Spontaneous challenge: The Beginning

Length: 700 words

This was a challenge issued by Spontaneity to write a chapter (no more than 700 words) in a how-to guide for hunters. How ironic that my subject was" Bars and Alcohol: the need for beer vs. whiskey" since I don't drink. :) Hope you guys enjoy!

Bars and Alcohol

The local bar

Every hunter worth his salt knows the local bar can harbor a plethora of information. But be warned; this kind of information doesn't usually come cheap. Normally, the bartender won't even give you a second glance for less than a twenty and if you expect to actually get some useful info you may have to fork over two or three of those bad boys.

But never fear; the local bar is also teeming with opportunities to earn some extra bucks. There are always a few schmucks just begging to be hustled out of their latest paycheck over at the pool tables and if you're really lucky, there's usually a high stakes poker game going on somewhere behind closed doors.

Of course, if you want to blend in with the locals and glean information by gaining their trust, you can always apply for a job and actually work to earn a few dollars. This method should only be used in extreme cases. Normally a hunter doesn't have enough time to get friendly with the locals. Too many people can die while you're chatting up the bar maids and frankly, the pay sucks.

A word of caution: vampires, werewolves, and demons have been known to frequent bars. In one extreme case, the entire bar was occupied by demons. Not a situation you want to be in. Be sure to take all necessary precautions until you know what you are dealing with.

The need for beer vs. whiskey

There has been much debate in the hunter population over what occasions require beer as opposed to whiskey. Nine times out of ten this debate is conducted over a round of beers, bringing up the first argument in the need for beer. Beer is good for almost any occasion, whether it's a light-hearted debate (case in point) or just to wind down after a hard day's (or night's) hunt.

Using beer is one of the sneakiest ways to find out if someone is possessed by a demon. A little shot of holy water in their beer and they'll never know what hit them. And you certainly don't want to waste whiskey on a demon. Of course, you have to be stealthy enough to get the holy water into the beer without the demon knowing it. If they catch you, things could get ugly rather quickly.

Beer is also good for loosening the local's lips, getting them to talk about the weird happenings in their town, when they otherwise wouldn't give you the time of day. There will usually be at least one person who is more than willing to talk if you keep pumping him full of beer. Keep a close eye on this person's consumption, because after a while, they may not even know what they are saying anymore and if they get too drunk you may be the one who's stuck taking them home.

And let's not forget beer is always good after a successful hunt. Nothing better than opening up a cold one and toasting the death of one more fugly.

Unfortunately, whiskey seems to be associated with the grimmer aspects of a hunter's life. Many hunters are consumed by the guilt they feel over the things they have seen and done. Whiskey helps numb the pain of losing a loved one or of being unable to save an innocent victim.

Whiskey also gives the feeling of invincibility. Sometimes hunters facing difficult situations, such as confronting crossroad demons, feel the need to load up on liquid courage. This is not a good idea. It is never wise to be intoxicated when dealing with any kind of monster or demon. They are wily when you are at your best. Whiskey will only impair your ability to deal with them quickly and efficiently.

While whiskey sounds as if it can only be used in depressing situations, don't discount the fact that a good bottle of whiskey can be used as a bribe for someone who's a tough nut to crack. Also, in almost every case, a pen knife, some dental floss, a sewing needle and a fifth of whiskey can patch up any wounds received in the line of duty.