Grillby’s is proud to present for the first time ever live human entertainment!
The sun’s final rays of light began to fade from her tiny room as Frisk laid on her bed, her feet lazily propped up against the wall of her now semi-clean bedroom. She reread the odd but undeniably eye-catching flyer Jim gave her. The purple flame designs that decorated the flyer almost shined with whatever paint Grillby had used and the coloring of the letters were a cool almost metallic blue. If Grillby personally created this flyer then Frisk had to give the man credit: he had style.
Sighing and humming the song she had chosen for her audition tomorrow, she flipped the flyer over and looked at Jim’s name and phone number he had hastily scribbled on the back of the paper after she gave him her number on the restaurant napkin.
On one hand, after Sans came back to her apartment, her bosses were calling her left and right eagerly offering her old jobs back. How she got them back was easy enough to guess. Sans took them away and just as quickly he gave them back to her. And that stupid look of complete shock that he forged on his face when she told him she was gainfully employed again didn’t fool her and he must have known it because halfway through his congratulatory speech he stopped talking and opted to give her a knowing wink instead and said goodbye to her.
Such a smug jerk, but just the same she had her old jobs back therefore she really didn’t need to venture outside her city to another city for a job that wasn’t even a full guarantee.
But on the other hand, she didn’t know how much of a guarantee her keeping her old gigs were. Yeah, Sans gave them back to her but she really didn’t know why he gave them back to her. Did he give them back because he truly was sorry like he told her he was in the kitchen and this was an attempt to show her he did want to start over?
That seemed possible, but she couldn’t rule out another and more common and likely reason why Sans would give her her jobs back. Like Derek and like many other...unkind people Frisk met and had to deal with during her life, they had a sort of reward system they would use on her. If she played by their rules, and did what they wanted and she would get rewarded or in most cases she wouldn’t get hurt.
Was Sans doing the same thing? Frisk frowned as she stared at the flyer feeling her eyes get heavier. That seemed like the likeliest reason why. She had accepted the skeleton’s apology, she “invited” him over tomorrow evening to her house and all of a sudden she gets her old jobs back? That was too big of a coincidence now wasn’t it?
And even if it weren’t and even if more than half of her believed that Sans was an...okay guy- much like his two brothers...
Ya came back in the building and ya smiled for the camera. That takes some fuckin’ guts, little lady.
Frisk made a deep moaning sound of annoyance her in throat. Why the hell did that...man have to say things like that? In a voice that was too sincere to be fake?!
And even if he practically said the same thing her dad told her that terrible night without being prompted too...there was a small part of her that knew getting her old jobs back wasn’t a sure thing if Sans really was using this reward system.
What if she did something unintentional that pissed him off and he got angry at her...what would he do? Take her jobs away as a punishment and leave her stranded again? The thought made Frisk’s anxiety levels spike.
He did say he was a gamble to be with and Frisk may be an unwilling player, but she was a player nonetheless. And if the deck were already stacked against her, why not keep a few ACES up her sleeve...just in case. And from what Jim said, Grillby paid well so maybe her hidden ACE could do more than keep her afloat...maybe if she played her cards right she could finally leave this shitty murderous town for good.
The thought put a weak smile on Frisk’s face as she fell into a deep sleep. She dreamt of growing a small garden full of glowing blue flowers that would repeat anything she said.
The first thing Frisk noticed when she spotted Jim in the library was he was holding a somewhat small bright yellow bundle in his arms. As she moved closer, trying not to make a lot of noise as to not disturb the other library patrons, she saw what the yellow bundle was. Her eyebrows raise as a grin formed on her face.
The bright yellow bundle was really a little girl (obviously Jim’s daughter) wrapped in a soft yellow blanket, her adorable, chubby and sleeping face the only thing showing and despite the limited view Frisk had of the little girl, she searched for any resembles the child might have with Jim.
Must look like her mother, Frisk thought when she couldn’t find a single feature that matched Jim’s. Jim’s ex must have been a beautiful lady though. That kid is already a looker, she decided and moved closer to the pair, now walking quieter than before so she wouldn’t accidently wake the child.
JIm must have felt her stare because he looked up from that small bundle.
