A good writing prompt for a random adventure, "My best friend and I went bar hopping". Well, it was an adventure at the least. My friend, Alex, is the kinda guy you can not take bar hopping, he always goes off on his own and shows up three weeks later with half a joint stuck in his ear, a missing jacket, three condom wrappers in his pocket, and at least six cops escorting him. So needless to say, I bar hopped with him all the time, I knew he knew all the best places, and I myself loving a good party, would always follow him. Plus I could still operate a cell phone even if I was drunk out of my mind, so he liked to have me around as well.
The streets we walked were poorly lit, cracked and were surrounded by rusted chain link fences marking off weed-covered brown yards and keeping in loud, wild dogs. I was at first shocked that my friend felt so comfortable in these streets, but after a while, I too began to feel oddly comfortable in these streets. I guess Alex was kinda like the Tyler Durden to my Narrator, the moment I began to see from his point of view, everything started to make sense, "in a Tyler sort of way" as it were. The streets were actually fairly quiet, although the occasional gunshot and car alarm would echo through the endless shade, it was mostly just the rustling of old newspapers that were soaked by rain and dried in the sun, the clatter of a drink can being kicked into a wall, or a raccoon scavenging through a trash can. Alex found the sounds beautiful in a sort of melancholic way. I myself found the eerie, but familiar, I dunno but it's kinda like when you hear the wind hollowing, and sometimes, when it hits something at the right angle, it makes a hollow whistle sound? It started to feel like that for me.
The bars on this street were wild and reckless and always a ton of fun. Alex would spend half of his budget on drinks and the other half on pot. We always budgeted ourselves for each bar we went to, it allowed us to make sure that we could continue bar hopping. Alex mixed his heavy drinking with his heavy marijuana habit, well actually, both were addictions to him, but I would have never said so at the time, I drank a fuck-ton of a lot myself, and while I didn't smoke pot, I wasn't against it. Still not, but the amount he smoked was kind of concerning. Anyway, half-way through the visit, when both Alex and I were decently buzzed, (this was usually at the first stop), one of us would start a bar fight. It was usually an accident when I started one, but Alex seemed to love to mess around, because when he started a fight, he would go up to one of the biker gangs or street thugs in the bar. How either of us were alive to laugh all the way to the next bar is kind of a miracle. However, the pattern would continue until we were both so plastered that our legs felt like jelly wrapped around that metal wire you're left with when you cut or burn, the fur off a pipe cleaner. How I managed to use my phone at this time was a testament to my skills as a drunk.
Now, July second, I remember the night going differently. I met up with all my friends, including Alex, and we went to a nice pub for dinner. Afterwards, Alex invited me bar hopping and, having just gone through a particularly nasty break-up, I agreed. We said goodbye to our friends and began to head over to our usual first stop. It was a small, run down bar named Bert's, and even though it always had wobbling tables (Including the pool tables), vomit stains everywhere, a literal shit covered bathroom, creaking doors, cracked glass everything, pool queues that were obviously (And poorly) glued back together, darts with rusted tips and enough alcohol soaked into everything that you could probably set it on fire with cigarette ashes, we loved it. Heck, even when we were sober we loved it, it seemed the perfect place for two drunk douchebags like us. Not that we looked like we belonged, but we payed for drinks and ran before the cops showed up, so we were always welcome. Unfortunately, tonight was going to be different. Bert's was closed, and from the looks of things, shut down.
"Sorry boys' the bartender said as we stood in half-disbelief and half-disappointment, 'The guys at the health department shut me down until I got this place clean and hazard free."
The bartender was a large man, obviously of Italian heritage. Neither of us wanted to fuck with him, so we kept our complaining to ourselves and told him that we would be back when the bar reopened.
We began to wander around to our next stop, and when we were about half-way there, Alex placed his hand on my chest and stopped dead in his tracks.
"Seb' he began 'was this street always here?" he asked, his voice lead the tone of pure confusion, as though he never noticed this street before.
