The bartender stared out of his apartment window, the glow of morning sun warming the empty brick building across the street. The city had changed quite a bit over the many years since he’d opened the bar downstairs. He’d seen things come and things go. He watched his town lift itself – like a tired, sage heavyweight – from the canvas more than a few times. Hell, if that goddamn pandemic twenty years ago didn’t knock her out, or when his own verifiably insane attorney became the mayor four years later (for one very long term), nothing would take her down.

The bartender sighed, took a last sip of coffee and walked slowly down the hall. He’d never expected to do this for five years let alone a quarter century. And while the city always remained tough as nails and resilient, he, for the first time in a long time, was worried for her. Ever since that loud knock on the door the morning of the day before yesterday – he worried. There was no one outside the door when he got to it, but the moment he saw the folded up leather cape on the ground his heart sank and he shifted his gaze skyward.

“Jesus”, he whispered to no one and everyone at once. “Night Man…”