“Why aren’t we going to Wisconsin?” Shadow Moon grumbled, his trademark scowl making its way across his face. It was a usual tone and expression that usually accompanied long car-rides with Mr. Wednesday, and with recent revelations, his patience was running thinner than usual.
“We are. We’re just going to Los Angeles first.”
Shadow sighed in irritation, his grip tightening on the wheel of the car. “Yeah, I know that. I mean why are we going to Los Angeles?”
“Because there’s someone there that I need to see.” Despite talking to Shadow, Wednesdays gaze was firmly focused out of the window, staring somewhere off into the distance.
“You gonna behead that guy as well?”
“You really need to let that go, Shadow.”
“Let it go? You behead a guy with a fucking broadsword, and I’m supposed to just let that go?!”
“Are you gonna do anything about it?”
An uneasy silence settled between the two as Shadow ran through the number of insults he could, and really wanted to use on Mr. Wednesday. He knew he shouldn’t even be driving in a car with this guy right now. He should be getting as far away from this maniac as he could. But somewhere, deep inside, Shadow knew he wouldn’t get far. It was more than pure luck that the police hadn’t caught onto him yet, and he strongly suspected Mr. Wednesday had something to do with it.
“Good. Now let’s just get to Los Angeles.” Wednesday settled back further into the chair, moving one of his hands to settle his hat over his eyes.
Shadow glanced over at Wednesday, his brows creasing in confusion. “Who do you need to see in Los Angeles?”
“If I told you, you wouldn’t believe me.”
Boy, was Shadow getting tired of that response. “Try me.”
Wednesday sighed, letting his seat recline closer into a laying position, his voice dropping to a murmur. “Let’s just say that I hope you’re not a Christian.”
Hours later, and Shadow finally saw the sign he had been looking for. Welcome to Los Angeles. The city of angels. He reaches over and gave Wednesday a sharp poke in the shoulder to wake the old man up.
“Hey. We’re here.”
“Terrific.” Wednesday said with his usual tone of dryness, as he handed Shadow a scrap of paper that looked suspiciously old. Scrawled onto it was an address:
“A nightclub? The guy you’re meeting is at a nightclub?”
“One would assume so, yes.”
“Okay…” Shadow sharply turned the steering wheel, following the directions of a signpost. He had long since learned to go with the flow with Mr. Wednesday, and usually it was more helpful to ignore the weird than to question it. Not like he would get a straight answer anyway.
Thankfully, the nightclub wasn’t that far to travel, which spared both Shadow and Wednesday more awkward small talk that would just frustrate them both. Shadow pulled the car into a parking space, taking in the huge white building in front of him, with its daunting spiral pointing skyward. Seemed like an odd place for a nightclub.
Still, the duo climbed out of the car, and Wednesday began to head towards the club with his usual air of smug confidence. He paused at the door, raising one hand to halt Shadow in his path.
“Now, listen. The man of the hour as it where, I get the sense that he’s going to be rather…unreasonable.”
“So, he’s probably going to try and avoid me. Just keep a sharp eye out.”
“Well, what am I looking for?”
“Oh, you’ll know him when you see him.”
And on that helpful note, Wednesday plunged into the crowded nightclub, leaving Shadow standing awkwardly at the entrance. The loud music blared in his ears as he awkwardly made his way through the throng of people, until he finally spotted an open bar. There was a sight he recognized. A welcome oasis in this desert of dehydration, crop tops, and intoxicated L.A residents.
He raised his hand towards the bartender, a dangerous looking woman with 6-inch heels and a glint of murder in her eyes.
“What’ll it be?”
“Uh…Jack and coke, thanks.”
He slid the money over the counter, taking a long drink from his glass almost the second he arrived. He was seriously starting to regret taking up the job with Mr. Wednesday. If that was even the guys real name. It seemed that from the second he started working for Wednesday, things had gone from bad, to worse. And seen as he was a convict freed early because his wife was dead, that was pretty hard to do. He’d almost gotten lynched, his wife had crawled out of her grave, Wednesday had beheaded a dude, and now he was stuck in the middle of a crowded nightclub sipping on a lukewarm, overpriced, Jack and Coke that was somehow mostly water.
“Angry drinking. Never a good sign.” An unfamiliar voice rang out from Shadows left, and he turned to see a man dressed in a dark suit sit next to him.
Shadow couldn’t tell what it was about this guy, but something unnerved him. Maybe it was the smile. It looked...designed, practised, like this was a routine the man had carried out various times before with minimal failure. Even so, there was something unstable about the eyes. They held a hint of madness, of a chaos that seemed itching to be unleashed. Shadow swallowed his drink nervously as the man continued.
“Plus, jack and coke? Really? If you’re going to drink whiskey it should be untainted, the way it was meant to be consumed.” The man raised a hand, summoning two glasses of whiskey from the bartender.
“Do I know you?” Shadow left the whiskey untouched, given that the last time he accepted a drink from a stranger he’d ended up working for them. And we all know how that turned out, he thought to himself.
“Lucifer Morningstar. I run the place.” The man, or rather, Lucifer flashed him a devilish smirk as he raised his own glass in greeting.
“I was wondering where you’d gotten off to.” Mr. Wednesday almost seemed to appear out of nowhere, placing one hand on Lucifer’s shoulder.
Judging by the instant grimace on the Englishman’s face, he was about as pleased to see Mr. Wednesday as Shadow was.
Lucifer’s cheerful demeanour drained from his face almost instantly, and the next few words he spoke were loaded with hidden venom and held a quiet fury. “What the hell are you doing here, Brimnir?”
“We need to talk, Lucifer.”
“Yes…” Lucifer sighed heavily, finishing both his drink and Shadows. “I suppose we do.”. He stood up sharply, walking towards a winding staircase without any indication for Wednesday and Shadow to follow.
Nevertheless, Wednesday smiled like he had achieved something, and motioned for Shadow to follow as he headed towards the staircase.
“Who is that guy?” Shadow paused at the bottom of the stairs, looking up at Wednesday with a curious expression.
“Like I said.” Wednesday glanced upwards with a tight frown. “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”