Saints & Sinners Fiction 2014
The Dark Symphony
…..The woman was getting closer. She moved slow keeping her eyes focused on the coins in her hand, delighted with their total. As she approached he could see her more clearly. Her hair was brittle brown, strewn liberally with grey strands and pinned behind her head in a stringy ball. Her skin was pale with badly painted makeup sparsely placed, covering a complexion of dirty mop water. Flowers twisted from a dull cloth were clipped to either side of her head holding back her hair. Her dress was a nondescript brown tenting her body, compromising flattery for easy accessiblility. She looked up startled when he suddenly appear in front of her.
“Pardon me, love,” she said with a guttural accent. She snorted an awkward laugh, gazing up at his six-foot frame. The top of her head hovered below his chin’s level. “You gave me fright, you did.”
She shuffled aside to get around him. He moved in front of her.
“Somethin’ I can helps you with?” The fine hairs on her upper lip bristled.
He held up his right fist with a shilling grasped tightly between his thumb and forefinger, his dark brown eyes sparkling with anticipation.
“You’re just a boy,” she said. She quickly scanned over his squared head, squat nose, and cleanly shaved appearance. “Can’t be more than sixteen, I’d say. A poppet lookin’ for his first time, eh?” She laughed with the stench of tooth rot and liquor.
He said nothing while waiting until her cackle slowed. His fingers formed a quick fist before resuming with a second coin. He rubbed them together to make sure she saw them both. Her saucer eyes grew beady with greed. They focused on him with capital interest.
“Well then,” she whispered. Her gaze shifted from his dark eyes and locked on the coins between his fingers. “A boy’s a man when he gots money to spend.”
She moved for the coins and he pulled them back just out of her reach. He jutted his chin pointing down the alley. She glanced behind and returned with a broken grin. With a nod of her head she spun around leading him back to her previous spot. She resumed her position, shoulders braced against the fence and her hands busily hiking up the layers of her dress.
“No,” he said in a commanding whisper. He reached up and ran the edges of the coins around the bottom of his lip, tapping the metal against his flesh. His free hand went to her shoulder giving it a brief push downward to emphasize his point.
“Oh! He knows what he wants, does he?” she said, regaining her balance from the strong grasp. “That’s ok. I can give the Bishop a li’l kiss if you like.”
She moved to her knees as he took off his long pea coat. Folding it in his arms, he gently tossed it over the fence’s frame behind them. He stood in front of her, thick legs firmly planted and strong arms clasped loosely behind his back.
“A big boy like you…let’s see now.” Her hands fumbled with the buttons of his pants. She slowly slid into his undergarment like a worm wiggling through dirt. When her hand touched his flesh she hesitated and muttered with unexpected curiosity. “Here t’is.”
“And here’s Jack.” He whispered back in cold monotone.