Going Up in Smoke.

She exhaled and a thin line of smoke followed, the remaining of the cigarette settled idly between her fingers as she sat on the courtyard, back against the stone building. Her arms, skinny and pale, rested on her knees, pulled close to her lithe body, the dress’s light and flowing fabrics fell away from their designated spot just above the knee and pooled around her upper thighs. Unaccustomed to seeing so much of her legs, which like her arms were thin and pasty coloured, the sight was almost obscene to his eyes.

Forcing himself to avert his gaze elsewhere, his eyes landed back on the cigarettes sitting comfortably in the crook between her fingers.

Flicking of the ash building at the tip with an easy tap of her thumb, she brings it to her lips once more and takes another drag, the ends burning bright orange in the dark, like the dark red strands of hair against her smooth porcelain skin.

As he stalked closer, the smell of the cigarette smoke fills his lungs. Closing his eyes, the scent wafted through his nostrils and he was suddenly back was back in Paris, walking the streets, standing on one of the top floors of the Eiffel Tower. Seeking asylum miles away from the suffocating prison that was his home.

He opened his eyes again and sees her still by the wall, exhaling another cloud of smoke, still gazing at the dark skies above.

“You know,” he drawled, hoping to catch the redhead’s attention, “The establishment isn’t going to appreciate that,”

Her eye lids lift and she allows the orbs within to flicker up at him lazily as he stood in front of her on the courtyard.

“That’s why I’m out here,” she replied tonelessly with a smug grin, cocking her head, “…and not in there,”

Her smoker’s voice was hoarse but melodic, as if beautiful, then scraped with sandpaper and trapped inside, rattling around with the smoke as it destroyed her lungs.

He wordlessly sat himself next to the redhead and reached over to take the cigarette out of her hand, putting it to his lips and inhaled the final mouthfuls of nicotine left in the roll.

She smirked and languidly took it back, grasping it between the worn out nails, the dark red polish chipped above the cracked nails, giving an allusion that was quite veritable of disrepair and disregard, of carelessness and hardships.

Raising the almost just a stub cigarette between those fingers, she put them to her lips and inhaled before handing them to him as he followed suit, allowing the smoke to fill in his lungs before flickering his gaze back at her as the smoke escaped her lips, her eyes staring out at the skies above. The eyes so deep and endless, lined with the vestiges of the night’s eyeliner still on her eyelids.

It wasn’t pleasant, those eyes. The ones that made you feels as though were being pulled under, getting lost in the depths. It was unnerving. Frightening. It frightened people, it frightened him how detached she was, how much she couldn’t seem to feel.

As the smoke dispersed into nothingness just before them, he unceremoniously stubbed out the remnants of the cigarette on the ground as she raised another fresh one to her lips again.

The pink, soft and plump lips.

The one where he could see every crack and every line on the pale pink skin, moist enough to kiss. The mouth he imagined tasted like the cigarette they had both smoked, a fiery smoke setting into the corners, like the heavy weight of a cheap red wine, like just two parts of a body pressing together, united in passion.

And he stopped himself from the trail of thought right there, shifting his attention to the cigarette that rested there instead as she fiddled with the lighter. And he caught himself wondering, how much he’d like to be smoked by the redhead, all lips and tongue and teeth and fingers.

Then a breeze came from nowhere and stirred up the scents of the night. He could smell the smoke and a bit of alcohol on her breath, mixed with the alluring breath of cinnamon and spice. Unusual, just like her.

And then she shuddered, the outline of her pale skin trembling ever so slightly in the dark as another breeze swept past her hair. The hair that, he mused suddenly, could be matched by nothing. Not fire, the burning rage that ate up anything it touched, not the strawberry, the sweet tang its juices gave, not wine, its heavy stupor locking down on this offender’s brain, nothing. She was incomparable.

He watched as her gaze, concentrated as the flame shot up, tiny and wishful, flickering in a breeze that once more passed through her hair. Watching with slight detached amusement as the flame ignited, she stared at it for a solid second before finally touching the end of the white toxic pleasure to the flame, gently curling in the white edges, burning them black, making them crumble.

She took in a nice long drag, making the ember tip glow bright orange in the dark, before removing them from her lips handing it to him once more.

And he took it. Because it felt right, to be there with her, sitting out on the courtyard, smoking those cigarettes.

“… because smoking is a fairly sure, fairly honorable form of suicide.”
Kurt Vonnegut


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