across their eyes, his green uniform greeted them the same way they had all been greeted when they first walked into this bar.
The barmaid smiled too, slamming a great pint upon the bar that ran for miles and miles and miles, and an endless stream of patrons continued to ask for service.
Next to his golden liquid lay the helmet of one of the patrons, a beautiful ruby plume shot upwards and around the crown of the helmet, a mark of rank and respect. To his left a Mongol cheered as his arrow pierced the dartboard, G.Is surrounding him and laughing at his ‘victory’.
The kid allowed a nervous smile to crack his face, and gently fingered to pint. After his first sip, he grew more accustomed, cautiously making his way through, sip by sip.
A rosy cheeked young man of similar age rushed toward him, another pint in hand.
“You’re here! I mean, I should be less excited, my condolences, I hope it didn’t hurt.”
“Hope what didn’t hurt?”
“When… When it happened.”
Bernard looked at his friend and then at all the people around him, all the Romans, the Mongols, the Greeks. He took a moment of shame as he realised where he was, the very name of the bar he was in.
“Are we dead George?”
“Yes. Very dead. Very dead indeed. And now we’re in Valhalla, sharing drinks with the greatest warriors in history!”
Bernard closed his eyes, to see if he could remember anything about what happened before he saw that hanging neon sign, nothing.
“It’ll come back to you in a few days.” George smiled sadly. “But hey, don’t worry about that, come and have a drink! I’ve been talking to some German soldiers.”
“Krauts?” Bernard’s eyebrows furrowed.
“It’s all peaceful in here Bernie, they wanted to fight and die no more than we did, it’s good to just let go in here.”
Bernard nodded reluctantly, and as he got up to follow his dead friend, he say a small sign behind the bar. ‘No fighting’ it stated as a rule, and he chuckled.