The crowd applauds as the lights turn deep red.
AT THE BAR
Arden sees WES DETTS (50s), the strictly-business owner of Tatterdemalion, looking around for someone.
Wes sees Arden. He frowns and walks over to him.
Hey, Wes. How’s things?
Good for me but not so much for you, Arden.
Arden gives him a confused look.
Looks like you won’t be playing tonight. My accounting girl just told me your check for the entry fee - which was late anyway - just bounced. No entry fee, no contest.
Aw come on, Wes! I’ll get it to you.
When? Because you go on in half an hour.
Arden looks up, thinking.
Give me fifteen minutes and I’ll have the money in your account.
Ten. And if I don’t get the cash, Vehement Volition is out!
You’ll get it.
Wes nods, turns, and walks off.
He pulls out his cell phone. The between-band soundtrack thumps through the club’s main floor.
Arden looks around and sees the Merch Area near the entrance. It’s the only secluded spot in sight.
He puts his empty tea cup on the table, lays a $5 bill next to it, and heads off toward the Merch Area.