I was long passed knowing whether the bar was holding me up or I the bar. But safe to say neither of us were keen on finding out anytime soon so I stayed safely plastered to the sticky wooden top. The barman brought me another glass, the glorious golden liquid literally on fire within the vessel. I looked at it longingly, feeling the flames dance in my eyes. I reached out but the treacherous barman pulled his arm back, giving me a patronising and all-knowing look.
I sneered, letting my eyes flash their deepest red and pulled a note out of a jacket pocket. Quickly I glanced at it to check it was still legal tender in this century (it had been a while since I’d worn this jacket) and slapped it on the bar. I had meant to put it in the outstretched hand, but my eyes and actual objects were not lining up exactly as they should have been. Disdain dripped off the barman but he took up the note and replaced it with the sweet nectar. I closed my eyes and let the glorious drink burn my throat, the enchantments within it dancing through my insides and going directly into my bloodstream. It was almost heavenly, well at least I’d heard it was.
“Toran, you waste of space.”
And in an instant heaven was snatched away and replaced with a deep desire to descend into a dark hole. I downed the drink before the speaker could take it out of my hands and took a deep breath. Keeping one arm firmly planted on the bar, I swivelled the stool round to face him.
“Raythan you pompous ass. What brings you to the depths of depravity?” I made a mental note that that would be a MUCH better name for a bar. “I’m surprised to see you here where monsters tread.”
“You mean the outcasts and losers? Has-beens and frauds?”
“Yep, that’s us.” I hoped I wasn’t slurring as much out loud as it sounded in my head. Raythan looked slightly fuzzy but that was probably something to do with the light. He changed his appearance regularly, but his aura stayed the same. Today he was wearing the face of a teen icon it would appear. Floppy blonde hair gave him a permanent crick in his neck which someone had attempted to remedy by adding a counterweight of silver in his opposite ear. He was allowing his true eyes to show. It was safe in here, nothing mortal ever came in, wards and spells by the door allowed all things demon safe passage but mortals would end up with such gut wrenching fear if they so much as looked at the font door they never even approached. “Come to laugh have we? Yes, I messed up a simple crossroads contract. Happens to the best of us.”
“And the worst.”
“Did your mother never tell you if you can’t say anything nice… well say it anyway I ‘spose.” Gas from the innumerable drinks I had imbibed exploded from me right in Raythan’s face.” “’Scuse me.” I sniggered at the look of disgust on his face.
“I can’t believe he sent me to you.”
I frowned. So he was not just here to mock me. I felt the alcohol fuelled stupor subsiding as a feeling of disquiet built within me. “Who?”
That knocked the rest of the stupor out of me in an instant. I sat up, removing my arm rom the bar. We both stayed upright. Beltar was His right-hand man. Everyone knew his name but very few demons came into contact with him.
“What does Beltar want with me?”
“We have an issue he wants you to look into.”
“We? You work in Beltar’s court now?” I cocked my head and looked closer at the scrawny demon in front of me. Clearly, he was better connected than I had realised. Note to self, don’t burp in his face again.
“I do, and therefore in the Prince’s court.”
“This issue, is it coming from the Prince?”
“Not quite,” Raythan looked nervous. A demon looking nervous. Now that was something to make anyone think about running and hiding. He glanced from side to side making sure no-one was within listening distance. “The issue is the Prince.”
Written in response to prompt 22 on the November list from Putting My Feet In The Dirt: https://puttingmyfeetinthedirt.com/2019/11/01/november-2019-writing-prompts/