"I guess", was my only response. I never paid much attention to it either. I looked at the street sign, it was an odd green colour, not the usual street sign green, but more of a pale forest green. It was less the sign you'd see in a city, and more a sign you would see guiding you around in Sesame Street. The name of the street was the weirdest part though, "Zauber Street" I said aloud.
"I wonder who lives here" Alex said.
"It's probably the street you take to get to the rich people's community" I said with a touch of disgust in my voice.
Alex was adamant that we check it out on the off chance there might be a bar on the street. I, not being one to indulge the wealthy, tried to persuade him otherwise. Eventually, he won out over me, so we climbed up the hill that the road followed. There was no sidewalk on this street, only road. It wasn't a particularly steep climb, but with both of us being alcoholics, we weren't physically fit enough to finish the climb in one go. We weren't that out of shape, I myself do enough walking to keep my beer gut down, but climbing a hill took a lot out of me. About halfway up, we stopped to take a breather, that's when we, or more accurately I, noticed something downhill.
Alex did not respond, I turned to him to see if he was looking, his jaw was agape and his pupils were dead center in his eyes, fixed on what he was looking at; nothing.
"Th-There's... There's nothing there!" Alex shouted in surprise. "That's impossible, we've only walked like five feet."
"I wonder if anybody can see us?"
"I dunno' Alex said 'but I personally don't want to find out."
For some reason even today I can't explain, I agreed with him, and we quickly continued our journey up the hill of Zauber Street.
When we finally reached the top, we found that it lead to a straight road, which to our surprise, and if I'm being honest gratitude, lead straight to a bar. We both sighed and chuckled in relief, knowing that we could at the very least, get a little buzzed before we wandered off to our usual second stop. We walked straight for the bar, not noticing the strange coloured tulips bobbing up and down in the breeze, some odd shades of different purples and blues and reds and there were even some teal ones. We did not stop to notice the sounds of bugs, not native to any city much less our own. We did not notice the bar having a purple lighting to it, nor the fact that it seemed to have a river flowing into it, not even the fact that it's name was Kapileió. We just waltzed up to the place and essentially, but not literally, burst through the front door. Only then did we notice anything weird about the location. Instead of taxidermy moose, deer or bison, this bar had what we believed had to be gaffes at the time. There was the head of a Kurin, coloured with the many shades of the seas. There was an, admittedly beautiful, snow-white bird, larger than a pigeon, but with rather fancy plumage. We learned eventually this was a Caladrius. Other strange and fantastical creatures were taxidermied across the walls. Alongside wood carvings depicting biblical and mythological scenes. Sitting on the wall was a stone tablet with some odd form of writing on it, it was some kind of fantastical writing, but it was doubtful anyone at the bar could read it. The bar shelves were backed by a cascade of water, and there were more than just the regular booze we were used to. There were bottles of many different shapes, some of them were in spherical bottles with flat bottoms, some of them were in cube shaped bottles, one of them was even in a star bottle with twenty-two total points pointing every which way.
The strangest though were the staff and patrons. Many different beings were gathered, and none of them, save the two of us, were humans. There were elves of different skin tones and ear shapes, mermaids with beautiful, shiny scales, sitting in and around a large pond near the wall. Fairies with beautiful shades of purple, blue, red, gold and other colours in their hair and wings. Dwarfs with massive beards, some witches, some young and some old, dotted around the inside. An orc sat at the bar, his bulging body keeping itself up from the edges of his bar stool, pale skinned vampires were seated at a round table, some grey-skinned zombies were seated at the table next to them. A large man clad head to toe in black armour carrying a giant, multi-barrel musket was leaning against the wall, and there were many anthropomorphic folk seated here and there on both the first and second floors. Foxes, wolves, lizards, cats, boars there was even a massive bear. The two men behind the counter were also not human. The one grabbing the bottles and mixing the drinks was long and slender, had sharp looking claws and teeth, pointed ears, sunken-in eyes, no hair and was a pale, smokey-white. He was dressed in ornate robes coloured with a thick, heavy black. The other man behind the counter was massive, the pint mug in his hand looked small in comparison. You could probably have fit four pint mugs in the palm of his hand alone. He too, had a massive mass of hair on his head, it was hard to distinguish where his hair stopped and his beard began. It appeared he was using a table cloth to clean the mug he held and his clothes were much the opposite of his friends. His clothes were plain, shabby and tattered looking much more medieval than the robes of his co-worker. His were also more green and brown, as though he dyed his clothes with the very colours of a forest. Every single one of them, patrons and staff, gazed in our direction as we stood there, taking the scene in with a mixture of shock, amazement and confusion.
