It’s my birthday month, and as a gift to myself, I asked my dear friend Marian to kick off The Story Circle. Marian tapped Lance to continue the tale. Lance handed the baton to Tara of Thin Spiral Notebook. Tara is a new acquaintance of mine in the blogosphere. She shared two photosets with me from her blog. Off Track and Half A Tank show an eye for detail and an appreciation for her world that made me smile (and think!). Tara also writes fiction, and is a Nanowrimo veteran!
Without further ado, Dance With the Devil, Part Three:
Standing on the platform he gripped a bench back, watching the train pull away from the station. Grateful for the support, the backdraft nearly lifted him off his feet.
He surveyed the crowd waiting in the depot lobby. An old station porter, his uniform showing visible signs of wear, dozed on a high stool by the entrance door. Just as he reached out to wake the old man, the porter spoke. His eyes mere slits under the once shiny black rim of his cap, the gravelly voice didn’t match his skeletal frame.
“Do ya need a cab Mister?” The porter pushed his cap off his brow, and sat up on the stool.
“The name’s Monty. Monty Hammett” He looked at the rolling bag at his side as if seeing it for the first time. “I need a place to stay, where’s the nearest motel?”
Slipping from the stool, the old man held the entrance door open, ushering Hammett outside. Blowing three short, shrill chirps on his whistle, a cab pulled up to the curb. The porter took Hammett’s bag and stowed it in the trunk, then held the passenger door open.
Hammett handed the old man two dollars while he gave the driver directions to the Four Points. Not the worst dive in the city, but based on Hammett’s worn luggage and tired clothes, within his budget.
Still holding tight to the naugahyde binder, Hammett leaned into the back seat, watching the blighted and abandoned buildings surrounding the train station as the cab drove through town.
The hotel reminded him of Reno, clean but cheap. He left his bag by the room door, and dropped the binder on the bedside table. Falling back onto the bed, Hammett felt every ache and pain in his body. It was worse than after any dancing gig.
Rolling off the bed, he turned up the heat in the room, then kicked off his shoes and peeled off his leather pants. Lying back on the bed in his underwear, Hammett wrapped the comforter around his legs and burrowed into the pillows.
“If you’re going out, bring me back a diet soda,” Myra continued to dance around the room, ignoring the fact that he really didn’t answer her question.
He grabbed her arm, twirling her around the room, his other hand pressed in the small of her back expertly guiding her where he wanted her to go.
“What do you want,” she asked, turning her head aside, her left arm extended out in a graceful arc.
Folding her over into a low dip, Hammett kiss the shallow of her neck as she wrapped both arms and legs around him.
The pillow was cold and damp against his face. Sitting up, he threw his bare legs over the edge of the bed. Picking up the phone, Hammett dialed “0.”
He flipped through the binder again, hunting for page fourteen. He jumped when the automated operator answered.
“City and state, please” a detached female voice squeaked.
“I need a listing in Las Vegas, Nevada,” Hammett, finding the photo he was looking for, he felt an old longing. His chest tightened, and his mouth went dry.
“Name of person or business,” the recording inquired.
“Myra Valentine,” Hammett managed to say.
Hammett’s mind went back to their last time together, replaying their conversation, the way she looked, the way she felt.
The operator came back on and rattled off a string of numbers. “Do you want to be connected?”
“Yes,” he breathed, and the line began to ring.