The beginning of a short story I started awhile back.

Figures that I would’ve grabbed the one lighter out of the bottom of my bag that didn’t work. As I fumbled to try for a spark, the wind blows strands of hair in my face. The wad of money I’d rolled up from my night of waiting tables for drunk tourists stabs into my shoulder and I’m pretty sure I’ve got just enough to cover rent and a nice bottle of red.  Right before I throw the lighter in my hands across the alleyway, I hear a man ask if I need a light.  I raise my eyes, expecting another jerk off cook ready to bust me for dipping out of work early.  

“Yeah, I do actually,” I say, walking over.  He lights my cigarette and as I inhale that first sickly sweet drag, I notice his eyes. A pale blue, not quite icy, not quite like the sea.  Instantly my heart races a little faster.  He’s wiping his hands on his apron and his gray tshirt is greasy and stained. I notice the bottom tip of a tattoo poking out from his shirt sleeve and his hair is this thick mop of curls and waves.  It reminds me of the ocean, if the ocean were to move in slow motion.  

“You new over here?” I ask. “Haven’t seen you before, at least, back here smoking.”  I pop my cigarette back in the corner of my mouth, half talking out of the side with one eye closed so the blue haze doesn’t burn.  I hold out my hand, “I’m Jane, work over here at the Gumbo Shop slinging this slop to tourists. Where you from?”  As I pull the smoke from my mouth, it pulls a bit of skin with it and I taste the blood in the corner of my mouth.  Instinctively, my tongue runs over the tiny wound.  I notice his mouth at the same moment he watches me lick mine.  His bottom lip is thick and broad, much like a canoe and the top, so perfectly pitched into peaks. When he pushes them together to speak, I can only think of what that mouth would feel like pressed against my neck.
My thought is broken when I hear the bartender crack the red door.  “You skippin out early again Jane? Mistah Clyde ain’t gon’ like that much.” 
“Fuck MISTAH CLYDE,” I say. “Actually, no, don’t tell him that. I was just taking a break.”  I look back into this oddly familiar face in front of me.  “See you round Blue Eyes,” and I give him a wink before tossing my cigarette into a filthy puddle.  
The red door creaks behind me, but not before I take one look back and smile.

5 thoughts on “

  1. Nice job, Nice beginning! My critiquer’s eye only caught a couple things.


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