This is in response to M’s fabulous prompts which you can see here. These used to be 101 words. Sometimes they still are. Sometimes not. They are often snippets, occasionally unfinished and sometimes simply the beginnings of something for another time. Mostly though they are just whatever the words inspire.
“Another,” Balthazar demanded, and slammed his glass on the bar top. His wings bristled, and the dim light glinted on the tips of his horns as he looked around the room. Small wisps of smoke drifted from his nostrils and his thin lips curled up in a sneer, revealing his sharp, white teeth.
A tall, pale faced creature with skin like dirty snow wandered across, his deep blue eyes flashed as he poured a thick, dark liquid into the waiting glass.
“Long day?” He asked. The barkeep pushed the cork back into the bottle, wiped the bar top habitually, and then flicked the cloth so that it sat across his shoulder.
Balthazar snarled and downed the drink, again loudly demanding a refill.
“You sure about that?” Asked the tall, pale creature. “This stuff don’t come cheap you know, and ….”
“Another!” Balthazar roared.
The glass was quickly filled, and then filled once more. The rage in Balthazar’s eyes dimmed slightly with each consumed glass, and by the time he had finished two more he placed the empty vessel quietly.
“Yes,” he said, letting out a long deep sigh.
“Yes, what?” the bar keep asked puzzled, as he offered the bottle once more.
Balthazar placed a hand over the glass and shook his head.
“Long day. You asked me if it had been a long day. Yes, yes it has. Really long.”
The barkeep nodded and placed the bottle back on the shelf behind him as Balthazar continued.
“It’s people you see,” he said, the wisps of smoke now gone and the fire in his eyes dimmed. “You know how it is with them right?” He didn’t, however, wait to find out whether the barkeep did, or did not, know how it was with people and continued. “Every day I get up, clean my horns, sharpen my teeth and ensure that my skin suit is clean and presentable. I’m never late, I stay late, and I give my very best efforts. You know what that gets me?” He asked.
A wide mouthed, bat like creature with ears where its eyes ought to be and eyes where its ears ought to be settled on the bar next to him and looked him up and down. It then caught the attention of the barkeep and asked for two vodka martinis to be delivered to table seven.
“You know how it is with people right?” Balthazar asked it, “you know how they are I’m sure.”
The bat like animal flashed a smile with its ear-eyes and gave Balthazar what he took be a confirmatory nod, and flittered off towards the back of the room where what appeared to be a couple of snakes were having a loud disagreement over the existential power of apple imagery in medieval architecture.
“You see, he knows,” Balthazar said, “he knows what they’re like.”
The barkeep was used to this sort of thing, he tended to see it a lot as the week wore on. First thing Monday morning everyone was filled with the optimism of the week ahead, the potential for pain and suffering, the chance to make a real difference and bring proper misery and sadness. But by Wednesday he could see the doubt seeping in as the long hours took their toll. By Friday the stark reality would dawn on them and they would flock to the bar after work with a pocket full of silver and a big old dose of reality.
“People,” the barkeep said knowingly.
“Exactly!” Proclaimed Balthazar. “See, you get it too. There is nothing that we can do to them that they probably haven’t already done to each other.” He seemed invigorated in finding someone who understood his plight. “Do you know, that just this morning I was doing some anal stretching on a school teacher from California, and do you knwo what she said?”
The barkeep shook his head.
“Bleach. She asked for bleach. Said she wanted to look her best and was wondering if she might be able to put a picture of it it on the ‘gram becasue she was pretty sure none of her friends would believe it.” Balthazar took a deep breath to compose himself, visibly shaking. “Do you know how hard it is to find bleachg down here?” He continued. “But even when I did find some it really wasn’t as if it was my idea, so where’s the joy in that. I had intended to start with gaping and progreess from there. I mean most people finish at gaping, so I set a high bar, professionally speaking. But I just couldn’t relly get into it. She stole all the pleasure from it. Left me with this horrible empty feeling right in the pit of my stomach.”
“That’s out of order,” said the barkeep as he signalled the bat like creature to fetch the drinks for table seven.
“Damn right it is, I had to desecrate a couple of yoga teachers to try and make myself feel better about things, but sometimes even defiled yoga teachers aren’t enough to make you feel good.”
“So what did you do?” The barkeep asked as Balthazar motioned to his empty glass once more.
“2 million likes for a bleached stretched anus,” Balthazar replied, his shoulders slumped and his eyes dark with disappointment. “Two million. I swear, we really should have just left them to it. They dont take anything seriously, and nothing we can do can make it any worse up here…fuck them all.”