Wednesday, April 1, 2015

4-1-15 Wednesday Write-up
5:47 AM

4-1-15 Wednesday Write-up

 Artwork © Tu Bui, All Rights Reserved -
Story and Characters © Corey Blankenship, All Rights Reserved 
Brought to you by Four Fools Press: “Crazy Good Stories”

He sat in the dusky section of the showroom, deep behind the smokescreen from a hundred smouldering Senoussis and Cyranos. He sat with Prince Albert cooking in his oak pipe, a regal pennant rising with noble leisure from the hardwood dais. The night pushed youthful day onto far-off colonial shores, allowing the man a tranquil Old World evening to taste his momentary pleasures.

He reclined, eying the true royalty on stage. Buxom would be a harsh description for her pleasant slopes. A crown of midnight curls glinted with diamond clusters, the lustrous strands bouncing around the smooth curve of her neck. Somewhere a tiny nation dedicated its power generators to supply her gaze with sufficient juice, her almond eyes sparkling with electricity. Rose beds hemmed the neatly rowed marble tiles of her teeth, a lush garden where many a man desired to stroll. She stood silent, poised on the verge of another masterpiece. A soft ripple drifted from a cello bass, unlocking the harpy’s golden tongue. Beauty invisible oozed along the languid river of her voice, and swept the lost souls onto the rocks of impossible dreams. Shipwrecked hearts lined the tables, each believing himself a Hector seated amid shambling Paris.

This man, however, puffed quietly, a grizzled Odysseus reluctantly pledged by fate long ago to due diligence in this modern Helen’s defense. Her charms, distilled to perfection, flowed through his veins as a familiar habit. Tonight she poured a special brand of love-sickness imported from Cote d'Azur. Meanwhile, he leaned against the polished bars of his seat, letting the notes drip amber around crystallized memories. The man kept a steady hand below the table, rocking the hammer on his peacemaker. Business had brought the two to the Frank capital. Venus had waltzed to the lovers’ city on her meteoric promenade through high society. The coins dropped into tonight’s coffers on her behalf aimed to dismantle the world’s war machines. The servant of Pluto, however, slipped into the same drowsy alleys on a more somber affair. He spun his single malt and his six-cylinder idly as her Elysian sonnet blew across the crowd’s thirsty ears. Another hour and the familiar drum crash, followed by rapid staccato snare solos, would commence. Another broken door would swing limply on its hinges. Another bureaucratic greasy palm would drip with scarlet ink for its grasping ways. In the end, this amounted to just another job for the weathered drifter.

The man rose from his Iron Chair before the conclusion of the melodic le supplice. The enchantress continued to wring desire from the pores, and dough from the wallets, of her audience while he collected his duster and fedora. Halting at the bar, he dropped two rolls of minted francs in front of the bartender. The stacks easily covered the house’s annual expenses, much less the high-end Hibernian brew he had nursed all afternoon and well after dark. The fresh combed and oiled mustache parted on the maitre d', allowing thick lips to spout out a heavy Breton accent.

Pardonne, why, substantial payments, monsieur?”

“One for the whiskey. The other for the doll,” came the gruff answer.

“Who shall I say is madame’s generous patron?”

The man turned his collar up in preparation for a wintry greeting from the outside world.

“An old friend.”

With that, he stepped out of the bronze-handled panel doors into the barren streets. He eyed the Eiffel's spire above its cold steel arches. Sobering rain pelted taut awnings and pooled between cracked cobblestones. Another tune. Another town. The lady had made her mark. The hitman headed off toward the Embassy to make his. He piped her finale's notes before donning his native silence, in unconscious echo to the muse's closing performance.

"Mais la vie separe ceux qui s'aiment
tout doucement, sans faire du bruit
et la mer efface sue le sable
les pas des amants desunis."*

*But life separates lovers,
Very slowly, noiselessly,
And the sea erases on the sand
The footprints of separated lovers.
(lyrics from "Les Feuilles Mortes")

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