Frisk felt a blush come over her face as his handsome face broke into a wide grin and his soft blue eyes brightened at the sight of her. He stood up, still holding the yellow bundle and greeted her in a loud and welcoming voice.
“Heya Frisk! You look really pretty-”
Frisk and Jim looked over to see the older woman at the librarian’s desk glaring at both of them, her finger to her lips. Though probably much older than Frisk and Jim combine, Frisk saw a sort of stubborn challenge in the old woman’s eyes that was practically daring them to raise their voices above a whisper again.
Frisk knew that woman. Well, she didn’t know her know her as in she didn’t know her name, but she knew the old lady in the sense that ever since Frisk was a little girl holding her mother’s hand as they walked into the library together, that librarian had always sat in that desk from 9AM to 4 PM managing the librarian’s desk and shushing everybody and anybody who dared make a sound her in presence. It was annoying and truth be told, as a child Frisk was terrified of the icy-eyed woman who glared at down at her whenever Frisk forgot the rules and made a noise as innocent as a cough.
And when Frisk foolishly told her mother about her fear, Frisk recalled a wide and amused smile exploding on her mother’s face and from that time on Frisk’s mom made it a point to pull up a chair right next to the old lady’s desk and read Frisk storybooks in a hushed voice, every so often looking over her shoulder to make sure the old lady knew what she was doing. And the weird thing was not once did the old lady hush Frisk’s mom. Sure she looked annoyed as all hell, but the old lady never told Frisk’s mom to quiet down.
But that small power victory her mom won against the old lady wasn’t enough to vanquish Frisk’s irrational fear of the old librarian and even to this day Frisk still felt a just the teensiest amount of dread for the old lady.
Gulping, Frisk turned towards the old lady, put on her best apologetic smile and mouthed the word “sorry” to the old lady.
Almost instantly the old woman’s cold demeanor became icy as her eyes narrowed, unmoved and very unimpressed by Frisk’s attempt to charm her. Taking the hint, Frisk grabbed Jim’s arm and ushered him towards the back of the library so they could have a bit more privacy and freedom to talk.
“Jeez Frisk, I’m sorry about that,” Jim whispered cautiously, looking around to make sure no other shushing librarians were near as he shifted the still sleeping child in his arms. “I haven’t been in a library since I was just a kid and I sometimes forget that rule.”
Frisk shot a mocking glared through the shelves that blocked her view of the librarian who was still most likely glaring at the spot they had been in a second ago before she answered.
“Don’t worry about it Jim. That librarian doesn't exactly enjoy being around...other people. In fact she’s one of the reasons why I don’t come in here to check out my books until after four when she leaves,” Frisk explained, her mocking little glare becoming a little more genuine.
From time to time when she entered the library, Frisk couldn’t help but wondered if the old lady remembered her mother or her at all. For the years she had been with Derek, Frisk’s trips to the library became less and less common until he had outright forbidden her from leaving the house altogether, so it wouldn’t be surprising if she had faded from the librarian’s memory. But judging by the old lady’s familiar and unwelcoming face it really didn’t matter if she remember Frisk or not. Ever since Frisk started coming back, it seemed the old lady picked up where they had left off. Hating Frisk.
Shaking off the bad vibe the old lady sent her way, Frisk smiled down at the sleeping form and nodded to her.
“So is this your little girl?”
Jim smiled softly down at the little bundle and held the little thing closer to his chest (Frisk felt her heart melt at the display of love).
“Yep this is my little darling, Clementine,” Jim said, giving an embarrassed laugh when Frisk giggled at the silly song reference. “Hey don’t laugh. Naming her that was my ex-wife’s idea. She um…” Jim paused for just a second looking around at the many books that surrounded them before he continued. “She um...really liked Western...books with...gunslingers so she named our kid something that had to do with the West…Look I didn’t have a say in it.”
Frisk shrugged. She had heard stranger names with stranger backstories. “Well I can’t say much when I have a name like Frisk, but what’s she doing here? No that I mind kids,” Frisk quickly added before Jim got the wrong idea, “but we’re heading to a bar and most bars I know of don’t let kids in…”Frisk trailed off as Jim’s soft smile vanished.
