Passing the Torch

Jordan was still a few blocks away but she could already hear the party. The music pulsed out with a steady rhythm that dominated the night. It was a thousand times louder than the coffee shop and felt much more aggressive.

A beat up station wagon began to pace her as she walked on.

“Hey kid, come here.” The driver was an older woman. “You’re not going in there are you?” She gestured vaguely.

“Uh.” Jordan didn’t know what to say.

“You smoke?” The woman asked.

“No. I mean not really. Sometimes I bum a cigarette but I’m not like a smoker or anything.” This was the second time tonight that a stranger had just come up to her and started talking to her. Something weird was going on.

“Here, take this.” The woman tossed her a stainless steel lighter. Jordan caught it reflexively and turned it over in her hands. It felt warm, and it was emblazoned with an odd symbol that almost looked like a Victorian lamp.

She looked back up, “I’m sorry, I can’t take thi-” The words died in her mouth.

The woman was gone.

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