Archive for December, 2008

Upstairs

2008/12/31

By Thomas Hubbard

After walking dejected across town on such a damp, chilly night, longing for some small pleasure, a smoke seemed in order. As luck would have it, the recessed door beside a darkened storefront appeared just up the street. Ducking into the entryway, Charlie Buc leaned against the door, out of the drizzling rain, to light up.

The door immediately swung open revealing only shadows at first, and then as Charlie’s vision adjusted, a woman of large but attractive proportion emerged from the gloom. She approached him, smiling, and as she drew close he noticed her gown was of alligator hide, tanned to a visible softness, and she wore a feathered headdress. Instead of lighting the joint, Charlie dropped it into his shirt pocket. “Good evening, Ma’m. I didn’t mean to….”

“You’re late,” she murmured, and took his hand, leading him inside. He followed like wavelets following a swan, without volition. The sound of a sitar wafted softly around them. She led him through a hallway so smoky he had to catch his breath, and then through a curtained doorway and up a narrow flight of stairs. At the top of the stairway she paused and made a motion with her hands, as though to gather the smoke-filled air around Charlie, and then opened a door to an alleyway, outside.

Without understanding why, Charlie bade her good evening and stepped out smiling, one story higher.
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2008/12/28

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