The Writhing Viper was the hottest tavern in New Melbourne that nobody knew about. That was what she liked about it – she could head there at noon and have a whole table to herself. It got just enough business that the place would likely never shut down, but not enough to make it crowded.
Mav strolled in, noting the pink candles around the taproom that provided most of the light. A stunning crystal chandelier hung from the ceiling, although its candles hadn’t been lit at all. Archie tended to save those for special occasions, mostly because he couldn’t be bothered lighting them and putting them out every single day. Mav couldn’t say she blamed the man.
It was nice to come to this quiet, chill tavern in the middle of the day. It gave her the break from thinking about every wall decal near Melbourne she’d ever installed.
“You’ll be having the usual, I take it?” Archie asked from behind the bar as she paced closer.
Mav grinned and nodded. “Gooseberry jam and almond butter sandwich, toasted.”
“Coming right up,” Archie said.
Sitting on a stool in front of the bar, Mav rested one elbow on the bench and pulled out her phone. It was a downgrade from the old super smartphones they’d had on the surface, but she was still able to check her email on it, looking for new job opportunities. Perhaps there would be someone looking for a person to complete the installation of nursery wall decals.
As she searched through her emails, something drew her back to that odd one she’d received from Dirk. One hundred tokes, just to put up some wallpapers. There was absolutely no chance that was a real job, and yet she felt a curious pull toward it. If it wasn’t a real job, then what was it?
She wanted to put the phone away, forget all about that weird job listing and move on. But she didn’t. Instead, he simply stared at it, wondering, until eventually, Archie came along with her gooseberry and almond butter sandwich, pulling her from the daze.
What is it?