Imagined

With a tired sigh he fell deep into the chair’s red plush back, sipped the scotch in his right hand, and watched smoke swirl slowly up from his left. The dim lamp behind him lit a small hazy island in the center of the room. Soft sultry notes meandered from a record spinning somewhere in the dark. Another sip. Then he looked up and saw her.

She stood just beyond the light’s grasp, dimly visible through the fragrant smoke. Golden hair curled around her shoulders; her eyelashes caught the light, fanning slowly. Her eyes were set in shadow but her lips shined red through the darkness. An ivory nightgown cascaded over the tops of her breasts betraying the curves hidden beneath.

She stepped into the light. She became the light. He lifted his glass for another sip and as she disappeared behind it she disappeared.

She wasn’t there — she wasn’t even in the room! She wasn’t glowing out of darkness. She wasn’t staring into his eyes as she slowly approached, as she glided up to his chair and stood inches away smiling down into him. He couldn’t feel her knees sliding along either side of his thighs or her hands pressing on his chest, searching for the buttons beneath his suit jacket. He felt them slide down his ribs and he felt her lean forward. Incandescent red parted just in front of his lips and breathed no, no that was just the smoke leaving his lungs, the glass on his lips and nothing more as his hands slid around her hips, feeling for the edge of her nightgown.

Suddenly she pulled away, grasped the end of his tie as she rose, and pulled him onto his feet. They walked together, she backwards, leading him through the bedroom door. He sat in the chair, watching as the door slammed and they vanished through the threshold.

His glass was empty.

She stood just beyond the light’s grasp he stood up and flung the glass straight into her. It shattered in the darkness. He pulled handfuls of her his hair and released a low groan. He paced quickly back and fourth. He kicked the table and toppled the chair, smashed his lips into hers the lamp into a thousand pieces and stood kissing cursing in the blackness, smelling her hair the fumes from the shattered bottle’s contents soaking deep into the fibers of the carpet.

Slowly, he put the glass down on the table and pored another drink. He sank further still into the chair and watched lazy swirls of smoke distorting what little light the lamp provided. He took a sip of the chilled drink and felt her warm lips press hard against his. He closed his eyes and watched hers open, blue and shining inches from his own. His forehead fell into his hands and her dexterous fingers undid the buttons of his shirt.

He looked up and saw her standing just beyond reach of the dim, smoky island of light.

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