2044-08-12 Help Wanted

From X-Factor

Help Wanted
Date Posted 2015/08/25
Location The Sloppy Pony - Mutant Town
Participants Finn, Sierra
Summary A little over a year ago, the newly opened Sloppy Pony needed a bartender.
There used to be glass in the heavy old frame of the door, but now several boards serve to keep the vermin out -- or, do they? You made it in.

An old hitching post greets patrons along the wall by the door, right next to a broken old jukebox that's just for show. The room itself is narrow and long, with mismatched chairs crowded around a couple (literally, two) small tables and a few crates dispersed elsewhere to sit on, but mostly it's all dancefloor, baby. The bar itself must be original, because despite it's dilapidated condition it's actually fairly well-kitted. There's a couple beers on tap, even. A sink, with shoddy plumbing, but it's a sink, coupled with a fridge whose light is always flickering, but keeps bottles icy cold. Thanks to the kid behind the bar, the collection of poisons to pick from is growing, too. There's a dartboard at the back, with darts available from the bar staff upon request, and tacks to pin up your choice of photograph to toss at. Right next to it is the door leading upstairs to the proprietor's office/living quarters, pockmarcked by stray dart-holes. The peeling paint and mold seeping through the ceiling are barely even noticeable in the dim light from the hanging, singular string bulbs around the place. Less so after a drink or three, so bottoms up!

It is a summer night. The weather is cool and fair.

There are a lot of bars in New York City, and one certainly doesn't have to come to Mutant Town to find a dive. Indeed, most people wouldn't come to Mutant Town for anything. And yet, on this late afternoon near the end of summer in 2044, here stands young Finn McLowry, in a pair of jeans and a dark blue button down shirt. His hands are in his pockets as he lingers outside The Sloppy Pony, considering the small 'Help Wanted' sign hanging from the door as if it might conjure up further information if he only looks at it hard enough. But, the sign doesn't do anything more than hang there and continue to brandish its pair of words. Finn wets his lips, takes a few steps away from the establishment and then a few steps back again. He looks around, down the street in both directions. Then, with a deep breath, he shoves the door open and steps into the belly of The Sloppy Pony.

Inside, it's dark and dank, quiet save for the huffing and heaving coming from the sole occupant in the bar. She's in a plain white tank top and a pair of daisy dukes, her hair tied back in... well, what can only be described as a sloppy pony. Ha ha. Sierra's down the back on a ladder, wielding a paint roller as she stretches toward the ceiling in an attempt to mask the creeping mold. "We're closed," she barks peevishly at the sound of the door, "Come back in a couple hours, 'uh?"

"Yes, I know," Finn replies quickly as his gray eyes dart around the room. "But, you're hiring. ...Aren't you?" As the mold begins to disappear under a coat of white he asks, "Is that safe?"

"What are you, my father?" Sierra looks down from the moldy ceiling to fix Finn with a long, fiery stare. Her flash of annoyance slowly gives way to curiosity, leading her a step back down the ladder, which creaks. Possibly unsafely. "You want a job?"

"Your maybe employee?" Finn answers for who he is, "Who doesn't want, like, Mold Lung?" He creeps a step closer and gives a small nod. "Yeah. I do."

Sierra continues down the creaky ladder, dumping her paint roller carelessly into the tray at the bottom. Little paint splatters go flying, decorating the floor and her calves. As she draws closer, the same tiny paint splatters can be seen to also decorate her face and hair. "You got any experience?"

"I'm a student at the Culinary Institute. Do you serve food?" Finn asks. Though with another glance around the space and, perhaps, some speculation about the likelihood of such a place passing a health inspection for food establishments, he hurries on, "and I've been learning how to bartend. I'm already pretty good at it."

A dark, well-pruned eyebrow arches high and skeptical at the question about food. That should be answer enough. Sierra folds her arms, shifting her weight onto one foot and sticking her hip out. She clicks her tongue. "Pretty good? Like what? You can put the drinks in the glass, right?"

"Well, yeah. There's this thing called gravity that does most of the work. I just piggyback on it," Finn replies. "But I mean mixed drinks, clever pours, you know. That kind've stuff."

