Short story: Alleyway



It’s my turn to go in now.

To get there, you have to walk down a quiet alley. Just a regular alley, with looming dark walls on either side and dog piss yellow streetlights mingling with ice cold white blue lights failing to prevent junkies from finding veins. If you pass someone on the way out, they’ll most likely bow down from the neck and hunch over so as you can’t see their eyes. Walking slow, as though each foot’s landing in caramel and having to be pulled out just to plunge back in there again. But some of ’em, they’ll look you right in the eye and you’ll notice that the whites glow and if they smile at you their teeth shine in that cold blue light making them look otherworldly, demonic, exultant, triumphant, having supped with the devil and emerged to tell the tale.

There’s big black bins hulking like security guards spilling a myriad of refuse and black plastic and homeless people and one-eyed, three-legged dogs all mingling and merging and becoming one. The shadows don’t creep; this alley is their home and they command the walls and splashes of darkness like they’re a different type of shadow, born for royalty. No fire in these alleys, no red tones at all, just jaundice yellow and ice blue being swallowed silently by the darkness.

To find the door you have to know where it is. Nobody stumbles on that door. Nobody who wasn’t invited. Surrender to the darkness. Give in to the shadows. Find the man with four fingers, a green handknitted vest, and a swastika tattooed over one eye. Step over the lame blind dog with more parasites than are known to man and wait for his severe white blind eye to stare over you. Walk up to the big steel door. Steel yourself.

It’s my turn to go in now.

This is the result of a thirty minute writing exercise. The only constrictions were the time limit and five randomly selected words from the dictionary. Today the words were: severe, swastika, myriad, exultant, and caramel.

Image courtesy of Sir Mildred Pierce.