The clock on Harvey's wall struck ten, ten at night, two hours late. It wasn’t as if he had a deadline, there was no one at home warming his bed, no one waiting to fill his growling stomach when he forgot to himself. The disheveled man reached into his vest pocket, holding a bent cigarette between two fingers. He raised the hand rolled stick to his lips, puffing it to life with the strike of a match and the sigh of another empty night.
The lonely fool turned his eyes to the window on his door, staring at the mirrored name plastered across the dusty glass, his own. No shadows graced the door, no eyes peered through the window, nor did they very often. His blue-eyed gaze sank from his own name to where another once rested, scraped off haphazardly to leave the space vacant.
Recollection might have found him, had he not been stolen away by the heat at his fingers.
What remained of the cigarette dropped to the floor to lie on a bed of white ash, burned to the filter as it hung forgotten between his fingers. Another hopeless sigh, joined with a groan as he bent low to pluck the spent joint from the wooden floor. Without thinking he lit another, leaving this one between his teeth as he watched the city sky instead.
The only thing waiting for him at home was a shower, and clothes; something he could handle in the morning. Instead he dipped his hand into his desk drawer, liberating a bottle of gin from between folders of old cases. The first drops of a night storm tapped against the windows, something that always comforted him.
He saw the rain as many do a blanket, it pulled you in, into yourself; for him it made him feel secure. The chair creaked when he finally managed to push himself to his feet and make his way to the window, hoping to watch as the waters in the harbour came alive with the storm. With the tip of one finger, he traced the design of a symbol he’d seen here and there, why did he find himself doing so?
Why draw this simple star with its queer spiral in the centre? Something about it clung to him, many a times he’d seen it out of the corner of his eye on brick walls or carved into a bench. Places you’d walk past and never notice. Tired, defeated eyes stared at the symbol for a moment before it was swept out of sight and mind with the edge of his hand.
It could wait until tomorrow, couldn't it?
At that moment, somewhere across the lit up town, high up in what was once a high rise apartment building, Jessica's long lashed eyes fluttered closed to the sounds of the radio crackling in the corner, from where a woman's voice prettily cooed a decidedly melancholy tune.
"What lonely hours, the evening shadows bring.."
Drip, drip, drip.
She cracked one eye open in the darkness of her home, watching the diamond droplets land with soft splashes into the pot set down to stop the persistent leaking of her ceiling in the light of the last few dying candles.
"What lonely hours, with memories lingering.."
She'd felt it all evening, felt the storm brewing way beyond the clouds, she had known it was coming well before the first terrific crack of thunder caressed the outside of her windows. The earth was angry, and Jessica was unsure of what action to take. She had decided it was best to simply let it pass.
She stood, standing and padding across the room on painted toes to sit before the large mirror leant up against the wall. "What a night, lună." She mused aloud, sinking in her nightgown of silk and lace, her thick curls bunching up behind her head on the armchair.
She was used to her solitude, preferred it- the men outside of her world were cruel, they were hunters- and she and her girls were the beautiful, dangerous wild animals they sought to tame with children and ovens. Her doe eyed gaze strayed to the double doors across the room, as her nimble fingers began undoing the buttons that spanned the entire length of her night gown.
The world outside seemed to explode just as Jessica stepped barefoot out onto the rooftop overgrown with weeds and tall plants that seemed to climb and climb forever, high up into the blackening clouds. Wild flowers grew along the stone walls that made a small box atop the building.
A blanket of rain drops came showering down in full force, immediately soaking the dark skinned woman who had long since left the silky article behind indoors, letting it crumple forgotten to the white washed floor boards.
She raised her arms with a gasp at the cold water hitting her bare skin, looking up at the moon that soon shone down in full, ivory fingers of cloud filtered light reaching down to embrace the woman in soft light as she twisted and twirled well into the night, her body carried by the violent music that was the storm.
Some time while she was otherwise engaged, a note sealed with red wax was slipped beneath her front door, bearing the name "Serafina."