Maelstrom Extra: A More Graceful Decay

Wednesday, August 19, 2009 reviews (Comments): 4
Kalila put her hands on her hips and glared. “What kind of wretched place have you booked us into this time?”

“It looked better on the website,” Ricky admitted. The 1872 mansion, now turned nightclub, exuded an air of graceful decay, from its weathered bricks to its rotting gingerbread trim. “It’s supposedly the most popular live music venue in town.”

“And not much of a town, either,” Kalila sniffed. She walked up the steps and put her face to a window, trying to peer inside. “I bet the acoustics suck.”

Ricky pulled her away, lest she set off a burglar alarm by mistake. “Well, we’re here, you’re booked, and if you hate it, we don’t ever have to come back.”

“I’ll say.” She tipped back her head and gazed up into the rafters. “There’s probably bats here. I’m sure Vic will like that.” As if on cue, a riot of small brown bodies and flapping leather wings burst from under the eaves and tittered into the sky in a confused and milling mass.

Ricky stared after them. “Bats don’t fly in daytime. Kalila…?”

She tossed her russet hair over her shoulder and laughed. “It’s okay, Ricky. We’ll find ways to make this fun.”

“I don’t know if I want you making it fun, other than by putting on a good show.”

Kalila sat down on the steps, conjured a blue flame in the palm of her hand, then abruptly snuffed it out. “You know, one of the problems with you is that you’re all business.”

“That’s what you hired me for.”

“But not so you could be boring all the time.” A rubber ball appeared in her hands and she tossed it to him. “I saw a park on the way over. We don’t have to set up for another two hours, so let’s—”

“No.” Ricky caught the ball and held it gingerly, not sure what to make of it. “I have calls to return, bookings to finalize, and we need to round up your disreputable fellow band members. I don’t have time for games.”

Kalila stood up with an attitude of weary patience. “Fine.” She waved a hand and the ball became a bird that struggled from Ricky’s grasp and soared into the air. “But just remember something, human. One day you’ll be old and your life will be reduced to eating warm Jello, watching TV reruns, and complaining about your arthritis. You’ll regret not enjoying these moments.”

Ricky watched the conjured bird disappear into the daytime sky, untrammeled by the narrow asphalted pathways of human life on earth. With a sigh, he reached for Kalila’s hand. “You’re probably right.”

reviews (Comments): 4

ThomG :

I just really, really appreciate your talent in driving all these stories forward. And I hope you find great success getting them published. Amazing.

Thomma Lyn :

Oh, I LOVE this. Kalila is one wise djinn. And Ricky's thought really touched me, too, as he watches the bird soar into the sky. :)

Alice Audrey :

Yeah, she's got the wisdom of the ages working for her here.

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