Three people walk into a bar, a not so ordinary bar. From outside, the bar looked like an abandoned house, rotting, covered with moss and very likely to fall down anytime. However, it was the inside that was famous all around the country. This fame was rapidly spreading beyond the boundaries of the country, attracting people from different corners of the world to visit it. And everyone had the same thing to say when they came out – An experience you won’t forget even when you die!
Located away from a small town, in the deserted swamplands, the bar at first sight gave an ominous vibe that scared most of the visitors even before going inside. There was no road leading to the place, no public transport. Bring your own car, they said.
Standing outside the bar, Edison, Jai and Amanda looked at each other. They didn’t need to say anything to convey the uncertainty and a small sense of fear regarding the 13th century house, which had been converted into this famous bar.
As Jai opened the door to walk inside, all he saw was darkness with pairs of red eyes all over the place. As the three friends walked in and closed the door, the eyes vanished, engulfing them into complete darkness. As they moved further into the bar, feeling their way, a voice spoke close to them, making them jump, ”Table for three?” The voice was rasp and cold, like some decayed body had risen from the ground to greet them, but in a sinister way.
“Yeah,” said Edison. “Table for three.”
He felt someone grab his hand and leading him to a place deep inside the bar. The hand also felt decayed, a mix of flesh and bone. Edison looked back to the way they had come, and realised he could not even look at the others’ faces.
They finally reached a table and sat down. Edison felt relieved when the hand let go of his. Each of the three were given a menu card. As Edison opened his card, the card glowed in his face. He looked at the other two, hoping to see the same uneasiness on their faces in the light of their cards. However, he couldn’t see them. “Guys, open your cards, it glows and we can see each other,” he said.
“Yeah, I already opened mine. Did you open yours?” said Jai.
“Yeah, I did.” Edison and Amanda spoke in unison. Edison flipped his card towards the other two, hoping to see them in the light. But as he flipped the card, the room went dark again. It was surprising, even unsettling, that only he could see the light on his card.
“Guys,” said Amanda. “I think we should leave, I don’t feel good about this place.”
“And how exactly will you get to the door?” asked Jai.
“We should tell the waiter,” said Edison.
“You can’t leave without having at least one drink,” came the waiter’s voice, startling them.
Not even wanting to go through the card and hoping to leave the place as soon as possible, Edison ordered a beer. The other two followed suit and a few minutes later, they had their drinks on the table.
Edison took the first sip and instantly felt dizzy. “Wow, this is strong!” he exclaimed.
“Guys, can you see the red eyes?” asked Jai.
Edison turned around. A pair of red eyes were looking at them intently. Edison felt he couldn’t get up from his chair. He took another sip, another pair appeared in the room. As they drank their beers, more and more pairs of red eyes appeared. The scary part was how all of them looked the same. It felt like they were in a dense jungle, surrounded by wolves ready to pounce on them. Edison completed his beer and asked the other two, wanting to leave the place. As Jai and Amanda confirmed, one pair of red eyes came and put a sheet of paper on the table. It was marked ‘The Bill’. Against each beer, it was written ‘One Heart’ totalled at the bottom into ‘Three Hearts’. Still trying to understand the meaning of this, they heard a shriek from a place not far from where they were sitting. Edison got up from his seat, ready to run, when he felt two strong hands on his shoulders, pushing him back into the chair. He heard his friends shouting, pleading to let them go. The eyes came closer and suddenly the entire place lit up.
As the place came into focus, the three friends saw in horror what they hadn’t comprehended even in their wildest dreams. The bar was full of creatures, creatures that were not anything they knew about from the stories they had read and the movies they had seen. They saw in horror as blood was gushing from all the tables around them, people like them shrieking in pain, struggling to get away from the hoard of creatures surrounding them. Edison hadn’t fully registered the entire situation they were so deeply trapped in when he felt a searing pain on his arms, which rapidly spread throughout his body. As he saw blood gushing out of his arms, he felt something pierce his back, rip something in this chest and to his horror, saw a hand come out of his chest with his heart in it. And then all the lights went out.
Edison opened his eyes. He looked at other people around him, everyone getting up from the floor and looking around. He looked at his chest – no blood, no flesh and no heart! There was not a single beat in his chest. He looked at Jai and Amanda, looking and feeling their chests. As they looked up, Edison saw in horror that their eyes had changed to the same red tint he had seen while having his beer. Everything around him was red. He could saw the people sitting at the bar, having a drink, talking, smiling, laughing. There were no lights but he could see. The waiter came up to them, thanked them for their payments and showed them to the door.
As they walked out of the door, the world appeared different, bathed in red. As they blinked their eyes, the world came into its original colours. They got into their car and looked back at the bar, its windows now lit with a red glow. Smiles spread across their faces, as they drove off towards the main highway.
Along the way, they came across another car, a man standing outside waving his hand at them, signalling them to stop. They stopped the car and saw a group of three people sitting inside the car. They looked back at the man.
“Hi,” said the stranger. “Can you tell me the way to The Bar?”
As Edison finished telling him the directions, the guy asked, “So how is the place? We have heard so much about it but are not able to understand what is so special about it.”
“You will have to find out for yourself,” said Edison. “It’s an experience you won’t forget even when you die.”