Smoke and Neon
Smoke and Neon smoke stories

arilinden Community member
Autoplay OFF   •   20 days ago
The city after dark. A small forgotten apartment filled with smoke and neon.

Smoke and Neon

Dark alley. Cold teeth. Biting wind. Barking dog.

And she walked, placing more pressure on her right. The heel of her left was sore.

Eleven hours at best. That's all she's got. Eleven hours of no consequences.

A dead time. A dark time. Night.

His apartment was partly underground, tucked away in some little forgotten alcove of the city. She reached between the metal bars on the door and knocked five times.

He opened it, and there was so much smoke and hazy purple light behind him he glowed divinely.

His eyes were just as cloudy as his apartment and he had to blink a few times to clearly take her in with a hint of surprise.

"Yeah, um, sure, come in." He unlatched the metal bars and let them swing with a deathly screech.

She didn't say a word, just stepped into his place, like it was the mouth of a dragon and its breath was rolling around on its tongue.

"Are you tired?" He murmured as he walked into the kitchen and disappeared in the blanket of fog.

"I don't know." She looked around with numb helplessness. "I'm tired, but not the kind that sleep helps."

"Wanna drink?" he muttered with a raised eyebrow.

She held a glass of something amber-colored and couldn't remember how it got in her hand. She slipped in and out of a faded reality. One foot in the door.

She watched it swirl round and round and round in her glass. Suspended in motion and holding back time forever. A stagnant dead haze of still-standing smoke and liquor.

She wanted to feel something and break the daze. She dipped her finger in the liquor--the sweet honey-colored liquor.

It was so mediocrely warm and room temperatured that she didn't even feel it on her finger. And she wasn't even sure it was there.

"I need to feel them--" she broke off abruptly and strode out of the living room.

"What?" He half-heartedly called after her, still lying dazed and subdued in the armchair.

She flew into his bedroom and threw herself down on the silk-feeling, satin-shining, deep green sheets. Soft and rich and full of feeling and life.

Finally, something her fingers could feel and touch and hold. And she sank deeper and deeper into their dark forest depths.

Dreamlike and distant. The soft glow of the purple neon lights on the edges of the ceiling. The smoke drifting in and out.

The one half-window to the outside world so covered in grime it was a deep inky green. The haze, the silk, the fog. The sinking.

Down. Down. Down.

She woke up. He sat at the end of the bed, let out long sighs from his cigarette.

"What time is it?" she whispered.

He didn't turn to face her, "Three, I think. Neighbor's dog finally shut up."

He really did look like an angel with the lilac glow on his back, the smoke shaped into grey wings. And an unseen devil from his face, drowning in cigarettes and liquor.

He rose smoothly from the edge of the bed and took his time gliding over to the piano. It was an ancient thing, the keys tinted a sickly yellow.

He pressed his cigarette down into the ashtray just as old as the piano it sat on. Then, he sank into the chair and began to play an old, haunting melody.

Every note suspended and melding with the next. A cacophony of sounds that lingered and drifted.

She sat up slightly in his bed, still drowning in the silky sheets, and let her mind be melted by the melody. Such catharsis.

The building of pain and distress to be released by his fingers deftly gliding over the keys. The world was just color and sounds, and senses that overfilled and spilled. A sinking feeling.

Finally, a sense of peace.

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