A Question of Semantics

(950 words) Lighted from above by three bright spotlights, a dartboard was mounted on the yellowing paint of a wall in The Golden Calf. It stood in a corner, housed in a cabinet with blackboards for scoring on the inner side of each cabinet door. It was only Thomas Scaman’s second visit to The Golden Calf, having moved to the village of Little Muchly with his wife, Judith, just two weeks earlier. Their first visit had been at lunchtime and the pub had been full of jovial families with their kiddies. Tonight, he’d fancied a pint, and leaving Judith to her writing he’d headed down the lane to the pub, expecting to be met with a friendly greeting and to make new pals over a game of ‘arrows.’ As a former league player, he expected to be met with, well, a kind of hero’s welcome, he told himself. Instead, he opened the door onto an empty, sparsely furnished, and equally sparsely populated bar.