The moon was in its full glory tonight, its soft pale glow a lantern in the sea of darkness. There was a light drizzle, though I had forgot to bring a coat. The streets were eerily silent, probably since it was midnight and everyone had gone to bed. Silent, calm, just like every walk I take after work at the bar.
I stopped walking, standing by a dim, flickering streetlight. Bringing my wrist close to my face, I read the time displayed on the digital screen.
“3’AM, what do I do with my life?” I uttered, drawing out some feelings of disappointment.
I suppose being away from the chaos of the bar felt better, having people shout at you for bottles of wine and vodka naturally erodes what sense of sanity you have. I smirked at the thought, pulling the hood of my sweater over my slightly wet hair. Hands in my pockets, I continued down the side-walk, passing down old and decrepit buildings.
I wonder when they’ll be set for demolition, since I’ve seen these same buildings for the past four years.
As I turned around the corner, I was suddenly struck by a feeling in my chest. It felt terrible, like the feeling you have at funerals. Mourning the dead, it reminded me of the funeral of my pet dog. A shiver went up my spine, and the air around me started to feel a little bit too chilly.
Strangely enough, not so far down the sidewalk, there was a building. Eerily, I didn’t see the building there yesterday. It looked as if someone did a renovation overnight, because I see no possible way for such a new-looking building to appear out of nowhere.
But, now my curiosity had gotten the better of me. I wanted to know what this place was, though I would be an hour or two late…but I could just go for a peek!
I pursed my lips and shrugged, “I might as well go.”
As I approached the building, I saw that there was a large LED panel that was hung on the door. In bright neon letters, the word ‘OPEN’ was on it. My eyes strayed to the small sign beneath it, and I read them to myself.
“Bar of Bones & Bickering Demons” I couldn’t help but manage a chuckle, who would name a bar that?
I went for the doors, pushing them open as I arrived inside.
“This is a nice place...” I looked all around me, ogling at the expensive furniture items that decorated the bar. Furnished oak chairs and tables were all around, and what looked antique paintings were hung up all over on the walls. The Bar looked bigger on the inside than the outside, which came as a mild surprise.
On the counter, a lone bartender cleaned her glasses with a cloth. Her expression looked like she was thinking about something else, or perhaps she was just absent minded. Her hair was rather messy; however she had tied what hair she could tame into a bun.
What came more striking to her appearance were her crimson red eyes, they were like glowing rubies. Though, I suspect that they were just contacts, I mean, who would be born with red eyes?
After a few moments of idling by the entrance, she had caught attention of me. A grin suddenly appeared on her face, she put down the glass in her hand.
“Hello! Didn’t see you there, why don’t you come and have a drink?” She suddenly spoke, patting the counter.
I went ahead and sat down, taking the nearest barstool by the counter. The seat was made of some velvet cushion, definitely expensive. Though, the thought started to nag me as to why no one was here. This Bar did seem like one of the more…exquisite ones.
“So, what does a mighty lucky person like you want?” She raised an eyebrow and stealthily slipped a menu onto my hands.
“Hey hey, don’t be shy. There’s many choices, ya know, no need to rush. You have all the time in the world.” She smirked, crossing her arms.
My eyes darted from her to the menu, and then I opened the menu.
“What…kind of menu is this?”
To be quite honest, I feel as though I had waltzed into some sort of cult bar. There were strange symbols all over the menu, though I hope they were just for looks. What was more ridiculous were the menu choices.
“What…the hell does Immortality mean? I’m here to drink cocktails and what not. I’m not here for something like ‘Eternal’ life”
She frowned, “…well, that’s not the only thing we have—“
She leaned over the counter and pointed at the other options below it.
“… ‘Bring back a dead loved one?’” I grit my teeth as I read it, is this some sort of joke?
“Yeah, and there are other options…however do know that the prices vary”
I gripped the menu tightly.
I’m sure this is some sort of a joke, or a scam, I mean…half the things, if not all of them are just impossible!
“Look here. I just came here for a drink—“
She pushed a cocktail towards me, “fine. You asked for a drink, here. Screaming Souls, my personal favorite!”
She then dropped what looked like brown stones into it, which fizzed. A chill went down my spine, as I thought the sound of the fizzing almost sounded like…screaming.
