Florence has been silent the rest of the journey from the forest into town. I can hear her breathe with such patience and slenderness. The boy in the back has been whistling, and I had taught him to do that when he feels defiant, or in any way brave. It has been on and off throughout driving through the city. I note the faces of the drunk and promiscuous on the streets. I take in the seven inch heels, and the mini dresses on the sultry females, and I take in the groups of men with alcohol swayed walks.
I remember the first time I drove through this city with a man in the back; I had had to sedate him, and it was a terrible business. The morphine mixed with his Atarax, and his nerves had begun to get the better of him. I had barely managed to heave him through two rooms of my home, my palace, my haven. He dripped blood all over my new wooden floor. He was dead the next morning.
It was a shame, he had such loving eyes.
“Miss Angelina, do you suppose, at some point...” I raise my hand to her, and put my finger to my lips. There were red lights ahead of me, and a group of people surrounding the street, and this van wasn’t keen on keeping conversations inside whilst it was immobile. “Miss Angelina, I was only going to ask if I could, if we could go into town tomorrow night. Shan’t you be done by then?” I had forgotten that Florence isn’t permitted to leave the house without myself, or someone I trust.
I open the dashboard in front of me, and pull out a pack of cigarettes. I offer the open lid to Florence, who politely shakes her head. I end up shrugging her off and taking one out for myself, placing it between my lipstick polished lips and throwing the pack towards her. She takes the initiative to collect the lighter from her pocket, and snaps open the lid.
I eye up the yellow lights of the traffic, and then take a glance up at the glowing sky. It’s gone past midnight at this point I decide, and roll the cigarette along my lips before I see the lustrous spark from the lighter. Florence seems mesmerised by the beauty of the lighter, and reluctantly pushes it towards me, keeping eye contact with myself.
“Do you prolong their deaths because you’re shortening yours Miss Angelina?” I grimace at the thought that has dropped out of her mouth. She clamps her lips shut, staring out...