My main character in my new book starts out a non drinker (well I suppose we all do, don't we?) after being bashed about quite a bit by a drunken father, but events conspire to get him started on the demon drink - not least of which is becoming landlord of a pub.
This is Jack's first experience of whisky:
The first slug of the scotch burnt his throat. He felt the hot fire searing its way down into his stomach, sending warm waves through his body. The taste was harsh, biting, alien, but the after effect was like being wrapped in a warm blanket that sent heat to every extremity and a calming balm to his fevered brain. He took another gulp, then swirled the amber liquid around the glass, holding it up so the candlelight illuminated the clear spirit: bright, pure, like topaz. He drank down the rest of the measure and reached for the bottle again.
‘Steady on, Jack, lad’ said one of the drinkers.
‘Leave him be. He needs a drop of the hard stuff. No easy business becoming a father for the first time.’
He’d never tasted anything like it. Cold yet hot, bitter, yet like balm. Calming. Enveloping. Wrapping him up and easing his pain. Helping him forget the woman upstairs. Helping him forget what a mess he’d made of his life so far.
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