Night Flight Mike is a novella of twenty short chapters, posted over twenty business days -- by me, your white male privileged host, Cheeseburger Brown. Readers who may be subject to access surveillance or content filtering please be advised that this work of fiction contains profanity and describes adult situations, but is relatively free of political subversion.
Three out of four dentists agree that reading this story may help prevent gingivitis.
And now, today's chapter:
Two lone figures loitered outside on Dundas Street.
The snake outside of Coriander's had eaten its own tail and disappeared, leaving only cigarette butts and bits of plastic skittering in the wind. A young couple with their bums showing at the top of their low-slung jeans tried to waltz in but the Filipino bouncer stopped them with an upraised hand.
"Pilled to cafacity," he said.
"Aw, c'mon," said the young man. "We gotta see Cherry. We'll double the cover."
The stalky Filipino shook his head. "Sorry. Pire code."
As the couple sadly walked away Red and the bouncer were connected for a brief moment by their mutual appreciation of the girl's departing bum peeking and nodding from her jeans. Red pulled his hotel blazer tighter around his shoulders and rubbed his hands together. "You don't have a cigarette, do you?" he asked the bouncer.
"I can set you up, honey," called a bleary-eyed prostitute leaning against a flyer-swathed pole. "Can you make it worth my while?"
"I have to wait here," said Red.
The prostitute sauntered over, tossed her black hair. "What are you? The bouncer's butler?"
"I work at the Fairbrook." Red gestured vaguely down the block.
"Whatcha doing hanging around here then?"
Red shrugged. "Some people lost their kid. They think he's in here. I'm covering the door, like in case he comes out."
"Oh, you gotta mean Mike."
Red furrowed his brow. "You know the kid?"
"Sure. I told him where this place is." She drew a crumpled pack of Marlboros out of a tiny cigarette-pack sized purse and knocked out two smokes, passing one to Red. "I'm Sapphire."
"Thanks, Sapphire," said Red, jamming the smoke into his mouth and patting his pockets until he found a lighter. He struggled with it in the wind until Sapphire took it from him and expertly bit off the child-proof mechanism with her teeth. "Thanks again," said Red, then he blinked. "Why are you looking at me like that?"
"You used to be somebody, didn't you?"
"What do you mean?"
"Shit -- you're Red Vicious, the punk rocker. Go on, deny it sugar -- I can already see the look on your face, huh, but I know it's bullshit 'cause I used to see you play at the Horseshoe."
Red spread his arms helplessly. "Tried and convicted."
"Small world," said Sapphire, her cheeks deflating as she dragged hard on her cigarette. "Small city, too. So you're telling me that Mike's parents are in there now?"
Red nodded. "It's been almost two hours."
"And you're still hanging out here shivering, for what?"
Red shifted uncomfortably and looked at his shoes. "I'm working for tips."
"Half now, half later?"
"Something like that."
Sapphire smiled. "So you've got some money in your pocket, huh? Why don't you let me warm you up a little, Red honey?"
Red blushed. "I can't. Like I said, I have to stay --"
She rolled her eyes and took his hand. "Don't trouble your mind, sugar. I know a little place we can go out back; then, after, we can go inside and find Mike together. He trusts me. It'll be cool. His folks'll think you're a hero."
Red attempted to consider this proposal objectively as his penis hardened.
"Okay. Let's go," he decided.
Sapphire led the way into the alley beside Coriander's. The bouncer's narrow eyes followed them. As they turned the corner he withdrew a telephone from his pocket and unfolded it against his cauliflowered left ear.