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INSTEAD OF INTRODUCTION

by Len Grossman 8 months ago in fiction

(Longer Than Life Story)

Image Rose by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

- A secret!- he said, and sarcastic smile touched the corners of his lips. - A secret!

He gifted me with a single look. It was a short but exceptionally sober look, kind of evaluation of how much I worth on the scale of the most spiritual preferences of this world.

The evaluation ended with another smile. At this time it said something, like: “Well, I would be surprised to find that you want something different!” Right after that he comes to the cart. It’s both floors sending cold sunbeams of metal luster into my eyes. A cart was densely stuffed with the bottles of the most rare wines I’ve ever saw.

- Lenox Madeira, I believe? — he asked.- A collection of 1796?

- Only if you’ll going to plant a slightest cut of the lime on top of the glass,- I answered.

- Of course!- he said, and took an old looking bottle with too old looking label on it. I’ve paid attention, even the sound of the wine poured into crystal glass was in a tone with his voice.

I was surprised he was able to keep the weight and the volume of the bottle in his hand. It sinks in a bit behind the seen deeps of the cylinder made out of glass but didn’t disappear inside of them.

The magic lasts seconds, and ended with a gesture trained for years by the guys close to the circle of the most famous close-up magicians. Finally, he hoisted a piece of the wet lime on top of the glass, and turn it to me.

I was impressed, once again: his hand was able to keep the glass made out of the heavy crystal almost perfectly. Although I’ve paid attention to the fact that to make in happened, his thumb touched the wine inside of the glass. Or did it just seems to me?

- Enjoy.

- Thank you…

I tried do not hurry with testing. I knew, he is looking now on the way I am able to handle the weight of the glass. But it is three month almost passed since I’ve heard the words of the very last prayer dedicated to me.

“Ashes to ashes…” — the priest said.

Now I wasn’t sure, if he add something to that. Anyway, even if it was the case, for some reason, I don’t remember the very last words he said.

No, I didn’t forget he is still looking at me. Who knows the answer on what question he tried to find in my face. Maybe, the eternal one: to hire this guy to be a ghostwriter or to skip it for now, and gift such an opportunity to somebody who is able to handle a glass with noble wine incomparably better?

“Just don’t hurry”,- I’ve said to myself. — “Play it like all you have in a glass is a couple of sips of cold water.”

So, I’ve smell it firstly, while making sure my face doesn’t betray me. I hope, I am still looking in his eyes like a good guy — the one that is used to be bored with the most expensive things on the Earth, starting with Lenox Madeira.

Finally, I’ve taste the wine. Judging by my face, everybody would get a simple thing: it is, definitely, a famous Lenox Madeira, made not in 1797, or in 1795 but, exactly, in the year of 1796!

I’ve played it like I am sipping the same stuff every mornings as only I get out of the bed and before even to proceed to the restroom just to make sure: the very first drops from my soft faucet smell and look gorgeous and noble.

- So, if I did not forget,- he said,- we are talking about a secret. A secret of become successful writer… I hope you wouldn’t mind if I’ll tell you the truth.

I’ve kept a silence. I tried do not to miss even a single word from what he was about to open.

- So, here we go. You cannot find anything somehow profitable during your searches. And I am talking about the searches you spent a number of years for. And I am talking about the years of training. Or years of free writing to make sure your words are smoothly pouring out of your heart like the wine from the bottle.

He raised the glass up to his lips but suddenly changed his mind and put the glass back on the table. Now I was able to see a wonderful nutty tone of a varnish coating on the table through his hand.

- Anything we can account as somehow useful things on the way to become a well paid writer mean nothing from perspective of a result. It would be a mistake to think that you can find such a secret during the searches for better plot or by tightening a circle of the best characters.

As a matter of fact, you are not able, and even never will be able, to find a little thing we are talking about. It has to find you, instead, and only when it happened — lucky you! —you will be able to tell yourself that this reward was well deserved. Other words, the only way to deserve such a level of achievements is to become, I would say, a toy. A toy in the hands of the fortune… And only when you’ll be able to prove: you put all you have at stake without leaving anything for tomorrow, you’ll, finally, get it. And it will looks and sounds like this. He snapped with two fingers like he was in need to call somebody. I saw a shadow of delight on his face. It was obvious, he likes this well sounded gesture.

- So, if I would ask you to draw the line under the total, how it would looks like?

He looked around to make sure no one was able to overhear us.

- It is, — he whispered,-in a niche.

- Did you say, in a niche?

- That is correct. It is in a niche you are writing about. Niche is the only thing that is counted as a result, and nothing can be compared with it! Other words, the rare it is, the more benefits you can get. Trust me, I know what I am talking about.

And he gifted a park that belong to him, a park that lasts till horizon with all those fountains and coffee rooms, and tropical islands for a winter time, and

horse dressage fields,- a park that welcomed his Medieval mansion so easily, so readily, so greatly.

- Are you sure, this is the only secret of the writers’ success?

- There is nothing else could be compared with it. Not even close. Even to you, who is starting your way to the top with quite modest set of skills — while looking for a celebrity to write his memoirs instead of him as a ghostwriter.

- OK, I got it. The only question that is left me to ask is what niche you are going to use for now? Or is it a biggest from all of your secrets?

- Are you hoping to compete with me by writing in the same niche as I am? Don’t you afraid to be killed just because of the secret you want me to reveal to you?

I was about to say that to be killed is not the biggest from all of my concerns, and for quite obvious reason, but he didn’t let me do that.

