The Indie Showcase Presents, Daniel Loebl

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For this, the first Showcase of 2019, I have a short story for you from Daniel Loebl.

Short Stories by Daniel Loebl





D. R. Lumiere is the writing pseudonym for Daniel Loebl. Daniel lives in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He has written essays, short stories and plays.  


He has a blog at https://www.patreon.com/loebldaniel

His Amazon author page is here: https://www.amazon.com/D.-R.-Lumiere/e/B00G774WMM/

His Novel, The Toronovsky Collection, is available at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00G626UQE/

Daniel’sFacebook page is here, reader’s comments are welcome: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100012294333534

He is currently working on a second novel and a short story collection, of which Every Week, On Mondays is a part.


Every Week, On Mondays

By Daniel Rene Lumiere

It was a Monday evening in New York and I was stranded on a part of town I didn’t know. My dinner appointment was cancelled and it was getting dark. My phone’s battery was dead and it looked like it might start to rain at any time. The streets were empty. I had taken a wrong turn somewhere in my search for a subway station. I wandered through desolate streets with boarded up homes, trash bags waiting to be collected and the odd feral cat moving about. The humid air hung heavier than normal as I turned a corner into what looked like an empty lot. There was a building there, it looked likea narrow house with a tilted roof that had landed in the middle of an empty lot. A neon sign called ‘Open’. The door was open and above it, written in black letters burned on an ancient piece of oak, were the words: The Grisly Hand.

Rain began to cascade down. I climbed the steps to the entryway. A piece of paper with multiple dancing fonts proclaimed the imminent show by Mordar The Magnificent: Every week, on Mondays (two drinks minimum required). I thought I should just turn around and avoid the entire place. Part of my brain was screaming: This is New York. Better be Careful. If it could have screamed it in all caps, I am sure it would have.

I walked into the Grisly Hand. I noticed I was holding my breath. This was in part because of fear but also because of the strange smell that greeted me: stale beer, mixed with something wafting from what turned out to be just an old deep fryer.

A bartender cleaned a glass behind the counter. Neon signs advertising beers and whisky dangled behind him at strange angles. The chairs at the bar were focused on a small, semi-circular stage at the back. Dim bulbs fell from the ceiling, only stopped by dusty, brown wires.  Every chair was taken by someone who looked very expensive. Everyone had their two beers on their tables. I walked to the bar and asked for a beer. The bartender handed me two full glasses: I had to fulfill my minimum. He said nothing as he took my money and did not give me back change. I wasn’t about to argue with him about it. I carried my drinks to the nearest table, away from the stage. A thin woman dressed in a liquid sparklywhite dress turned to look at me and smiled.

I smiled and raised one of my glasses half-way. She nodded and turned back to look at the stage. A gong rang. It was10:30 pm.

The lights in the bar didn’t change, but somehow the red curtain behind the stage seemed brighter, almost wet. A small man wearing a crumpled tuxedo stepped forward through the curtain. The paper stars glued to the curtain trembled in his path. Mordar was bald, had a wideblack moustache, and when he smiled he let us see the gold teeth that decorated the back of his mouth. I caught a whiff of whisky coming out of his mouth and nose, together with a stale, almost-had-a-cold scent.

He started on his act right away. It was easy to see why he performed at such a venue. He couldn’t disguise the thin copper wires needed to make some of the playing cards appear and disappear from different parts of his tux. He kept dropping the small red balls he tried to squeeze into his hands. He meant to do the trick where you juggle three or more rings separately and they end up all together in a chain, but he dropped one of the rings and when he bent down to pick it up he let out a loud and full belch.

The audience applauded with abandon. I touched my hands politely to each other. After every half-done trick, The Magnificent Mordar bent forward to thank his adoring audience.

I finished my first beer and started on the second one. I hoped to be drinking what everyone else was drinking and see what they saw.

Suddenly, the lights dimmed but the stage seemed brighter. Mordar stood as far forward on the stage as he could. He took a pair of white cotton gloves from his pockets and put them on. The audience gasped. A man laughed to himself. The woman with the liquid dress turned to me and nodded with squinty eyes. Mordar loosened his shoulders, ran his hands over his bald head, and let his arms fall to their sides.

Mordar squeezed a small painful scream. He closed his eyes tightly and aimed his gaze up toward the filthy ceiling where the beer signs hung above him. I raised my glass to take a drink and stopped midway. Mordar was suddenly taller. His head rose above the glued stars on the curtain behind him. But he wasn’t taller. He floated up away from the stage. One of his shoes almost tipped someone’s glass at their table. The audience watched in reverence. Mordar floated above us. He swayed slightly as he passed over each table. The hairs at the back of my neck stood up.

Mordar came back down on the stage. He was covered in sweat. Mordar The Magnificent bowed once to his audience, took two steps back and disappeared behind the curtain. Everyone, as if responding to a silent command, got up and filed out of the Grisly Hand. On their way out, they put fat money rolls into a jar set up by the door. I put down as many bills as I had. I walked back out into the streets I had walked earlier, but I didn’t recognize them. I found myself smiling deeply and able to see deep into the lights all around me without fear. Without knowledge. In blessed silence.

~~~~

Thanks, Daniel for a great post. I hope you all enjoyed it.

While you’re here, why not have a look around the site? There are FREE things and a whole lot more, just follow the links at the top of the page.

If you want to be featured in a future Showcase, where you can write about whatever (within reason) you want, then please let me know. Use the comment box below and I’ll get back to you.

You can catch up on previous Showcase posts by clicking HERE

Don’t miss next Thursdays Showcase post, and my musings every Monday.

Have a great week,

Richard.

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