False hugs and latent promises, a precursor to love? Maybe hate? She could never decide. Yet here, in this glorified candlelit pigpen, immune from sirens, horns and streetwise revelry, the old guard are at play.
Leaning on the bar, dressed to the gaudy nines (dressed to the gaudy nines to blend in, no other reason) she watches the smiling priest engage in Russian Roulette. That his opponent is a dextrous devil may care Cross River gorilla in a top hat, an irrelevance to both parties. After the big bang she notes blood and gore obviously, more interesting though, that the dead as dead can be, in foetal position upon the sawdust, corpse that was once a priest still maintains that smile, as the now smug grin gorilla blows away the smoke from the revolver’s firing chamber. It seems that he may have cheated. Still, with no bouncers, no medics, the carcass remains in situ for the duration. Duration of what? Matters not.
In the far corner, by the armless, harmless statue of a very naked Aphrodite, alpha males play poker, they belch frequently, punch their fists upon the card table, take a piss in the shadows and pinch the bottoms of the waitresses as fancy and/or a surfeit of vodka on the rocks takes.
She has never seen these thing previous, never been to this allegedly notorious place before. Just heard of it on the grapevine. Thought she would take a look for herself. Curiosity, yes; ideal location certainly.
“A cormorant drying its wings tells no lies,” so says the one-eyed, bald barman in the patchwork suit.
“Pardon?” she is more than a little confused.
“My gift for the evening. A parable, ‘A cormorant drying its wings tells no lies’…think about it.”
“Cormorants can’t speak, so they can never tell lies…haven’t a clue what you’re on about.”
She ceases to lean on the counter, alights the bar stool with apt modesty, walks over to a makeshift stage. Fours tea chests covered with a large sheet of worn at the edges plywood upon which an anorexic woman of indeterminate age, her virtue preserved by just well-placed peacock feathers, not quite manages to play the off-key accordion.
“Will you accompany me? I need a singer.”
“I can’t sing, sorry. I only came over here to hear you play.”
“That’s what they all say.”
Shortly before the explosion that ripped the place, as well as the planet apart, she had tapped the barman on the shoulder, “Press this button if you’d be so kind.”
“Certainly Ma’am…there, job done…what is the button for by the way?”
“A detonator, nothing more…thanks, must rush.”
Above ground and outside, smothered in blackest soot and rainbow snowflakes a rather pleased with herself fallen angel thanks circumstance that she, the last of her kind alive, indeed the last of all ‘kinds’ had cancelled that appointment to be sterilized.