The Lonely Refuge

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
Is she truly the love of his life?

Submitted: September 02, 2015

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Submitted: September 02, 2015

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The Lonely Refuge

By Joseph Logsdon

Rodney was a very lonely man. He was an artist, and as an artist, he wasn’t acknowledged or appreciated. To make matters worse, he never made any money. He was a failure, a complete and utter failure. No one believed in what he was trying to achieve. They laughed at him, mocked his simple way of life. The ridicule had gotten so bad, he even contemplated suicide. It seemed like a good option, the only option.

Rodney stood in his small studio, depressed and without hope. He had been working on the same sculpture for hours. He needed a model, preferably a woman. Sadly for Rodney, he couldn’t afford to hire anyone. His rent was overdue, plus he had to send money to his sick mother. Unhappy and unmotivated, Rodney had just about given up on life.

It was late at night. Rodney stared at his paintings, the only things that kept him alive. Without them, he was nothing. Rodney was about ready to turn off the lights, when out of nowhere, the door swung open. There she stood, the one he’d been looking for. She walked towards him, her dark hair swaying in the wind. Rodney gasped, taken aback by what he was seeing.

“Excuse me, are you an artist?”

“I am, in a manner of speaking. What can I do for you?”

“Are you looking for a model?”

“I can’t pay very much,” Rodney replied.

“Oh, that’s fine. I’m not looking for charity, although I could definitely use some. I haven’t had a job in months. I’m unemployable, people have told me. Because of my appearance, women find me intimidating. It’s stupid, I know,” she laughed.

“Lucky for you, you’ve come to the right place. Your appearance is the most important attribute, by far. Coincidentally, you’re the right height, the right weight, the right size. I couldn’t have picked a better model,” Rodney stated.

“Really? Do you mean that?”

“It’s kind of late, but if you’re up to it, I’ll make a few sketches of you,” Rodney stated.

“Sketches? You mean, you’re not going to sculpt me?”

“The sketches come first, the sculpting comes later,” he replied.

“Well, in that case, let’s get started,” she cheered.

The woman stared at Rodney as he gathered his equipment. Her eyes watched him, followed him with an intense passion. She smiled, the look of satisfaction in her eyes. Rodney was puzzled by her strange behavior. Based on her expressions alone, he could plainly tell that something wasn’t right.

Rodney gathered his pencil, notebook, and positioned himself in front of her. Her gaze trapped his eyes, penetrated his heart. She had him right where she wanted him. Rodney could feel the lust building inside him. Her eyes were deep, mysterious in the way they moved.

“What’s your name, by the way?”

“Roxy, short for Roxanne,” she answered.

“How long have you wanted to be a model?”

“For quite some time, actually. Contrary to popular belief, beauty can only get you so far. It’s better to not be too beautiful, not too ugly. The whole thing, all of it, is kind of ridiculous,” she laughed.

“I understand how you feel. Take me, for example; I’ve been struggling all my life. Sometimes, I wonder what keeps me going. Do you think I do this for money? I got a better chance selling lemonade, than trying to make it as an artist. It would certainly be far less stressful, far less time-consuming,” he uttered.

Roxy laughed at his comment. She concentrated on his mannerisms, on the way he spoke and carried himself. As he sketched her, she attempted to remain as motionless as possible. There was an intensity in her eyes, unequaled in its strength and power.

“Are you married?”

“Married, why?”

“Can’t a woman be curious? You have a delicate sensibility, this type of wittiness that’s truly captivating. The way you move, the way you speak, it’s all very unusual. I’ve never seen anyone like you. I hasten to add, you’re also very handsome,” she hissed.

Rodney didn’t know what to say. She was flirting with him, undoubtedly. He could see the lust in her eyes, and that scared him. In the past, no woman had ever taken any interest in Rodney. They rejected him, simply because he didn’t have enough money. Whatever she wanted from him, it wasn’t anything good.

“Most women don’t notice me. Sure, they might laugh and stare, in the way that most people do. It’s odd that, in today’s society, men are still expected to do all the work. By and large, women have it pretty easy. Men have to pay for the meal, for the drinks, for just about everything. Being a man is hard, believe me,” he stated.

As Rodney continued to speak, Roxy started fiddling with her pocket. She kept her eye on him, frequently making sure that he wasn’t noticing. Preoccupied with sketching her face, Rodney hardly had time to look at her hands. Blinded by beauty, he continued to analyze every detail of her face.

“It’s worth noting, I haven’t made the best choices. I’ve been to Chicago, Detroit, all of the dangerous cities. The world took an innocent little girl, ripped her apart, and turned her into a criminal. I have a record about one mile long. Needless to say, I haven’t gotten a job since. There isn’t any virtue, there’s only the street,” she grunted.

Rodney suddenly looked at her hand. She was holding a gun, loaded and ready to fire. He dropped everything, frightened for his life. She didn’t say one word; she simply stared at him. Rodney closed his eyes, confident that his life was going to end. The gun struck against his delicate skull. Rodney fell to the floor, briefly losing consciousness.

When he awoke, she was gone. Rodney rose to his feet, unprepared for the shock of his life. His paintings, every single one of them, were gone. She had taken them without blinking twice. In one night, his work had been stolen from him, never to be returned. He gazed at his hands, disgusted with what he saw.

“Disappointments,” he cried.

The End


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