When she arrived, they were tearing down the stage, packing up the equipment into hardback cases, sweeping clean the parking lot. She approached one of the sweeping men. Gently cleared her throat. 'Scuse Me, she said. Is Oleander nearby? She had a package for him, she explained, tapping the butcher paper wrapped tube tucked under her arm. The man shook his head. She kept walking. She asked another sweeper and was answered with a shrug. But he is here, right? This was met with another shrug. She almost grabbed him by the shoulder, wanting to demand a real answer. But she knew what would happen. She'd done it before, gotten into a fight, had a permanent note added to her file.
Ah: there. She spotted his feet dangling off the back of one of the semi trucks. Slowly she walked around a mound of trash – which, she noticed, was made up of a lot of crumpled Magic Fries wrappers and burnt matches and neon business cards – and went around the back of the truck, clearing her throat again, and then saying: Delivery for you, sir. I just need a signature right here... while holding out the tablet and a pen, and trying not to look directly in his eyes. When he handed back the tablet his hand briefly touched hers. His skin was warm. He mumbled something that sounded like a thank you. Or maybe it was: now leave. You never knew with him.
She turned to go. She walked away from the truck, passed the sweepers, and looked back only once: just long enough to see the bright light glowing in the corner of her eye, and hear the laughing that echoed afterward.
Fiction Friday is an outlet for experimentation while I slowly work on becoming a novelist. Read the rest of the stories here...