The door chimes that were hung just a couple of inches above the door sang as they were grazed by the edges of the hefty maple wood door that Bryan had pushed in upon entering the bar. A digital counter that kept track of new patrons coming in that hung from the ceiling changed its digits from "92" to "93" with Bryan being the bar's latest customer. Bigby, another moniker that Bryan sometimes goes by proceeded directly to the end of the bar where the counter and the bartender were stationed. And too his pleasant surprise, there were still a number of bar stools left unoccupied.
"What can I get ya tonight, pal?" The barkeep, a middle aged man who was surprisingly fit for his age inquired as he was concocting another drink ordered from a customer.
"The cheapest bottle of Whiskey you got and a glass" Bryan replied with a sigh.
"Tough day at work?" The Barkeep jested as he shook the cocktail shaker furiously.
"More like a slow one." Bryan replied sincerely as he cozied in his seat.
"I can understand that. Coming right up" The barkeep finished as he went to fetch Bryan his order.
The bar itself, unlike many in the area, went for the more traditional bar aesthetic. But fitted with modern entertainment systems. Wood dominated the majority of the furnishings while a beautiful, dark, marble served as its floors. A flat-screen TV was hung from a mount just to the left of where the barkeep was stationed. The channels would alternate between a sports channel and the local news. The audio, however, was overpowered by the music that was playing through a rather impressive sound system.
Drunken chatter also added to the joyful commotion of the bar. The buzzing conversations would occasionally explode into laughter before fading gradually only to repeat the cycle again a few minutes later. There was also the occasional sobbing, yelling, frustrated slams of the table. Faint volume of consolidation and flirtatious whispers were also abundant.
Bryan sniffed, scouting the area through his sense of smell. Something he always made the habit of doing whenever he enters an unfamiliar place. Centuries ago, he did it for stalking and self protection. Nowadays however, for amusement and general curiosity.
"Nothing out of the ordinary" He thought to himself as he picked up the scents of many things. Substances that would normally be found lingering inside a bar. Different perfumes, deodorants and fragrances from different individuals, natural body odor that they tried to eliminate with the former. Different spirits, beverages and concoctions. Illegal narcotics such as methamphetamine and cocaine of varying amounts and some other substances that Bryan had guessed to be some sort of party drugs.
Yeah. Just your normal bar at a Friday night.
"There ya go pal. Just pay me when yer done" The barkeep informed Bryan as the accommodating mixologist poured Bryan's preferred liquor, onto the accompanying glass he had ordered. Interrupting his thoughts.
"Oh.. thank you." The Big Bad Wolf responded before reaching deep into his pockets. Pulling out a pack of unfiltered cigarettes. "One of human civilization's greatest invention." he pondered. Bryan thought it was a tragic irony that humans couldn't enjoy the pleasure of cigarettes without having to deal with potentially lethal health repercussions later on after prolonged use. He, however. The Big Bad, could.
Aside from the nicotine, smoking also served another purpose. It dulls Bryan's sense of smell temporarily. Making the hundreds, if not the thousands of different scents he picks up all day on a daily basis a little less potent, and in turn, a lot less distracting.
As he placed one cigarette between his lips with his right hand, his left hand searched for the lighter that accompanied the pack of "death sticks" as some would call them, simultaneously. He fumbled between the pockets of his jeans and shirt before something of more importance caught his attention.
A scent. A scent so unique and potent, yet somehow so familiar that he had to abandon the plan of lighting the cigarette that was already pressed between his lips. He glanced at the digital counter, "94" It now said. The sound of the door chime further confirmed that a new patron had entered the establishment. The same one who was giving off the smell.
*Sniff* Bryan dialed in on the scent and for some reason the smell reminded him of something burnt, something charred. Ashy.
And then it dawned on him. The reason why the scent was so uniquely familiar to him was because he had already come across it before. A thousand or more years ago to be specific.