posted on Sep, 14 2005 @ 11:10 PM
I've been listening to The Animals and Bob Dylan's covers of "The House of the Rising Sun" for the past few days. This girl told me she wanted
read some of my writing and honestly I used to write a lot and almost made a career out of it but decided against it because... well I don't know. So
I kind of wrote this story for her, but I really like it so I decided to post it here and see if you guys thought it was any good before I let anyone
I know read it. No disrespect to you guys but I really value most of this community's opinion and if you guys like it I think I may have something
good here. I don't know, this is the first story I've written in like a year or two. See what you guys think.
I awoke in a smoke filled dark dingy little room. My vision was still blurry and the ground hadn’t stopped shaking from the night before. I looked
at the cracked wooden ceiling above me and pulled the covers up to my eyes trying to fight this sinister mix of feelings and hovering hangover. In the
distance I could hear the faint sounds of people laughing and an out of tune piano playing without abandon. My head was spinning and it took me three
tries to cover my eyes with my hand. I took inventory of my body. My right hand still seemed to be there, both legs, both eyes, nose, ears, all seemed
to be where they should be. I wiggled each toe just to make sure they still worked. My body was still half numb from the mix of booze and struggles
with drunken animals from my last waking consciousness. I looked to my right and saw a empty bottle of gin and a still burning cigar in a ash tray
sitting next to a shot glass still half full of a dark liquid. I picked up the glass and put it too my lips only to notice it smeared with lipstick. I
drank down the contents and tried not to gag. I slowly tried to sit up in this unfamiliar bed when I noticed a hand on top of my left hand. I looked
to the left and realized that the warmth I felt wasn’t the covers but a body next to mine. I tried to sit up without disturbing this lump in the bed
and I flipped the hand over and held it for security and warmth. The lump in the bed had the bed spread over their head. I slowly pulled the covers
away from the head of this person to reveal a beautiful redhead with a beauty mark on her left cheek and a small scar on her right. I struggled to
remember how I got here or to put a name to the face below me. Flashes of dirty angry faces and cards sent from heaven, cheap whiskey and sultry moans
circled my brain as I tried to put the pieces of my journey to this spot and this time together. I whispered “Melody” to myself before realizing
that was her name. A sense of danger and controlled panic overtook me and I felt a strong desire to leave this room and to leave this place. I bent
down to kiss this beautiful woman’s hand while trying desperately not to wake her. Clearly this angel was the only one who ever loved me even if it
was only for one night at twenty dollars an hour. As my lips touched her skin I felt a strong tingle and a wave of remembrance of the passion and the
fulfilled desire I felt the night before over came me. While still holding her hand with one hand, I softly brushed her face with the other and
silently thanked this angel as I started to make mental notes of what I needed to do to get out of this place. I slowly took my hand from hers and
gave her one last long look trying to keep this moment as long as I could. I then swung my legs over the edge of the bed and felt the old oak floors
beneath my feet. I tried my best to be silent while trying to keep my balance and fighting the urge to be sick as I rose to my feet. A loud creak from
the floor boards was my reward. I slowly turned to look at the angel still passed out beside me and not a stir emanated from her, just a slow, soft,
constant breath was her only movement. I looked across the room to the wooden chair, the only other furniture in the room besides the bed and end
table. Laying on them were my black shirt, my black pair of pants, a black hat, a belt with a holster and a revolver laying on what appeared to be
several bills of many denominations. Apparently lady luck had finally remembered her long lost son last night. I crept to the chair and with each step
it seemed like the number of bills multiplied and my eyes grew with each look at my new found fortune. Once I reached my chair and my possessions it
occurred to me that in this tiny dark room where the bed seemed miles away that the darkness had greatly diminished the sight of my pile of money.
With this sight, it seemed as if fortune had finally smiled upon the poor and the wicked and that I had finally repaid my sins in eyes of those who
count such things. A soft smile crept over my face as I began to get dressed.
After tightening the belt on my pants and buttoning my shirt, I began to count the money. The money seemed to glow in the darkness and my hands
undaunted by the drink or the stress flew over the greenbacks, finally happy to have something of value within them. My eyes grew as I counted. One
hundred, two hundred, three hundred, four hundred, five hundred, one thousand, two thousand, two thousand five hundred. I almost screamed with joy
when my hands finally stopped counting but kept silent as to not awaken my angel behind me. I settled for a closed eye look at the sky, a thank you
for the good fortune that had found me. I put the roll of money on the chair as I reached for my pistol and my hat. Upon picking up my pistol, I
noticed an odd thing. The gun seemed lighter than normal and smelt as if it had recently been fired. I opened the chamber to reveal that two bullets
were missing. A sense of fear overcame me, not remember where or why the gun had been fired or where the two shots had gone. Looking back at the bed,
a flood of memories from the previous night overcame me and washed me away.