I felt as though we weren't going to be welcomed here, but after about a minute, give or take, the large bartender motioned for us to come in. Alex and I, although being drunks, were not ones to refuse hospitality, and we always liked to try new kinds of beer or liquor. We sat at the bar, a few seats away from the orc, neither of us liked being in head crushing distance from someone as bulging as he. The bartender took two steps over and stood between us. His voice was deep, raspy and booming, but he seemed to be smiling under the mass of hair he had as a beard.
"We rarely get your kind around here." He said rather joyously.
"By 'our kind'... uh... do you mean-"
"Humans, yes,' the large man cut off my sentence 'not a whole lot come up."
"It really is a shame' the orc said with deep voice, he sounded as though he belonged in a movie trailer for an apocalypse war movie, think Mad Max meets The Longest Day, if that helps. 'Humans have some good booze." The orc finished, he downed his mug of what we could assume was some kind of ale, before slamming it back down on the bar counter and yelling for another. The slender pale man swiftly grabbed his mug and refilled it from a nearby tap.
"Dare I ask what kind of bar this is?"
"Why can't you tell?' the bartender replied 'It's a fae bar."
Alex was taken out of his state of wonder and snapped back to reality, or as much of reality as this place could be.
"A what bar?" He asked, he clearly wasn't listening.
"A FAE Bar' the bartender replied 'where all kinds of fae congregate for drinks, meals and socialization."
"Oh, so I heard right the first time."
I still had my head swimming with questions, "Why do all of you hide? I mean, not that this place isn't nice, but there are a lot of bars around."
One of the witches spoke up, "Humans tried to burn many of us before."
Then some of the vampires, "Humans killed their own kind to try and hunt us."
The man in black armour spoke, his voice echoed in his armour, causing his helmet to rattle, "Humans use death as a means of proving their points."
And one of the anthropomorphic females, probably a fox, shouted from the second floor, "Humans also have a weird fixation with sexualizing us. If they didn't try to kill us, they'd probably try to rape us."
Of course, Alex and I did not like being thrown under the banner of all men who would kill what they didn't like, die to prove a point or rape a person of any kind. However, we both agreed that they did have a point.
I quickly apologized for my rather, insensitive and frankly stupid question, but none of them seemed to take offense to it. I shut my mouth afterwards and both Alex and I were handed a menu. They looked like pamphlets in the bartenders hands, and he told us that our currency was just as good as gold here. In fact, the menus had price listings in both metal coins (Copper, Silver and Gold), and Dollars. This of course, got my head rolling with another question.
"Are their other bars like this, across the country or even the world?"
The bartender laughed, and replied "Many, all of them hidden like this, only those who would notice this place would be able to find them."
"Then how did we find this place?"
The bartender shrugged "Maybe one of you has some heritage here, or maybe you were both too bored to let any small details go unnoticed."
As the night rolled on, Alex and I started with a wonderful meal, spit roasted meat pies, I had a venison pie and Alex had a passenger pigeon pie.
"I thought passenger pigeon was extinct." he exclaimed.
"Only in the known parts of the world. Where we hide, there are many passenger pigeon." The bartender replied. He was friendly enough to answer all of our questions, and even let us sample an liquor we weren't sure about. I immediately fell in love with this fairy liquor that looked like a sugar plum fog. It tasted savoury and rich. Alex much favoured an orcish whiskey, which was more on the spicy side and was made with the honey of honeyflies, which as we were told by the orc beside us, were not the same as bees. While neither of us were really disturbed at how the honeyfly made it's honey, I know some people reading this may be a bit grossed out, but it is opposite of how bees make honey.
