I might add more to these, might not.
"Okay- how about this? Bedtime story."
I began to object, but he placed an ashen-smelling finger over my mouth.
"Uh-uh. No objections. You'll like it, probably. Promise. Okay...let's see."
He sat a while, cross-legged on the stool next to my bed, bouncing one shoe as he mused a topic. His long-fingered hands traced down his sides, and his right stopped at his pocket. And then, I could tell. No, nothing changed in his expression. There was no dramatic shift in lighting. But something was different in him, something sparked behind his eyes, and he began with a twitch of his lips.
"There was once a king's son. Heir to a Northern ice kingdom, filled with arrogance and bloated with money. He was from one of those places where royalty were still gods."
"He ordered for a town to be constructed, just for his leisure. The whole thing would reminisce of a Venice waterway, but with the buildings made of different coloured wax, and the waterways flooded with the purest alcohol."
"It was essentially a doomed concept from the beginning. But it was widely known that if you told the Prince something he didn't like, no matter if it was truth or a lie, he'd execute you. So, no one disputed, and the town was created."
He took a pouch out of his pocket, and began to sift tobacco onto a rolling paper.
"It...worked better than expected. The weather ensured the wax didn't soften and little alcohol had to be replaced. Delicate and gorgeous wax boats sped the rich and their whores down the canals, coddled with furs, casually sipping alcohol, refilling with ease from the bounty of the waterways".
"All records paint it as a beautiful flagship. Ice orchestras, blue orchids, cold sunlight and the aurora filtering through the wax. The problem came with the arrival of a sought after import, previously unknown to the dwellers of the kingdom."
He rubbed the paper between his thumbs to even out the contents.
"Tobacco caught on quickly. These were the vapid rich; to them anything that caused a rush, however fleeting, was snapped up with gusto. But one day, the prince himself dropped a match into the waterway."
He licked the length of the paper, and rolled it with a flourish.
"The whole town set aflame in seconds. The waxen dolls-houses doubled over and dripped into an overlapping, colourful oblivion. Most of the corpses were drowned in the stuff, furs, cocktail glasses and all."
He took that moment to light the cigarette of his own. He took a drag, and grinned, smoke trickling from his dead lips. The facade of the story teller was now gone, and now here he was again.
"...and that's why we don't play with fire. Night, kitten."
"But, how did you come to that story?".
He lingered in the doorway a moment, still smoking. Half of his face basked in candlelight, the other was hidden.
"Maybe I made it up. Maybe I heard it on one of my travels. Guess you'll never know."
And then, in an instant, he was gone and the candle was out, and I was left lying in the dark thinking of smoke and ice.