I hate cleaning the bar on a Friday night. Every other night of the week I would say that place looks bad at closing time. Friday's tend to transcend bad and go straight into nasty. Beer, liquor, and God knows what else dripping everywhere. Who in their right mind would want to clean up this shit? Oh yeah, that'd be me.
My names Patrick Reece. Bartender.
Now don't get me wrong. I don't usually gripe about my job, but there's a limit to what I'll do in the name of income. Right now I want nothing more than to get this mess cleaned up and get the hell out of here. Of course I have ten minutes left before I can turn off the blinking OPEN sign. And two people were walking to the door. God hates me.
"Oh give me a freaking break." I muttered, and threw my rag down on the bar as the front door opened. "Hey fellas!" I said as they started to walk in. "We've only got ten minutes till I lock up!" No response. Ookay.
I eyed them wearily as they walked across the Silver Arrow's floor. The two men were a study in contrasts. One tall and lean wearing a tailor-made white suit, the other short and stocky dressed to the nines in black suit. Oh, and they were both wearing fedoras. Honest to God fedoras. Great.
"Really guys. I'm about to close up for the night." I said. "There's another bar about a block away that stays open for a few more hours." I tried to keep my anger off my face as they continued to ignore me and sat down, staring at me.
I know when I'm beat, and it certainly looked like I wasn't going to get out of here without going through the motions. "Alright then," I said looking back and forth between them, "what can I get you guys? By the way I love the look, you guys just leave a black and white party?"
I didn't get a smile. They just sat there staring at me with the same bland look on their faces. My humor at its best.
"Who will you serve?" they both asked in unison.
"Look guys," I said placing both of my hands on the bar, "it's been a really long night and I'm ready to get out of here. I'll do one drink for each of you since you came all this way, but no more than that. What'll it be?"
"Ambrosia", the man in white said softly.
"Ichor", answered the man in black at the same time. Just what I needed some sort of comedy duo act.
"Yeah, I can guarantee we don't have either of those. Are they some sort of foreign brews?" I asked as I walked to grab two mugs.
As I was walking back with the mugs both men eyed me curiously and spoke once again in unison, "Foreign to you perhaps."
Sighing on the inside, I set the mugs down and put on my I'm a bartender tell me your worries face. "Well how about I hook you guys up with a Blue Moon?" I asked as I grabbed the mugs and walked to the tap. "My treat since we're closing up and don't have the drinks you were asking for."
I wasn't quite sure why I felt the need to hold my breath waiting for one or both of them to respond. These two guys just started giving me the creeps.
The both looked at each other like they didn't know who was going to speak up first. It was like a moment frozen in time. The man in black turned to me and I swear I could hear his teeth grinding as he started to stand.
If I had been carrying a gun I would have shot him. Now I'm not easily rattled, but in that one moment he went from snazzy, fedora wearing annoyance to something that set my teeth on edge. As a chill went up my spine I involuntarily took a step back and hit the tap. Scared? Me? Nah.
"You know why we are here." the man in white said soothingly as he placed a hand on his friends arm. The man in black looked back and forth between us and grumbling under his breath sat back down. "We accept your offer."
Yeah, I'm not working the night shift again. Ever. Trying to keep my hands from shaking I filled the mugs and didn't spill a drop. What can I say I work well under pressure. I started to shuffle back over to the bar my mind reeling from the surreality of the whole situation.
Before I could set the drinks down they once again said in tandem, "Who will you serve?"
Oh come on. "Uh, both of you," I said holding the beers out to them.
The man in white gave me a small smile, a barely there upturn of his lips. "Who will you serve, first?" he asked.
Tired of my nerves, tired of whatever game this was, and just plain tired in general I put the mugs down in front of both of them at the same time. "I don't play favorites. Both of you enjoy your drinks."
I was racking my brain as I purposely tried to ignore them while walking over to the sink. Why was I feeling so out of sorts? I literally feared for my life the moment a guy starts to stand up? That's not me. I've stopped bar room brawls before.
I glanced over at the men as I turned the sink on. They were both staring at me. Like, staring at me intently. There goes that stupid chill again.
"How's the beer?" I asked surprised that my voice came out without a tremor.
"Sufficient," Came the reply from both of them.
"Yeah, it's a real crowd pleaser." I said as I turned back to start rinsing the remaining mugs. Oh just hurry the hell up and leave.
"This has been very interesting." they both said.
I turned to look at them "You got that ri-" the front door swung shut. My heart lurched in my chest and I quickly glanced around the small bar, they were gone. I hadn't even heard them get up and walk to the door. "What the fuck!"