Chapter 9:

Café's Muse


"Nuts! Cheese! Time for a short briefing!"

I'm feeling elated today! And the reason is, I found a musician! Well, I don't know her skills yet. But she looked quite the part. So now is the time to announce it to my staff members. Maybe that the news will heighten their spirits as well. After all, back on Earth—I don't know what they call this planet—,working while listening to music could decuply your productivity output! Well... it could also divide your attention and distract you. And promote habits of procrastination...
"Aren't you too excited, Pawn?"
Says a worried Nuts, as Cheese ogles at me with bright golden eyes. I'm feeling a bit estranged by their reaction, but I don't let it get me down. A few words and they'll jump to the roof. Please, don't break the floor above, that's where I live, actually!
"Yesterday, a bit after you left, now that was a long story. I went for a walk, you see. And the dusk was glittering; as for the colors, they could wash away. There were a few people, but a single girl stood out. She looked at the floor, her blue hair just as sad. My heart fluttered at each step she took. By the way, she had bat ears and wings!"
When my revelation broke the flow of my story, Cheese and Nuts looked at each other. Their faces went from surprise to... fear? Wait, why?
"Did you say... Bat?!"
Both said in a similar voice. Why, yes, I just did. Learn to pay attention to something, when your boss is saying it... But the voice is shattering. You can feel from its pitch that it comes short of breath. Are they afraid of bats? Oh, wait. Carnivorous species, like bats, can eat mouse...
"She was a bat girl, alright, but she was beautiful! Her eyes were of a crimson red, and with her delicate dress, she could even be a poet's muse."
"Did you fall in love?"
This playful tone comes directly from Juice, the first customer today. Wait, customers are already here? I look at the clock, finding a discrepancy between events and what I feel they should be... Turning my head towards Juice, I see her close to the musician in question, blushing as she holds her guitar, casting a glance in the distance. Knowing she's here and heard, my cheeks go red.
"Uh, one must separate one's love life and work? Anyhow, I see you brought an instrument, alright! Electric guitar, might be a bit loud? Can you perform something calm? And then we'll talk about remuneration and a contract."
Hastening my speech, I wish to make up for the briefing taking over open hours. Nuts and Cheese have horrified faces, but I hope the music will be able to loosen them up a bit. Music is an universal language, and it can bridge between different souls. Probably!
Playing a few notes here and there, attuning her guitar, Moon is pulling us in another world little by little. As she occupies the space, Pawn's Café takes on a different shade. It feels a little lunarian; as if our souls escape the gravity of the land. Her guitar now tuned, she plays soft chords, in a progressive manner. Nuts and Cheese seem to be feeling at ease, at least more. Juice is smiling at me, though she appears slightly tired, and... Maybe it's me, but she seems to be hurting?