What if Dreams Come True?
When dusk falls the daytime city fades away. Workplaces, once hives of activity, are swallowed up by shadows as arcs of light sweep across the ancient monuments; their reflections captured by glass monoliths of modernity. From here, on my corner, I watch the nightlife awaken. Coloured neon signs flicker to life; hidden doors are thrown open, shining light across narrow streets as establishments entice their clientele inside. Bursts of laughter break free from a myriad of conversations, merging with the distant hum of traffic rumbling beneath my feet.
From here, I see and hear it all.
As I play my saxophone, the construction site’s red dots blink along the skyline, highlighting the towering cranes and building tops that push forever upwards. They seem to flash along with my music. It’s so cold I can almost see the notes floating upwards towards the ether. Plenty of people rush past me, all hurrying to find some place warm. Nobody notices me. Glancing down at my open music case, all I see is a screwed up train ticket and a sprinkling of change. The only thing I’ll be buying tonight will be served in a polystyrene cup!
I’ve almost played my entire repertoire; there’s only one tune left. My fingers are so cold now I can hardly feel them, let alone move them. My feet are numb and I think they may have frozen to the ground. I bring the saxophone to my lips. My eyes flicker. It’s fitting my final breath should play out as a note; music has been my life. Sound amplifies, swirling around me, until I’m lost in a dizzy haze. When I open my eyes I’m lying on the ground with a man standing over me. He looks familiar, but I can’t quite place him.
“Fancy going somewhere warmer? My sax player’s moved on. I need one for tonight’s gig,” he says.
I can’t believe it! What are the chances? It’s my dream come true. I follow the man to his nightclub. He leads me to a staircase.
The further down we go the hotter it gets. My body tingles as I slowly thaw. I loosen my clothes. I’m starting to sweat under all my layers. We keep going, descending further and further into a cloud of smoke. I smell burning. It worries me, but then I hear the familiar chink of glasses; the murmur of conversation.
The smell of alcohol makes my mouth water, I could do with a drink. The smoke clears, revealing a crammed room. Silence falls, both mine and theirs; the audience is not what I expected. I’m taken aback by the grotesque assortment of creatures staring at me.
“What sort of club is this?” I can barely get the words out.
“Some people call it a Soul club,” he says, with a demonic laugh. “I like to collect them.”
CR Smith is currently working towards a Fine Art degree. CR Smith is passionate about literature, slightly more passionate about art. She can be read on Paragraph Planet, VERStype, Visual Verse, Zero Fiction, The Angry Hour Glass, Microcosms Fic and Ink in Thirds. She has also written a horror story for an anthology called The Infernal Clock, due out in October. You can find her on Twitter:@carolrosalind and Instagram: @smith.cr