He is just decided to show me how easy for him to kill somebody as insufficient as me, and he smiled while pointing a finger into direction of my chest, and, finally, he snapped with two fingers like he made a shot.

Nobody died at this time. To my surprise, somebody come up as a devil out of the box, instead.

It was a girl. A good one. Seems like she just got out of the bed, and forgot to exchange something transparently nocturnal thrown over her shoulders. To me, it was equally easy to see almost anything through her impressive outcome in a pare with even more exiting view through her skin.

- Are you familiar with my wife? — he asked.

- Who is not had a chance to see on the TV screen the wife of the most successful writer of our time? I do familiar with her. I mean, the way the most of us are. In absentia,- I said.

She came to me so close that I can smell the waves of the perfume weakly but perceptibly radiated from her navel. And that wasn’t the only things I’ve able to see. I am talking about an evenly cut strip of hair started just below her navel. And from there comes the smell of another perfume — the one that worries and agitates the wild male soul even more.

She wearied a chiffon robe so thin and transparent that I was barely able to see it.

He came to her, take her hand, and kissed it. There were no any feeling written on his face.

- How was your night?- he asked.

- Keeping in mind the distance between our bedrooms, horrible as always. You snored like you drank a bucket of cheap champagne.

She take my hand, come closer, and touched with my fingers her nipples.

- Do you snoring as loud as this dork?- she asked.

- Only when the woman asked me to do that,- I’ve answered.

She smiled rewardingly.

- Will we have to wait for a while till the sun will go down, and my husband will get drunk again?

I didn’t answer.

She unzipped fly and drowned her palm in my jeans.

- Let me see, what we have here, — she said, and her eyes start to fade out and blend with pallor of her cheeks.

- Am I bothering too much to both of you?- asked him.

- Don’t worry, — she said,- we are about to go to my bedroom, anyway.

After that she turned to me.

- Are you afraid of the jealousy of my dork?- she asked, while looking at me inquisitively.

- Well, before we met, I was planned to do a piece of work for him,- I’ve answered.

- What work?

- Ghostwriting work for celebrity. It is promising an attentive acceptance to my first book — the one that I haven’t wrote yet.

- And now, after getting familiar with me, do you planning to do something better than slaving for month while working for somebody instead of for yourself?

- I am… I am… You right, I do.

- Good. Let’s go to my bedroom to have something better than trying to pass an interview to be chosen become a ghostwriter. Isn’t it always better?

- It is, definitely, so!

- Let’s go than.

His hand pushed apart the bottles on the cart, and seconds later I had a chance to see a reason for such a strange move. Now a gun of a black steel is appeared in his hands.

- If you’ll make a single step to the direction she told you about, both of us — my wife and me will have one more dead body to take care of,- he said.

- Cannot recall where and when I’ve heard exactly the same phrase before,- I’ve noted. — And have a chance to see the same gun. It, definitely, looks familiar to me… Let me guess… Glock 19-th, I believe? Didn’t you find it too compact for any serious job?

- Don’t even doubt, it is worth the money I’ve paid for it. Do you want to have a prove of it right in front of your eyes?

- Well, there not much of anything new you will be able to show me, anyway, -I’ve answered.

- Tell me better if you are going to go with her to the bedroom? If you do, something horrible is going to happened.

- You mean, for the second time? Isn’t it boring to say the least? OK, here is a deal, I can stop to follow her right now but only if you’ll offer me your the most well kept secret.

- Is it about the niche I am going to publish something written by you?

- Yes, it is.

He think for a couple of seconds.

- OK, I’ll do it. So, don’t forget to keep your promise.

- I will not.

- Well, in a couple of words, we are talking about ghost stories written by ghostwriters been killed by the ghosts. Yes, the ghostwriters like you killed by the ghosts like me.

- Don’t want to hide it: sounds promising. It is the most rare niche from all of them I’ve ever heard of!

- I’m sorry, girl, — I said to his wife. — I am not the one who is ready to forget the business to pursue the love, instead.

- Does that mean that you refuses to go with her into the bedroom?- he asked.

- That exactly what it is.

- Well the only thing that is mean to me that all you deserve is this little thing, — he said while pointing the barrel into my chest, and pulled the trigger.

The shot was aloud. She screamed intensively. The bullet went through my body without bringing any harm to it. There is no surprises, if you are dead, already, nobody able to made anything bad to you.

- You know what,- I said.- I’ll take it like a starting point for the very first ghost story I’ll wrote for you!

- No.- he said. — I am sorry but I cannot miss a pleasure to kill you, once again. Or to play it this way, to say at least. Among other things that is mean, it would be much better idea if you’ll go to the bedroom with her. Now. I said, now!

What you can do against unlimited stupid but brute force? I’ve picked up the girl, slapped her in her ass, and said with the most optimistic tone of the voice:

- In such a circumstances, I am ready to follow you, dear, all the way to my death!

She looked at me intently. The question melted in her eyes.

- Does that mean that you want me to be exact in all of my sayings?

She nodded.

- I mean, all the way to my second death. Do you like it better?

She smiled to me. Graciously.

I could not fail girlish expectations. And I didn’t say anything in addition to what is, already, been said. I just unzipped the fly on my jeans, instead.

fiction
Len Grossman
Len Grossman
Read next: A Night at the Theatre
Len Grossman

A lifetime lover of all things supernatural, mysterious and seductive in the field of fiction, in his spare time, Len writes stories about strange things that happen between an ordinary man and his not so ordinary woman.

See all posts by Len Grossman

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