The first 300 words.
The sign for the Burgundy Rathskeller hung over the ramp to the basement entrance. Above the sign on the side of the building the faded words “Meat Processing” could be read. As they walked down the sidewalk toward the ramp, Steopa could smell blood coming from Saber Ink, the tattoo parlor. Next to it the store, Third Eye Curios, had its doors open. The smell of charcoal and mint mixed with the blood.
At the bottom of the ramp, Swen stood up behind the counter in the bouncer cage. He crossed his arms and stared at Jimmy and Jeremiah. The short sleeved shirt showed off his muscles and tattooed arms. Because of his nature of being a berserk, when Steopa saw him, Swen looked as if he could not keep his shape. He would see Swen the man, morph into the bear form and back again. Tonight, Swen looked more like a bear.
He sucked in air through his teeth and made a noise. “Vincent said you were coming, might be better if you go through the back,” he said. His eyes fixed on Jeremiah. “No guns.” He pointed to a large wall safe in the back of the cage. “Check them in, and I'll let you in.”
Jeremiah shrugged and handed over his shotgun and handgun. Swen picked up the handgun. He spun it, flicked out the clip, checked the clip, slid it back in, flipped the gun again, pulled back on the barrel, and put on the safety. He opened the chamber on the shotgun, then put it against his leg and checked the magazine. He nodded. He locked both guns inside the safe. When he returned, he eyed Jimmy. “And what is this kid's story?”
“They are with me,” Rebecka said, giving Swen a strange look. “I just want to talk to John.”