Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Ashes Ashes

The morning starts with; a loud ringing in my ear. Blindly, I grope for my cellphone, grabbing it and flipping it open on the fourth ring, "Hello?" I grumble. The shrill voice on the other end of the line reveals who is calling without even needing to check caller ID- Nancy, my boss.
"Charlie! Hi! I know you're probably on your way, but I don't need you to come in for prep work this morning. Howard is covering you," She says quickly, too quick for me to understand it all for about thirty seconds.
"Oh, great," Sure, yeah, I was on the way, "Tell Howie I said thanks." I say through a yawn.
"Alright, have a great one, Char!"
Ugh, it irks me when my boss calls me by my nickname. Only people like Rose can do that.
I yawn. 9:45am. It's too damn early to be awake without caffeine in my veins.

After stumbling into the kitchen, only to discover that I was fresh out of coffee grounds, my shoes are being tied lazily, my lipstick applied, and I'm out the door. The 72 is just across the street, so when I have enough money, I grab coffee in there. The whole place is dark green and grimy, with big booths and a bar with padded stools that wobble a little too much to be considered stable. It's quaint, though. Kind of a happy place, where I can enjoy some watery coffee without being bothered. Well, usually I wasn't bothered, but today was a bit of a change. It starts when a man, all wrapped up in bandages, wearing a hospital gown, sits down next to me at the bar.

"What happened to you?" Ok. So I'm a little rude before I've had my coffee, but after looking that guy up and down I have to ask.
"Accident with a fire..." He says grimly.
"Well...sorry." I dismiss him quickly, having gotten all the information I wanted.
"It wasn't an accident." His voice gives me shivers. Why does this dude sound like some sort of prophet from a horror movie? He drops his head down and turns his dark eyes towards me. When I remain silent, he continues, "My daughter died in a fire, but not the same fire. The same flame, though..."
"Listen, man. I'm sorry about your daughter, but why the hell are you telling me all this?"
"The clock is ticking," He starts to repeat in a sing-songy voice, "They're gonna come and get me, 'cause I'm gonna bleed out my arms and my feet." He laughed/
"Wow, dude, wha-" My stool squeaks as I jump up.
"You're who I've got to tell before they come back and take me to hell."
At that, I hear an ambulance siren. Before I know it, paramedics are rusing into The 72, and taking the burnt man away. He doesn't resist, just smiles at me. "Ashes, ashes, we all fall down..."

I find myself staring at the door minutes after he is gone.

That night I dream about fire colored hair, and stars fading from red to purple. I see sparks and wake up in a sweat. I walk to my window, opening it for some air. Walking down the street, towards the graveyard, is a young girl with violet hair. Her hair is the same color as my dreams.