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jazzing it;

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The roaring twenties was certainly something; especially when you were a jazz singer in a bustling saloon. A group of grisly men sat over at the bar, drinking whiskey and chatting after a hard day at the city’s mine. A game of poker at one edge of the saloon, women dancing in seductive and rebellious flapper dresses at the other. Ryan stood at the head of a band on a small stage; a microphone in front of him.

Saxophones, trumpets, and sousaphones blared around him. The song suddenly changed, growing sweeter. The doors opened, and a tall man with ruffled brown hair swayed side-to-side as he waltzed inside the building. The bartender leaned over, smirking smugly at him.

"Hey! What can I get for ya?” His southern accent matched the cowboy hat hanging over his head.

“Hey, Tins. A bourbon and soda, please.” The man slid onto a barstool. “I didn’t know you worked here.” He chuckled as he slid over the money.

"Tell it to me, Shane..” Tinsley murmured while he fixed the drink. Shane’s eyes gravitated to the band.

“Tins!” He laughed. “This is one of my favorites! I do love Annette..”

“You slay me.” Tinsley slid over the bourbon and soda. “The singer’s mighty nice. His name’s Ryan, from what I heard. Don’t get too zozzled now.”

Shane took a sip, watching the man swing back and forth as he sang softly. The song ended, and switched over to something faster. Ryan stepped off the stage, walking aimlessly towards the bar.

“Nice singing up there! My friend here liked it a lot.” Tinsley grinned at Ryan. Shane’s face flushed, and he quickly hid it by wiping his face with his flannel sleeve.

Ryan laughed. “Thanks.” A bat swooped overhead, causing the shorter man to jump. “These goddamn bats! Bet they’ve been drinking our alcohol, ey, Charles Connor?”

“Charles Connor!” Shane sneered. “What a name!”

“I know! It’s a mouthful!” Ryan chortled.

“Ah, shut it..”

The music snapped to a close, and Ryan stood up from his seat next to shane. “That’s my cue..”

Shane placed an unsure hand on his shoulder, his cheeks as red as his flannel. Tinsley winked, signaling him to go on. “Maybe they could play one more filler?” He asked Ryan hesitantly. “We could go outside for a smoke?”

“Ah, sure!” Ryan beamed at the taller man as he rose from his seat. They walked out of the lively saloon; the flapper girls whispering and giggling as they trotted past.

“Have fun!” Tinsley called after them, fixing yet another drink for the miners.