Opium – Barbara Lovric

She wore a black dress and Opium. Nothing else. Not even shoes as she tottered along the edge of the balcony, empty bottle dangling from vodka-floppy fingers. Music like champagne bubbles drifted from the loft.

“What’s the view like, Em?” he said from a silver chair, legs stretched before him, tuxedo lapels shining in the moonlight like bat wings.

“The stars are bigger. Closer. I almost feel I could touch them…” She stretched. Strained against the metal railing which dug into her thigh. The vodka bottle slipped from her fingers. It seemed forever before they heard the crash.

“Hope that wasn’t my car, Em. I’ve grown quite fond of it.”

She giggled. “You’ve had it for a week.”

“Longer than most things,” he said and lit a cigarette, his smoke rings expanding like moon halos around her swaying figure.

“Do you love me, Ian?”

“Always and forever,” he said, watching her legs. It was somewhere between late and early and mist had begun to collect on the guardrail. He’d had just enough scotch to be unalarmed but not enough to forget she was there.

“I will be a star someday, won’t I, Ian? I’ll shine so bright, so hard, so long.” She stretched one arm and leg like a ballerina.

“Muffin, you’re already a star.” he said and yawned. There was nothing tragic about her. No haunted past, no rapey cousin, not even a dead dog. She was just a pretty thing, shining brightly like all the other stars in the sky.

“Look, Ian,” she said, smack haze lifting from her voice, “a shooting star.”

“Catch it.” He told her. “Make a wish. All your dreams will come true.”

She laughed, then leapt. “I got it, Ian,” she said as she fell with a flutter. Not like a sparrow but a crow. Swallowed by the mist, it was forever before he heard the crash.

Hope that wasn’t my car, he thought and lit another cigarette.



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Bio: Barbara Lovric is an emerging writer originally from America but living in Ireland some 20 years. She has had recent work in The Fiction Pool and The Incubator and was recently shortlisted for the Over the Edge New Writer of the Year award. She runs a local writers group and is a former Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair winner.




Image: Dozen

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