It didn't really take long for either of us to decide to stay here for the night. The place was nice, the patrons and staff were friendly and the food and booze were delicious.
The clock on the wall, which looked very steampunk, rang ten o'clock when things started getting, for lack of a better term, weird. The bar was packed at this point, but Alex and I were still the only humans there. We weren't drunk enough to start slurring and staggering, but we did have a few drinks. We saw a group of fairy women having a laugh and one of them was enjoying the same liquor I was having. For the record, it was called Shoga, which was a different term for fairies, and it was made from guavei berries, pronounced Gwa-vey. The fairy with the Shoga looked at me and when I glanced over to her, she smiled. I quickly, and awkwardly turned back and I heard laughter coming from that same direction. I felt myself blushing. It didn't take long for a light tap on my shoulder to be felt. I turned around and there was the fairy woman who was drinking the Shoga. She had a young body and face, and had long wavy hair which was green at the top, an ocean blue at the bottom and a mix where they met. Her dress was green, with mint coloured ivy plant patterns. Her wings were also green, a green apple colour with raspberry coloured spots. Her skin was an antique white and her lips were a rich emerald. Her hand delicately lay upon my shoulder, but her expression was not so graceful. She too looked awkward and about to begin to blush. Thankfully, she eventually broke the ice.
"I... uh.. I see you are fond of our Shoga drink." Her voice was soft and light.
"Y..yeah, it uh... it's really nice." (Really, what else could I have said."
We struggled with awkward conversation, until both of us admitted that, although we liked each other enough (She seemed like a nice girl), we were both out of our comfort zones, and she walked back to her table. I crossed my arms on the bar counter and hid my face in them.
I feel like five minutes may have passed when another hand tapped me on the shoulder. I looked up, this time it was one of the witches. She had long straight hair, the colour of a crow. Her robe was a brunette colour with wine coloured chest and wiccan patterns. Her hat was more of a smoke grey with a blueish black ribbon tied around it.
She smirked as she tightened her grip on my shoulder, her voice had a lot of snark and sass behind it, and she spoke sharply, as though every time she spoke a dagger was plunged into my chest.
"A fairy maiden is nice, but if you want to get more comfortable, I can show you and your friend a wild night." She chuckled.
She frightened me enough to accept her offer, but Alex wasn't having it.
"I'm sorry, but neither of us are interested right now. Maybe some other day he'll take you on your offer."
The witch placed her other hand on my other shoulder and leaned forward, her breasts rested against the top of my head as she spoke with Alex.
"Are you saying you are not interested in me?"
"My apologies, for you do look lovely, but I'm gay."
"Pity' the witch replied, she took her hand off of my left shoulder and dragged her finger across Alex' face 'you really are a cute boy." She made a pouty face and let go of me. Again I returned to my original position of face down in my arms trying to hide my blush.
Footsteps grew louder and I looked up, hoping this wasn't another woman. To my surprise, and partial relief if I'm honest, it was dwarven male. He had a thick orange beard and braided hair. He was short and stout but walked tall and proudly.
"Well, I understand you guys may be having a hard time adjusting, but I could help both of you out. If you'd like..." He also chuckled. Now, I must admit, I wasn't into this dwarf, he seemed like the sleazeball Alex and I could be when we were drunk, although from my understanding, this guy was sober. Alex respectfully declined and tried to send the dwarf on his way. But he was persistant, snapping back with the "I'll make it worth your while" line, followed by the "Don't be like that" line. If there was ever any patron here that made me want to throw up, it was this guy. He didn't quit either, he would try the lamest pick-up lines, although some of them were admittedly kinda smooth, and even offer to buy Alex a drink. Eventually, the bartender had to ask him to leave us alone, or leave the bar. Both of us were thankful for that. Although, that didn't stop a bunch of other guys from hitting on Alex, I think Alex almost fell for a fairy male, who had Pumpkin coloured, short and messy hair, freckles and a Basil coloured tunic with evergreen tights. I say that I think he did because on our next visit, they actually did get together. Honestly, I wish I had that kind of control over myself.
