2019-12-20 - A Moody Wager


A blustery December day blows Shayera Hol into Luke's, where she meets a curmudgeonly bartender and a chipper waitress. There's discussion about whiskey, and a wager with moods as currency.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri Dec 20 04:42:38 2019
Location: Luke's

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Theme Song



Luke's is sort of dead tonight. It's not anyone's fault really, it's just really fucking cold outside, and the wind is kicking up a solid stiff breeze, the kind that makes even warm jackest somehow poreous and flimsy. It doesn't howl, but it whistles around the sharp edges of buildings and is firm enough that when one steps from it's path the sudden lack of it feels like setting down a burden. So, not many are braving the night for just a drink, or even good ribs. But there are a few. The regulars, drunks who've no other home but this, and a blind barman who's ignoring the clientele for the most part so pluck away at a guitar on the little stage.

The old patina'd resonator makes a hollow mournful metalic sound, empty and robust at the same time, and it echos tinnily in the bar, the steel core on his finger making the string hiss delightfully as he slides it down the neck and lets loose with a growling grumble of a lyric that sounds somehow uncertain as if he were more trying something then actually singing a song.

"Come down from your mountain
I miss you holy shoutin'
These day I can't make you make a sound

Take me to the times when
We'd look up to the skies
And climb up there and draw the-"

He stops, makes a face, starts a new, changing the tune the guitar echos.

Someone, until relatively recently, had an internship at a biotech company. To her mind, it was weird, since she was only just starting her first year of univeresity when she got offered the position. Now, however, the internship has run its course; and as nice as it was while it lasted, she needs a job again, and really doesn't want to go back to selling corndogs at the Bodega.

So, Gwen is here, dressed in tight jeans and a t-shirt that leaves a few inches of midriff bare, enough that she's certain her Dad would not approve, but he's not here and she is. She's humming along with the tune Hod is singing (well, mostly anyway) while she's busy wiping off tables. Dignified work, for a budding biochemist? Absolutely!! Whatever pays the bills and keeps her in school is pretty great to her mind. So she humms, managing to keep up with the song and do so quite tunefully, as she moves amongst the unoccupied tables, making sure they're all completely spotless, one after another.

You know, she'd been told that the weather here couldn't be nearly as windy or cold as her home city of Akah Ma'at, the hidden city floating far above the surface world of these Grounders.

They told her WRONG.

Entering the bar rather abruptly simply because the wind doesn't allow the door to open or close any other way, what's most immediately apparent about the woman are the WINGS. White with grey tips and shaped like the wings of a bird of prey, even furled and held close to her back they reach above her head with the longest of the primary flight feathers brushing the backs of her calves. Otherwise, she could pass for any other random New Yorker, wearing jeans and a sweater under a coat that is somehow modified to not interfere with her wings.

After taking a deep breath, she turns and steps further into the room with the intention of sitting at the bar, her wings rustling faintly as she starts to acclimate to the much warmer environs of the establishment.

Hod continues to pick along for a bit, adjusting the tune a little, then begins somewhere else in what is clearly the same song, his expression odd. Not just dour, that's usual for him, but maybe troubled? Or just annoyed. He's hard to read, and the black cloth blindfold doesn't help that in the least.

"I'm the kind of love it hurts to look at
The Seer in me takes it as a Sign
So I'm strung out on leavin'
Fighting all my demons
And you don't care for m-"

He stops again, shaking his torso like a dog coming in out of the snow or as if something had just taken a bite out of him. The guitar makes a sudden off key change and the whole thing falls apart in a jangle of notes. Hod yanks his hand away from the instrument as if it had bit him and he shakes it vigorously, frowning hard enough it's clear even through the blindfold. He stands abrubptly and sets the guitar in it's case leaning against the wall. Plucking up his cane he begins a brisk memorized walk towards the bar, anxious and fidgety, "Whaddayahave?" he growls out as a single word in the direction of the new comer, the metal tip of the cane making uncharacteristic harsh clack sounds as he waves it before him in his march away from the stage.

Gwen's attention shifts to the door opening and slamming shut; she stops humming, right around the moment when Hod's instrument decides it no longer wishes to cooperate with being musical and would prefer, instead, to make a sound that sets Gwen's teeth on edge. She looks, for a moment, like her brain has just… gotten stuck there.

quickly enough, she snaps out of it, and tucks away the rag she's been cleaning the tables with. She collects a couple of menus and sets them on the bar, keeping a third in reserve in case the newly arrived customer doesn't want to eat at the bar.