I hesitated but took the drink into my hands. I was not oblivious to the fact there was something off about it, I was completely skeptical of drinking this strange…cocktail.
The Bartender looked at me, eagerness painting her face.
I brought the cocktail close for sip, however I then remembered something.
“What do I have to pay?” I asked, bringing it away from my lips and placing it back on the counter.
She groaned, placing both elbows on the counter. She seemed irritated and exasperated, her eye twitching.
“Honestly…I hate people like you…” With a sigh, she pointed with her white-gloved hand to a sign behind her. Oddly, I did not see anything there before arriving here.
It was hung up on one of the shelves, a black and red banner with prices.
“…‘One thing you love the most?’” I say, “and what is this ‘Screaming Souls’ cocktail supposed to do?”
“Eh? Well…uh, I mean it screams. Honestly, I’ve seized so many souls that I just do random stuff with it sometimes…” She took the cocktail meant for me, taking a sip from it. A refreshed look suddenly appeared on her face, her shoulders now slumped.
“Hits the spot each time!”
“Is this one of those role-playing bars?”
“No, though it’s definitely better than any of those.” She laughed, cocktail in hand.
I raised an eyebrow before letting a sigh escape my lips. I felt confused, very confused. I could just leave, and be home to snuggle into the comforts of my bed for a good night’s sleep…though I want to at least buy something from this place, it would make my time wasted worthwhile.
For a moment, there existed some silence between us.
“Hey, what’s your name?” She suddenly said. Her crimson eyes darted from her drink to me, and she held a cold un-blinking gaze with me. Our eyes locked, I felt increasingly nervous.
I quickly answered, sweating a little.
“Emerson” the words rolled off my tongue before I even thought to speak.
“Ah, average name. I think I have like thirty-something Emerson’s…” she trailed off, her mind seemingly drifting away like before.
“Fine, I’ll buy something. I think I saw there was a menu option to bring back a dead pet?” I caught her attention once more, and her lips twisted into a smile. If what she said was true, then Reynard would come to life. Though I highly suspect that even happening.
“That’s the spirit! So that’s all you want, correct?” She reached her hand out,
I exhaled slightly, looking at her hand. I was sure this place was a sham, but I’d might as well buy something. With a shrug, I rolled my eyes before shaking her hand.
As I grasped her hand, I almost immediately felt a bizarre pain jolt up the length of my arm.
“Oh yeah, I picked one of your co-workers at the bar. I think his name was Barry? Well, I picked him because you’d probably not want to sacrifice one of your own family. Though, I think Reynard’s going to love seeing his owner again, right?—”
“I never told you about the bar” I got off of the bar-stool, stumbling backwards, “I never told you about Barry or the name of my dog either!”
“Ah well, I guess I suppose I should say who I am. I think it wouldn’t be a surprise for you to know if I was the God of Death.”
“Y-You’re lying, you’re just a stalker!” I yelled at her. I turned around, spotting the Bars double doors. I immediately bolted for the doors, trying to escape.
I tried to push the door open, however it didn’t budge.
“Let me out!” I bashed my hand onto the glass door. My eyes frantically peering through the glass-door for anyone outside.
“You’re supposed to pull not push you dim-witted ape” As I glance behind me, She stood by the counter seeming unimpressed. Her arms crossed, she looked disappointed.
“Before you leave, I’ll say this, all deals are final. Oh, and don’t come crying to me that your dog is made of bones and rotting pieces of flesh. You have to pay extra to make him look normal, I mean, he’s an undead after—”
I pulled the door open, and bolted into the night.
It was pouring outside; the drizzle had become a heavy downpour. The rain splattered against the stone sidewalk, and I slipped many times on my sneakers as I ran through the rain. My clothes quickly became drenched with water, and my hair became damp as well. My heart thumped hard, hammering hard against my rib-cage like a jackhammer.
All I wanted to hope is that I would reach home, and I would sit back in my couch and watch TV.
As I came across the very corner I turned before, I only looked straight ahead. I wanted to take the shortest route.
The traffic light was green.
I was halfway across the road to the other side, when I heard a loud sound of a truck horn. Through the heavy downpour I couldn’t make out the shape of the truck, but I could see the lights as they blazed through the rain. The last thing I heard was the deafening truck horn, and the sound of bones crunching and snapping.
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