Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Beautiful (11/07/05)
TITLE: This Could be Interesting
By dub W
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The clerk told me the tux was a 40 long - he lied. The threads tore as my hand extended toward my head. Somewhere in the night, time had stopped, or perhaps it had raced forward – in the darkness I couldn’t really focus. My mind raced though events. The last thing I remembered was the beautiful woman I met at the opera, we had left together after the first encore. The ebony red head sat across from me saying those things only grownups say in uncomfortable situations. The coat had hampered me then too, as I tried to reach across the ornate table setting to touch her polished fingers. We were lost in the moment and the music – a solitary violin slicing the night.
The violin, yes the violin, I remember. Earlier, at the opera house, I had enjoyed the music. On the stage a master had stood playing the Strat. Oh, how inviting the notes seemed to be, with each careful stroke, the master had sent strings of beauty, horror, challenge and intrigue. Surely, no master of the violin could have been so proficient. But, he disappeared. What happened to the music? What happened to the beautiful woman? Where was the wine? Oh, the wine. It must have been the wine. My tongue felt like sandpaper. But, the wine, the acid taste lingered in my mouth.
My hands felt the platform around me, “cardboard.” Only a slight echo answered my call. I think I am on a box of sorts.
The drumming continued, and I tried to place the sound. “A piston, definitely, a piston.” Years of working in the ship yards had paid off, at least I could recognize the sound of an engine.
I finally managed to free myself from my tux jacket. In the darkness I searched the pockets and eventually reached into the jacket vest pocket, the secure feeling of the key to my Jag met my hand. At least they had not stolen the car. But, then what car thief needs a key any longer. I continued to feel inside the pocket, at last the silk flap revealed a book of matches. I remembered, I had picked them up off of the table in order to light a cigarette for the beautiful redhead. “Who was she anyway?” I tried to focus my mind. Beautiful women and wine, a volatile mixture.
I struck one of the matches against the surface of the booklet, and it exploded with flame, the same as it had the night before when it highlighted beauty. The new match however, only pierced the darkness, revealing an arc around me; more boxes, and a few cages - a monkey, maybe a dog, or other small animal. The match burned my fingers and I dropped it, the small cinder fell into the darkness. I counted to ten before it disappeared. It suddenly registered to me. I was on top of a stack of boxes. “Precious...,” I held my tongue as I cried into the darkness, my silver cross burned into my chest, glad I didn’t jump, I bet I am twenty feet up. I struck another match and peered over the side of the box. I couldn’t see the bottom.
Suddenly, the boxes shifted and I rolled to my side. Frantically, I grabbed a sharp cardboard edge. It finally added up, I was in the hold of a ship.
“So,” I managed to clear my throat, “this could be interesting.”
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