"Hi, welcome to Luke's!" she greets cheerfully, right after Hod's demand for information. "We have… uhm…" she trails off, once she gets her first proper look at Shayera. She just kind of stands there, for a moment, looking the winged woman up and down and if we're being honest, gaping a little bit. She realizes what's going on eventually, and manages to shut her jaw and look at least slightly more professional. "Err… I mean, sit anywhere you like," she mumbles, while changing to a color resembling a freshly harvested beet. "Can I get you anything to drink?

Shay looks from the man who just abandoned his guitar to the young woman who just greeted her in a slightly annoying chipper manner. She doesn't take it personally, though. She knows that most people who serve edibles to others are often required to affect falsely cheerful airs. She'd likely punch someone if she was forced to do the same.

"Uh, yeah. Whiskey, any kind. Just don't put any ice in it." There's a hint of an unusual accent muddled into the New Yorker tones of her words, and her eyes take in the blindfolded man for a moment before she steps toward the bar. Claiming a backless seat there which just barely keeps her wings off of the floor.

She loosens her coat a bit because it's warm in here, revealing the edge of either a very realistically golden colored armor chestplate, or the most overstarched gold-colored satin bodice in existence.

Hod nods once, "Should always care what kind." he chides the customer, "Whacha lookin to do? Drinking to forget, remember, let go, or hang on?" he asks as he sets out a shot glass, a two different shaped tumblers on the bar. He begins patting about beneath the bar, presumably for bottles. If you wanna talk liqour, you'd be hard pressed to find a finer source of opinion in the City then the fallen god.

Gwen is at war with herself in her mind; did she make this winged person mad, or is that just the way she is normally? Really, there aren't any buildings around here that were designed with winged people in mind. She makes ure there's a menu within easy reach, before she takes the rest and wanders around behind the bar. (She's allowed there now, 'cause she works here.) She plops the menus down, and gives some very clear and obvious contemplation to just pointing out where the bottles of whiskey are, before she thinks better of it and heads back around the bar. That guy over there wants to pay, afterall.

…And he didn't tip. What the heck?! Cheapskate!

Shay watches the waitress for a brief moment after the menu is set within easy reach, trying to figure out if she upset the kid or if it's just a meeting of the surly people. Birds of a feather, and all that.

Turning back to the bartender, she considers his admonition. "Good question. I'm drinking to waste a little time and thaw out, mostly. So long as the stuff doesn't trigger a premature molt, I'm not overly picky." Her wings shrug then resettle again at her words while her hands pull the menu closer, as if horrified by the thought of unplanned molting.

Hod nods his head, "Delightfully nonspecific." he says as he pulls out a trusty bottle of Jack No. 7 and pours a shot for the winged woman, "Then the most generic of whiskey and sadly of experiences for you." he says, pushing the shot glass scross the bartop with a fingertip. He can't see the wings, so maybe that's why her molting joke doesn't get a responce. Maybe.

Gwen is very clearly put out about the guy not tipping — she gave him the best service ever, too! Not kidding! But hey, it is what it is. She saunters back behind the bar, and looks around at the place; it's pretty dead, and there's nothing… doing, really. Not a thing. Even the lady with the wings is just getting boring old whiskey.

"I'm taking a break," she declares, mainly for Hod's benefit. …And it seems that going on break consists of, at least right now, ducking into the kitchen to retrieve a can of coke from the fridge, and then return. She takes a spot at the bar, not right beside Shayera but close enough to the action, so she can watch the door as well. Just in case, a paying (and hopefully tipping) customer decides to make an entrance.

"Yeah, well, what I'd really rather drink isn't something I can get any time soon. And just about all of this stuff," Shay gestures vaguely to the bottles visible behind the bar, "don't really compare at all. So I'll go with generic. Can't be any more disappointed than I already am." She tosses back the shot of No. 7 like taking a swig of water and sets the shotglass back on the bar with a gentle enough tap, though the metallic clink of what might be a metal bracelet peeking past her sleeve cuff counterpoints the sound.

