By: Tory Flack and Cole Orloff
“Another. B’tender. P’lease…”
Grogor Fibertgroth the Wise tugged his long, wiry beard out from underneath one of the legs of his barstool. He rolled off the stool onto his peg leg, and steadying himself with the gnarled length of ancient ironwood he used as a cane, wobbled towards the jukebox.
The Handy Dane was the only bar in Glenn County with a decent music selection, so Grogor came through nearly every night to approve its usage. Tonight, a selection of swinging, upbeat big band numbers from old standbys like Rolph and the Bowbreakers, Craigle McCraille, and the Last Midnights had been entertaining a crowd of rosy-cheeked revelers that spilled over from a wedding party next door. They were swinging and swaying to the tunes without a care in the world. It would not do. Didn’t they know that Grogor was an award winning DJ?
The dance floor spun around him in a blur as he sidled, stiff but determined, over to the crooning neon machine that purred only to him. He unplugged it. Brutally and quickly. He didn’t want the machine to suffer needlessly. The lights on the machine dimmed. The party paused mid-sway and turned towards where the music had, just a moment ago, been emanating from. One of the more drunken fellows started to gently question what was going on.
Grogor glared with such ferocity the man’s beer turned to dust in his glass. No one else dared question what was happening.
Now that he had their attention, he would show them what it really meant to choose a selection from the jukebox. It was a skill that required not only care and consideration, but a keen ability to read a room. To influence the energy. To inspire movement and fluidity. To generate emotion. This could not be done by simply inserting a piece of gold and selecting your favorite hits from the 1160s and 70s. No way.
With the jukebox plugged back into the wall and the wedding party quietly sipping their nog and grog in the furthest possible corner of the bar away from the machine, Grogor pulled a blackened token from his robe pocket. The little coin-shaped rock was roughly the size and shape of a 25 cent piece. He, with not an insignificant amount of effort, forced it into the coin slot of the jukebox.
The jukebox flickered and eventually zinged back to life. He felt suddenly restored by a sense of calm. He was a man of many powers. Why, he once brought a Hegloin back to life. From a melted puddle! But DJing, now that was a rare skill that not just any wizard could master.
Silence penetrated the bar as he flipped through the decades. Until at last: