|City In Heat (standard:drama, 1379 words)|
|Author: Bobby Zaman||Added: Jun 15 2002||Views/Reads: 1871/1116||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Now these hot days is the mad blood stirring.|
CITY IN HEAT by Bobby Zaman The woman crosses Lincoln Avenue in a lazy and relaxed stride and drivers on the road have no problem slowing down and letting her pass. She's quite a sight. The late afternoon sun is graciously highlighting her jet-black mane and her flapping red dress stops just above the knees keeping her well-shaped legs exposed. She scans the strip of bars for some moments, and then continuing her languid walk eases into a chair outside the Red Lion pub. She sits facing the sun. A light film of sweat makes her skin glisten under the golden, late-afternoon rays. The Marine takes his eyes off the TV above the bar and peers outside through the set of glass doors that have been left open letting an occasional cool breeze stream in and revive the air of the packed barroom. He sees the woman as she settles in her seat and slides her sunglasses up and fixes them in the midst of her thick curls. Charles doesn't like that the Three Penny has merged with the craze of mainstream commercial films and dropped the art films it used to show round the year, and he could spend whole summer afternoons inside the air conditioned theatre. The only feature he cared for since the removal of the art films was A Beautiful Mind. He checks the posters just in case they'd gone back, but is disappointed at the billing because what's displayed is his idea of trash. He wants to be inside, in the cool comfort. He doesn't have air conditioning or a fan in his apartment. It got hot and suffocating the night before and gave him a treacherous headache. His unit heats up easily because it's on the third floor and faces east. His shoulders sag and he wipes his forehead with the back of his hand. He starts walking along the strip. Charles likes summer, even though hot weather keeps him perpetually nauseous and wreaks havoc on his appetite, for which he looks nothing short of a walking carcass by the end of the season. While she waits for her drink, the woman tilts her head back and rests it against the back of her chair. The sun feels good on her neck and face. The Marine asks for a refill. A good buzz is settling in. He always finds himself more confident and eloquent after a few beers. Thirteen cruisers, with screeching sirens and throbbing lights atop, converge in front of a three-story apartment building in Roger's Park. Swarms of blue-clad boys and girls spill out, wielding guns and clubs and barking into walkie-talkies. A red-faced Sergeant, too large for his shirt, surrounded by detectives, is standing by the entrance to the building guiding the SWAT team that is snaking its way up the stairs to apartment 309. The young man that has his terrified girlfriend and whimpering daughter pinned and tied against a wall with a shotgun pointed at their bodies was a high-school football star and several colleges, including one Ivy League recruiter, had seen him in action and offered him full scholarships. He knew police had the entire block surrounded and men and women were sitting at bars and restaurants watching the live televised broadcast. The Eisenhower Expressway mirrors a parking lot, with bits of mirages pinched between vehicles. Traffic choppers hover above like scavengers. Cars edge along less than an inch at a time. Heads pop out of driver's side windows to see what's creating the congestion. The well-dressed yuppie's had a bad day. He got laid off fifteen minutes after showing up for work, picked up a phone with trembling hands and relayed the news to his fiancÃ© in search of empathy, and was summarily told that the engagement was off. Goodbye. Her words play back in his head like the schoolyard taunts that spewed out of tormenting little brats because he was fat and pimple-faced throughout his childhood. Click here to read the rest of this story (94 more lines)
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