The Beveled Glass


I finally finished another draft of a story and am ready to move on to a new project. But before I do, I thought I would share an excerpt with my readers. This story is my attempt to pay homage the old detective stories and to write in my interpretation of the Gothic genre.

I don’t normally do this because it’s hard to protect written content on the internet. But here goes.
NOTE: Content may not be appropriate for all readers.
All content is © to the author of Writer Vs World and should remain attached to my blog name.

The Absinthe Drinker by  Victor Oliva
The Absinthe Drinker by Victor Oliva

The Beveled Glass

Cold ground. Biting wind. It made my eyes stream. I paused in the street. Perhaps the liquor on the shelf…No. I was no novice to the Green Fairy. She had coaxed me from a sluggish slumber and no ordinary liquor would do. She led me to the club with the promise of cool clarity and a fresh eye. Rampant dreams and sweat-dampened sheets were left to the mists of raging repose as I rose to answer the luscious lady’s call from the Harbor Club.

 ******

 I caressed the cone-shaped glass and watched a thin stream of frigid water dissolve the glistening sugar cube and swirl into the greenish contents of my glass. It clouded the beverage until finally settling into a familiar hue. The cool thrill of the Absinthe tickled my throat with every sip and I waited for the crisp liquid to kiss away my woes.

Alas, not even the Absinthe, a fickle lover in her own right, could wile her way into my veins and pacify my thoughts on this night. Nor could the Harbor Club bring me peace. Joseph Lewis, the disgruntled son of a client, lurked in the corner of the bar. He was arguing with a large man with tufts of graying hair, the remnants of a most severe and merciless balding. Their argument stirred in the background, but the contents were lost to my ailing left ear.

I had been partially deaf since I was seven years old due to a difficult bout with the measles. Though the severe fevers left me a sickly child following this illness, my heart continued to dream of a hero’s adventure.

My parents indulged my dreams and provided me with books of heroic tales. My head and my heart were filled with daring escapades and I continued to aspire to things beyond my capability. I would craft complex stories and solve mysteries in my father’s study and throughout the house when permitted. When I was of age, I applied for entrance into the military but was rejected due to my embarrassing malady. And so, instead of living the gallant life of an officer in uniform, I became a lawyer, steeped in odious paperwork and assisting the dying with their trusts so that they could pass on in peace.

I stacked the spoon on the saucer plate in front of me and signaled the bartender for a second glass. Eli had been strangely absent from his post when I arrived and Henry, the Maitre D’ had served me my first beverage after taking my coat.

As I sipped my drink, Henry disappeared into the back of the Club. The man receiving the brunt of Lewis’s anger turned and followed as Joseph huffed to the door. I was able to identify him as Samuel Connelly, the uncle of the woman who had piqued my particular interest in recent months, Eleanor Westfall, or Lenore as I was fond of calling her.

***

We met last April at a party celebrating the 50th birthday of one of my clients. I was never fond of such festivities because of the noise. But I chose to attend to please my client and to grow our professional relationship. Murmurs of conversation bubbled around me like champagne and were lost to me just as quickly. They overwhelmed my good ear and left me unable to discern the words of my companions. I feigned interest but allowed my eyes to wander over the other guests.

She was standing in the candlelight, her hand tucked lightly into the crook of her father’s arm. In a whirl of springy pink and yellow dresses, Eleanor stood out in a satiny green. She moved sleekly, like liquor pouring over ice and her skin was soft, smooth like a good scotch.

Her reputation was known to the world and while the ladies at the party ignored her presence, the men spoke of her wily ways behind their gloved hands. But I, perhaps enraptured by her beauty, had not a thought to care when it came to her compromised reputation.

“Good evening, Miss,” I said as I bowed politely to her.

She smiled, I imagine pleased with my attention. “And to you, Mr…?”

 “John, if it pleases you. And you?”

“—leanor,” she answered, looking me in the eye. Her eyes were an iridescent green, as emerald as an eye could possibly be. As I fell into the depths of her gaze, the first part of her name was lost to the hum of the room.

I took her hand in my own. “It’s lovely to meet you, Miss Lenore.” She chuckled lightly at my faux pas but hadn’t corrected me. And so, Lenore she had been and always would be to me.

Lenore was a dark-haired beauty with a flowery laugh. Her touch was soft and as tantalizing as the first drops after a drought. She was a demure woman despite the claims of gossips, outfoxed and left to rot by the overbearing snake, Joseph Lewis. Society was not forgiving and was in possession of a lengthy memory.

I sipped my drink and my outrage grew as it often did when I imagined Lewis caressing the cheek of my Lenore. My fury curdled the Absinthe that roved in my veins. Joseph’s long hands grasping Lenore’s hips. Reaching beneath her skirts. Through mists of green. And then her tears. For promises broken. False words shattered like glassy dreams. They echoed around me until finally I could withstand no more.

***

All content is © to the author of Writer vs. World.

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4 thoughts on “The Beveled Glass

  1. I am, too, a creative writer with a (secret) dream of writing a book… but anyway.. I LOVE THE WAY YOU WRITE 🙂 so poetic. keep up the intriguing work

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