It has certainly been a while. I had aspirations for this site, but time and tide swept them away. However I have decided to resurrect Neon Rabbit to showcase my writing and the creative process in general. I have recently moved to New Orleans, Louisiana to pursue film production and other potentially lucrative activities. It has been an incredible journey so far and I look forward to all the new adventures I will have in the coming months and years.
The story that follows is the first creative piece of fiction I have written since arriving in New Orleans. It is part experiment and part love letter to the two things that have inspired me most. My new home and the woman I left behind.
As always, enjoy.
The French Quarter is hidden away. An anachronism surrounded by the trappings of the modern world, but turn one street and you could see the past with each lonely step. The asphalt was always mounded at the middle and the doors all had the rumpled quality of a hobo. I wanted nothing more than to leave, but I was pinned to a bar by celebrants. The bar was indistinguishable from the other dozen bars I passed on my walk along Bourbon Street. It was a song that drew me in, but the tone of the bar changed as soon as my drink was ordered and by then I was trapped. Outside the constant flow of tourists pushed through the street armed with daiquiris and plastic beads. I resigned myself to my whiskey and the unrelenting beat of the speakers. My gaze scanned the room for an escape route. That’s when she caught my eye. She was a tiny thing and her glasses were too big for her beautiful face. There was a sheen of sweat coating her skin. Her body moved to the rhythm of the music and I was transfixed. The entirety of the bar bled into a frame for this girl who danced alone.
Liquor made me courageous so I approached. She smiled instantly. Tiny crows feet webbed from her eyes when she smiled. Her shirt was damp and nearly translucent under the neon and blacklight. I smiled back awkwardly and beckoned her closer. She came close. The smell of sweat and rum was heady and her body pressed delicately against mine. I said nothing and smiled.
“My name is Malia.” She spoke into my ear. “First time in the Quarter?” Her smile was warm, inviting.
I nodded. “Can I talk with you outside?” I yelled back.
She took my hand and lead me through the crowd. Outside my heart was overwhelming all other sound. I didn’t know what I wanted to say. She looked me over with her perfect face. “What’s your name?” She offered her hand and I gladly took it.
“John. I’m new.” I held her hand longer than I should have. I didn’t want to let go. In this girl who didn’t exist five minutes ago I saw my future. I saw my mistakes and my shortcomings too, but I stuffed those thoughts back.
“Do you want to go somewhere with me?” She offered.
I felt a pang of doubt. She had only just met me. A stranger in a bar and she wants me to follow her to parts unknown. My paranoia flooded and all the horror stories I ever heard pulsed with a new life. “I don’t have any money.” I said before I could stop myself.
She giggled,“Come on.” She moved down the street and didn’t look back. I was offered a choice. Go with her into the unknown or stay and continue my trivial evening with strangers. I resigned myself to the loss of a kidney and ran ahead with Malia.
I was doomed from the start. There was nothing she could say or do that would dissuade me from my adoration.
Malia lead me through the labyrinthine streets of the Quarter. She opened a gate and lead me through with a grin. “Where are we?” I asked and felt simple.
“I live here.” She answered as we continued. Her door was below a wrought iron stairwell. She opened the door and lead me inside. Her furnishings were spartan, a bed and a metal folding chair were the only furniture in her room. She produced a small bottle of whiskey and two mismatched glasses. “have a seat.” She ordered and flopped onto the bed.
“I’m confused.” I confessed.
“Why?” Her eyelids fluttered as she handed me a glass.
“I could be…” My mind raced.
There was more to her than just a body. There was a spark in her that I seldom saw, but perhaps that was the swirling cocktail of hormones and booze needling at my rational brain. I could see her in the flourescent light of her room. She was imperfect. Acne was speckled on her chin and there were a million tiny imperfections that were now made readily apparent in the light. None of these made her any less attractive to me. On the contrary the fact that she was suddenly more real made her irresistible. “My body is my own.” she stated, “If I want you to come to my bed that is my choice. If I told you to leave would you?” I said yes. “So drink and sit.” She patted the bed.
She talked, I listened. She explained how I had been lost, but was begging to be found and I had to agree. We were looking for each other. Not endlessly, not like soul mates and maybe not even after that night. When we found each other in our mutual state of need she assured me of her intentions and of what she would allow.
I moved in for a kiss. She stopped me with a light press against my chest, “I haven’t said yes.” There was no malice in her words, only the understanding.
I sat up and straightened my back, felt awkward for the attempt. She pressed her hand on my shoulder and straddled my lap delicately. She pressed against my chest again and I laid back on her bed. She hovered over me and smiled. Her glasses had slid down her nose and I focused on the point where they had stopped. They were about to fall and my impulse was to move them from the precipice of her nose. I reached up asked, “May I?” she nodded and I carefully removed her glasses.
Her face was a foot above mine. I could feel it when I closed my eyes. I remember she kissed me first. It was gentle, her soft tongue probed through my lips and found mine. I kissed in return. I held my arms above the bed between her delicate flesh and the soft sheets of her bed. To touch her would be a sin, like touching a butterfly’s wings. If I touched her arm would she still be able to fly. My hesitation was noted and she placed my hands on her shoulders looked me in the eye and said, “Yes.”