Nighthawks, Chapter 4

Story Number Two * * * * *

Nighthawks – Chapter 1

When you wish hard enough for something, you might get it. It was getting late, and I moved over to a barstool to tell her that I was in the mood for her. She looked at her watch, took my hand, turned it over, then rested her chin with her other hand and looked at me with a troubled look. I gave her a quizzical smile and asked if she was a palm reader and what did she find. She lit a cigarette and then took a long hard swallow of bourbon from a glass marred with lipstick and told me with a whiskey/cigarette voice what she read from my palm.

Nighthawks – Chapter 2

While waiting for her reply, the last call bell broke the silence, and the “leftovers” raised their brown stained fingers from the water-marked bar for one more. Downside the bar, a glassy-eyed strawberry blond with a scrambled egg hairdo gave me the once-over with a toothy smile, and for a moment, I thought this was my lucky night. In my excitement, I forgot about my future and stood up to check out tonight’s maybe. Before I took my leave, she held my arm tightly and whispered hoarsely in my ear, “My friend, you have no future – you used it up.”

Nighthawks – Chapter 3

Angry, I pulled away from her and looked down the bar for my safe bet laughing with another leftover. Turning to my palmist, I asked impolitely, “What do you mean ‘used up?’” She replied, “You married flowers.” I softened and said to her that I knew a place that would take us forever. “You can stay there- night is always for the taking – all you need is to pretend.” She shook her head no, and with that note, I boarded a teardrop and sailed away to another port on a visitor’s visa, with an expiration date for all to see.

Nighthawks – Chapter 4

As Captain of the good ship Lollypop, I sailed with a full crew and happy passengers who sang, drank, danced, and laughed our way through life. We cast aside our cares, wives and husbands, lovers, jobs, careers, and kids who cared less and parents we forgot, friends who never called back and checks that bounced. Now I am captain of a ghost ship without a crew who never got paid and passengers who never paid.

Life is hell and funny, and just as I was ready to jump ship, I saw her outline against a red sunset. Setting sail for shore, I dropped anchor outside dangerous reefs and rowed in on white crested breakers to her feet. Dressed in a diaphanous cotton shift, she sat on a volcanic rock above me cradling a dream in her arms.

She sang to me in the softest voice like ancient sirens who wrecked ships and devoured sailors for their pleasure. Caught up in curiosity and desire, I asked for a minute of her time, and she asked, “Why?” I replied, “Only to know you and love you.” Smiling, she said, “Well, you know it will take more than a minute for those tasks.”

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