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A little fiction – Shawna R. B. Atteberry
Jul 112006
 

This is a short-short that I wrote a few months ago.

“The Places Between the Spaces”

She walked through the door of the bar. It was your typical Irish pub–all wood with brass rail. It probably looked like every other Irish pub in town, except this one was two blocks from her apartment. A nice stroll. She pushed her way to the bar ordered an Irish Cream and milk then sat down at the table between the bar and the front window. It was the only table in the place–there wasn’t a whole lot of space. But the little round table with its two chairs fit perfectly in the corner. What was she thinking coming here on St. Patrick’s Day? Not that it mattered: every bar in the area would be crowded tonight. She mindlessly watched people walk by as she looked at her drink. She wondered which ingredient they put the green food dye in: the milk or the Irish Cream? She took a sip of the green drink, leaned back in her chair and continued to watch the people walk by. Every now and then a cold gust of air tickled her legs. She must be sitting by a vent, although she couldn’t figure out why the air would be cold. It was March–not cold, but still chilly. One would think the air would still be heated.

It had been a long day at work. Even with the huge, very loud crowd yelling over the very loud band, it was good to be here. The last thing she wanted to do was sit in her apartment alone. Who knew? May be she’d get hit on. Stranger things have happened after all.

The cold air hit her legs again, but this time it kept blowing. The gust had become a breeze, and it was coming from the side of the bar. Why the hell would anyone put a vent there? Someone had left part of today’s paper in the other chair. She grabbed it and dropped to her knees. May be she could block part of the air flow. As she groped along the bar, her hand suddenly slipped through a hole. A really big hole. What in the world? It was pitch black–why couldn’t she see inside the bar area? The partition wasn’t that thick. She should see the legs and feet of the bartenders who were trying to keep up with all the orders, but there was nothing but darkness. The cold breeze was blowing her hair off of her face. She started to crawl forward.

She didn’t know where she was, but she knew it wasn’t the bar. She remembered her grandmother telling her about the “spaces between places”: spaces where ghosts, spirits, sprites, and all sorts of “the otherwordly kind” lived. The blackness ahead of her was turning into a shimmering green. As she entered the green light, she saw a beautiful redheaded woman lying on the floor of the bar, her throat slit, a large pool of her own blood under her. It was the bar, but now it was empty, dark and cold. She and the dead woman were the only two here. She swallowed and began to back out. The green went back to darkness then her feet hit her chair. She slowly stood up and sat down. She polished off the rest of her drink in one gulp. She wasn’t planning on getting drunk when she came here. But then she wasn’t planning on finding out a woman had been murdered here by finding a space between the places either. She stood and caught the attention of one of the bartenders, “An Irish whiskey, please.”

I am interested to see what this little short will turn into once it’s had time to develop.

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