Living beards and distant realms

He approaches the counter where a roughly human looking bartender is cleaning a mug and he seats himself on one of the many available stools. Most visitors keep to themselves; they come with their groups and take one of the free tables or they use the place as a prearranged meeting point. In a place like this, behind every unknown face, there could be a slaver, a Hive agent or something even worse hiding.
"So what's it gonna be.", says the bartender. He has a face that just seems to emanate mistrust and weariness. His beard growth is literally unrestrained – individual strands of hair are twitching and slowly moving around. A shave would probably equal mass murder to this man, which would explain his extremely lush beard growth.
As the guest stares into the dark thicket of the bartender's beard, he gets the feeling of staring into the endless depths of the In-Between; the moving strands appear to be subtle waves to him. He imagines a dark shade flitting across the hair. He shivers.
Then he returns to reality and says: "Something containing alcohol, probably." His voice echoes unnaturally.

The End

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