Page 66…. in a fiction series
From the sidewalk Miranda saw fire in the distance, the flaming stacks of the Ford River Rouge plant. The plumes rose high above the Detroit River and lit up the sky like demons in flight. She watched as the silhouettes of tired workers walked to and fro, their loads of iron, limestone, and coal feeding the furnaces, their fat bellies gorging in the night. Even though the towers hadn’t been active in years, the dellusion seduced her.
The furnace throats screamed with laughter, sending their flames even higher. She stood at the entrance to Castle Rouge, a place far more daunting than her law office pals let on. The portico, of sorts, was a remnant from an ancient warehouse abandoned long ago, the door of steel painted red with no window. The building was bordered by empty row houses along a dusty road, the kind of neighborhood where if someone screamed, no one would hear.
Like the flames on the river, Castle Rouge had a strange appeal. It fueled Miranda’s racing mind, the roaring furnace inside her. With her gaze fixed upon the flaming mirage, the man in the velvet cloak disappeared, leaving her alone on the sidewalk. An unusual smell lingering behind him.
Miranda’s judgement smoldered in the ashes, a dog barked in the distance. On the sidewalk a man on a leash approached on all fours. He wore a rubber mask in the likeness of Bill Clinton and little else. An attractive woman with raven hair held the other end. The couple seemed at ease with their shocking appearance. The female opened the door, admonishing her pet to wait behind her. Miranda took a deep breath, a foolish chance, and followed them in..
Even before her eyes adjusted to the dark, she found her way to the bar, an instinctive behavior learned over time. She might have prayed, that might have helped, but manic people, or worse yet, people segueing into a mixed state, just don’t do that. They just don’t.
She might have called someone who cared for her, even under these shameful circumstances. Her parents would have helped, but that was out of the question. She had them fooled long ago. There was Tiller, but he would have been so disappointed. And of course there was Drew Becker, her one true friend, the only person she really trusted. Maybe she would tell him about this place someday, but not tonight. She left her cell phone in her hotel room on purpose.
To be continued…
*This story is based on some true events, however, has been fictionalized and all persons appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real people, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
© 2012, Shoes for an Imaginary Life. All rights reserved.