Frisk watched as he leaned down carefully and placed his lips to his daughter’s forehead. At first Frisk thought he was giving her a kiss, but his lips never puckered up which meant only one thing. He was checking her temperature. Frisk frowned.
“Poor kid’s got a fever and it’s so hard to find a sitter for a sick kid.” Jim explained and cuddled the sleeping kid even closer to his chest rocking her slightly. The little girl’s eyes fluttered but other than that, she remained fast asleep her breathing even and easy.
Frisk’s eyes narrowed. Seriously Jim?! You’re taking your sick kid out instead of looking after her at your house?! What’s wrong with you?! Get your ass home and take care of your kid. I can wait a few days.
Jim must have saw something in Frisk’s face because he gave a shrug that was nothing short of helpless.
“I know I know, but what could I do? I told my boss I found a potential entertainer and he’s expecting you today and I haven’t disappointed him since I started and...”Jim shrugged again and Frisk’s disappointment and annoyance vanished when his face became a bit more guilt-ridden showing her he didn’t like this arrangement anymore than she did. “I have a great working relationship with him and all, but I know he’s businessman and if I can’t deliver what I promised…”
“Jobs are so hard to find,” Frisk finished sympathetically. Jim nodded sadly before he brightened up just a bit.
“But on the upside whenever I can’t find a sitter Grillby allows lets me bring Clemmy with me. He’s got this...downstairs area of the bar and one of the room is kind of spare so Clemmy plays there while I take care of Grillby’s booze orders. ”
Oh. Good taste in flyer design and a kind monster too. It made Frisk wonder if Grillby was a dad who understood and could sympathize about the ups and downs that occur when people have kids. Especially single parents.
“As long as you think your kid’s gonna be okay with all this traveling, I’ll…”Frisk paused when she saw Jim’s blue eyes looking her up and down.
“You do look really pretty Frisk,” Jim said in such a hush tone that Frisk thought she had imagined it until she saw a small blush come over his face.
Frisk looked down at her outfit choice. She didn’t know what to wear to the audition, but she figured her worn-out sweater dresses probably weren’t a good idea if she wanted to impress Grillby, but going with one of her tighter showgirl dresses wasn’t an option either. Suppose the guy didn’t like his performers to show a lot of skin?
So she chose something in the middle. She wore a short-sleeved blue and pink dress that fell past her knees and a pair of nice chunky blue high-heel shoes. Her legs were covered with a pair of thick white pantyhose and she had put a pink clip-on flower in her hair. It was a more modern style that a lot of women were wearing these days and it was just modest enough to keep the more traditional people from grumbling too much.
“You think Grillby will approve?” Frisk asked, grabbing the bottom of her dress and slightly spreading the hem to emphasize her point.
A strange smile came over Jim’s face as he nodded
“Anything that differs from what his usual and higher-paying customers are used to will instantly gain Grillby’s approval.” Jim laughed softly before he grew serious again. “But what about you? Are you nervous?”
Frisk started to shake her head with a confident no, but seeing the concern on Jim’s face made her rethink her answer and slowly she began to nod her head.
Of course she was nervous. Granted she was going to the very city which had been the main source of all her childish nightmares as a kid, which despite how untrue those horror stories were (thanks in large to meeting monsters like Tops and Papyrus who lived in that city and from what her parents had always told her) it was still a little nerve-racking to be going. If Frisk had to explain it, it was kind of like going into a pretend haunted house where you knew there were people pulling the strings to scare you but getting scared anyway.
No, the main reason why her heart was thumping slightly was because for all the days she dreamt about leaving this God Forsaken city this was the first time she was actually going to be exiting it and entering a new area she had never been to.
Fear of the unknown , she thought as Jim gave her a comforting grin, completely misunderstanding her fears.
“Like I said before Frisk, the monsters may look scary, but they’re harmless and trust me, if I thought for one second I would be endangered I wouldn’t be doing this nor would I be dragging my child along.”
Frisk smiled, not bothering to explain her real fear, knowing that wasn’t fair to bring up an issue that personal when she barely knew him. Plus what would he say if she told him she was a tiny bit nervous about leaving a city she hated for just a few hours? He wouldn’t have anything to say and there would an uncomfortable silence between them that Frisk wanted to avoid.
