It was a dark and stormy night. The rain pattered heavily on Adam’s fedora and ran like a stream off the rim. He was waiting for an answer to his knock. Suddenly, a metal bar slid open, revealing a pair of very feline looking eyes behind the door. He knew he had the right place.
“Whadda ya want?” Adam shifted nervously.
“I…uhhh…I heard anyone can come…anyone can play,” he stammered.
The bar slammed closed. For a moment, Adam thought that that was it. Dejected, he resolved to go back out into the stormy night, but abruptly there was a loud clang and the rusty iron door was opened. There stood a short, cute girl with shoulder length dark hair.
“Come on,” She urged. “I haven’t got all day.”
Adam rushed through the door. Inside was a very seedy looking hideout. As the girl closed the door, he looked around. Two guys were playing 8-ball in front of him. The tall one issued a small nod to Adam before lining up his cue. In the corner, a businessman sat looking over paperwork and counting large amounts of cash. The pianist was playing a nice blues lick and a male singer was humming and scatting to the tune. The bartender, who was probably also the bouncer, was talking to a lady at the bar that had her back to Adam. The bartender looked up when Adam entered, and held up a finger to the lady, letting her know he would be back in a minute.
“Can I help you?” the bartender asked in a gravely voice.
“I…I guess I’m looking for…Big Chief.”
The piano hit an awkward chord and stopped. All motion in the bar halted. Adam could feel 8 pairs of eyes on him. The bartender leaned close to Adam and in a harsh whisper, asked, “What for?”
“I want to be a Kitten,” he stated in a voice more bold than he felt.
The bartender cracked a smile. Then he began to laugh. Soon the whole hideout was laughing. When the bartender finally stopped, the room was back to normal. The piano was playing, the singer was humming, and the pool balls were clacking together on regular intervals again.
“Over there,” the bartender said, pointing to a darkened corner. He grabbed a glass and started wiping it out with a rag as he moved back to the lady at the bar.
Adam looked and saw a shadowy figure that he had missed before. The person was cloaked in both darkness and clothing, a hood covering its face. Adam slowly moved toward the dark form.
“Sit,” a male voice stated. Adam obeyed. “So you want to play, do you?”
“Yes,” Adam said resolutely, adding a last minute, “…sir.”
“Well then…” The man leaned forward, his face barely being touched by the light. Adam could see he was smiling. “…you’ll have to meet the litter.” Big Chief spread out his hand, indicating the whole room.
“You mean…” Realization dawned on Adam. These were all the kast! The girl at the door, that was Cathy “Kontrol” Buck. The two guys playing pool were none other than Doug “Ganksta” Luman and Alex “Mesquite” Blanchette. The businessman was not a businessman at all, but rather, the treasurer Nir “Kommie” Chezrony. The piano player was Duncan “Khord” Blickenstaff, and the singer Matt “Consonant” Adams-Wenger. The lady at the bar was Misty “Melonkolic” Emmons and the bartender was Rob “Kreative” Tokarz. And this man he was speaking to was Ryan “Big Chief” Self. All of them, in the flesh!
“Are you ready to Barbeque, Adam?”
“You know my name?”
“We know many things…“Ninja.”
Adam’s head snapped to Big Chief. How did he know that nickname?
“We are in need of someone to fill the gap left by Mindy “Saucy” Smith,” Big Chief stated.
“But there are others. Chris and Erik and—”
“All in due time, my friend. But for now, we need to play some games. Kittens, are you ready?” Adam looked around the smoky room as all the litter responded in unison with a meow.
–Thus was the first year of Barbeque Kitten, two-thousand-aught-four A.D.–
Ryan’s a liar, we did it cause we were bored.