It started with a cacophony of noise penetrating the air from a rusted piano and ended with two piercing sounds that sent a man flying out of the door and onto steps. All other noises diminish instantly after adrenaline grasps it's hold on the body. There was a wave of flesh shortly after and the man with the smoking gun was tackled. Then the drowning noise of the bar roared back into the room like any wind and things were the same. Just the ever so present laugh that accompanies drink. An older man's grey eyes were glazed as his head balanced against the bottom step of the wooden entryway, his feet still inside the door of the bar. Three large shadows moved his corpse out of sight and the girls and weak men soon found their way back inside. The man with the gun was now seated near the corner of the bar, a man on each of his sides. A few shots of whiskey appeared and disappeared in front of each one of them and conversation soon followed. It was the dark man to the right that actually first brought it up.

"Really? Over a piano?" the words were muttered almost casually as another round was gone. It took him a minute to shake the drink down his gullet before he continued, "The old man was just a little too drunk, that's all." The uneasy words came easier, that is until the large polish man with sinking eyebrows shot him a glare that made him look instantly at his empty glass.

The rest of the bar was definitely not as busy as it was before the shooting, as nobody knows where those things can end up. It was really down to a few small men huddled in the bar, talking low and making motions, and one young man, probably in his twenties, sitting in the middle of the bar. He swayed to each side of the stool as he sang an obnoxiously loud folk song. The man started to wave his arms and drink in the air with each chorus, and streams of alcohol found their way onto his beard and onto the floor as he wailed some ode.

The polish man that sat to The Killer's left extended a large calloused hand and placed it gently on his shoulder. "Look, Rob." After their eyes met, his hand left the shoulder and moved to the empty shot glass in front of him. His large fingers twiddled with the small piece of cup. "I've known you for a long time, hell, I think you first started showing up here only a few years, well, about a year after I did. 'member that? Sprig was barely this hellhole back then. Course, there was a lot less people to shoot too." A hardened laugh and cough combined in his throat and it took the man a few minutes to continue. "But he was an old man." His words slightly slurred and his hands uncoordinated, he pointed to the blood spot next to the door. "He was just enjoying himself." A grin actually appeared on his wrinkled, yet surprisingly young face. He pictured the old grey beard waving and sunken, drunk eyes closed to better things. A big body hopping up and down on top of the piano, his feet releasing a enormous amount of noise each time they were placed downward. 

"And look here," The Killer didn't like the man speaking very much. He always would ask you to do a lot of looking when there never really was that much to look at. "I know the feeling. Every man does. When you feel as if it's your responsibility to take care of the inevitable." More slurring. "You know, help them on their journey if you know what I mean." The man was obviously too drunk to do anymore serious talking, as the alcohol was beginning to run it's full course on all of them. 

"Come on, Kucharski." A short, slightly Italian man waved at him from the other side of the bar. "Go to bed you fattened slob. You work early tomorrow." The bartender was waving his hand around a lot, a white towel flinging each way. "I want my eggs cooked right God Damn it." He let out an egotistical laugh and said it again, "Go to bed." The Italian shooed him with both hands. He was still laughing and looking around at everyone else, expecting them to laugh with him, even giving them a few "Right?" or "You know?" 

Kucharski groaned, set one hand on the bar to brace himself and the other on The Killer's shoulder. "Be safe." He let out a low nod, patted him once more and coughed his way into the back part of the bar. The rest of the place echoed death and each face was sullen. A loud creak was heard from a spring bed a few moments later.

It seemed like hours passed in the airless room. The young man had stopped singing and joined the rest of the bar in just looking at his drink. The Killer finally spoke, but only loud enough for the man next to him to hear. 

"I didn't like that song." 

Obviously, he had been playing and replaying up to that moment just how and exactly why he pulled the trigger. Of course the man was annoying, but no more annoying then the drunkard howling across the bar, spilling his drink. He had never been mean to the man nor the man mean to him. In fact, he actually had spent more than a few nights drinking and talking to the man. That's just how it works in places like this, you'll drink with everyone at least once, and chances are, you'll know more than most of the people that die here. He was just another lonely face in the bar, night in and night out. 

Without realizing it, The Killer still had his hand clutched white around the base of the gun in his pocket. The color instantaneously pooled out of his face as his released his grip. The black man said nothing. It was something that was all too familiar to all of them. The Killer's face resembled ash as he reiterated himself, just to give a reason, any reason at all.

"I didn't like that song."

"Hey Will." The dark man yelled to the bartender, who quickly slid over from the young man, resting his elbows on his end of the bar. "You should let me handle this guy's fine for that incident. Have somebody take him to the Commons and give him a night's rest before we kick him out. We'll send him off in the morning." 

The bartender, looking down and without speaking, nodded and waved his hand over his head. "Dusty." A few more waves and "come over heres." were necessary before the man quit spilling his drink and accompanied the three men alone in the corner of the bar. "Take him to the Commons, and get yourself some rest too."

The young man sluggishly did a nod. "Al'ight Sito." The drunkard smiled with delight and whirled around towards the blood spot. "Follo' me." He had a somewhat backwoods draw when he spoke, even prononciating the bartender's name incorrectly after knowing him for some years.

The bartender yelled back as the two darkened silhouettes exited the building, one hunched, one singing. "It's Es-PO-SITO." He smirked and with an afterthought added, "Dumbass!" He heard a reply in the dark, but couldn't pick out any words, so he shrugged. Slowly, he wiped off the corner of the bar where the man had just been. "I swear I've known that kid almost half his life and he still can't say my name." 

The other man pivoted in his stool. "That's why I call ya' Will." He let out a drunken chucle, up until Esposito traveled around the bar into the un-talked about area. Quickly, he threw the same rag he'd had all night on the blood pool. He still was saying his own name aloud as his black polished shoes smeared the blood across the already stained floor.

"I thought you weren't serving Dusty anymore? Doesn't he still owe you a shitton?" Even though he spoke of other things, his amber eyes were still transfixed on the action of the foot moving back and forth across the surface of the floor.

"Yeah, poor kid. He sure can't keep up on his debts. He's a good person though, really, ya' know?" The man simply nodded. "Plus." Esposito chuckled again, as he did frequently, and picked up the rag. "He's rebuilding the back part of the bar for me, maybe we'll actually have a place to cook now. And I don't gotta pay him a thing." His voice rose with excitement and the towel was gracefully flung outside. "He doesn't even want his debt taken off." The bartender threw himself a few stools over and let out a long breath.


"All he wants is drinks, my boy." Esposito was no older than the other man. "But hell, it works out for me, I bet I can have this whole place remodeled by the time he's old enough to fall over, and he'll still owe me debts!" He said the last part as if it was the most important.

Without realizing it, they had become the only two faces that remained in the bar. "Give me one more shot Will, then I'll be outta your hair for the night. I know you got some more cleaning up to do."

"Oh, but you'll soon find out, there's always a little bit more cleaning up to do." It seemed Esposito always got more and more insane as the nights wore on, and then just like that, morning rolled around and he was nice as a dog. A roar in the form of a mechanical, rough laugh moved it's way out of the bar. "You know?" He let out another laugh as he grabbed another towel at his waist. The man finished his drink and nodded once more. As the towel darted under his face, the dark man turned to leave, but not after noticing the fact that the rag had to it a slight pinkish tint. The bartender's face was hidden by the shadows of the candles as he called out to the man entering the late night. "See ya' tomorrow!" And he knew he would.

The End

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