She liked Jim and she didn’t want him to feel uncomfortable, especially if he didn’t understand that feeling.
Sans might understand though. He’s a monster in a human city doing business with humans. Maybe he or his brothers felt the same thing. Maybe when he comes over tonight I’ll-
“The flyer said HOTLAND. What type of place is HOTLAND?” Frisk quickly asked to disrupt and interrupt any thoughts of Sans she might be having. Today wasn’t about Sans. Today was about a job interview and she needed to be focused on doing a great audition and not wondering if Sans would think she were overdressed if she wore this outfit tonight when he came to visit.
And for that matter, why the hell was she so worried about what Sans would think about her choice of clothing? Tonight wasn’t a date (at least not their main date). They were eating hot dogs and drinking sodas for God’s sake so what did it matter?
Seriously what did it matter?!
Jim chuckled. “You just have to see it to believe it because I can’t explain it without sounding crazy.”
Frisk raised an eyebrow. “What’s so crazy about it?”
“All I’m saying is that you will be sick of glitter, bright lights and the color pink when you leave to go back home. And speaking of HOTLAND...you ready to leave?”
Frisk nodded. “Yeah. Let’s do this.”
Frisk, Jim and the sleeping child that was cradle in his arms waited on the side of the deserted roadside for their ride to pick them up and right at twelve thirty just like Jim said said it would, a brown car with tinted black windows came barrelling down the empty street towards them.
“Right on time,” Jim grinned as the car pulled beside them screeching to a halt. Frisk read the logo on the side of the car.
The River Person Car Service
“River person?” Frisk muttered out aloud and looked at Jim. “What’s that supposed to be?”
Almost on cue with her question, the car door swung open and when the driver step out of the car, Frisk took a shaky step back without even thinking about the fact that she was unintentionally insulting the driver who had simply gotten out of the car to open the door for them.
“Frisk? You okay?” Jim asked. Frisk didn’t answer.
The driver...the driver looked like the grim reaper. They were completely covered in a black robe-hooded garment that covered every inch of their body. And even when they grabbed the car backseat handle to open the door, Frisk couldn’t see what their hands looked like and if it weren’t for the person’s unusual tall height that seemed to be a characteristic of monsters, Frisk would not have known if that were a human or monster underneath that hood.
“It’s okay Frisk. They won’t hurt you. They’ve driven me to Fell City plenty of times,” Jim said softly.
And to Frisk’s great shame she still couldn’t form a single word even though she did trust Jim. LIke he said he had his child with him so why would he put her in danger?
Frisk continued to stare at the silent tall figure, but after a few seconds she willed herself to take a baby step towards the car, feeling a surge of self-hatred burning inside her for being scared of somebody that had done nothing except politely open a door for her. She instantly halted when when she heard a voice coming from the hood. Only the hooded figure wasn’t talking. They were singing in a monotone voice that was so...dead that Frisk couldn’t tell if it were a man or woman.
“Tralalala some things are not what they seem.”
Frisk felt her self-hatred grow. Getting lectured by a hooded person through song on morals her parents taught her day in and day out wasn’t exactly a feel great moment for her.
Great way to start the day , she thought sourly as she looked up at the hooded figure and smiled as brightly as she could. “Thank you,” she said and went inside the car, surprised at how roomy it was.
Jim followed and when the door shut behind them Frisk frowned at the lack of view she had from inside the car. The inside of the car was brightly lit but that couldn’t be possible because all the windows were pitch black. She couldn’t see through them. In fact, even the driver’s window was black.
“Um...Jim…”Frisk muttered as the hooded figure got back into the driver seat and started the car.
“I have no idea how our driver sees anything through their windows, Frisk. But they do just fine. It’s safe.” Jim explained and gently laid the sleeping kid on his lap.
That vague explanation didn’t reassure her in the least and she literally jumped when the car started to move. Once again the hooded figure sang once more.
“Tralalala, we need more than our eyes to see what we’re headed for.”
