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In the collective memory of those who frequent The Eastside, no one can recall when Jackson’s presence did not grace its halls. Marlow Jefferies, the original proprietor, declared that Jackson was as much a fixture of the establishment as the walls contained it. As the sole individual capable of taming the recalcitrant boiler and coaxing forth its precious hot water reserves, Jackson’s presence was nothing short of indispensable.

His mind, a veritable library of faces and names, held within it the stories of every guest who had sought refuge under The Eastside’s roof–and, perhaps more crucially, the debts settled or left outstanding. Beneath the veneer of Jackson’s brusque demeanour lays a gentler soul, one known only to those whose bills he has discreetly allowed to slip from memory.


© LewisChard 2020