“Giggly juice, really?” it was the fourth or fifth bar in which Bill desperately tried to find a job. He had experienced years of unemployment many times during his lifetime, but never before has it been so difficult for him to find a music profession! With a slight resignation, he went inside, meeting the dense odor of oak wood. The bar, as Bill expected from the name, tried to resemble those from the 1930s. Despite how hopeless it managed to convey the richness of those times, Bill, for the first time, felt
He didn’t even have to sing! His clothes and New Orleans accent were enough to make the owner, a scary woman, give him this job. Or maybe it was due to a long-term lack of employees? The bar didn’t seem to be very successful. Dusty shelves with very few cheap-looking liquors. One bartender, no waiters, and… zero clients. Something was wrong here.
The next evening, Bill was going to play a concert here, right away. Surprisingly, it was supposed to be a Christmas performance, although tomorrow was only December 1st. And Bill couldn’t wait to show everyone his jazz skills. All night he was preparing a list of songs he was going to perform. He had to write music and words from memory… but in the end, due to his lazy nature, he fell asleep over his unfinished notes.
Late. The first day of work, and he was already late. He’d only been living here for two months…, but he had already noticed that everyone was on time - perfect to every single second. As if they were walking clocks themselves. As stiff and annoying as them. Especially his new boss, a scary woman. On the threshold, she greeted him, wincing as if she had just eaten the sourest lemon in the world.
“You’re lucky you’re cute and cheap,” she said, pressing a stack of pages to his chest. Those were music notes…? But, Bill prepared them… well, new times, new rules.
He apologized and went inside, heading toward the main stage.
“Hi… erm… Cole, right? And…?” Bill bent down to see who was hiding under the storm of hair lying tiredly on the counter. “Mikhael?” he shot in the dark only after saying the name, realizing it was indeed Mikhael. He didn’t know why, but looking at the man, he felt as if he had forgotten something. However, no door in his mind wanted to open and enlighten him. He concluded that it was clearly not important enough to waste his time.
He scanned the notes given to him. “Have a Cheeky Christmas, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Santa tell me… What 's 'dis cr*p?”
He looked around for the owner. She had been standing in the dark corner the whole time, watching his every move - like a lion waiting for its prey to make a mistake.
“Sorry, but I’ve never heard those songs…” noticing her suspicious and surprised reaction, he quickly saved himself from this awkward situation “…in an old-fashioned gin mill like this one.” Bill sighed, before continuing, “Shouldn’t there be some… jazz 'ere?” he asked, making a “jazzy hands” dance-move to get his point across.
The woman rolled her eyes. “It’s supposed to be fashionable here, sweetheart. It’s not my fault I can’t afford to renovate this godforsaken hole. As you may have noticed, we are not the town’s hotspot, and we have to catch up with the competition." She directed her little, mouse eyes towards the notes squeezed in Bill’s hands. “This is the only way we can make money and gain young rich fellows to come here. Do you understand, pumpkin? "
Bill nodded uncertainly. “Perhaps if the music and the decor were consistent, guests would start coming here,” he muttered under his breath.
“Did you say something, kitty boy?”
“No, I wouldn’t dare to!” Bill reacted quickly, raising his hands defensively. “I’m already getting to work.” The woman smirked as she guided her stick-like legs towards the backdoor. Even before she closed the door, she gave Bill a sinister look, then finally disappeared from the man’s sight. Bill breathed out a sigh of relief. He didn’t care what that horrible woman had to say. He will play the songs that he has chosen himself.
He began to relax his vocal cords by singing a few simple warm-up songs. His exercises were interrupted by a voice he knew well. “Hey Mikhael!” he turned to him, smiling. The man looked… like he was having a really good time yesterday. Maybe too good. Bill was terribly amused by his sluggish mood and elegant-differently appearance, and he tried to cover up his stiff laughter with a short grunt. “I had to come for a rehearsal, but I still managed to be a few minutes late.” He explained jokingly.
“What about yo- oh…” Bill nodded, now remembering what he forgot about yesterday. He and Mikhael were supposed to meet here to “check out” the place. Obviously, Bill was too focused on the songs he thought he had to prepare. “I’m sorry, Mikhael. I was swamped with work. Which didn’t matter anyway, cause I would ‘ave ta sin’ 'dis bulls*it!” he scrambled the papers even more. “I probably won’t do it anyway,” he whispered with a significant wink.
“But… ya seem like ya had a great time without me.” Bill cockily raised his eyebrow. “Anythin’ interestin’ happened in 'dis godforsaken hole?”
@elixr ~ Mikhael Braun (btw, I love the way you tag people, ahha)
I hope it’s not absolutely awful!
And sorry that it’s so long, sorry that it has maaaaany (probably) mistakes, and sorry that it’s not funny!