Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Quick, Part One

And now for something a little different. This is story first appeared in a magazine called Crime Factory about four or so years ago. It was my first attempt at a crime story, of sorts. It was fun to go for something different. I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed writing this one. If you like it, I'll keep posting installments. Feel free to let me know what you think. And in case you are wondering, I borrowed my blog name from the character, not the other way around.

Quick. Part One

Quick leans close to the mirror. He looks at the fine wrinkles around his eyes and wonders how long he can keep getting away with this. He knows that others might find the wrinkles attractive, in their way, but to Quick they are worse than ugliness; they are the truth. He pulls his skin tight. Minor surgery would do the job. Something to consider. But not yet. There is too much pleasure in the integrity of the deception.

Quick runs a hand through his short, frost-white hair. It is almost dry. He scoops some styling wax from the jar and works it through, messing it up nicely. He pulls a few clumps into haphazard spikes. He slicks his trimmed eyebrows down, pausing to touch the silver brow ring, a recent addition he regrets not doing sooner. He runs his forefinger over the razor line of hair that runs from his bottom lip to just under his chin. He steps back from the mirror and looks at himself. He smiles with satisfaction. He turns the smile into a big friendly one, a big happy ain’t-life-cool high beamer. He winks at his reflection and clicks a finger gun at himself; not a hint of the truth there.

Quick walks into the kitchen to pour a drink. He takes the vodka from the freezer and pauses, catching sight of his ghostly reflection in the window. Naked, pale and sinewy, round shoulders and strong lithe arms. He turns slightly to the side, flexes his chest, tightens his flat stomach. He hunches his shoulders slightly and makes his shoulder blades jut like folded wings. He is immaculate; he still has the power to make them love him. And he has the power to destroy them. He looks through his reflection into the lights of the city far below.

The chilled vodka washes over the ice. Quick swirls the glass, then sips, tips his head back as the cold liquid sears his throat. He thinks about doing a line, decides not to, not yet.

He pulls on his baggy pants with the straps and pockets and Velcro patches. He slips his feet into a pair of elasticised trainers, his red and black Predators. He twists into a tight sleeveless T shirt, basic white with no logo, and throws a light polyester jacket over the top. He chooses the wrap-arounds with the gun metal frame and the bright orange lenses and wears them on top of his head. Later, some gum, the pills and the sweat will complete the illusion.

He looks at his watch; too early to leave yet. He drinks some more vodka and puts on some music, some driving trance, dark and hypnotic and exhilarating. It’s so good it almost makes the drugs redundant. But he cuts a line on the glass coffee table because tonight is not about the music. He does the line and tips his head back. He sinks back into the cushions as the music takes him out into the night, into the darkness above the lights of the city. He feels a rush of immortality, but contains it. He brings himself back and back until he can see his reflection in the window again, still, silent, in control. The music continues its relentless beat, and Luke appears. Quick sees Luke dancing his strange and beautiful dance with Heidi. They dance in the glassy void. They laugh and dance, spinning and spinning. Quick knows what’s going on. He goes with it. He stands and he too starts to move to the beat. He copies their smooth gangly moves, not just the feet but the hands too. Especially the hands. Their hands sway and flutter, strange creatures fleetingly real. They aim their finger tips at each other, gaze into each other’s eyes and lose themselves in these fantastic moments of swirling light and sound.

When the other one appears at the edge, still and vigilant, Quick nods, points briefly with both hands and turns away.


Jesse said...

Nice beginning-good character development. It's intriguing to think of what it is that Quick is pretending...A crime story eh? Keep the pages coming.

Quick said...

Thanks Jesse.

Think there's something wrong with your linkage. Click on your name and it mashes our URLs together. Not sure what's happening there but you don't make it straight to your site.