Three shots and half hour into a poker game of the shiftiest and biggest gamblers of New Orleans, my fortune had suddenly turned. It was a straight, a
flush, a full house, and a successful bluff one right after the other until the tempers of my fellow players had reached their boiling points. As I
stood to leave the table was over turned by the biggest man at the table as screams of “CHEAT! CHEAT!” rang through the air. He went for his gun
and I went for mine and apparently my luck continued as two shots echoed and the man slowly sank to the floor. A wave of shock and disbelief encircled
the room and probably for the only time in it’s history the parlor was silent with no music, no loud conversation, no proposals and haggling.
Suddenly a soft delicate hand grabbed mine and I was running, being led upstairs. A locked door, an embrace, and staring into the eyes of a red haired
angel. Passion, love, gin enveloped my senses and I savored the darkness and my two ladies Melody and Luck. Between heavenly kisses and velvet
touches, deep conversation. My made up story about being a cowboy from Missouri and seeing directly through it and calling me a cheap hustler who
finally played his cards right. Her story about being enticed here by her drunken love who seduced her and was promptly murdered over an unpaid debt.
The debt now was hers and was being collected by the owner of the house, a horrible man who raped and killed any who crossed him. I kissed her deeply
and wiped the tears off her cheek and told her everything was going to be okay. The memories of that night slowly faded as the bottle of gin began to
empty until I eventually I realized I was still standing here in front of this chair and this pile of money, this ticket out of our hell, this ticket
to respectability, to normality. I looked at the angel in the bed and slowly gathered the pile of money into my arms, cradling the bills like a baby.
I picked up my hat and crept over to the bed, trying my best not to make the wooden floor whine and creak. I laid the money down in the bed where I
had laid bill by bill until I was left with only one hundred dollars. Just enough for a train ticket and enough to live on for a few days. I placed my
hat on top of the money and looked down at my angel still sleeping peacefully. I touched her cheek and gave her one last look. I pulled my cigarette
pouch out of my shirt pocket and rolled myself a cigarette as I slowly moved towards the window of the room.
I lit a match against the wooden wall of the room and looked out of the barred window to the sights below. I saw a dirty street and a few drunken
stragglers stumbling towards their homes and hotels and the horizon was slowly beginning to be awashed in beautiful yellows and oranges as the day
prepared to rain it’s light upon those below. Only the sinful and the exiled were awake at this hour as the honest and the just lie peacefully in
their bed dreaming of what the honest and the just dream about. I finished my cigarette and dropped it the floor. I silently moved toward the door,
surprised that the floor no longer made sound beneath my feet. My eyes were focused on the door and the lock as I couldn’t bare to look behind me.
As I opened the lock and the door, I breathed a deep breath in and closed my eyes. As I moved out into the hall, my senses were greeted with the smell
of desperate men and women and a loud out of tune piano still playing seemingly faster and faster some dark song I didn’t know. Loud conversation
filled the air with an occasional loud deep laugh or a feminine playful scream. I slowly closed the door and placed my hand on the banister to keep my
balance. I saw the object of my desire, the only thing I wanted now. The door, the way out, the exit. As I slowly walked down the stairs, I looked
onto the chaos below. Drunken men dirty, hairy, and poor still making claims and promises they’d never realize to women who knew better. The women,
old and ugly with too much makeup trying to hide years of abuse and the fact that they’ve seen and experienced too much. Eyes looked up to meet mine
but there was a feeling of unknowing or unfamiliarity behind them, as if they didn’t know what had happened here just a few short hours ago. Just a
causal look to see if the man in black coming down the stairs was a threat before returning to more impossible claims and old out of tune jokes that
had been told in this joint a thousand times before. As I reached the bottom of the stairs, a sight caught my attention, a sight that shocked me. A
small pool of a red liquid was still laying where I had been playing cards earlier, obviously I didn’t hallucinate the whole thing. I walked like a
ghost, avoiding eye contact and marching towards my objective, I only wanted out.
As I reached the swinging bar doors, I looked over the roof tops of this sin ridden town to see the sun slowly rising over the hills on the horizon. I
placed both of my hands on the tops of the two swinging doors and closed my eyes for a moment of peace. I didn’t notice the piano stop playing. I
didn’t hear the shrieks of the girls and the quick movement of men. I just heard someone yell “JACKSON!” and then two loud bangs, the
unmistakable sound of a revolver firing two shots. Fire engulfed my spirit, my body went numb. I pushed the doors open and slowly with all my strength
walked out to the street before collapsing to my knees. My gaze, my sight focused on the rising sun.