[continued from here]
Kari’s Bar and Dance said the sign on the entrance door. The place looked decent enough, so Brandon decided to take a chance and stepped in.
At this time of day and year there wasn’t much of a crowd. A couple was dancing intimately in a dimly lit corner, on the far side a man kept swirling his beer bottle thoughtfully, taking a nip now and then, but never looking up.
The bar counter seemed vacant apart from a lone woman by the edge. She, like the rest of the patrons, kept to herself, tapping her feet to the salsa rhythm coming from a jukebox by the dance floor.
Brandon shot her a glance and a nod, took a seat on one of the stools and craned his neck for the bartender. He wouldn’t have minded a bit of a live gig, but he wasn’t going to stay for long, so …
»New to The City?« the woman asked unexpectedly.
»Uhm, that obvious, is it?« he said warily.
She chuckled softly. »Let me guess. Carlo sent you … or is it ›Luigi‹ he’s going by these days?«
What a weird thing to ask, Brandon thought, a creepy feeling starting to rise in his guts.
»You know Luigi?«
»Ack,« she groaned, »they do this every year. I really wish … never mind.«
»What?!« he squealed, starteled by the strange remark.
She shook her head, took a last swig of her bottle, placed it on the counter and straightened herself. »I gotta go. Keep your head up and you should be good. See ya!«
With that she made for the door, leaving him dazed and suddenly slightly nauseous. He’d definitely triple his fee after this — once he managed to reach Luigi!
If that was his real name.
[to be continued!]