Happy Thor’s Day!
Episode 1 – They Call Me ‘The Bartender’
They call me “The Bartender”
It’s not a title I just have because I have served a few drinks to customers over the years. That’s true, but it is far more than that. It’s also my codename. I earned it by running a cover business for The Silver Shields for roughly five years. I served drinks and provided support for operations in the city I had been residing in at the time. It was a wild time of fighting vampires, werewolves, and any other supernatural thing that crossed my path. I should say ‘our’ path. I wasn’t alone.
The pub was a magical nexus built with its apex at a large tree that happened to be the home of a dryad. I made peace with her and the pub was built up around her. This of course attracted many different entities of a magical nature. Pixies, dwarves, elves, and humans with the magical talent to name just a few. Including my two wives Tequila and Constance.
Tequila was my very first barmaid and eventually, I won her heart (or she mine, I am never sure on that point). I was already married to Constance, but it took her being infected with vampirism and her subsequent cure to start seeing things as they really were. She changed her attitude about Tequila and let me marry her as well. Eventually, Tequila and Constance became a thing as well and we were one happy Trios family.
But the pub was under constant attack, and I moved my family, including the little dog Pint, out of the pub to a house just outside the city, This proved to be a mistake as I found we lost significant magical strength away from the Nexus. What happened after we moved is too horrific for me to recount even now, but in the end, all that matters is I did indeed kill all the bad guys but lost both my wives in the process. Pint was a fine miniature beagle and being magical himself, he was the main reason I was still breathing. He moved back to the pub and I was left in the ashes of my home with two dead wives.
I guess you could say I went nuts after that. I had what could only be described as a nervous breakdown and after a year I got back on my feet and the Shields gave me a further leave of absence. Pint, at that point, went with me and we spent our days lounging and reading and Pint having his bowl of beer three times a day. It’s been a couple more years and I guess the headshrinkers feel I am ready to go back to the war.
The problem is at present the old pub is peaceful as a lamb. There haven’t been any attacks on it for quite some time. It’s like the forces of darkness have conceded that point. If so, then the current staff can handle things and my boss at the Silver Shields offered me an alternative position given my experience and skill set. To start over with a new pub in a new place. I took it without hesitation.
My reasoning was that I don’t know how good it would be for my sanity to go back. Tequila was a part of that place almost from day one. The blood, sweat, and tears I spent in that place connected it to me forever, but I knew going back was impossible. I bent down and scratched Pint’s head. He whined,. The problem for him is that his magic is connected to the old pub. He simply wouldn’t be of use to me in a new place. I hugged him and he licked me sorrowfully.
“It’s OK boy. You are your own dog, and nothing is forever.”
Pint understands me and wagged his tail one more time and then after giving me a parting lick trotted off. I don’t know if I will see him again. I am not sure what his motive for going back is. It could be the desire to have his warm bed back by the fire or he wants to look up the barmaids’ skirts. I know he will miss me, but he was at the old pub long before I arrived and I suspect he will be there long after everyone is gone. I suspect Pint is immortal, but don’t quote me.
My real problem was the fact my trade as the bartender disguised my true skill – alchemy. I was the one that created the cure for vampirism, but it only was a temporary fix. The vampire virus mutated and developed immunity. Science overcame theology as magical biology overcame the faith magic. Now vampirism is back and I am going to be hard-pressed against it. Why? Because I don’t have faith magic anymore to fuel my alchemy. I need something new and right now I have no clue what it could be.
This means several goals are in front of me and I need as soon as possible to get to them. 1) I have to examine the new pub the Silver Shields purchased for me for my base of operations. 2) I have to get at least basic recon and intelligence about the area and what the basic supernatural problems are and 3) I have to meet my contact in the area with the Silver Shields and 4) I need to start experimenting with new forms of magic to fuel my alchemical concoctions. On top of this, I had a new apartment to furnish. Lot’s to do but in truth, there were no time limits as of yet.
It has been a long time since I have taken up a digital pen, dipped it in digital ink, and then put it on digital paper. For the last year or two, I have struggled with inspiration and motivation to write anything. Heartbreak will take you only so far in the writing discipline. Once rage, sorrow, and sadness fade; there is simply no motivation worth writing for. There needs to be something positive to inspiration as a core to writing, or you basically begin to see your writing tapper off with nothing for fuel to feed the furnace. While I search for a love that will inspire me to write out of that love (aka my muse), I simply need to realize that emotionally I am a better human being when I write. Even if I have to force myself to do it.
The inspiration for this series is my old theology pub series on my blog All Things Rabyd. I last wrote on that series on July 15th, 2016. It’s been a long time. The idea was to allegorize concepts into an interesting story. The world was that of urban fantasy with the occasional side trip into horror and science fiction. The pub was a place n my own mind where the characters and plot were free to do anything. It was a long-running drama series that ran from February 7th, 2013 to July 15, 2016.
A lot has changed since that last episode. Mostly Me. I am no longer a believer in Christ having now the opinion that until someone shows me good evidence to believe in anything spiritual I will remain a skeptic and an atheist. That said, the concept of a pub where the characters, places, and events are allegories of thoughts and feelings I am still having still appeals to me. It will also be good practice. The original pub allowed me to explore genres of writing, create new characters, and explore various types of stories. This one will do the same and the fact is without the worry of which Christian sensibilities I might offend, I can explore some genres that were previously unwise to pursue.
But mostly this is the first step to bringing writing back into my sphere. I hope you enjoy it. Without further delay – I present the series – The Grey Wayfarer Pub
The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.