Streams of light cut through the dank, murky room as a thick air wisped from the open door, escaping desperately to the crisp outdoors as a newcomer entered the tavern.
Taverns. It was always a tavern.
Few eyes greeted the recent patron. Most were uninterested in what would likely be a short stay while others were not even conscious. The young, scared man crept through the dimly lit chamber as the darkness enveloped the confines once more. Slowly approaching the counter, a mean glare was delivered by the blue barkeep.
"That ain't yer seat," he huffed, startling the youth. "Ya can sit down there." Nervously, the new arrival shuffled through the discarded shells and dust on the floor as he trekked down to the far end of the bar. He passed several chairs and stools, each a unique throne modeled for a particular sitter, stylized to their liking with a matching mug. Some were in a daze with the ale gone to their head, but more had been taken a bit further, face down in a puddle mixed with drool and spirit. That was just the seats that were filled. Far too many were left unfilled, with mugs left half empty or even untouched. Those who ordered the brews were no where to be found. More revolting, were the stools absent of life in another manner. Rotting, maggot riddled sat perched in a stage of faux life with withered hands clutching onto webbed tankards. The skeletal remains teetered at the passing, on crumbling to dust beneath its cap.
The more lively few were of more interest than the dead. Go figure. A ragged fool rambled off nonsense to, seemingly, largely himself, bitterly insulting anything that came to mind while a seasoned regular to the pub did not even ask permission to rise onto the central stage and take the spotlight to provide entertainment by any means, no matter how few cared for his tunes. A preoccupied few were absorbed in outside conversations, babbling away idly on their cell phones, ignoring their surroundings. This lot was in for the long haul. They made a choice long ago to stay and, no matter what, were going to see it through the good and the bad, sticking to their convictions.
Passing down the many seats, an unclaimed spot was found. Already waiting for him was the blue clad frog.
"Welcome to Reality's End," croaked the bar tender, cleaning out a glass. "What can I get ya?"
"Jeez, this place sure is a sausage fest," groaned the recent comer, scooting in his stool.
"Yeah... Sucks, don't it?" Sliding up a mead, he left to tend to another.