I chose the Scotch bottles Image for my 20 minute sprint this week.
As an added challenge this week, I experimented with not using pronouns so my characters don’t have specified genders. I’d love to hear what you think about it and your speculation about any given character’s gender.
I hope you enjoy it!
The Whiskey and Spirits Bar
Ji looked up at the wall, trying to decide on the menu for the party tonight.
“You look deep in thought,” Kai said, stopping beside Ji.
“I can’t decide what to select for tonight,” Ji admitted. “I don’t want to disappoint a regular or totally confuse some newbie.”
“So go middle road,” Kai suggested. “Pick the best top shelf, the best low end, and three from the middle.”
“Do you think we can get away with that for this upscale an event?”
Ji wasn’t sure the boss would like it. This was the Whiskey and Spirits Bar in the city, and the boss guarded his reputation jealously.
“You want to give a good idea of what we have to offer, and this is a Scotch party, so you serve exclusively Scotch.”
“I’ve never had to pick the menu before,” Ji murmured. “I’m just a bartender.”
“And who do you think knows the most about any of the alcohol we serve?” Kai asked with a laugh. “You’ll do fine. You have the best rep of anyone on staff.”
“I do?” Ji asked, surprised to hear it.
“Yeah, you do. The customers are always raving about you. You know what they want if they’re a regular, you can get exactly what they need if they aren’t sure, and you have great conversation skills, which they all appreciate let me tell you.”
“Thanks, Kai, I think I needed to hear that.”
“Oh, and at least half of them think your smoking hot too,” Kai added with a wink.
“What?” Ji squeaked.
Kai just laughed and sauntered back out of the room.
Ji got back to studying the wall of bottles and labels. He finally settled on five Scotch Whiskeys to server for the private party that evening. The boss was expecting him to act as waiter and bartender for the entire party, which Ji was a little nervous about. Usually bartending was it.
With the selections made, Ji made sure all the supplies were on the list, along with how many bottles of each Scotch was needed. The hors devours menu was just as selective as the alcohol for this. The boss had said that these were very important clients, people the boss wanted to impress.
Ji headed for the back, making sure that the black slacks, black shirt, and black apron that comprised the staff uniform was spotless and ready to go. There wouldn’t be a lot of time to do any extra prep work. Ji had put off making the Scotch selections far too long for anything else.
Heading up the stairs, Ji waved at Kai as they past at the landing.
“Good luck, I know you’ll do amazingly well tonight,” Kai called.
Ji hollered a thank you before mounting the last flight of stairs up to the private party room. It was an amazingly swanky place. There were rich leather chairs, heavy wooden tables, and a small bar across the back with priceless crystal glasses lining the shelves behind it. The boss liked to show off the wealth of the establishment in this room. The bars on the main floor and even the second tier were all about the alcohol, but this one was about the money. This was where the highest of the high were invited to make private deals and discuss the fate of the rest of the city.
This was the very first time Ji had been alone in the room. Usually there were other servers or the boss as well, but not tonight.
Ji touched one of the leather chairs, shivering at the cool smoothness. It would be amazing to slide into the chair and let the sleek leather cushion and support. Ji didn’t dare though. The boss would at beast fire anyone on staff who stepped so far above their station. In actuality, the boss would probably have the staff member arrested.
Everything looked ready to go as Ji made a circuit of the room, checking to make sure each piece of furniture was in place and the cards and chips were ready on the felt covered poker table in the back corner. It was a popular table with certain clientele. The boss loved to play and almost never lost.
Ji was looking forward to see the party unfold tonight. It was supposed to only be ten people. The most elite of the elite in the city. Ji knew the tips would be amazing if everything went right. If something went wrong, Ji wouldn’t have a job tomorrow.
Taking a slow, deep breathe, Ji tried to stay calm. There was no reason to worry. Kai said he was well liked and got rave reviews. The boss had specifically picked Ji for this tonight. The boss wouldn’t have picked Ji unless the boss thought Ji could do it.
Hearing footsteps on the stairs, Ji moved to stand behind the bar. It was always best to be at the appropriate station when the boss arrived, or the first guest.
The first to step into the room was the boss, who smiled and nodded at Ji before leading in the guests.
The mayor was among them, as well as the police commissioner, the head of the largest local union, and one of the admirals that worked at the local military base. The boss hadn’t exaggerated about the stellar guest list tonight.
Ji made drinks as orders were called out to him, delivering them quickly once they were made. Six more guests arrived as Ji was serving, but Ji got their orders as they arrived and had their drinks out in short order. Everyone seemed pleased with the Scotch Ji selected based on their request. It made Ji proud that the drink selections were being appreciated. The boss had trusted Ji to make the selections so it meant even more than usual.
The mayor and the admiral were among those who settled at the poker table with the boss and two others Ji didn’t recognize.
It wasn’t long before the chips and cards were quickly moving around the table, money being won and lost quickly.
“You are quite good,” the boss said to one of the newcomers.
“I’ve played a few games,” was the reply. The newcomer was wearing a military uniform, but Ji didn’t recognize the rank.
“You’ll have to watch out for this one,” the Admiral said with a laugh. “You’ll lose your shirt if you aren’t careful.”
Ji headed back to the bar, to get another refill, still listening to the conversation at the poker table.
“We’ll see,” the boss replied. “Perhaps we can make this a more interesting game.”
“I’d like that,” the newcomer said, voice huskier than it was a moment before.
Ji shivered. Someone was staring. Ji could always feel when someone was staring. Maybe the game shouldn’t get more interesting, Ji thought. Picking up another crystal tumble, Ji went back to work, putting the poker table out of him mind. The game wouldn’t affect Ji after all.