In every city, no matter how big, small, clean, or dirty, there is at least one dive bar with a half-lit sign with one letter flickering valiantly in its war on darkness. In Yolan this dive bar’s name is “Trumpet Tantrum.” The flickering seems be a business decision as the junkee’s inevitably find their way to the bar’s doors. Attracted by the pulsing of the indecisive letter.

In every dive bar, no matter how rich its classiest patrons or poor its lowest class, there is always one drinker remembering the good times. If you can catch him at just the right ratio of sober melancholy to drunken joyousness, an accurate and un-baised history of the surrounding area can be had through slurred nostalgia. In Trumpet Tantrum this man is called “John” for lack of a given name.

On this (and just about any other) night, John sits on the third seat from the left sipping drinks that range from the cheapest beer to the smoothest bourbon. Despite being in a ruffled suit and his brown-and-white peppered hair perpetually unkempt, he sits straight-backed and an expensive wrist holo CPU/ Watch combo can be glimpsed as he reaches for his drink.

He tells The Story. John tells it every night regardless of the number of listeners. From the attitudes of the other patrons, it’s a story told many times that has somehow never been stopped. A broken record of live entertainment. There’s also a rumor that the last person who stopped him was found dead the next morning. No cause of death known.

Once The Story has been told, John stands up, leaving his oft-unfinished drink on the counter, and runs his cred stick through the Juke Box scanner. After a moment’s contemplation he always picks “It All Circles ’round” by The Fat Boys Bungaloo and walks through the doors of Trumpet Tantrum.

The Brokeland Blues: A Shadow Run Chronicle

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