Please God, don’t let this person drive using any other senses than their eyes, Frisk prayed and maybe her prayers were answered because after five minutes of riding in silence, the monster hadn’t crashed into anything...yet.
Relaxing just slightly when she saw Jim lean back into his seat with a calm expression on his face and feeling incredibly disappointed that she wouldn’t be able to see anything as they drove out of the city, Frisk looked down at Clementine who was still asleep and smiled.
“Man that kid can sleep through a lot huh?”
Jim smiled and loosened the yellow blanket around the girl’s face revealing her long pretty black hair.
That kid doesn’t even have her daddy’s hair color, Frisk observed and couldn’t help but wonder if the girl at least had Jim’s pretty blue eyes. If she did...damn she would probably grow up to be one beautiful woman.
“The kid had a rough night and I guess she’s sleeping it off now. Hopefully she doesn’t wake up until we get to Fell City,” Jim said with an amused smirk on his face. “She can get really really fussy when she ain’t feeling too good.”
Frisk began to say she was pretty fussy herself whenever she got sick but snapped her mouth shut as the car began to speed up. A lot. Frisk felt her stomach turn from the sudden change of pace, but when she looked towards Jim to see if he was even remotely unsettled about the way the driver was speeding up he didn’t even look bothered in the least. In fact, his eyes were half-lidded and his body was slouched in an even lazier position.
Once again she prayed to the heavens that they make it to their destination safely, but if the driver kept going this fast, they might have another problem. She didn’t know anything about car safety laws in Fell City, but she hoped that their driver knew about speed limit laws in Surface City.
“I know I asked you this before but Grillby was kind of shock when I told him you didn’t want to invite anybody to your performances if you got the job so he’s making me double check.”
Feeling a little carsick from the speed, Frisk took a deep breath to steady her stomach before she answered. The driver must of heard the shaky exhale and even though Frisk wasn’t entirely sure why, she had the inexplicable feeling that they were looking through the rear-view mirror at her because the car began to slow down to a more pleasing speed.
Smiling and feeling even worse for how she first treated this person, Frisk reached up and clapped the driver on the shoulder. And when the shoulder tensed up at the same time Jim gasped in shock, Frisk wondered if touching this person was a good idea.
“Thank you. I’m kind of a wimp when it comes to cars. I haven’t been in a lot of them,” Frisk explained and when the monster didn’t answer she started to pull her hand off their shoulder. “Sorry,” she muttered and it was then that the driver finally answered.
“Tralalala not everything needs a thank you. Not everything needs an apology.”
Jim leaned over until his cheek was touching Frisk’s.
“They are always singing these really strange and nonsensical sentences. Aside from that they don’t talk. Probably be best if you ignore them.” Jim advised.
Frisk nodded quickly feeling stupid for even touching the driver and choose at that moment to answer Jim’s question.
“I don’t really need him to save seats for me. Like I said, I’ve been kind of keeping this audition a secret, but if I change my mind-”
Jim nodded. “I’m sure he’d be more than happy to put some seat aside for your pals, but he wants to make sure you don’t need him to save any for your first show. Trust me when I say his entire bar will be jam packed the moment monsters find out he’s hired a human entaintertainer.”
That made sense, Frisk thought. New things sell out quickly. I suppose having the first ever human performing in a city full of monsters would be something a lot of them would want to see.
“ Tralalala some words can have different meanings, ” the dead voice from the front sang.
Shrugging to herself and taking a second chance to get a more...sensical conversation from the driver, Frisk leaned forward. “What do you mean by-”
“Say Frisk, why don’t you give me a preview of what you’ll be singing?” Jim asked interrupting her sentence. Frisk blinked at the suggestion before she realized he was right.
I need as much practice as I can get, Frisk thought and began to sing the first few cords of her song until she realize one very important thing. She pointed to the sleeping kid.
“I don’t want to wake her up if she’s not feeling well,” Frisk said. Jim looked down at Clementine and smiled.
“I don’t think you’ll wake her up but if you do, hey...at least my girl will wake up to some pretty music, right?”
Unconvinced Frisk shook her head until Jim groaned good-naturedly.
“Okay how about this: the moment she stirs you stop and that will be that?”
