Monday, September 17, 2007

Uncomfortably Numb

It was three days later. Three long days later.

When he'd woken up, Lethane was gone. That was the good news. The bad news was that the blue-skinned bastard had skipped out on the tab, a bill with three big digits before the decimal point. The even worse news was that even if Ravyn had a wallet to begin with, it would have been on the floor of Lethane's lair, wherever that was, and it would have been empty anyway.

The bar, Armistice, wanted their money. They were used to serving super-villains and since they were still in business, they obviously had some way of collecting debts. It was only fair. he had consumed the drinks... well, half of them... so he needed to pay up.

Unfortunately, that was a little difficult with no money. It occurred to him that he could go rob someone but the idea was repulsive. He wasn't on the side of light any more, certainly, but there was no need to act like a common hooligan. Of course, part of him realized this was really just a rationalization. Fortunately, the rest of him was quite capable of grabbing that part and kicking its ass until it shut up.

Mic, the bar's night manager, was as understanding as a man could reasonably be asked to be. He told Ravyn not to worry about paying the tab in cash. Instead, he would be allowed to work it off. Seemed fair at the time.

Now, Ravyn was not so sure. He had expected anything from waiting tables to washing dishes. Manual labor wasn't something he detested. Far from it, that was how he was raised. Life in a state orphanage was good for teaching self-reliance. Chores were just a part of life. He had no problem with getting his hands dirty or his back tired.

But this? This wasn't work. It was torture.

"Mister Ravyn, I need to pee!"

Bloodrayvn had agreed to work the other jobs of two of Armistice's wait staff so they could pull extra shifts at the bar and make up for the lost revenue from his drinking binge. He wasn't entirely sure how that math worked but if Mic was willing to call things even, that was good enough for him.

The problem came in Ravyn not asking what those jobs were before agreeing to do them. Apparently, one of the waitresses also worked at a day care in Port Oakes. There were children everywhere, a few with burgeoning superpowers and most of them with burgeoning bowels. Between trips to the bathroom, diaper changes and the hell of Nap Time, he was no more exhausted than when he took on that entire pit of Snakes.

There was a little girl, no older than two, asleep on his back and two infants were trying to scream each other into oblivion. An aspiring wallcrawler with a lack of bladder control was doing a passable imitation of a sprinkler system on the ceiling above him and one of these little brats snuck a handful of raisins during lunch and was systematically hitting him in the head with them every time his back was turned.

This was Hell. A special form of Hell.

After three days of front-line duty at the Oakevale Child Centre, Bloodravyn was dim, tired and ready to just fall down wherever he was dropped off. Unfortunately, he still had work to do. The second waitress only needed him to cover one shift, not three, so that was a blessing. He went where he was told, almost dead to the world, and stood where he was instructed to stand.

Whatever this job was, at least he was well dressed for it. This place gave him a nice suit and a place to change. There had been others there but he'd paid them no attention. In truth, he had no attention to pay. He was half-asleep. He just wanted this over with so he could go take a nap. On a car. Or whatever...

When the loudspeaker kicked on, the feedback woke him up instantly.

All possibility of falling back asleep was dashed by the voice overhead.

"Now put your hands together, ladies. The Rogue Island Lounge is proud to present... Ravyn!"

The curtain opened.

There was a stage.

With a pole.

In a way, this explained why the suit had so much velcro...


Zay B. Eve said...


erisraven said...

Let's hope he can dance, or at least fake it. Women at these things can be downright vicious. The Snakes were more merciful...