She looks over at Gwen as the waitress opts to take a break, hesitant to bug the young woman with a question as mundane as to her opinion on the food offerings. Might as well get dinner dealt with while she's here.

Hod tilts his head to the side, "Luke hires strays." he says in a flat tone, who he's addressing is anyone's guess. "I approve. This one," he jerks a thumb vaugly in Gwen's direction, "is to chipper though. Brings the whole mood of the place up. Rude." he then pours himself a bourbon, tosses in a dash of bitters and an ice cube, a sugar cube, and with practiced ease takes a heavy twist of orange peel off a fruit before squeezing it's oils in a light misting over the rim of the glass and dropping it inside. This he drinks himself, on the job, unashamedly.

Gwen pfffts. "Someone's gotta counteract your perpetual cloud of grump," she points out. But she's grinning as she says it, and it's clear in her voice. "Make you a deal, Hod. You be entirely too chipper for a day, and I'll be grumpy. I can do grumpy." She pauses, and furroughs her brow, "I mean… I think I can do grumpy. Maybe for at least five minutes. Ten if someone insinuates something about stepping on a kitten."

At that, the waitress puts her drink (still in a can, how barbaric) to her lips and has a swig. The whole bit about Luke hiring strays, well, she hasn't seen fit to argue with that, so maybe it just happens to be true. "Try the…" she trails off, and shrugs. "Try basically anything on the menu or ask for something else if you don't like what you see. Hod can cook anything."

Anything, hm? She glances through the menu and finds one of the Grounder food items that was overwhelmingly pleasantly surprised by — and points at it. "How about this? The ribs." She's sampled ribs at a variety of places around New York, so this Hod person has a pretty tall bar to unwittingly meet.

Then, she offers a wager. "If I've had better ribs, then swap the grumpy and chipper jobs. If I haven't, /I'll/ go be chipper for the rest of the day." She's really betting on these NOT being the most amazing ribs ever.

Hod makes a face, "Can't be chipper." he says flatly, "You want that shit, you gotta talk to my brother." There's a part of Hod that thinks that may actually be true, that he might /literally/ be incapable of chipperness. It would be like Baldr being cynical. It just… there are laws to the universe frankly, and more then a few of them can't be broken. Speed of light? Pfft. That's a laugh. Planck's Constant? As if. Gods of darkness getting to be cheery? Now /that/ just isn't a thing.

"She lies." he then says to Shay, "I'm shit with cakes. It's the decorating." he makes a motion with his hand as if piping from an iceing bag, "All mine end up just being squiggles and half the time they're not even on the gods damned pastry. Shit with cakes." he makes a face. Then she's making bets and the glower he's been carrying since she came in lightens slightly, a smirk tugging at the corner of his lips, "Sucker." he says before turning to head towards the back.

As soon as Hod's back is turned, Shayera looks at Gwen and offers her a wink.

Gwen sits up straighter once bets are being made. "I hope you do a good 'chipper', lady." She grins, "I can coach you on it, if needed." She beams, before watching Hod retreat into the kitchen. "Hey, Hod," she calls, "Bet you that…" she trails off, and bites her bottom lip, once again at war with herself. She glances sideways at Shayera, before she yells back, "You know what, nevermind, I'm not old enough to gamble anyway."

The pop can is put back to her lips and she drains it, then lobs it through the air; she bounces it off the doorjam, and lands it perfectly in the recycle bin in the kitchen. Or at least, it certainly sounded like it.

Shay nudges Gwen with her wing, a sensation a bit like being prodded with the side of a duvet-wrapped steel pipe. "Go on, what's your bet? You can wager for, I dunno, an undecorated cake. If I'm at risk of having to pretend to be chipper all day, you can bet on making a cake."

Gwen chuckles softly. "Alright," she replies, after the nudge, "I was going to bet him that he could bake a cake and it would taste delicious, whatever it looks like. I mean really, who cares if it says something on top or if it's just got some pre-Egyptian hiroglyhs? I mean I don't. I'm just going to eat it." She shrugs, "I win, I get the cake. If he wins… uhh… I dunno. I guess that's up to him."

"Well, let me judge the ribs first, and then I'll judge some cake. And from what I've seen, there are more kinds of cakes out there that don't get all crazy with the decoration than there are kinds that need it." Shayera looks at the glasses left on the bar including her already empty shot glass. Hm.

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