That sounded a little better and truth be told while the song that Frisk choose was an old crowd pleaser and something she nearly always sang for her audience, she wanted to sing it just a few more times before they arrived at Grillby’s.
And so she practiced the song a good number of times for the strangest audience she ever had: a handsome man who stared in complete awe every time she sang and would shower endless compliments when she finished. A hooded person who had no reaction whatsoever to her singing and a sick child who never once stirred in her sleep during the whole performance.
As soon as the driver opened the door for them Frisk was blinded by a bright pink light and when her vision cleared and she stepped out of the car, Frisk’s mouth fell open at what she saw.
From all angles, huge buildings painted in various different tones of hot pink surrounded the car, and if that weren’t extravagate enough, every one of those buildings had flashy signs that told Frisk just what type of businesses HOTLAND had to offer.
Feeling her eyes get wider with amazement at what she could have sworn were pink glitter particles falling from the buildings, giving the streets a pretty pink glowing color, Frisk turned every which way to see take in everything with a childish wonder, reading every sign that caught her eye. And the more signs Frisk read, the more she realized there was a common denominator with all the buildings:
MTT-BRAND GOOD LUCK CASINO
MTT-BRAND STARRY HOTEL
MTT-BRAND SO FINE YOU’LL DINE UNTIL YOU DIE
MTT-BRAND RADIO STATION
MTT-BRAND DANCE UNTIL YOU DROP CLUB
MTT-BRAND BURGER EMPORIUM
Whoever owns this MTT-BRAND must be making some big bucks , Frisk thought turning back around when she heard the car starting up again and taking off leaving Jim, her and the kid on the empty street.
Jim grinned at her wide-eyed expression. “Told you this place was pink and glittery.”
Frish couldn’t do anything but nod her head. Jim had been right. If he had even attempted to explain this place, Frisk wouldn’t have believed it.
“Is this HOTLAND?” Frisk asked after she regained her ability to speak.
“This is just a small area of HOTLAND called the MTT RESORT and believe me when I say that as soon as the sun goes down this area is a madhouse. Monsters crowding the streets and every one of these buildings is blaring music so loud I swear everytime I’m here I think my head's gonna explode” Jim shuddered.
Now that Jim mentioned it, Frisk took a look around the glitter covered streets once again, searching for any movement. There wasn’t a monster in sight though to be fair if monsters were anything like humans then it wasn’t all that surprising to see these more...adult centered places dead in the middle of the day.
“So where will I be auditioning at?” Frisk asked as she eyed all the buildings once more trying to find a sign that would let her know which one was Grillby’s, and when she did find it, she almost missed it because of how plain and uninteresting it was compared to the showier buildings.
Grillby’s bar was a lot smaller that the MTT Brand buildings, only two stories talle and was painted a dark standard blue that many of the human bars in her city were painted. And the sign wasn’t loud, glittery or attention-grabbing either. The sign simply said GRILLBY’S in dark purple neon lights.
Chuckling and shifting his daughter so he was holding her with one arm, Jim placed his free arm around Frisk’s shoulders and together they walked towards the building and it was then that Frisk felt the first trickles of sweat run down the back of her neck.
This area was not only bright it was...humid. Hot and humid. And even though the name went perfectly with the sticky weather, Frisk didn’t understand how a breezy spring day could somehow end up feeling like a hot merciless summer day. How can weather change that quickly? The two cities weren’t even that far away for weather to be all that different…
Is the city magical like the monsters are? Frisk thought as Jim opened the front door to Grillby’s .
A cool and refreshing burst of air hit her face as she walked in the bar and took a good look around at the place she might be working at from now on. Despite the modest outside of the bar, the inside was anything but.
There was a decent size stage for the performers and a rather large empty area right in front for what Frisk assumed was for couples to dance. There were tons of round tables neatly arranged in a manner so that all customers had a good view of the stage but could also have a good conversation with each other if they wanted to.
And then there was the bar itself. As a bar singer who worked at a variety of different bars, but wasn’t a real big drinker, Frisk never paid any mind to the bar area, but it was hard to ignore this bar and that was for two reasons.
