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Scarlet

Bartenders make their final pour of the evening, dispensing drunken humanity into the streets. The stream pools in parking lots, creates eddies around bus stops and taxi stands while rivulets of individuals and small groups branch off in their own directions. Itís that restless time of night when inhibitions and wallet clasps are loosened by hours of music, drink, and the sight of beautiful people seen through a haze of need and frustration.

She stands in the harsh glare of red neon, the light tinting her flesh to the colour of her dress. She is a scarlet shadow cast on the sidewalk, willing to satisfy the needs of others in order to fulfil her own.

Old insults are vomited from new faces. People in cars stare, slowing but not stopping, opting for other items in this drive-through.

A group of men gathers around her. They wave twenty-dollar bills, flaunt the bulges in their pants. She paints a smile on painted lips. In return, she receives another old insult and a punch to the eye. The men run, laughing like hyenas into the night. As their glee echoes in her ears and the pain in her head swells, she thinks about crying. The thought quickly passes.

The eastern sky brightens. She contents herself with stepping out of the red neon and into the rusted Corolla that will pass for home.

Story by:

David J. Widmann

submitted at 12:25am

6 August 2009

David J. Widmann's web:

http://www.davidjwidmann.ca