It was now half passed midnight, I was still trying out some different liquor, I found that the Undead Fae cocktail was rather good. You take some Shoga, some blood liquor (It's deer's blood don't worry) and a bit of a dark black rum, mix and then top with lemon juice. The lemon really enhances the Shoga flavour and it mixes well with the rum and blood liquor. Anyway, I was on my third of that, so I was getting pretty drunk at this point, when another woman came up to me. This time, she was a mermaid, and she had ice blue hair and Lapis Lazuli like eyes, she had gills on her neck and long, rather bony fingers. She had a candlelight coloured tan and a skirt that was a shiny sea green. Her breasts were covered by pink seashells, the colour of a ballerina's slipper, and she had a pendant that had a black pearl on a silver chain. Alex had already gone his way home at this point, and I was pretty drunk so I had nobody to help me say no if I couldn't. She offered to buy me another drink, but I told her that I could cover it. She sat beside me, not saying a word as I downed my fourth, and final, Undead Fae. The fairy and witch the previously tried to hit on me were now sitting together, also silent probably waiting for me to get super drunk. Thankfully, for me and the ladies, I couldn't get stupid drunk, as two hands, both with five sharp claws, took hold of my shoulders. I was thrust around to face another woman. She was obviously a vampire, being ghost white with sharp red eyes. Her hair was midnight black and her gown was spider black, adorned with obsidian speckled patterns of a spider web. Her lips were also blood red, and her breasts hung out so much, she was pretty much expect me to stare at them. I didn't really, I was to focused on her red eyes piercing into my soul. She glanced over to the fairy, who has smaller breasts than her, and stuck out her tongue.
I pushed her aside and quickly stood up, backing myself against a wall. I was getting weirded out at this point. A fae bar, I could handle, being hit on by a fairy, witch, mermaid and vampire in the same night, I couldn't.
"What is up with you ladies, what do you see in me?"
The four of them looked at each other.
"You're adventurous' the fairy woman replied 'none of my kind are into trying new things."
"You're understanding' the witch said 'You understood why we hide when we told you."
"I think you're cute' the mermaid said 'for a drunk, you really have kept yourself in fair shape."
"You are a brave spirit' The vampire replied, her voice was whispery, like the voice of a dead woman, 'you clearly are afraid here, but you find reason to stay, even when your friend is gone."
"Okay,' I began 'that's nice and all, but you all do realize this is a new experience for me right? I mean, I'm not adverse to spending time with any of you, but I'm trying to wrap my head around all of this. You've all been hiding for years, and yet you punce on me like I'm a mouse. I don't even know any of your names!"
The women all looked at each other, I did have a point, they weren't really taking my feelings into consideration.
The fairy woman stood up and walked over to me, an empathetic expression on her face. "I do apologize, my friends told me I should at least say hi, but I was just so nervous. My name is Alia (Ah-lee-ah), I do hope you can forgive me."
The vampire stood next to Alia, "I guess I should explain myself. I am a bit erm... promiscuous. My name is Fryda (Free-dah)."
I forgave both of them, and let them sit back down. Next to come forward was the Witch.
"I too apologize for my behaviour. I thought you might have preferred a wild woman, to a plain and calming fairy. It didn't dawn on me that you may have actually been out of your comfort zone. Um... My name is Nychta."
Finally, the mermaid turned to me. "My name is Mea Hana, and I too am sorry. I've heard that this was how humans showed interest, and though you would appreciate my interest in your culture. Clearly I do have a lot to learn."
I sat back down, "I apologize as well, I should have been more clear and less confrontive."
"It's not your fault' Alia said, as she walked forward and took hold of my hand 'you're not too different from us, not sure about our cultures and how one would react. In that way, you're much like the rest of us."
"What do you mean by that? If I may ask"
"Kryp was right in saying there were many fae bars. However, not all of them are run like this one."
I understood immediately, and took my free hand and clasped it around hers. She looked at me, blushed and looked away.
"Nychta, why couldn't you have let me leave?"
Nychta chuckled, "Partly because you're discomfort amuses me."