The first reason was because of how big it was. It was massive and could easily serve at least sixty people comfortably. The second reason was all the different types of booze that were neatly stacked behind the bar. There was so many different colored boozes, more than Frisk had ever seen in a bar before, and the way they were organized and the way the dim lights from the overhead lamps hit them gave the area a soft multi-color look.
And to top it all off, everything was sparkling clean. It was without a doubt the classiest bar Frisk had ever been in and with that thought came a small bit of anxiety. Which was kind of funny the more Frisk thought about it. Once upon a time when she still wanted to be a professional singer Frisk dreamt of singing in bars like this, but years later and only getting jobs where fights broke out almost every night, Frisk couldn’t help but feel out of place and when she looked down at her dress her anxiety increased.
She felt under-dressed, but if she were being completely honest with herself all her clothing wouldn’t have been good enough to enter this place with. Her arms were too bare, she wasn’t wearing any expensive jewelry or makeup and while her pantyhose were fresh and clean, her shoes were a little worn down looking.
Damn it, she thought. I didn’t think this place would be so nice…
“I’m gonna take Clemmy to the basement, Frisk. I’ll let Grillby know you’re here,” Jim said and began to walk towards the bar where there was no doubt a door on the side somewhere, that most bars had, that would lead to a downstairs area where extra bottles of their most popular booze was kept.
Jim pointed to a chair near the front of the stage. “Why don’t you cool off for a few minutes?”
Frisk nodded. That’s a good idea.
She sat down and stared up at the stage and then looked over her shoulder at the tables, imagining every seat being filled. If she did get this job and this place did get packed to the maximum, it would be the biggest audience she ever performed for.
Singing in a classy joint in front for a bunch of monsters. Sounded almost like a strange kid’s story. And if the customers were on the wealthier side, maybe if she did get the job, Grillby might pay her a good chunk of change.
As she waited, the seconds beginning to turn into minutes, Frisk began to tap her hands against the table, softly beating out the rhythm of her song and after a few more seconds she softly began to sing. Practice did make perfect after all.
Who's afraid of the big bad wolf
The big bad wolf, the big bad wolf
Who's afraid of the big bad wolf
Frisk began to smile softly, closing her eyes as she began to sway her body slightly. Her hand began to hit the table a bit more loudly and her voice unintentionally got louder.
Who's afraid of the big bad wolf
The big bad wolf, the big bad wolf
Who's afraid of the big bad wolf
Now Frisk’s voice boomed and she began to feel just a little bit breathless (God she loved that feeling) as she pushed everything she had through the chorus.
Who's afraid of the big bad wolf
The big bad wolf, the big bad wolf
Who's afraid of the big bad wolf
I’m not afraid of the big bad Wo-
“I think I just found my newest act.”
Frisk snapped her eyes open and openly stared at the monster staring down at her. Sans was a skeleton monster, Tops was a bunny monster and apparently this man was a purple fire monster.
Feeling the heat from his body warm up her face, Frisk quickly stood up to greet him. Wearing a traditional bartender’s vest and a pair of chic glasses that slightly dipped on his nose, the purple fire monster’s white eyes looked her up and down quietly, the fire that made up his face making his expression hard to read.
Frisk offered a smile to him.
The monster nodded and gave a small bow. “Sulfuric Grillby but everybody calls me Grillby.”
He held out his flaming hand for her to shake. Frisk’s smile became a little more coy and finally just a hint of emotion broke out onto the bartender’s face as a white slash that Frisk assumed was his mouth curved up in a strange quivering smile.
“Okay stupid question: Will I be burned?”
Grillby chuckled. “Not adventurous enough to find out?”
Without skipping a beat Frisk answered. “I’ll come to a city I don’t know that’s full of monsters for a job I might not get, but getting burns on the fingers is the worst, but-” she said overdramatically and a bit flirty which made Grillby’s smile widened. “For you I’ll risk it.”
Please God don’t let him burn me, Frisk begged and grabbed ahold of Grillby’s much larger hand. Aside from it feeling incredibly warm his hand didn’t burn her.
“You have a very lovely voice,” Grillby said his voice losing his playful edge as he let go of her hand. “It’ll be a hit with my customers. Here, let me pour you a drink and I’ll explain what happens next. What do you drink? I offer human drinks here too.”
