WARSAW GHOSTS - PAUL D. BRAZILL
Originally published at Shoots & Vines Quarterly Print Four
A shadowy melody lapped at the shore of Krystyna’s sleep until she awoke drowning in sweat and stained by sour memories. The night air tasted like lead as she sat on the side of the crumpled bed, trying to flush away her doubts and murky thoughts with bourbon.
A sliver of moon garroted the coal black sky as Krystyna’s high heels clipped across the wet concrete, echoing through the deserted old town’s cobbled streets. Her breath appeared and disappeared like a spectre as she stood outside Klub Zodiak, its shimmering and buzzing neon sign reflected in a pool of blood that looked black in the moonlight.
Krystyna felt the cold metal in her fist as she slammed on the steel door of the nightclub until it creaked open. She pushed her way to the bar, breathing in the scent of cheap aftershave, cigarettes and booze. A sultry femme fatale on a chiaroscuro lit stage whispered a torch song that sparked the embers of a dream.
‘Bourbon?’ said Andrzej, the oak of a barman, his eyes as black as bullet holes, his voice like sandpaper.
Krystyna nodded, took off her raincoat and draped it over a bar stool.
‘Is he here?’ she said, downing her drink in one.
‘Of course,’ said Andrzej. ‘Where else would he be? He thinks that the moment he sets foot outside he’s a dead man. The paranoia is eating him like a cancer.’
‘Give him this,’ she said.
The shining wedding ring rattled and rolled along the marble bar.
‘That could be a big mistake,’ said Andrzej.
‘I just want to get clean for once in my life,’ said Krystyna.
‘No one gets out of life without dirtying their hands,’ said Andrzej, pouring himself a large Jack Daniels.
‘No one gets out of life alive,’ said Krystyna as she dissolved into the Warsaw night.
BIO: Paul D. Brazill was born in Hartlepool, England and lives in Bydgoszcz, Poland. He has had stories in Blink Ink, Disenthralled, Six Sentences, Powder Burn Flash, Beat To A Pulp and other such classy joints. He can be found stalking ‘you would say that, wouldn’t you?’