Paivi’s Pub – Basement
A naked bulb shines its light across a room under ground. Concrete walls. Concrete floor. Cracked, bare, and dirty. Stacks of kegs. Full ones to the left, empty on the right. Tubes and pipes and cables.
This is where the beer is, and the cider – in the basement, right below the bar.
A pub’s master is swapping out kegs. Taking out the old and bringing in the new. Back and forth to the storage shed out the back yard. Two kegs each way. Two empty. Two full. One in each hand. Muscles bulging. Breath ragged.
Skulls and roses. Daggers and dice. A gun. A bleeding heart. A werewolf dancing in the pale moonlight. Tattoos cover her skin. Symbols of a life lived hard, from shoulder to wrist, across her back and chest, but her face and neck is clear.
She’s in her late thirties. Tall and pale – lean and sharp. Wears a red bandana over long black hair. Wears blue jeans. Wears a washed out black top with the logo of some band that played here that she can’t remember hearing for having worked too hard all night. Drummer was good though.
A pub’s master is a tough bastard.
– – –
With a grunt Paivi heaved a keg up on top of the stack. Almost done. Only a few trips left to go. Two – maybe three. She shrugged, stretched, and bent down to lift up the second keg.
The pub tensed. The heart of the house skipped a beat, and the light in the ceiling dimmed.
A moment later it came on again – a little softer, a little warmer, a little bit more friendly.
Paivi sighed and rolled her eyes, but couldn’t quite keep a smile off her face. Silly pub. People had been coming here for drinks for centuries, maybe even longer, and the spirit of the place still got as excited as a little puppy when an old regular returned.
Then again, the shamans liked it, and that helped keep a lot of bad news out. She still kept a bat behind the bar, but that was just common sense. She did serve alcohol after all.
Probably, some elf stood at the bar now, soaking their soul in nostalgia and basking in the warmth of welcome. They probably hadn’t been here for hundreds of years, and would gasp in mock surprise at being told their favorite brew from when they were here last was no longer available. They liked to do that she’d found.
Then she’d pour them a pint of Gotecan Black on the house and let them tell her about how it used to be back in their day and how it looked all different now but still felt the same.
Well, except she was down in the basement now. Ali’ast would have to handle them. He’d been around the block a few trimes and knew how it went. Most likely, he wouldn’t offend them – and even if he did they’d be happy enough to be back to overlook it until she could get back up there and sort it out.
Still smiling, Paivi shook her head and got back to the task at hand. She bent down, grabbed the keg, and hoisted it up on top of the stack. Five high would do. Ali’ast always got pissy if she stacked them higher. Short git.
Grinning, she brushed her hands off against each other, grabbed two empty kegs from the stacks on the right and went to put them out in the shed. Not much left now. Then coffee.