The Leither Hotel was an urban legend in 1976. A run-down shack, halfway down Leith Walk, it was a complete dump but had a certain reputation. It was said that if you could survive a night at The Leither Hotel, you were a real Leither. Stanton didn’t know about that, it seemed to him that the place was losing it’s edge.
It was owned by the hardest man in Leith and had a strict door policy, nailed to the front:
“Nae Bankers, Nae Toff Bastards and Nae Fannies”.
Aye, well, maybe they would have to score out the last bit, thought Stanton, cause the place had been bloody full of them last time he was in.
THE HOTEL BAR
The Hotel Bar was the main place of business; with a kind of rough hierarchy you didn’t mess with.
Three Piece and Fat Nacho had their corner booth, Stanton had a table and Lord Muck would occasionally be allowed in but only if he was gambling, so the locals could fleece him.
The Pilrig Sisters ran their gang out of the rooms upstairs, which were used for anything but hospitality.
Stanton walked slowly down the Walk towards the Leither; you heard it before you saw it. A mix of seventies disco and foul-mouthed shouting was the soundtrack to this place.
A couple of heavily built strippers were lingering outside the front door, smoking large spliffs and swaying to the music. They sidled up to Stanton as he entered the door.
“No, tonight, ladies” he sneered, pushing past them into the packed Hotel Bar, a bizarre mix of seventies décor and neon disco. It was stinking; a well-known smell of stale beer and cigarettes with a large dose of illegal substances.
As he walked up to the bar, he spotted Three Piece perched on a ripped velvet stool, drinking a warm rum and coke.
“Awright, Stanton…”, Three Piece swung round, eyes glazed, swaying slightly.
Stanton said nothing, catching the barmaid’s eye and nodding. He disliked Three Piece so much that he knew if he engaged him in conversation, he would end up thumping him. At that point, a blonde in satin hot-pants pushed in-between them and stabbed a long red nail in Stanton’s face.
“Where the fuck have you been?! She’s fuckin’ steamin!’” the blonde pushed Stanton round to face the window seat, where Stanton’s bird was slouched against the neon window, peroxide steel curls falling into her Babycham.
Stanton sighed heavily and took a long, slow drag on his cigarette. It was just another night in the Leither Hotel…
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