DeepSeaElkFish

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23. Bar

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Davy read the giant neon sign a second time.

The Runnin’ Gunner’s Costume Emporium and Good Time Bar

“I guess it really is a thing,” Davy said to himself.

Olivia turned to face Davy. “Okay,” she said. “This bar, it’s probably full of bad guys. If we want to fit in, we’re going to need disguises.” She reached under her cloak and pulled out a blatantly fake bushy mustache and stuck it below her nose.

“That’s your disguise?” Davy asked apprehensively.

“Don’t worry,” Olivia replied. “I’ve got something for you too.” She pulled out a pair of sunglasses and a baseball cap that said I HEART BEER. She placed them on Davy’s head.

Davy wasn’t convinced as to the quality of these disguises, but decided he to just stop worrying and go with it. He wasn’t going to get worked up anymore. “I think you might be a little bit insane,” he told Olivia.

“Just a little bit,” Olivia chirped. She lowered her hood and walked up to the front door. “I can’t wait! To all investigate!” she shouted.

“Let’s do this!” Davy added. He wasn’t sure that he really wanted to do this, but he was committing himself to just going with it.

They opened the door and stepped inside. It was pretty much exactly what Davy expected a combination costume shop and supervillain bar to look like. To the left were shelves upon shelves of wigs, capes, spandex, masks, and a surprisingly robust selection of sombreros. Straight ahead, Davy saw tables filled with the kinds of people whose seediness was only matched by the flamboyance of their outfits. There were a number of people who looked like typical classic mobsters, adorned in suits and fedoras. One table was occupied entirely by men and women wearing identical white robes, chanting in unison. Another table was occupied by a group of men dressed like ancient Incans. In the center of the room, sitting at a table by himself, was what looked like a giant, muscular, humanoid whale. The long, bony horn coming out of the center of its face suggested that this was some kind of mutant narwhal. Davy made a note to himself to not antagonize the narwhal.

Olivia led Davy to their right, past a caped old man wearing a trash can listen lid as a hat while playing a honky-tonk piano. They approached the bar. Behind the counter was a brown-haired woman in her late thirties. She wore a domino mask and was dressed like a Wild West barmaid. Davy saw she was wearing a belt holstering a large revolver. She didn’t look up from the glass she was washing as she spoke to them.

“Welcome to the Runnin’ Gunner’s Costume Emporium and Good Time Bar,” she said in a clearly disinterested tone. “I’m the Runnin’ Gunner. What can I get you this evening?”

“Why hello, madam,” Olivia said in an endearing attempt at a posh British accent. “I was hoping you could help us with a conundrum of sorts.”

The Runnin’ Gunner looked up at the two of them. Her eyes narrowed. “Don’t think I’ve seen the two of you here before,” she said.

“Oh, how uncouth!” Olivia shouted. “You must allow us to introduce ourselves! My name is Admiral Mustachepants, an actual supervillain.” She gestured to Davy. “And this dastardly gentleman is my sidekick, Sunglass Butt.”

“Sunglass Butt?” Davy whispered to Olivia.

“Leave me to my methods!” Olivia whispered back.

The Runnin’ Gunner looked over the two of them for a moment, then went back to washing her glass. “A pleasure to meet you,” she stated in a tone that left it ambiguous as to whether she actually believed them or that she just didn’t care.

Olivia continued undaunted. “A pleasure to meet you too, madam.” She gesticulated flamboyantly as she spoke. “Now, I was hoping you could help me. You see, I met with the Librarian the other day to discuss joining forces for my latest diabolical plan to steal the city’s orphans and sell them to the communists. But alas! One of his henchmen left his hat in our secret lair. I would be oh so grateful if, perhaps, you could disclose the location of the Librarian’s hideout, so I may be able to return this most prized possession.”

The Runnin’ Gunner took the hat and examined it. “Yeah, I remember the Librarian buying this,” she said. “But I can’t tell you where his hideout is. It’s against policy.” She pointed to a sign behind her.

WE DO NOT DISCLOSE CUSTOMER HIDEOUT LOCATIONS

“At least they made it pretty clear,” Davy said quietly.

Olivia pressed on. “Oh, but of course!” she said. “I would never dare dream of asking anyone to break policy! But if you could just–”

Olivia waved her hand in front of her face and accidentally knocked the mustache onto the counter. She and Davy looked down at the mustache. They looked back up to see the Runnin’ Gunner pointing a revolver directly at them.

