By Francis Scudellari
“I know I got it here somewhere.” Virgil fumbled with a clutch of keys. Singling one out after another, he tried and erred three times to turn the deadbolt barring their entrance. The fourth steel jigsaw piece met its mated hole and the tumbled bar rolled back with a screech. “There she is.” He turned the loose brass knob and pushed open the heavy wood door with a flourish.
Jacob entered first, walking to the center of the uneven, bare floor. His head turned slowly to drink in the room’s battered décor: the broken light fixture, the bent nails projecting from mildewed walls, a bathroom door unhinged.
The apartment was just the sort of dive that Jacob had expected. The perfect down on its luck launching pad his up-coming artist's mind had conjured from the classified.
She was here. Jacob could feel her warmth. His beautiful muse floated about the ceiling. She waited to descend, a tongue of flame to lick, to crackle, to burn in his soul until her blistering breath coursed through his veins, sered his chilled flesh, sparked his inert mind.
Soon, her fervent voice would fill his head. Soon, her ardent song would leap from his mouth. Jacob longed to feel her inside of him. Soon, she would lustily sow a seed and Jacob would give birth. Soon, he would create, undisturbed, absorbed.
Jacob walked toward the front window now tinted by a blush-red sunset. He looked out at the pigeon-dotted tracks, the debris-cluttered alley. This would be his neighborhood. This would be his home. Virgil joined Jacob by the sagging sheets of glass and lowered the jaundiced shades. "Not much of a view, but who cares, right?” Jacob cared. He cherished the view.
Jacob turned around and glimpsed a cockroach scurry out from the kitchen. It paused in the hallway, eyed him, then slipped into a crack in the wall. “Don’t worry about them. We’ll have someone come by and spray the place before ya move in. Whatcha think, kid? We’ll get her cleaned up real good. You gonna take it?”
Virgil stood before Jacob, his lips twisted in a sleepy smile. His seeming tenantless eyes fixed ahead. His drooping body teetered toward Jacob, awaiting a decision. His tar-stained, six-fingered hand scratched the black stubble of his cheek. “Do ya wanna look around s’more. I got time. I got nothin’ but time.”