Penrose Pub - The Vert, Rebrook
You are my familiar.
She shook the voice out of her head as she tightened the straps of the little black apron around her waist. The voice had tormented her for so long alongside Julieta's, that it was exactly that, her familiar.
For as far back as she could remember, Julieta had told her tales of the other side. A realm that existed beyond the boundaries of normalcy. There are no limits, Sapphire. If you can imagine it, it exists. Julieta's words echoed in her head and her lips curved with a smile. Julieta was an unusual woman whose fascinating sixth sense about everything amazed her.
She turned from the display counter traveling from floor to ceiling, how she enjoyed gaping at the proud accord of liquors in what could only be described as an addict's hunger, to the once quiet bar now moonlighting as a club. Everything's connected to everything else, and she like the rest couldn't make out the connections. Maybe she'd find the answers she sought at the bottom of her billionth bottle of Glen or in the worthless conversation with the delusional and vapid strangers that graced her workplace. She wiped the bar down again and sighed in fulfillment.
One less thing to do.
The throbbing room matched the throbbing ache in her head and it seemed to worsen the more she worked. She adjusted the apron for the millionth time and turned to the redhead signaling to her from across the bar.
Her work clothes were bland and the color of death. Skinny black leather pants and a snug black t-shirt, with a little black apron. It was the one thing she hated about her job, the goth outfit. On the other hand, her addiction to good old whiskey, the stimulating smell and tingling taste of it, was the reason she was cut out to be behind the bar. Were she not mysteriously incapable of getting drunk, she would be an alcoholic.
"Scotch on the rocks, with a twist,' the lady yelled against the blaring dance-hall music. It was one of the most frequented bars in The Vert, and it was exactly where she needed to be to find what she sought. Amelia threw her an acknowledging nod and grabbed a glass from her work station.
Amelia cast a glance around while she worked, wondering about these people and why she didn't care for the things they did. She yearned for something darker, something she knew was out there but couldn't quite reach. A lost soul was what she was, well out of time or place, who knows? She was way too curious about what existed past the fine line between normal and whatever else was lurking out there. She swallowed a chuckle, Julieta had rubbed off terribly on her.
Like always her mind drifted from her, soaring about the pub like a madman's ambition. Her hands trembled without remorse and she set the glass down a while. With eyes shut, she willed her subconscious back, exhaling a low sigh of relief as calm returned with it. It felt different this time. It had traveled like a pull towards something. She served the lady her drink as she fought the nerve-shattering migraine the flashes brought as witness.
"That'll be eight fifty ma'am," Amelia charged pulling back to steal a moments' rest while she waited.
"Haven't seen you here before, new to town?" The redhead asked as she fumbled for her wallet in the red tote bag on her thighs.
A sideways glance was all Amelia gleaned to give. The silent interrogation in the lady's voice, with just a hint of pique, irked her.
Amelia replied. Dull brown eyes raised from a futile search to hers and held. She could almost hear the questions in the lady's mind begging to be set free, but no words were spoken. Her gaze dropped to her bag and the search continued.
The hairs on the back of her neck rose and Amelia turned from the lady at the bar. There it was again-the feeling that someone was lurking in the shadows. It was a presence she couldn't quite shake, she peered into the pub, against the darkness in search of something, anything.
"Here," the redhead's voice carried with the music.
Amelia turned back to her and completed her transaction. She massaged the back of her neck with a sigh. Someday it would all make sense. The flashes that never seemed to let out or make any sense. All she saw were quick flashes of people she did not know. She massaged her temple with a curse, this was worse than she'd ever experienced. It could have something to do with the new town, they worsened right after her move to Rebrook.
Amelia scanned the pub again, more meticulously now. Someone was out there watching her and she could feel it. She peered into the darkness again and this time she saw it. It was the silhouette of a man in the middle of the room amidst the grinding and dancing-A hollow shadow hidden perfectly behind the lights. Her senses seemed to hone in on him, drowning the sound of the music and people out. The disco lights shimmered over him and she glimpsed his face for a moment. His eyes were fixated on her - silver and set well within their socket, his lips curved in a sly smile that rattled her.
"Amelia keep it moving!" her supervisor called, jolting her out of her near dazed state. She blinked rapidly, trying to make sense of things. She stole a glance at the spot where he'd been, but there was no one there, not anymore.
She turned to the gentlemen at the bar. Their eyes jabbed at her like daggers dragging their way along the length of her.
"What can I get you?" she asked, with her usual placid smile and feigned charming personality that made her the big tips.
"What's good here?" Mr. Baldy inquired leaning slightly against the bar on his elbow, with his fist supporting his chin. His gaze dropped to her bosom and she let out a frustrated sigh.
"I make a mean classic Manhattan."
Baldy pulled himself off the bar and turned to his fellow whose eyes hadn't left her since she noticed them.
"Martini, shaken," Baldy's friend ordered.
Amelia looked from one to the other before grabbing her cocktail shaker and glasses from the shelf underneath the counter. The flashes attacked again forcing her to wince against the pain. None of it made any sense, but one thing was certain, there was someone out there watching her and as sure as night followed day, she'd find out why.
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