Sierra's smile is warm and genuine, chased with a bubble of laughter. "You're jokesy, I like that," she says, reaching out to jostle young Finn's shoulder and then beckoning him over as she turns to head for the bar. "This isn't a fancy bar, ok. There's beer, there's tequila. There's some other stuff," she handwaves, gesturing vaguely at the mixture of bottles stored on shelves behind the bar. It's not the greatest variety. "Make me a drink, and if it's good, you can stay, yeah? But you gotta help out with the cleaning. And the painting sometimes. And make up some lies about the mold. The stupid landlord doesn't wanna fix it, so we gotta make do."

"Yeah?" Finn asks hopefully for this offer. "I mean, yeah! Great. I can clean and, uh..." he glances again up at the mold and clears his throat softly, "do that other thing." He unbuttons the cuffs of his sleeves, rolling them up to the elbow as he steps around the bar and pokes through what's available. Tequila, okay. Ice. Glass. He finds a cocktail shaker, some grenadine and a can of orange juice. "Okay. I can work with this." Ice goes into the shaker, then tequila and orange juice. The glass gets filled with ice as well, and the shaken mixture is poured in. Then grenadine is added slowly so it sinks to the bottom, resulting in a drink that fades from red to yellow. Finn drops a straw in and slides it down to Sierra with the kind of grin that ought to get another dollar added to his tip. "Tequila Sunrise for the lady in the paint spatters."

Sierra settles herself, leaning on the bar and propping her chin on the back on her hand as she watches her wannabe bartender strut his stuff. She's seeming friendlier and friendlier by the minute, all encouraging smiles, especially as that tequila trickles into the shaker. "Mhmmm." As her drink is presented, she claps delightedly. "Yes! Perfect. And the smile, it's a winner. What's your name, huh?" She tosses the straw from the sunrise and lifts the glass for a taste test from the rim.

"Finn McLowry," he so named replies. "Hey, so... what's yours?" He rests his elbows on the bar, feeling a bit more confident with all those smiles Sierra tossed his way, even as he watches her sample his "maiden" drink.

It must be alright, because after smacking her lips, Sierra goes back for a larger pull. "Finn McLowry... hm. Nice to meet you. It's Sierra. Oliva. But just Sierra, yeah? Or Sie, is good. We're all friends here." She raises her glass again, first to toast, then to drink. "When can you start?"

Finn blinks and then grins. "I get the job? All right! I can start day after tomorrow. I can work most evenings and weekends, except for when I've got assignments in the kitchen. Then my schedule gets kinda weird."

"You get the job," Sierra confirms with another laugh. "Ok, great! This is good, yeah?" She's pointing at her now almost-empty glass. "Can you make another? And just, you know. Let me know when you wanna work, when you can't work. Maybe we should write it down somewhere. Is there some paper back there?" Old school //and// disorganised. "Or maybe you can text it to me. Or something. We'll work it out."

"Well, there's..." Finn leans sideways to look, "...napkins. I'll text you, that's easiest." He dumps out the ice and adds fresh before grabbing a second glass and whipping up another Tequila Sunrise. He even tosses in one of those 'toss the shaker up so it flips end over end and catch it' gimmicks before pouring out the orange juice and tequila and adding the grenadine. "If you get some cranberry juice, I can make a bunch of the 'sea' drinks, too."

"Yeah, ok," says Sierra with an easy sort of nod. Texting will do. "See now you're making it fancy," she laughs, whipping a finger out accusingly at the shakerflip. "What did you teach yourself to do that?"

"Sure," Finn replies. "The internet can teach you pretty much anything. And I will totally deny ever bonking myself in the head while I practiced." He sets the second drink down in front of Sierra. "We could get garnishes, too. Cherries, olives, maybe some citrus wedges. I mean, I know this place isn't fancy," (Mold.) "but that doesn't mean the drinks can't be good, hey?"

The wonders of the internet. It's good to see they haven't ceased as time progresses! "I see what you're trying to do," Sierra says with a narrowed fluttering of her lashes and a wag of that accusatory finger. "You know what cherries cost? Aiiee. We'll see. I'll think about it. I gotta get this painting done, and clean up the floor now. You can stay for a drink if you want, or not. You'll start the day after tomorrow, ok? Whenever you get here, you get here."

"I'll be here when we open." Whenever that is. Finn gives another smile. "I have an hour before I need to head back. If you need some help."

"Great!" Sierra pulls herself up, grabbing her second sunrise 'for the road'. "You can grab a rag, there should be one near the sink, maybe. The paint splatters on the floor start right up near the door at the back." Herself, she's headed back to her ladder, with her drink, to finish on the ceiling cover-up job.

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