Nighthawks

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
More English coursework. I was given a picture and was allowed to make up any plot I wanted to for it...and this is what I came up with.

Submitted: August 11, 2008

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Submitted: August 11, 2008

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Scarlet's POV (the woman in red in the picture)

It was a cold, still night on the corner of 3rd Street and not a single soul hurried past on the dark, dingy boulevard. A streetlamp flickered down a side road, illuminating parts of the street in random bursts. The menacing buildings were monsters towering over the small, lonesome bar, blocking every way of escape. Occasionally, faint shadows of people moved in the buildings, getting a glass of milk or brushing their teeth before going to sleep. The road was as silent as a graveyard; not even the noise of a lost, hungry cat or the soft glide of a breeze broke the stillness that cloaked the street.

The bar I was slumped in was drab and desolate. The gentle ticking of the clock that was hanging lop-sided on the wall and crackly music issuing from the jukebox in the corner tainted the silence. However, the tension in the place was so thick you could cut it with a knife; it was almost suffocating me. I stared at the dreary white walls that surrounded me, cutting me off from the real world. They were a barrier from what was really out there; death, disease, disaster. It felt like a different world. A world where you were just one person and you mattered to no one. I was glad that this beacon of non-existent hope exists. I didn't want to be part of the real world.

I lifted my gaze from the eerily silent street and looked down at my attire for the evening; a flame-red dress that left little to the imagination. Sighing softly to myself, I flicked back my crimson hair and looked into the green cocktail in my glass. A crackled version of We'll Meet Again coughed out of the jukebox, making me feel even more depressed than I already was. That song reminded me of when my life crash-landed into what it was today.

I had always wanted to be a clever person, always wanted to be a college girl with an education and a degree in something or other. I just couldn't believe my luck when the opportunity finally hit me in the face and I received a scholarship for a college in New York. I travelled there, fresh-faced and innocent, more excited than I had ever been. I was doing just fine until homesickness kicked in. I missed my family. I missed my home. New York just wasn't for me, so I left and went back to Chicago. But my parents discovered I had dropped out of college, they were furious. They disowned me and pushed me out of the house, forcing me to make it on my own in the cruel world. I never forgave myself for being so weak.

"Hey, can I buy you a drink?" the man next to me asked, his slight Italian accent pulling me out of my regretful daydream. I gazed at the conceited smirk playing on his lips. I gazed at his black, slicked back hair under his pin-striped hat that matched his sharp, pin-striped suit.

"I'm all set, but thanks anyway." I took a sip of my cocktail and said nothing more, but he lingered like smoke long after a fire had been put out.

"Ah come on, just one drink?" I shook my head in reply and his smirk faded a little. Just one drink...ha. How long would it be until one drink turned into five drinks? How long would it be before he would invite me to his place for 'coffee'? Before you know it, I'm stumbling home the next morning in the same clothes as tonight, my head pounding and feeling filthy and weak.

He was the same as any other man. He was under the delusion that he could get any girl he wanted. He thought all the girls swooned and fanned themselves with their hands every time he walked past. I, however, wasn't so easily persuaded, that's for sure.

*****
Philip's POV (the man behind the counter in the picture)

I hated this place. I just hated it so much. I detested everything about it; from its drab, white walls, to its shiny, scrubbed floor, to its brown, plush barstools. I especially loathed the fact that complete and utter strangers come into here; ranging from rowdy teenagers sucking on milkshakes after school to quiet drunkards drinking their problems away. I hated them all.

I had an irrational fear of strangers. I had suffered from this terrible fright ever since I was in my late 20s. I was innocently cleaning up, ready for closing time so I could go home. All a sudden, a stranger burst into the bar, who I greeted with a warm smile.

"What can I do for you, mister?" I asked, setting the glass that I had been cleaning down on the counter. He didn't reply. He strode towards me and demanded that I give him all the cash I had access to. I stared into his cold, grey eyes and gulped, too petrified to even breathe, let alone move. He let out a growl deep in his throat, raised his fist and it landed right in my face, making me fall to the floor out cold. He leaned over, grabbed all the money and valuable things he could see and bolted out of the door and into the night, leaving me on the floor. The trauma, the humiliation; it was my fault he managed to rob the bar.

This twisted path of fate had left me bitter and cold. I would hardly talk with anyone. I wasn't able to even walk down the street without feeling so terrified to be surrounded by people I didn't know. It seemed rather silly for me to be working in a place where interactions with strangers were regular, but I had no choice. Even though I had tried on numerous occasions, I wasn't able to get another job where my case of Xenophobia wasn't going to be worsened. I longed for social activity, but there was no one I could turn to, no one to confide in...not unless I overcame my fear, and that was easier said that done.

I looked at the man sitting next to Scarlet and eyed him suspiciously. My eyes narrowed at the jaunty angle of his hat, the creaseless suit so sharp you could yourself on it, the devilish twinkle in his eye. I reached down and tapped the loaded gun that was cleverly concealed under the counter. This time, I would be ready for it. If he made even the slightest move towards me, I'd blow his brains out.

"Same again, Phil." a voice from my left mumbled. It was Don. I nodded and refilled his glass. He stuffed a note into my hand and I tucked it into the till. I watched him gulp down a quarter of the brown liquid in the glass I had just given to him. I wasn't afraid of him; I knew him quite well, seeing as he came in here every night after he clocked out of the factory he was working in.

His life had started out so promisingly. He was brought up well by his parents just outside the city with his brothers. He helped out on the farm they owned and he moved to the city when he turned 22 to find a job. He got a steady job with a good income and bought his own little house in the suburbs. He met his wife a few years later. They got married, had 3 kids and moved into a bigger house further away from the hustle and bustle of the city. 10 years later, his wife left him for a piano tuner, stole all his money, took his kids away from him and moved to Mississippi with her new lover. He couldn't understand what he did to drive her away like that. He lost his job and his big house. He moved to the centre of the city, next to a factory; the factory he works in and has done for the last 10 years.

Now he spends most of his time here, drowning his pain and sorrow in whiskey and tequila shots, not talking to anyone, only to ask me for more alcohol. I genuinely feel sorry for him.


© Copyright 2017 Rosie Riot. All rights reserved.

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