The Runnin’ Gunner smirked. “Oh, this is just delicious,” she said. She beckoned at the other bar patrons. “Hey guys,” she shouted. “Look who decided to show up tonight. It’s the Night Retcher!”

The piano music stopped immediately as everyone in the bar stared at Davy and Olivia. Davy could have sworn he heard a record scratch.

“That’s the Night Retcher?” said one of the mobsters incredulously. “She don’t look so tough.”

“Yeah,” replied another mobster. “We could probably take her out right now,” he said.

“Looks like the Night Retcher’s about to take a long nap,” the Runnin’ Gunner gloated, her index finger pressed against the trigger of her revolver.

Olivia looked around the room. “Oh my, what a misunderstanding,” she said, maintaining her posh accent. “Might I suggest that we all sit down and–SLURMP!”

Olivia’s tongue shot out of her mouth, ensnared the Runnin’ Gunner’s revolver and retracted back into her mouth, taking the gun with it. At once, the bar patrons stood up and charged towards her and Davy.

A wide and somewhat menacing grin appeared on Olivia’s face. Tendrils erupted from her sides, as her mouth expanded, showing rows of teeth. She shot an arm towards the ceiling, and swung into the fray. Davy heard her shout to him. “Davy! I’ll take the mobsters. You take the narwhal!”

“The narwhal?” Davy replied. He turned around and saw himself face to face with the mutant narwhal.

“NARWHAL JONES WILL BREAK YOUR BONES!” it shouted.

Davy took a step back. “Hey there, Narwhal Jones,” he said nervously. “Nice to meet you.”

The narwhal took a step towards him.

“NARWHAL JONES WILL BREAK YOUR BONES!”

“So, is that your thing then?” Davy replied, taking another step back. “I don’t think you really want to hurt–”

Davy felt the wind leave his body as Narwhal Jones’s fist slammed into his stomach. He flew backwards several feet before hitting the wall. Crumpled on the ground, he saw Narwhal Jones approaching him.

“NARWHAL JONES WILL BREAK YOUR BONES!”

Davy knew he had to fight back. Reaching for his golf club strapped to his backpack, he slowly got to his feet.

“NARWHAL JONES WILL BREAK YOUR BONES!”

The golf club worked on those mutants before. Granted, they were tiny and this narwhal man was the size of a car. But what choice did he have.

Narwhal Jones was right in front of him.

“NARWHAL JONES WILL BREAK YOUR BONES!”

Davy readied golf club. This probably wasn’t going to work.

“NARWHAL JONES WILL BREAK YOUR–”

Davy thwacked the narwhal upside the head with the golf club.

Amazingly, Narwhal Jones stopped speaking, and looked straight ahead with a blank stare. His arms dropped to the floor. After a second, he seemed to regain his composure.

“NARWHAL JONES WILL BREAK YOUR–”

thwack

Narwhal Jones looked lost, as if he had never contemplated living in a world where he couldn’t finish his sentence. His worldview seemingly shattered, he no longer seemed like such a threat, even as he continued to try and compose himself.

“NARWHAL JONES WILL BREAK YOUR–”

thwack

“NARWHAL JONES WILL BREAK–”

thwack

“NARWHAL JONES WILL–”

thwack

“NARWHAL JONES–”

thwack

By this point, Narwhal Jones was sitting crossed-legged on the floor. He was simply repeating his name quietly to himself.

“Narwhal Jones. Narwhal Jones. Narwhal Jones…”

Davy didn’t completely understand what happened, but he figured the narwhal was somehow no longer a threat. He turned around to see that Olivia had incapacitated the remaining bar patrons, who were soaking wet and crumpled across the room. Olivia was standing in the corner. Her elastic head was massive and apparently chewing on something. She opened her mouth and spit out a drenched mobster who immediately took a fetal position upon hitting the floor.

Olivia wiped some drool off her mouth with her cape as her head snapped back to normal. “Did we get everyone?” she asked.

Davy looked around the bar. He didn’t see anyone still standing. He was about to answer Olivia when the Runnin’ Gunner popped out from behind the bar counter and bolted to the door. In a flash, she was gone.

Olivia bounded towards the door. “Looks like we got one more!” she shouted with a manic glee.

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