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Table for one
After the opening act. He went outside into the smoking area. Most of the smokers around had already gone back inside; though it was long past the middle of the night, conditions had not improved. The night was dismal, the air bitter cold, and the ground hard as lead. Wrapped in his jacket, he huddled down in patches of stiff grass and found a place to be away from the others. There was really a hell of a lot of activity going on. The club was busy, heaving with workers and patrons, dancers and drinkers. But it had been a smart, regimented place, clean and comfortable, wound like a well maintained watch.

Keeping a careful eye on the club entrance, Eiji pulled his bandana off his mouth—it made him look like a bandit—and inhaled deeply before walking over the well nearby. He cranked the pump handle, and sluiced out the cold water to wash his hands, his neck, and his face. Eiji stood upright and shook the water off his face like a dog as he looked out. Hearing the sudden cheers ripple from the men inside, he allowed himself a little, satisfied glow of contentment. He looked less tense than usual, but then this performance was doing that to everyone. The show was magical, even though it took Eiji a little time to make sense of the pharaoh’s story on display.

Something about that dance, one of the tall dancers in particular, or about the way the stars were all around them, reminded Eiji of Meera’s vinyls and the music she’d put on during his sessions. Furthermore it reminded his dream. He’d been in a room, a small, scentless room, with a door in each of the walls. The room had been open to the sky, lacking a roof. Every time he’d looked up, he’d been able to see a vast stretch of sky, deep with clouds that were edged with a fiery red.

In the dream, Eiji had been aware of a deep compulsion to get out of the room. Some odd part of his dream’s internal logic told him that if he didn’t leave the roofless room, he wouldn’t be able to do any good. Any good at what, the dream wasn’t bothered to identify.

But every time Eiji walked towards one of the doors it was no longer there. The doors wouldn’t stay put. He’d move towards a door and suddenly it’d appear in another wall.

For a few weeks into his sessions with Meera, early on, he’d been plagued by a recurring dream were he’d been stuck in a room with no doors or windows. It had bothered him deeply, scared him; the claustrophobia, the sense of imprisonment, had lingered on him each morning, long after he’d woken.

There was a smell of fear, he recalled. Stale sweat, morning breath, the ugly odor of Eiji himself who had been living in the field and now had been roused early, unwillingly, to face a cold, unfriendly day. His face was pinched, troubled, unfriendly, looking like a slow horror was dawning on him. But Meera Alam had told him it was simply an anxiety dream, a nightmare about being trapped in Moscow. After some time, the dream had passed.

This new dream didn’t scare him, but it left him with an unsettled sensation that fed uncomfortably into his current troubles. He didn’t dare run. He couldn’t live with running. Couldn’t face the dreams, his conscience. Couldn’t bear to think of the brothers he’d lost. So young, so scared despite their showboating, all of them—they got struck down before him like skittles, random and wild. And luck, more than anything else, had left him unscathed, but he did not celebrate his survival.

He pursed his lips and looked up at the empty sky for a moment, as if watching red clouds in his dreams chase.


Messages In This Thread
Table for one - by Andre DuBois - 05-30-2019, 01:05 AM
RE: Table for one - by Mikhail - 05-30-2019, 07:50 PM
RE: Table for one - by Nox - 06-13-2019, 06:21 PM
RE: Table for one - by Andre DuBois - 06-23-2019, 06:25 PM
RE: Table for one - by Mikhail - 06-24-2019, 05:12 AM
RE: Table for one - by Lih - 06-24-2019, 02:47 PM
RE: Table for one - by Nox - 06-24-2019, 02:56 PM
RE: Table for one - by Lih - 06-26-2019, 06:22 PM
RE: Table for one - by Andre DuBois - 07-02-2019, 11:17 PM
RE: Table for one - by Ryker - 07-09-2019, 11:55 PM
RE: Table for one - by Mikhail - 07-10-2019, 06:30 PM
RE: Table for one - by Andre DuBois - 07-11-2019, 11:13 PM
RE: Table for one - by Ryker - 07-11-2019, 11:43 PM
RE: Table for one - by Mikhail - 07-12-2019, 08:33 PM
RE: Table for one - by Vena - 07-12-2019, 08:37 PM
RE: Table for one - by Lih - 07-22-2019, 05:44 PM
RE: Table for one - by Andre DuBois - 08-10-2019, 04:27 PM
RE: Table for one - by Ryker - 10-23-2019, 05:25 PM
RE: Table for one - by Lih - 10-23-2019, 09:16 PM
RE: Table for one - by Mikhail - 10-23-2019, 09:31 PM
RE: Table for one - by Lih - 10-25-2019, 06:09 PM

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