I can't really recall the conversation the ensued from that. If memory serves me well, Alia and Nychta were in an argument about what was playful teasing and what was full on mockery. Mea Hana and Fryda were smiling as I returned to the bar, I knew they weren't going to take no for an answer, and maybe it was because I was mad about my break-up, or maybe it was because I was curious enough, but after one more glass of Shoga, which I feel I should mention is a fairy term for sweet, I asked them where I could meet them in an hour.
"Upstairs, room eleven!" Mea Hana replied, dangling a key in front of my face. It looked like any other house key, except it was made of bronze and had a platinum streak in the middle of it.
The women headed up, and I paid my bill, five-hundred gold or about fifty dollars. That was a quarter of my usual budget. After I paid, I made sure to keep the space organized, I didn't want to feel like I was a nuisance to Kryp, whom yes, is the bar keeper. I walked up to the second floor. My brain took a huge hit when my eyes laid upon the many ornaments and decorations of the second floor. Many weapons hung on the walls, swords crossed behind shields, scythes and war axes, a rope dart hung on the wall between the tops of two war fans. Fascinating paintings of lush forests and beautiful lakes, mountains and beaches and even an oasis were placed orderly between the weapons. A bar maiden was cleaning off one of the tables when she gazed up at me. She was smoke grey-skinned woman with black hair that sucked light out of the room. Her eyes were blank and milky white and her robes were silky and seemed to be made out of thick smoke. She smiled at me before turning her attention back to her job. I noticed another flight of stairs, which was odd as the building outside looked like a two story, but with magic I guess anything could be possible.
I went up the stairs, the hall above was shadowy, but well lit enough so I could see. It was lit by tiny magic spheres, the colour of a dying ember. I looked on each door, they were marked with roman numerals. Room number one was on the left, room two was on the right. I slowly walked forward until I found room eleven, marked with "XI". I knocked politley, expecting a shout of "Come in" or "Enter", but instead the door swung open. The room itself was lovely, a large bed with a Shamrock green blanket. The ornate bed frame had carvings of phoenixs and serpent-like dragons on the top and bottom, and the bed curtains were a faded Sage green. The wood was stained a redwood colour and the mirror was framed in shining gold. I would have fallen in love with this room without the four women laying around within it. Alia and Mea Hana were in their underwear, Alia was leaning on the bedpost and Mea Hana was sitting on the side. Fryda was fully nude, standing by the window, curtains were shut. Nychta was lying in bed, the blanket covering her body. They all looked at me, smiling as I enetered the room and closed the door. I did lock it, but that was mostly out of the desire to not be walked in on.
The next morning, I disntincly remember struggling to wake up. I had the feeling that the fae bar and the going to bed with four women, was some kind of revenge dream I had on my ex. I was expecting wake up in my messy apartment, passed out on the couch with an unforgiving hangover. My head wasn't killing me though, it hurt yes, but it wasn't a pounding pain. I pushed myself up and opened my eyes, green blanket, I was still in the room at the fae bar. I looked to my side, there was Alia, with the same green and blue hair, green and raspberry wings and emerald lips. I looked to my other side, and it was Nychta who was there. There were two notes at the foot of the bed, one was from Fryda, thanking me for a great night, and saying that she did not want to be tied to one relationship. Understandable, I thought. The other was from Mea Hana, who sadly, was only here for a short while, and had to return to where she was from. She too enjoyed the night. I lay back down, almost instantly Nychta and Alia snuggled in, it was oddly comforting. I waited for them to wake-up before I got ready to leave, I had breakfast at the bar, a traditional human meal of pancakes with fruit and syrup. The long and slender man, who I was told this morning was named Orlok, was a wonderful cook.
Alex and I still went bar hopping every now and again, Bert's never reopened sadly. By the time it could've, the owner passed away and the place was being demolished. We were both a bit upset, but we frequented Kapileió on Zauber Street. I met up with Alia and Nychta frequently, they're both nice women. Alex and the pumkin haired fairy spent a lot of time together, his name was Ahlo. We frequented Kapileió a lot, and Kryp and Orlok eventually allowed us to invite our friends. So, now comes the big question, how will they react to a fae bar? And what will they think when they meet my new girlfriends?