A dark, empty club with tables surrounding a dance floor.
The crowd gone. By now in bed, dreaming of conquest and failure.
Robbie, still behind the bar drying the last few glasses. He didn't even notice I was still
there, alone and quiet in the shadows with my gin.
turned his back, flipped a switch, and the lights faded.
Only the green exit sign shined dim in the darkness.
A match flickered. The light briefly encircled his face, then dissolved.
A glowing ember floated in the darkness. Bright, cherry red, as he inhaled long and deep.
Then the small red cinder floated down and disappear behind the bar.
A moment later it returned and the silence of the room filled with the sound of strings and Etta
James was everywhere.
She sang, “At
Last……My Love has come along. My lonely days are over…and life is like a song.”
The red glow revolved and spun as it glided toward the end of the bar and out to the dance floor.
It waltzed and flowed in syncopated motion across the room, became one with the music.
Then behind the ember was a ghost, washed by faint green light from the exit sign.
The door opened and the phantom, haloed by silver from the full moon, disappeared outside following
the red speck from his smoke.
The door swung shut, blocked the moonlight and left nothing but the faint glimmer of green and the
profusion of music.
Moments later, the sound of a key in the lock and
the click of tumblers seemed to snap like distant thunder.
I sat in the shadows, quiet and composed, with Etta there to relieve the emptiness as she offered
her final words:
“You smiled. And then the spell was cast. And
here we are in heaven. For you are mine….at last.”
The sound of strings faded to silence. I gazed into the darkness, sipped my gin, and became
one with the end.