The Fallowing – Interlude IV, Part I

Novel: Occult Adventure

In the red light district – call it a district but it’s only a street in the shadow of Wrigley Field – neon lights flash their announcements of girls, sexy girls, gorgeous girls, hot girls, cheap, fine, or the best.  Lamps blink hearts and shapely bodies and cats with tails whipping back and forth.  Music pounds at the doors and rolls out onto the sidewalk.  Slinky music, music not for dancing but for seduction.  Ladies in lingerie pose in the windows, women outside the clubs hug their furs around themselves and bat their lashes and flash coquettish smiles.  The outside ones are the prettiest, the most lovely on the block; they have to be, to pull in the customers while wrapped in coats and hats and gloves.  They’re also the most mysterious for it, their smiles the most knowing for it, their scarfs like veils in an Arabian Nights tale, hiding the loveliest of princesses.

One of these muffled beauties bites a thumbnail seductively, eyes directed towards a young man.  A boy.  Barely old enough to be here.  She locks eyes with him and, unexpectedly, his face turns sour.  He frowns, his eyes go dark, he sneers a little.  The beauty understands immediately: a woman-hater.  A revenge-seeker.  Here to take out his frustration on a female – any female.  A possible altercation.  A probable domestic.  She unfocuses from him and pretends she was looking past him at a gruff giant of a man just beyond.

The boy forgets her just as quickly as he noticed her.  He’s here on business.  He has an address.  He has a grudge, and he’s ready to collect what’s due.

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The Speed of Sound

Short Story: Sci-fi Drama

Jay had never been much of a talker. He had won Carrie’s heart with gentle touches on the hand and shoulder, neck and waist. He had made her dizzy with rare utterances of her beauty and his love, precious because they were so rare. When they married three years ago his vow had been short and sweet – Carrie, you were perfect when I first saw you, and you’re perfect still. I’ll love you forever, because you’ll be perfect forever.

She thought of those words as she heard him bumping around upstairs, just woken up, sleepy and stumbly. She smiled to herself and hummed along to the radio, flipping pancakes and bacon.

When he came into the kitchen he was freshly shaved and smelled of soap. He kissed her on the cheek and she said “How’s pancakes sound?”

“Sounds good to me,” he replied, and shook out the newspaper.

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