He exhales smoke from his nose, meditating on the length of ash that extends past the filter of the cigarette in his stained hands. Finally returning from his mental sojourn he taps the ash into the ashtray before crushing out the cigarette. The throbbing beat that he can feel in his bones calls his attention back to the stage.
Some young waif is covering her chest while collecting the dollars on the stage the unwashed perverts had thrown at her.
On some nights he’d be one of those unwashed perverts. Tonight he was on duty.
A hand with painted nails caresses the wall in the dark before finding the light switch. Fluorescent lights flicker on, casting the entire room in the whitest of white lights. No shadows tread under their radiance.
With swaying hips, her presence fills the sparse room that smells of sweet perfumes and sin.
At the far end of the space, antique furniture made by an artisan’s loving hand, arranged in a semicircle. There was a trunk of deep mahogany with crushed velvet lining, an ornately carved wardrobe made of solid walnut, a painted vanity splayed with beauty products, and a perfectly polished full-length mirror.
The keepers of her treasures awaited their mistress to explore their depths.
Looking around at the rubble of civilization, I felt her eyes land on me.
“This can’t be the end,” she said.
“It’s not,” I answered gesturing towards myself. “We still have each other.”
The forest loomed large in front of her.
She barely remembered the trip. Must have been driving on autopilot.
Blinking the chilly rain from her eyelashes, she tried to remember what had led her here. When she was a child, she had come to the forest to walk the trails with her parents. In her mind’s eye, it was a sunlit picture. Today though, the sun was obscured by dense fog, making it impossible to tell the time. The water in the air settled on her face. She wiped the chill on her cheek away with the sleeve of her hoody.