Helene’s duct tape repaired cell phone showed 3:27 a.m. She dropped it into her sweaty blue jeans pocket and lifted the rickety elevator. Its’ creaks grew her headache. The door to her loft was open. The body of someone she didn’t know blocked her entry . She shoved through until a guy in his early twenties wearing skinny jeans, eyeliner, and the waft of beer, got up, then fell into her ripped baby blue beanbag.
Helene stepped over empty pizza boxes and dirty clothes. The echoes of kicked liquor bottles bounced off the bare dingy walls. She went to the closest bathroom. The broken mirror over the sink revealed dark circles under her eyes and a perpetual frown. Helene looked for aspirin but found only a newly filled penicillin prescription made out to her roommate, Darcy Bridges. She peered into Darcy’s room and saw her half naked, asleep, in the arms of a man.
Her head pulsed as she walked in her room. She turned to lock the door but the lock was broken.
Helene peeled off her boots and damp socks then fell into her dingy twin sized bed. She reached into her backpack and took out the mail she picked up downstairs. The second envelope read eviction notice. Darcy hadn’t paid rent in two months. Helene rolled over in bed throwing closed fists into the air. A large cockroach scurried out of the boxsprings. Helene shuddered. The business card she was given in the bar rubbed against her waist. Helene took out her broken phone and dialed. He answered on the second ring.
“Hey, it’s Helene Troy. You said you’re a night owl so is this cool?.”
He laughed and turned down some innocous background pop music.
“I’m working, Helene. I ’m in the studio til 6 in the morning with a couple of players. It’s on 12th avenue above the Kippers bakery, across from the Fire Station. The building number is 23. It’s the loft on the top floor. We’re just playing. You want to come over a make some music?”
The question seemed unsettling to a normal person. To a starving musician who soon would have no place to live, the inquiry fit.
“Yeah, I’ll bring my acoustic and some notebooks of stuff I’ve written. I’ll be there in 20 minutes.”
Helene gathered her backpack, boots and guitar case. She walked through the loft over to the tiny kitchen area. Inside the refridgerator were two Pabst Blue Ribbon quart sized beers.
“Oh good god, she brought hipsters over.”
She picked up one of the quarts, opened it with her teeth, and began guzzling. The guy in skinny jeans on the beanbag rose. He scratched his wild black hair and looked at Helene.
“Where am I?”
Helene kept drinking and stared at his unkemptness. She placed the beer on the counter and took out a small pocket knife from her backpack.
“My apartment, uninvited by me. Get out before you bleed out.”
He grumbled something vulgar and walked away from the loft. She put the knife away. Beer started filling her throat again. She felt her edginess leaving. Helene ignored another cockroach crawling across the kitchen area floor. She finished the quart and walked out. She took the stairs to avoid the unwanted houseguest in the elveator. Helene made it to the building side door and opened it to into the street.
The coolness of the early morning relaxed her as much as the beer. She took the pocket knife out of her backpack, curled it up in her left hand, and walked, pensively into the darkness.
*blogger’s note*- Here is my response to The Red Dress Club’s Red writing Hood challenge – write 600 words on something out of your comfort zone. This is part of something I’m working on. Right now it’s the beginning of a short story or a novella about a female indie rock musician. You can also read it here: http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/the-ballad-of-helene-troy/ I’m a music freak and just started learning electric guitar. So, there’s part of the motivation.
Today’s song was what prompted the tone of this. I play Long Day by Matchbox Twenty at least 3 times a week. Helene probably would too. Here’s Long Day-