The Blood Red Ruby

I thought I’d post a little writing from one of my published stories. This is the open scene for ‘The Blood Red Ruby’ in May-December’s ‘Midnight Movie Creature Feature 2’.

The Blood Red Ruby
By D. Alan Lewis

December, 1935

She smelled nice and looked at me with big round eyes that held such innocence that I couldn’t imagine she was in the line of work that required her clothing to litter the floor. The red dress clung tight to her curves but even more so as she slid into the booth across from me. She was just another working girl, looking for a score, but she was new to Jerry’s. Having spent most of the past four years living in whatever bottle was the cheapest, I’d gotten to know the girls who worked the nearby corners and frequented this dive.

“Hope you don’t mind, but I need to get off me feet and all the stools was taken.” Her lips were painted cherry red and talking wasn’t what they did best. She squinted when I didn’t answer. “You have … you have nice eyes. But they look so sad, so empty.”

“Look around, pumpkin,” I replied and took a long sip of my whiskey. “Everyone in here has that look. Some lost everything in ’29. Some are lonely. Some just can’t bare living without a little assistance” I raised my glass at the last part and took another sip. Her eyes glanced around, nervously. She was as much a hooker as I was. A little girl lost in the big city with no job, no man, and no cash. I’d seen it a hundred times, but she had something different. She had eyes that made a man want to talk to her, had looks that made a man want to hold her, and was as innocent as the snow. But in this city, even the whitest snow tinged as soon as it hit the grime of the streets.

Her eyes studied my glass. The amber liquid looked inviting but tasted like a dog’s butt. I noticed the trembling hands as she tried to make herself look comfortable. She was young and stupid and desperate. I knew what she wanted and it wasn’t providing the usual service. I nodded to the bar-keep, pointed to the glass and held up two fingers.

“So … what made your life so…” she shifted about, searching for a word that she hoped wouldn’t insult me. I found it amusing, but decided to help the poor thing out.

“Empty?” She nodded and I continued. “Hun, that is a long story and something that’ll keep you up at night.”

“Scary?” she asked as our drinks were placed in front of us. She looked at her glass apprehensively, but I wasn’t sure if it was the alcohol or my words that had her bothered. Those beautiful eyes turned and looked me over, studying what type of man I was. “Can I hear it? Your story, I mean. I … I really don’t want to go back out tonight.”

“I’ll tell you, but you need to understand that it is the truth, every word.” Again, she nodded. “It may have been four years ago, but I feel like that night aged me; turned me old before my time. I’ve never seen the world the same since.”
                        If you want to hear his story, you’ll have to buy the book.


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