He walked towards the bar, leaving Frisk stunned.
Did I just get the job...that easily? That was it? I sing just the chorus of a song thinking I was alone and the guy just gives me the job?! I travel nearly an hour, singing non-stop just to be hired just like that?
Frisk knew she should have felt pleased that the ordeal was over with so quickly, but instead she felt like the whole thing had been anti-climatic. But then again what did she expect? She had assumed she would be singing for the owner...so was this really that weird?
As she walked to the bar, Grillby put a sparkling clean glass on the equally clean bar counter and looked at her stunned expression.
“Don’t...don’t you want me to perform on the stage for you at least?”
Grillby shook his head. “Why would I need you to do that, Miss Determ? I just heard you sing and I liked what I heard. In fact the only complaint I have is your height-”
Frisk frowned. “My height?!”
Grillby nodded, that white slash coming back on his face “Yeah. When I met Jim I honestly thought he was just a short fellow, but after seeing you I think you humans are just a tiny race of people, which I’m sure my customers, especially my more higher-paying customers, “ he said with a wink “will find that charming, but now I have to adjust all my stage equipment to accommodate your height. No big deal.”
Frisk looked down at her body again. “I’m...I’m normal size for a human my age-”
“What are you drinking?”
Grillby paused. “Water?”
“I don’t really drink.”
Grillby didn’t say anything for a second and Frisk wondered if she said something wrong, which she may have now that she thought about it. Maybe asking for a cup of water from a fire monster was considered rude.
But after a few moments, Grillby put the glass away and reached under the counter to pull out a small water bottle handing it to her. Thanking and feeling thirsty from the heat and non-stop singing, Frisk nearly chugged the entire content down in one gulp. Grillby gave a low whistle.
“Maybe it’s a good thing you don’t drink.”
Frisk giggled and placed the empty bottle on the counter which Grillby instantly picked up and threw away.
“So here’s how things are going to go. You passed part of your audition with me, but as we both know the audience has the final say on what talent is.”
Frisk nodded, wondering just what Grillby meant by “part of your audition.” Was there a part two?
“So you got the job from me,” Grillby’s flames crackled as his smile grew sharper. “Now you got to keep it. In just a few minutes some of my highest paying customers are gonna be coming in and they’ll decide whether you keep your new job or not.”
Oh. So it wasn’t as easy as I thought. In a way Frisk felt more...at ease that she had to earn her job, but still there was something...strange about this whole thing...
“If you had hated my performance what would you have told these high-paying customers when they came in to listen to me?”
Grillby shrugged. “Nothing. Like I said the customers have the final say and if they loved you and I hated you, I’d still have to hire you. It’s not what I want. It’s what they want, Miss Determ.”
This guy really does believe that the customer is always right-
“And here are two of my highest paying customers now.”
The front door opened and Frisk’s eyes widened for the twentieth time that day but then again, what she saw and what she was seeing now was something no human sees everyday.
A female monster that resembled a fish with bright red hair and an eye patch over her left eye came stomping in. She had some kind of odd tank strapped to her back with tubes coming out the back of it. She looked around the area, narrowed her good eye at Frisk and Grillby before she looked back at the open door.
“Everything’s good boss,” her gruff and loud voice boomed causing Frisk to jump.
The fish moved to one side and two huge massive figures entered the building. They both had goat like features, only one was a female and one was a male.
The male was the biggest monster Frisk had seen so far. Tall, wide and obviously muscular, he wore an expensive black and white pinstripe suit. His fur was a dark gray and his long black beard was neatly comb and his black hair was pulled back into a low ponytail.
The female, though just as big as her male companion, wasn’t as strong looking but Frisk had to admit the lady had some nice curves and wore a pretty dark purple dress that showed them off. Her lovely silver fur shined as she stepped into the light.
They both looked at Frisk at the exact same time and something...strange happened. Frisk felt like everything stopped for just one second. And then everything went crazy. The male goat took a step back, his eyes widening with shock, while a happy smile erupted on the goat woman’s face revealing sharp teeth.
“CHARA!” She screamed and rushed towards Frisk.