Noir: Outed

Avatar Author: Pablo Vilas "Ascension" writer's notes are here, . Corrections and improvements, please! Born 1948, married, two daughters. Living in Seattle, Washington state, USA. Retired from a career in... Read Bio

Vincenzo is back, in pants, shoes and a shirt. But no tie, and his suspenders are hanging around his knees. Well, it’s his place.

“Can you make it?” I ask.

“Yeah,” he says. He pulls the flat leather bag out from under the bookshelf and goes into the corridor. I’d go with him; but we’ll both be better off if I don’t. I find the love seat in the darkened office; it isn’t cold, but it isn’t warm either.

I relax on the love seat, and a dark tide of misery floods my soul. You don’t die from withdrawal, but you really want to. I lean across the too-short couch and rest my head on the far armrest. My body shudders and gasps, while I go on stacking infinite jars and cans on infinite shelves.

Dimly I hear something, a step. A searing light snaps on. It’s Maryanne, in another terrycloth robe.

“Mr. Fabrizio, what’s wrong?” She gets on her knees. Her robe sways out innocently as she feels my forehead. Then she unbuttons my left sleeve.

“You’re a goddam junkie, Emelio,” she marvels. And smiles.

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Comments (2 so far!)

  1. Ahfl_icon THX 0477

    Uh oh, I like the way this winds up timing out with the other story elements. This then winds up being ammunition for her later use if needed.

  2. Avatar JonB

    The physical and psychological state of the junkie is well observed: stacking infinite jars and cans on infinite shelves – a horrible, weary feeling of recursion, never able to break out of the cycle. And in the last line, Maryanne’s relish at her discovery is palpable.

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The crates are all gone. I have a vague impression of hands grabbing cans and bottles. Were they my hands? I sweep the loading dock and my si...

Noir: Closing Time by Pablo Vilas

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